This one is a memoir we had to write for our AP Lang. and Comp. class junior year. WARNING: This contains some pretty graphic descriptions of a guy being killed. And this also took place on the day I turned 16. Go figure.
Also, the sections alternate from that day to that night, and so on, so forth. And names have been changed to "protect the innocent".
"Your sleep study is this Friday, you know." This statement was met with a loud groan as I slumped back into the beige leather of the interior of my father's maroon Jaguar XK8. The top was down and I was tired, but the cold air that wove around me as we sped down the thru-way forced me into a more alert state.
"Do I have to?" I whined, black painted nails touching my newly dyed and cut curls with distaste. "They're going to put those goopy EK-wire things in my hair!" I exclaimed, staring at my father as he turned up his Dean Martin CD. "You know much I hate that place, and those awful plastic pillows?"
"Sorry, Scoob," my dad responded with a pseudo-sympathetic tone. He ignored my roll of my eyes at his nickname for me.
I hated –my mother always said I severely disliked it, not hated it—the Dent center's sleep study. My first one there hadn't been a nice one.
They'd hooked these colored wires up to my head, face, and body. Some just had an adhesive sticker to peel and position, most required a thick, salty gel to be spread and then stuck. Some dug into my skin while others gave me the first stirrings of a migraine.
And whoever thought someone watching your every movement as you slept, recording your every breath and sound, was relaxing, obviously doesn't understand what stalking is.
And they felt they had the right to complain about watching me sleep. I'd like to see them have some of my dreams. They'll shut up real quick.
They woke me up at 6am on the dot, gave me some paperwork to fill out, and bid me goodbye.
In the Comments section I scribbled, "I need to shower."
When I got my test results two weeks later, the doctor told me my oxygen levels were lower than they should have been, as if I didn't already know. He also told me that I never woke up, which was a blatant lie, because I distinctly recalled waking up several times throughout the night.
The last time I woke up was to screw with the staff attendant. I reached up and ripped the wire nestled beneath my bangs clear off my face, rolled over with a triumphant laugh, and tried to return to my slumber.
I hated going to the sleep studies.
My fingers tapped on the keys of the keyboard as I sat in the big red chair before my father's computer. I glanced at the clock on the screen for a moment, and the small white 12:27 glared at me, reminding me that I should've been in bed because I had a full day of school the next day.
I clicked the mouse on the distressed smiley just as my brother stalked into the room, shoulders heavy with invisible burden and eyes red with tears he'd cried.
"How are you?" he asked awkwardly.
I shrugged, turned around, and looked up at him.
"I'm fine. You any better?"
He shook his head, "No".
Then he started to tell me that we were both too young to have seen what happened earlier that night.
I couldn't help it. The corners of my lips started to quirk up, and he noticed.
"You shouldn't be laughing!" he yelled, but despite my fear of my brother being angry, I smiled wider. I honestly couldn't help it.
"Do you even understand what happened tonight?" he barked at me, not caring if he woke our mother up.
I nodded my head, "Yes".
"Do you know why I told you go walk away?" he asked me, watching me yet not really seeing me.
I shook my head in the negative.
"It was because half his face was missing, Lys. It was f'in missing!" his voice cracked, and I thought he would start sobbing again.
I nodded my head, not saying anything.
"You're not crying because you're immature. You're smiling because that's your immaturity coming out! That's why you're not having the same reaction I am," he told me harshly.
I wasn't sure if he said it because he knew I would feel deeply offended when I knew I was more mature than nearly everyone I knew. I wasn't sure if he'd said it because that's what he honestly believed.
My father told me when I came home that it was because I didn't have built up emotion. He said it was because my brother and I were different, and that I handled it better.
He never said I was mature, but I could tell by the look in his eyes that he was relieved I had taken it without a single tear.
"Alyson Daniels, you are not signing up for some stupid walk-around and missing the Square," Brenda screeched as my hand slowly began to rise into the air to be a volunteer to show parents around the school that evening.
I chuckled as she reached over and snatched my wrist, dragging it down to the bleach soaked table and restraining it.
"Yeah, you're going, Aly," Dylan piped around a mouthful of mystery meat he'd snatched from Brittany's tray when she wasn't paying attention. "I'm having my birthday party there, and you've got to go."
I gave another laugh and rolled my eyes. It wasn't like it was all that difficult to miss one night of TITS, right? And sure, it was just the last one of the year, but my stomach was lurching at the thought of going.
"Sorry guys, but I won't be able to make it," I informed them, vaguely noting the fallen expressions that crossed their various faces as I rescued my hand from Brenda's long-nailed clutches.
"Why not? You have to! For me?" Brenda begged, twitching her nose like a bunny as she usually did because she thought I would change my mind and say yes. I shook my head, "No".
"First off, I woke up this morning," I began, preparing my wake-up to be in a nutshell, "and I thought, 'yay! Today is the Square!' and suddenly my stomach went 'BLAH!'" I bent forward to emphasize my imaginary pain. "Then I thought about Skell, and my stomach went, 'WOOOH!'" Skell was my most recent crush and the first of three I could date within the near future. "So I thought about the Square again, and bad reaction number two, but Skell," I waggled my eyebrows jokingly –everyone shouted "Hands in PG places!!" at that, which was an inside joke I'd started – and continued, "made my tummy happy again. So bad feeling means no Square, and also," I paused, looking around as Dylan stuffed another piece of mystery meat in his mouth, stifling a laugh, "Dad said no Square this morning anyways."
"Aw, that sucks, Lyssas," Brenda muttered sadly, but I shrugged and gulped my chocolate milk down. "My gut instinct was right last time, with Amanda?" A circle of nods confirmed the horrible memory. "All right then. My gut is never wrong. End of discussion."
The car was turning the corner at the light. Dana was crying in front of me, and my brother was desperately holding back his tears.
The girl next to me was silent, but she was near tears, as well.
I hadn't had a single tear form or fall yet.
There was a sudden screech and a loud crash. My brother, his friends and I all turned to look.
Two had just collided. The bumper was lying in the middle of the road. Another accident had just occurred, not even five minutes after the first one.
It was short and simple, and no one was hurt this time.
I would own Hot Topic if I could. I'd buy every single thing in it if I had enough money. It was a pity I didn't.
"She's a worse shopper than me," Amanda chirped to Dustin as I eyed a purple and white striped headband. "I think I've met my match."
"You're just jealous 'cause I can last longer on my feet, Miss Ballet," I retorted, not caring that my comeback was lame compared to my usual ones. I'm shopping. That's like the Holy Grail of my life. Well, besides writing and filming.
"Oh, well, you…"
Still, Amanda never can come back with anything I can't beat. Never has, never will. Never came close.
"Does this match?" I asked, pointing to the plain purple headband.
"Yes, that works," Dustin confirmed.
I pulled it off the rack and snatched the star clips with purple glitter.
"I like these, too," I justified. I was going to look really pretty at the Square tonight. My dad didn't know I was going, of course, and my mom figured I was with my brother and Dustin. My brother had forced me and Amanda to go, anyways. What could have possibly happened? It was the last Square!
My eye caught the hoodies on the wall. I had 65 dollars to spend at the store. That hoody would look fantastic on me! It was black and red with argyle skulls, and it was calling my name like a sin.
"Did you want one of those hoodies down?" one of the women working the register asked. I grinned. Scratch good. I was going to be dropping guys dead left and right.
I took a step closer to the convulsing body lying on the cold street. Curiosity had killed the cat, but I wasn't consumed by the feeling, nor was I any such creature. I was two feet away from the nameless gurgling man who had been hit. My legs were moving of their own accord. What a sick and twisted free will my body had over my mind.
I was surprised that I hadn't stepped in any blood considering the close proximity between my feet and the body.
It was fascinating; I couldn't tear my eyes away from the scene despite the disturbing fact that a dead man lay pouring his blood over the streets mere inches before me.
I was jerked from my thoughts and my footsteps halted as my brother's voice rang out, echoing in the night.
"What?" I asked, suddenly breathless. "What is it?"
My brother's face was panic-stricken, and his cell phone was still clenched in his fingers.
"Go to the car!" he shouted, even though I could hear him fine from where I was standing a few feet away from him.
I stood where I was, sparing a glance at the body on the ground. My brother yelled at me again, and I took off down the street.
I reached the car, and a few moments later my brother and his two friends were strapped in. We waited a few minutes, breathing and relishing the fact that we were alive. Thanking some higher power for keeping us breathing.
We pulled out of the parking lot and drove back towards the bloody scene.
The vibrant flashing white of the fire trucks that blocked the streets reminded me of the pristine walls and sheets of the hospital the man would be going to. I noticed then, ten minutes later, that there were no piercing sirens arriving from the ambulance to signal its departure to the ER.
That night was the night I prayed to God for the first time in six years.
"Ugh! That is so not fair!" I cried out, feigning offense. "I was just going to do that," I pouted, slumping forward.
Dewey smiled and leaned back against the big green box by Lafayette Station. He shrugged and closed his eyes slightly, looking at me through his slitted lids.
Still pouting, I twisted around on the cold concrete and settled the back of my head into Dewey's lap, on the crease where his knee and calf met. He started laughing and I grinned, sticking my tongue out as I wiggled into a more comfortable position.
"There. I win."
The gay guy who had been hitting on him leaned on his shoulder and Dewey tensed. I held my laughter back as he started playing with my hair.
I smiled contentedly. Then Seth walked by, looked down at me, and I saw jealousy flash across his features. He ignored Lindsay as she tried to hold his arm and tangle herself around his waist. I raised a brow at him and threw him one of my famous smirks. He got upset and pushed Lindsay away, stomping off.
"Yeah, real mature," I muttered, closing my eyes.
My breathing was surprisingly calm despite my having run from the street end to the scene in front of me. I watched, gaze unblinking, as the people realized there was a man in the middle of the street. I was mere feet away from him, stalking closer with deviously calculated steps.
My boots were sticking to my feet from the band-aids in them. People were maneuvering around the puddles of crimson surrounding his writhing body, watching in horror as more of it spilled from his lips as if his body were rejecting that which it needed to survive.
Bizarre noises came from the man's mouth as quickly as his blood was, and I found myself unable to tear my eyes away as his palpitating body thudded violently against the freezing ground.
I stepped closer.
One of his eyes had rolled backwards into his head, showing off the stark white that lay beneath it. The rest of his head was flat against the ground, but I didn't bother looking at it.
"Where's the other driver?" my brother called out frantically, starting to dash towards the demolished car. "Did anyone check to see if the driver was all right?"
A man who had been standing next to me raised his hand above his head, slowly, hesitating to see our reaction.
"I'm right here," he said quietly, though my brother heard him and stopped. "I did it. I hit him."
And when he said that, his lips curved up into a smile.
"I hit him, I did it."
His hand slowly came back down, and the pride in his voice was evident with those last words.
A man was lying meager feet before me, his brain completely deceased and scattered around us but his body still clinging onto the life that had been so abruptly and unwarrantedly stripped from it.
A few feet beside me was the scum who was proud to have put him there.
"Resident Evil: Extinction comes out tomorrow," Dewey announced, still lounging against the green box with my head at his crossed ankles.
"Mhm," I sounded, eyes closed.
"You want to go?" he asked nonchalantly.
I shrugged, not really caring that I'd bumped his knee.
"Sure," I said.
I wouldn't tell him I had only seen about thirty minutes of the first one. He didn't need to know that.
"It'll be cool. I can't wait!" he lazily exclaimed.
He jumped suddenly as the gay guy hitting on him bent down to kiss him. I started laughing as his body lurched forward. It was incredibly amusing as the guy began to talk in a persuasive way, trying to get Dewey to let him take a kiss.
If I knew what being drunk felt like, this would be it. But I was high on life and the comedy of joy.
Nothing bad had happened yet, and I had the feeling I was going to go home with a date to look forward to the next day and an outfit that would need careful planning to compose.
I had glanced up to watch ahead of me as if my head had been tugged to face forward. As if it were all in slow motion, I saw the shimmering silver of the motorcycle move ahead as the biker's light went green. Then the light colored car moved forward while it was at a red.
The motorcycle and the car collided with such violence I would have gasped had I not been too enthralled with the scene ahead of me to do so, looking like they were blending into one another. The sleek black and silver of the bike crumpled, and the man riding it jolted forward, smashing his bearded face into the hood of the car, before being propelled into the air.
His body soared in a perfect arc through the air, his yellow helmet and blue clothes forcing him to stand out against the black night sky while scarlet sprayed from his wounded head.
Everything was still moving so slowly, yet at the same time it felt as if it were happening so quickly, like my mind observing everything in a reduced speed while my body felt the actual pace of the scenario.
His hands begged to find something to latch onto but found nothing as he twirled and twisted through the air like some perturbing circus act. No net was there to catch him as the ground seemingly rose up to meet him.
And then he landed.
And out came a stabbing shriek.
Out came the earsplitting snap of his neck as he landed on his head, breaking it too promptly for his brain to comprehend that he was dead, nothing more than a lifeless lump.
I stood there for at least ten more seconds, contemplating what it was that I had just witnessed. My brother's voice explaining the incident to the police on his cell phone brought my attention to him.
Then we were sprinting. Down the rest of the street, me in my big clunking lace-up boots, dashing down the black street as if the Devil Himself were on my tail, and we were racing to get to the nameless man at the center of the intersection, I to save him, and the horned figment of my imagination in close quarters behind me in pursuit of the man so that he could seize his soul.
"Gah, shut. Up!" I screamed at the shrill beep of my cell phone as the 7am alarm went off.
The last remnants of a dream where Dylan, Brenda, and I were running around, enjoying the sights in an amusement park, escaped my groggy mind as my conscious began to take over.
Kicking the furry pink and black skull blankets off my shivering body, I slammed the "End" button on the phone, terminating the penetrating noise. Flashes of the dream permeated my thoughts, and I felt empty.
I had witnessed the brutal death of an innocent man only hours before, an event that would leave most with haunting nightmares, yet there I was, dreaming about happy things, as if I hadn't just had the worst experience of my life.
There are different ways to handle shock, I was told. Apparently, my reaction of feeling absolutely nothing at all dubbed me the strongest, luckiest, and most tolerable of all the bystanders of the vision.
I never knew people would so pettily judge another as they watch the life leave another person.
Funny, I never knew malicious deaths were something to compare your might to.
So there you have it. It would be a little scary if someone I know ever read this and then approached me in school. "Hey, I saw your memoir on the internet! I didn't know you wrote fiction! That Karill guy seems totally hot! Dude, that Lillith chick sounds just like the Rachel who's always in your movies!"
Yeah, so please review.