A beautiful autumn day was here and the park was quiet, exactly what I wanted. I walked around the corner and there she was, hair as black as night, eyes as blue as the sea in the middle of a storm. She was peacefully reading a book, a thick one at that and her cute little giggle happening every time she read a funny part and oh, that lovely smile I could just see the corners of. I sound like a stalker but come on mate, she's beautiful!

My mind can't decide whether or not to ask her out, but to where? My favourite coffee shop is around the corner so of course I should take her there and to be generous, I'll pay for her drink. I walked up to her all nervous and mutter a few words which she miraculously heard and I had asked her to the café. She nodded but was quite shy about it but she smiled as well, oh that smile. She goes to get her money, I say that it's my treat. Okay, stay cool bro, just hand the money over to the coffee chick and give her, her coffee that she ordered and then make some sort of conversation.

"Hey, this was really nice but I have to go home to study now. I'll see you round?" She said quietly while sipping her coffee.

"Yeah, sure. Hey, here's my number if you ever want to meet up again." I handed her my napkin with my scrawly handwriting on it which somehow made out my mobile phone number. She just smiled and turned around and began to walk away. Give her your number, check and walk away all casual like, check. Plan perfectly executed. I walk out of the coffee shop behind her and start to walk the other way but backwards, still looking at her.

Wait, what was that? Something just hit me. Someone just hit me.

Who was that?

Everything is silent. There seems to be a burning sensation in my wrist. He just ran past us and is that a knife in his hand? My stomach, it's, it's bleeding. The police rush past and he's on the ground surrounded by them all along with some other people they ran into by accident.


Smile Mate, smile at her. She's dropped her book, she got hit too. He ran through trying to get us out of the way and in cutting me, he slowed down and flicked the knife into her arm. More people are rushing towards us and I'm falling. I hit the ground one knee at a time and my smile just fades. She gets pushed aside by some random trying to run away from the commotion and she falls to the ground. People are running around and some people in deep blue clothes surround us. They're paramedics. I don't respond to them because I can't. Nothing moves and everything hurts.

I can't die, not now and not in front of her. I'm only 17, she doesn't even know my name! I haven't even lost my virginity but I have gotten drunk so that's at least one thing off my bucket list. More and more people arrive as my eyes slowly close and everything darkens and then, black.

~ x ~


I hadn't been awake long to realize I'd slept through to the end of that day and into the next. I don't know who has come to see me or whether or not my parents even know of my condition. Nurses and doctors are busily going about their day, attending to people worse and better off than me so I'm left to lie there in the bed and hope, just hope that I don't die of boredom.

I'm about to doze off again before I hear something, not a normal noise from the nurses or the other rooms so I open my eyes and see him moving a little. He murmurs something as if he's sleep talking and I believe that he is so I don't embarrass myself by trying to talk to him. I just close my eyes again and try not to think too much. He's alive, I'm so relieved. I can finally know his name, that's all I want right now.

His name.

The nurses attend to him as my parents rush into the room, their faces still red from recently fallen tears. They are followed by two policemen who want to question me. My parents have already talked to them first because they could fill out the basics about who I am, my age and blah, blah, blah, the basics. The policeman also asks if they knew I was in the park and at the coffee shop, then adding "with this boy" so dramatically. Being my parents, they knew about me reading in the park but they turned and gave me a strange look of my-daughter-with-a-boy? when they mentioned I was with him. A short while later, two frantic and upset looking adults come rushing into his bedside and brush back his hair so I take it, that they are his parents and just in time because he has opened his eyes finally. A small smile sneaks its way on to my face when he says, "Mum? Dad?"

~ x ~


My parents? Oh, wait, no, they're her parents, phew. Why does it sound like police are walking in? That is the police, what are they doing here? We're the victims, not the ones in trouble. They talk softly as I haven't opened my eyes yet so they all think I'm asleep. Ah, here are my parents just as I decide to actually open my eyes.

"Mum? Dad?" I say softly as someone brushes my hair out of my face.

"Yes, we're here baby. Are you okay? Are you hurt?" My mother fusses over me while my Dad stands back, silent, as usual.

I look over at her and she smiles when she sees me looking. My mother continues fussing over me, asking if I'm okay until she's dragged away by a nurse to go to talk to the doctor about my condition. Thank God.

I don't know if they can handle this, they don't need it either. Times have been hard enough for them already the past few weeks. Dad lost his job a week ago and Grandpa is gone. He died yesterday morning. That's why I was in the park, my parents had told me, so I went for a walk to clear my head and absorb what had happened.

My Grandpa was a good guy and he used to always spoil me. He taught me about cars, working and occasionally girls. He would always tell me stories about when he was young, his 'glory days'. He got a sick a couple of years ago and we always knew he was going to die but we had all hoped he'd make it to my graduation at the end of the year.

I'm about to go back to school in a few weeks for year 12, my final year of school, finally. I don't know if she goes to Tortall High, I don't really recognize her. I think I may have seen her in the corridors but she might not even be a Year 12 student. She looks more like a Year 11.

My parents walk back in and even though Mum tries to hide it, I can see she was crying before when she was talking to the doctor. They were a lot calmer now and Dad was talking to me and telling me they were going to just go quickly and get something to eat out in the cafeteria. I'm kind of hungry but I can only have liquids for a bit until my stomach heals a bit more. I hope the food is kind of decent, I went on a camp once and everyone said it was the same as hospital food and if that's true, oh my God, this food will make me sick. In having this little discussion with myself, I ignored the very loud sound of high heels in the corridor and that's when disaster strikes.