When there’s danger, sometimes, it’s just best to let things go. If I hadn’t known that before this day, I sure knew it now.
I was ‘lucky’ enough to live close to my elementary school. The part of the day that had always scared me was this: riding down Main Street on my little bike. My parents didn’t exactly have high paying jobs; in retrospect, we were lucky enough to even have a place to stay.
My mother always had to work in the afternoon to keep at least a few measly dollars. And as for my dad? Well, he had a problem in and of itself. It wasn’t something I enjoyed thinking about, for it always brought tears to my eyes. But it was a reason for a lot of my misfortune as a young girl, but also cause for a lot of joy.
Family problems shoved aside, I had to ride my bike every day, since the bus didn’t make a direct trip to my house. For some reason, taking a trip down Main Street of Coldwater, Kansas was completely out of the way. I’d always guessed that was because I was the only student living on that street, but in all reality, the inner city was rated high in crime… and poverty.
I rode my two-wheeler down the street, sheltering my head from passersby, simply because I was shy. The idea of some stranger walking up or even being introduced to me was nauseating. I could see it then: ‘Aww! What a cute little girl we have here!’ I’d had little experience with meeting people, or even seeing people, for that matter. Therefore, I’d come to regard my mother and father as my only sense of salvation, and everyone else… well they were just that: strangers.
I did, however, manage to smile at my own sheepish behavior as I rolled my bike around the final turn toward my little house. It was just in my line of view; the little cottage-looking home that I’d grown to love.
And that’s when I heard it.
The blood-curdling screech came from the alley in front of me. All of my instincts screamed at me: Don’t do that! You crazy little girl! You’ve been told to go straight home after school. I ignored that feeling, common curiosity and complete and utter recklessness shining from within. I pulled my bike over beside the alley’s entryway and started in on foot. The idea of a pack of wolves attacking someone vaguely crossed my mind, yet I passed that off as leftover fear from last night’s horror movie. I really needed to stop watching those, I told myself.
Whatever movie I had previously watched could never have prepared me for this. I ducked behind an empty trash bin just inside the alley. Again, those instincts screamed out at me. Aimee, GO HOME!
There was an older girl laying in the dead-end of the alley. She was... covered in something, though it was too dark for me to tell what it was. It was liquid and it pooled around her. Death came to my mind, but I crossed it off, knowing that was only in vampire movies.
Then, sudden reality hit. I was no longer twelve years old. I was an adult, at least in the sense of sight. I realized then that I had seen and heard already more than my parents, even more then most adults. For right now, I was witnessing a murder.
I couldn’t see the features of the hurt one, but I saw suddenly a young woman enter from around the back corner of the dead-end. I hadn’t even known about that entrance, but then again, I’d never had to be summoned into this deep hole before. The woman didn’t notice me at first, simply because I wouldn’t let her. I jumped back even further behind the dumpster, scared out of my wit.
The woman, I was sure, was young, only twenty or so. I could tell by the way she carried herself and how the features on her face held youth. But yet, when I looked a little closer, I could see the way drugs and alcohol had ruined her. Her eyes were red rimmed and puffy. Her nose was crooked. All of the terrible features that her face presented made her look like an old lady. I shivered at the thought.