She saw him at the club as she'd been sure she would. Her ex, the one who had doted upon her, then left her alone, got her an apartment in the city to make her feel wanted, and then had never been home. The familiarity of his presence calming her even though she could sense he was feeling particularly vicious. They walked out to his party on the balcony where he warmly greeted her friend and she warmly greeted his. When she turned to him he made a nasty remark, looking back she couldn't tell you what it was, there were too many remarks, too many comments, too many jibes for her to pinpoint just one. But the look of venom on his face and the shock of their companions at the seemingly sudden attack would stay with her forever. She was the only one to whom this attack was no surprise. He may as well have been transparent, just a sheet of glass so perfectly clean that she could see straight through it and into his mind. He was consumed by a need to own her. A need that made him do things, things that she at first had reasoned were out of character for him but now she felt that this side of him was as intricately a part of him, living alongside the loving understanding boy she had grown up with. He was jealous of her every move that didn't include him and lashed out at her with the knowledge that she would always listen, always understand.
She barely acknowledged his remark, barely acknowledged him at all and following a pre-arranged plan with her best friend she retreated, keeping her distance, with the ultimate goal being permanent distance from him. Her gut churned. She knew he knew what was coming. She also knew that things would get worse before they got better and she just prayed that she was strong enough to not get drawn back in by him, her plan was to benefit them both in the long run, exactly how long the run was she was unsure but a little something told her that whatever was coming she could handle. Her naivety shielding her from real stress. If only she knew.
She and her girlfriend reconvened in the bathroom coming to the mutual decision that another club, further distance, would benefit all parties involved and within mere minutes of coming to this decision they were off. The best friend, a much more stable and together drinker than her volunteered to drive her car as she believed herself, and was very much, fit to drive. A cheeky drop in to a fast food outlet and they were almost and the car. Her phone rang and it was him. The thought flashed through her mind not to answer but he'd had a lot to drink, and the plan had been a careful distancing, wanting to minimise the pain sure to be felt by both parties losing what, if nothing else, was a friendship of significant length with much history. So with a wary heart and a juggle of the contents of her hands she answered none too impressed as the public remark from earlier still burned in her memory. He asked where they were going and if he could come. She started to make their excuses but he said that the others had gone home and he was alone. She relayed this to her friends although already knew that she would fall for the trap too, they took pity and told him to come to the car, they would wait. Munching on fries and singing along to what others thought was their terrible taste in music, though it didn't bother them a smidge, they made a pact to turn their night around and have fun. As they agreed to this his figure appeared at the edge of the car park. It was slouched and melancholy, they glanced sideways at each other without comment as he was too close. He got in the car to a warm greeting which received a barely audible response. 'Having a good night?' She asked, already really knowing the answer. 'No its shit' was what came back. 'Well that’s about to change' she said handing him the bag of food and a drink, he refused food but welcomed the post mix drink in its cardboard cup. He then divulged exactly how much he had had to drink to them both, her secretly shocked he was still standing and they took off. He seemed determined to bring them both down and they were determined to stay up. As they continued along a song came on that evoked memories for the girls, singing along they seemed to have magic shields that protected them from his selfish mood. She would feel guilty for months, years, for thinking negative thoughts about him at that moment. For as the song was finishing he opened the back door and closed it, she whipped around, more angry that the interior lights might attract the attention of police, as she thought he was being foolish and throwing his drink container way. As she turned back around he opened the door once more and threw himself out.
She had turned back as the interior light came on again and was now witnessing 30 seconds of her life that she would never be able to erase. He had rolled out just before an intersection and as she watched his body roll on the pavement she could hear screaming. In a move that was selfish and unthinking she screamed at her friend to stop, the car pulling up just past the intersection. She was out of the car before it stopped moving and running in bare feet back up the road. It was only a short distance but that run seemed to take hours, she couldn't tell if the thundering in her ears was her heart beat or the pounding of her feet. Probably both. She ran in front of cars waiting to turn and threw herself on the ground where he lay. He was face down on the bitumen, a pool of dark red blood under his head like something from a movie. She said his name, barely audible, and he raised his head off the ground. She was on her knees her head by his as he lowered it back to the ground. She felt like she was floating. A million thoughts flooded her head as she screamed and sobbed, it took her quite some time to realise that the cries of anguish cutting through her were coming from her own mouth. Bystanders had already called an ambulance and they moved in to pull her away. She didn't have the energy to fight them and once on the footpath she collapsed there, pierced with a hurt so bad she was sure she would die of it. 'I can't handle this' she kept thinking. Surely she would never get through it. She didn't know how but she was sure that if she had just watched her mate kill himself by throwing himself from the back of her car, that somehow that would kill her. People didn't survive stuff like this right? How could anyone expect her to? The ambulance seemed to arrive within minutes and she could hear people asking questions. She could hear the voices and make out the words but she couldn’t get hold of her own voice to respond. Only when she heard a bystander say that he got hit by a car did she manage to raise her head. A part of her knew that if he was going to survive this the ambulance workers needed to know what happened.
'He jumped' she said. A woman kindly questioned her, helping her to sit up. 'He jumped from the car' she said. 'He wasn't hit.' No one seemed to be able to comprehend it. She didn't blame them. The ambulance workers tried to move him and as they got him onto a stretcher he began to vomit. Something inside her snapped, she had been sure he was dead and just him vomiting made something in her head shake her and tell her that he needed to know they were still there. She didn't have the strength to stand up but she began to senselessly scream his name over and over. Her own screams that, like the image of him rolling and the flashing lights that seemed to close in on her now, would come back for months later and haunt her not only in her dreams, but with flashbacks so real and vivid she would 'come to' in her car one day, thankfully parked, her face drenched with tears. At some point she grabbed on to her friend, they gripped each other, one of them, saying 'I can't believe, I can't believe he did that' over and over again as they sat there rocking each other. From that moment on, for many months, she felt unsafe and terrified without her presence. Police had arrived, there was also a camera crew but she hardly took any of it in. As they took him away she became frantic, needing to know where they were taking him and if she could go, but the police had questions for them. They separated the girls leaving her feeling anxious and desperate. She got furious with the policeman for holding her up; as common sense finally took hold she answered his questions as quickly as she could. Pleading with him for information and to let them go to him. The car needed to be impounded they said.
'Have the parents been notified' he asked. Her knees felt weak at the horror she was about to put that mother through, but she knew that it needed to be her, and not some policeman, that dealt her the blow. She dialled the number, knowing it off by heart and on completion of a conversation that blended in to the cars, lights and commotion of the moment she felt the fight go out of her and knew, with a certainty so complete it filled her up and emptied her out at the same time, that life would never be the same again The officer seemed to see the fight go out of her as he wrapped up the interview and they got straight into the back of the paddy wagon and headed to the hospital. Her first and hopefully last ride in the back of a paddy wagon, the 2 girls huddled together, dwarfed by the size of their cage and the enormity of what they had and were to face.
They arrived at the hospital and she ran in without a backward glance. Throwing his name at the nurse, one glance at the computer and she warned them that there might be quite a wait, he had severe head trauma, but she said it looked positive. Her kind words doing nothing to heal what she was sure was just a gaping wound where her heart had once been. Handing them a box of tissues she directed them to a set of terribly uncomfortable and terribly blue plastic chairs to wait, and wait they did. When you see accidents on TV, movies, even the news, you see the tragedy, you see the hectic times, which her muddled mind was still trying to get a grip on, but they don't show you the waiting. That's the worst. Aching with the worry and pain of it. Aching to let it out and aching to keep it in. Every door that opened, every phone that rang startled her, she was running on so much nervous energy she was sure that if this kept up for much longer her hair would stand on end. Her mind had gone blank. How could he do this to them? What was it? A desperate plea for attention? A suicide attempt? A dare? A joke? A nightmare? She prayed to wake up, scrunched her eyes up so tight she saw little yellow fireworks behind her eyes, but when she opened them the glare of the hospital lights hit her with the force of a semi-trailer, slamming bodily into her. She began to cry, silently for she didn't have the strength for anything else. She cried, and cried, she didn't even really know what about but the thought occurred to her again, that somehow, surely she wouldn't survive this, that no one should have to endure so much pain and then have to face the world again. How would she ever get into a car? Be alone long enough to shower? Go to work? She looked around her, not taking in her surroundings, when a nurse came over, he's ok, he's stable, and he wants to see you. But as relief flooded her, washing away her fears for him, the tide brought in two new emotions. Ones that she realised would cause her more problems in the long run. After feeling that she would never recover she now realised why. Because for now she had to carry these emotions with her, had no real form of release and no object that she could direct them at. Emotions that took hold of her more thoroughly than grief and made her more irrational than nerves. Oh yes, the worst had only just begun as she felt them rise up in her. The less destructive of the two being guilt. But the baggage she would carry around with her for an undetermined amount of time seemed to trump all the others, for her even love. She was angry.
Determined this time around to find a good man, a man that could maybe live up to her fathers impressive footsteps.
She had found within herself just recently a predator like element, so that once she fixed her mind upon the older yet charming man in her office, she stalked and hunted until she achieved her goal.
Her heart light and her mind enthralled she was at the peak of her life. It was new yet exciting and she was letting herself be wrapped up in the deliciousness that was her current situation.