I don't even know what I'm writing sometimes. I can't tell my fingers don't type those words. My...
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I WATCHED HER DIE.
Everyone there, watched her die. It was just something we couldn’t help but do. We stood there as innocent bystanders. But really everyone but me, was an innocent bystander. My eyes would not leave from her corpse no matter how many times I tried. I would blink, and I’d still see her. Someone pushed me back, I snapped back into here and now. It was a paramedic. His point here was useless. She was dead. He was too late. He could lift the body up,
put it on a stretcher, and place that white sheet over her face as he carried her onto the silent ambulance but Macily would still be dead. And nobody would forget it. I would still see her corpse, through my closed eyes, and probably through my dreams. I’d see it hung over in the middle of 32nd street.
The police didn’t ask for witnesses, they asked for us to clear out. Those that refused to move, that were in too much of a state of shock, were manhandled away from the scene. At that moment, I finally understood it. It had nothing to do with Macily’s race. It had nothing to do with her gender. It all had to deal with that she was an American citizen. You’d think that in America the law and government is all on our side. But that’s all a lie. We live in a world of lies and conspiracy. The government and laws are all against us, most of us. And no matter how sad of a thing it was, we, the American People, have no choice but to now fight against them.
I went home to find my brother sitting on the couch. He looked over his shoulder at me, then looked back at the TV.
“Were you there?” He finally asks.
I put my backpack down onto the counter.
A whirlwind of anger and sadness flushed through him, and I swear he went mad. He jumped off the couch threw the TV off the stand and kicked everything down until everything in the living room was broken.
In a shriek he yelled, “Then why did you let it happen?!”
“There was nothing I could do.” I say calmly.
“Nothing you could do?”
“Nothing you could do?! You could have saved her! You could have fought for her! How are you just going to have let your friend die in front of you?”
I began to fill with anger, “You do know Mitch, that there were thirty hundred other people there too! Right? None of them did anything.”
“Someone did something. Someone called for help. But you, you just stood there. You watched Macily die.”
“She is dead Mitch, do you get that? The use of you yelling at me, has no point!”
He sighs, tears began to roll from his eyes.
“Macily to me, was like a sister.”
“You have a sister!”
“Yes and if I saw your life in danger, at any second I would risk my life for yours! That is the promise I made for our dad! That is the promise I made for Macily’s dad.”
“Why?! Why were you making promises to Macily’s dad?”
“Because he went to war too! And we all know, he is not coming back. Not him, not dad, and definitely not your boyfriend….Wes.”
“No!” I shrieked, “You’re lying!”
I felt warm salty tears fall into my open mouth.
“What’s going on in here?”
Mitch and I both turned towards the door to see our mom in the doorway. With one look at me she panicked.
“Oh God, Reese! Did the news come in?”
“News? What news?!” I shook off my thoughts then turn and point at Mitch, “You raised a liar! A horrible, rotten liar!”
“Reese!” My mom yelled.
“No! You can’t always blame Reese! You don’t know the half of what Mitch does to me when your not home! He teases me! He gets into my mind and messes with it. He’s found the way to do it! And it gets to me every time! These tears mom, they go out to Macily.”
I turn to Mitch.
“You hear me Mitch? They go out to my dead best friend!”
I snatched my backpack up from the counter then ran out the apartment, slamming the door behind me.
I went down to Billy’s Corner Store, and immediately was greeted by Roscoe’s dry humor.
“Hey Reese, got any love for me?”
“Shut up, would you?” I ask with a smirk back at him.
He eyes me, “What’s wrong with you?”
I hold onto a bag of chips then look back at him.
“You didn’t hear?”
“Hear what?” He looks at me for a while then he adds, “’ey where’s your buddy Macily?”
I nod then take the chips up to the counter.
“Oh…..I didn’t know. You know I wouldn’t kick you when you’re already nose down in the dirt.”
“Sure… can you just ring these up and uh….a newspaper?”
“Just take it.”
“Yeah. I hope it’ll make it up.”
“Yeah a newspaper and a bag of chips is really gonna get me over my friends death.” I add sarcastically, “Thanks a lot Roscoe.”
He stutters as he tries to find what to say to me. But I grab up the newspaper and chips then walked out.
I bought a ticket and sat on one of the subway’s benches as I waited for my ride to come. I felt around my backpack, and then my hand stopped on my phone. It was vibrating. I pulled it out and looked at it. I had received a text message, not from a blocked number but one I never set in my contacts. I opened it, ready to read some completely awkward message that was supposed to go to someone else but ended up coming to me when I read: “U KILLED HER.”
It obviously was not a mistake.
“Wat r u tlking about? I didn’t kill any1.”
I looked up as I heard the brakes screech. The train stopped in front of me. I threw my phone into my backpack then got up and stepped on.
When you’re sixteen you’re for the most part independent. And the only people that really notice you on trains are the weird people. I tried to sit everywhere but next to a weird person. But in New York, that’s all that seems to live there. I took a seat next to an elderly woman. I heard her say something.
“Huh?” I ask as I turned to her.
But she wasn’t talking to me, she was mumbling to herself.
My lap started vibrating, I reached in my backpack then pulled out my cell phone.
“Macily is dead now.”
“TY captain obvious.”
I roll my eyes then start to put the phone away when it immediately chimed again.
“You know how. You saw it coming. You could’ve saved her. U KILLED HER.”
I finally got it.
“Alrite Mitch, enough! U don’t know anything!”
The train stopped, and a few teenagers stepped on. They were all boys. One saw me staring and smiled at me with an upward head gesture to say, “What’s up?”
I smiled back, then my phone started vibrating.
“I know enough, that it can hurt u if I tell. This is not a joke. This is not a lie. And this is not Mitch.”
I couldn’t get my heart rate under control. I was really scared. If this person really did know what happened, if they really did know my side of the story, the wrong side, what would happen to me?
“Who is this?”
“Glad to say, your worst nightmare.”
“Ur going 2 go 2 jail if u keep texting me. I mean it, stop.”
I looked up from my phone at the guy, we smiled at each other then I looked back down.
“I think you’re the one afraid of jail.”
“Wat do u want from me?!”
I looked up to see the guy get up from his seat and walk over to my seat.
“You go to Frederick High School right?”
“Yeah me too,”
“What’s your name?” I ask with a smile.
“Nice,” he says along with a grin.
“Yeah!” I say with a smile.
And to kill a perfect moment my cell phone vibrates.
“Start me off.” I text back.
“I can see your busy…” Evan started off with.
“Oh no, no! It’s just my brother trying to pull a prank on me.”
“Oh alright. Where’s your stop?”
As the train began to slow down, I say “Sadly here.”
“Well it’s alright. I’ll catch you around school.”
I grab my backpack then step off.
It was a hike from the station to Oceanside but every time I made it to destination A it was always rewarding. Annie was Wes’s big sister. Him and her used to live in the two bedroom apartment with his younger brother. But Wes was drafted for war, and Trevor his younger brother went back to live with the family, so only Annie remained. It was never like a boarder’s apartment but it wasn’t OCD clean like my mom makes me keep ours. Annie’s apartment is just the way I like it. I buzzed up to her, and it took her a while to respond but after a while she buzzed back to let me through.
She greeted me with hugs and tears. I came there to let her know about Macily’s death, but it seemed she already knew. She had me sit down and she cried for some time. I sipped some ice tea and snacked on her famous fudge brownies but while she cried, the sugar became salty. I felt my face and realized I was crying too. I cleared my throat after washing down the brownies with iced tea then I say, “I was there.”
Her face looked up from her hands, “What do you mean you were there?”
Annie’s voice had changed. It never sounded like that.
“I was there on 32nd street.”
“You were there? You were there?! How could you?”
“No! You let Macily die!”
“You and Mitch act like I could’ve done something! There was nothing I could’ve done.”
Her voice didn’t only change, but her eyes did too.
“If they come after me. And I think they will. I don’t want you here.”
She says in a mocking voice, “’cause there’d be nothing you can do.”
“Annie what’s happened to you?”
“Reese! I’m going to admit it now, Macily was like a sister to me--”
“And aren’t I too?”
“No. You are just a beggar child that comes to my house looking for food. Then you eat until your stomach’s full. You talk about your day. It’s all about you. You never ask how mine went. And the only thing that kept me thinking that I liked you was because you were friends with Macily.”
“But what about me and Wes?”
“You and Wes?” She asks.
A smirk grew across her face.
“Wes is dead honey, it’s time to move on.”
“How can you say that about your own brother?”
“Because I live in the real world! The day that he left, and you kissed him good-bye you should’ve known. Everyone else knew. All those men that boarded those trains--maybe one will come back. One.”
“And that one will be Wes!”
“Get real!” Annie yells.
“Oh! I hate you!”
“Feeling is neutral.”
I sped by her and grabbed my backpack.
“And don’t come back!”
“Don’t worry about it!” I yell on my way out the door.
I slammed the door shut then walked down the steps. Before I walked out the door to the building, I realized I had left my phone. I groan then walk back upstairs. I waited for her nasty reply about me coming back but once the elevator reached the floor, I heard a scream from her apartment. I ran down then shoved the door open. The window was broken. The glass was shattered all over the floor. I ran to the back of her apartment, to find her feet sticking from out of her room. She whimpered. That was good, it meant she was still alive. I looked around the doorway to see a man, holding a gun right to her head. A long one. A crescendo. He looked up at me, and she looked over her shoulder to see me.
“Reese! Reese help me! You’ve got to help me!”
I found blood caked on her clothing.
The guy says, “Reese please look away.”
“Reese help!” Annie begged for her life.
The guy says, “Reese last time I’m going to ask you.”
“What’s going on?” I ask.
He ignored me and shot her anyways. Immediately she went quiet. Her body went still. He ran from the spot already forgetting I was standing there. I ran out of her bedroom and to the couch for my phone. It said I had three text messages but I’d read them later. I called 9-1-1 and ran back into her bedroom. They had me perform CPR on her, the best that I could. So I did that, I felt a heartbeat but it was really faint. It definitely could not have been mine. As my arms grew soar the ambulances’ sirens neared. To my help a paramedic carried her away. But unlike Macily, I didn’t know if she was dead or not.
The police had taken me to the station. They had me sit in the waiting room, until the Chief was ready for some answers. So my bloodied hands searched through my backpack. I pulled my cell phone out then read the three messages.
“Don’t go to Annie’s home.”
“I just warned you not to.”
“U KILLED HER TOO.”
Was it true? Was Annie really dead, or was this person just talking? I started panicking, so my eyes started bursting out tears. I wiped them away as a lady told me the Chief was ready. I slowly walked in.
“What a day huh?” He asks as he pulled his seat out further.
“What do you mean?” I ask then slowly sit down.
“Your brother told me, you saw your best friend die in front of you. And now this,”
I blurt, “Is Annie dead?”
He smiles at me, one I couldn’t read.
“We haven’t kept in contact with the hospital. But I’m sure she’ll be fine.”
“Why are they killing them?” I ask. “My friends, why are they killing my friends?”
“Well I was about to ask you the same thing. But first I need to know who ‘they’ is. So they can’t kill again. So ‘they’ll’ be behind bars. You don’t want your family to get hurt do you?”
“You won’t be a snitch. They won’t know who told.”
“But they will.”
My cell phone went off. Both of our eyes looked down at it. Luckily enough, his desk was too high for him to be able to read it. I opened the message.
“I’d go to the hospital.”
“My friend Annie, she’s in the hospital, she can die--I just want to know that she’s alright. I want to see her one last time, if it is her last. Can you please rush me there?”
“What does that have to do with your phone?”
He pushes out of his seat and motions for me to follow.
I ran down the hallway to see her lying in her room. I immediately went in, she looked at me then at the EKG it was racing.
“You can’t die Annie.”
I ran next to her to pick up her hand but she snatched it away. Her last words gave me shivers.
“I asked for your help, and you watched me die.”
“You didn’t die--”
“I wonder if that’s what happened to Macily--”
“Annie you’ve got to understand--”
“I’ll ask her,”
Her eyes didn’t close. I think she did it on purpose. But she left them staring at me. The monitor went quiet. I got a text message immediately.
“Got doubts now? Annie’s dead.”
I looked away from her, but like Macily, it didn’t help. Her eyes were still staring straight at me. The door swung open and I jumped. Luckily the officer stepped in. I quickly walked out.
On the car ride home, I texted back.
“Please stop if ur just doing this to torture me. But if u want 2 help me, help me.”
“They say texting is getting out of control.” The officer says.
“They’re right.” I say with a sigh.
“It’s late Reese. I’m going to take you home. You have school tomorrow anyways.”
“Well what about Annie?“
“She’s not going to be anymore dead tomorrow then she is today.”
It was such a rude remark, it hurt me. He saw it.
“What I mean is, you’re still alive and have a life to live. Live, Reese.”
“Live.” I whimper, then I began crying.
“Reese, why are you crying?”
The only person I talked to, about my feelings, was Annie. And Annie was now dead.
But not only that I guess, she hated me. She always had, it was just a show. Just a friendly show. But it failed the one time, I decided to tell her I was there on 32nd street. Now what would Wes do? If he knew I was there on 23rd and Oceanside.
When the police car, stopped in front of our apartment building I got out quickly. I thanked him for the ride, then rushed inside. It was now pouring rain on a Sunday. I made it up to the door and put my key in. I opened the door and looked over my shoulder to still see the car there.
When I made it into the apartment, I went and checked the window. He was gone.
I turned around to see Mitch.
“Don’t apologize. ‘cause it won’t be sincere and it’ll be a lie.”
“No I seriously am. Your day just went horrible. A black day huh?”
“Sure,” I walk past him then towards my room.
“Aren’t you scared?” I stopped walking then turned to him. “I mean if they killed Malicy and Annie, who do you think is next? Do you think it’s one of us?”
“Whoever it is it’s not me. That’s all that matters.”
“What do you mean?”
“Ever heard of the saying ‘Every man for his self’? Yeah? Well, that’s the only way to survive now Mitch.”
“Annie was for herself, she died.”
“Annie was not for herself. And she was against the wrong person.”
“What do you know that I don’t?”
“I’ll talk tomorrow. Tonight I need sleep.”
“How can you sleep?”
“I’ll try my hardest.” I say sarcastically then close the door to my room behind me.
I lied on my bed. Before I could close my eyes I had to check my phone. I pulled it out.
“Every man for himself? Well then why should I help you?”
“How did you hear that?”
It took a while but they eventually responded.
“My eyes and ears are everywhere. So don’t think you can spill about me.”
I had school tomorrow. Enough drama would be waiting there.
“Listen I’m not a snitch. But I also can’t b bullied. State ur purpose.”
With a yawn I turned over and shut my phone off.