By UC Poika

    My boyfriend and I were at the mall when we saw this kid and his friends. They are so completely off the scale they think they’re the only ones who have a right to be at the mall or something. My boyfriend said I was crazy that the only reason he insulted us is because he has a crush on me. I mean, like it’s my boyfriend’s fault that kid’s a complete and total jerk I would never go anywhere with. Besides what did he expect I would suddenly say, “Oh cool! What a wonderful cut down,” and fall in his arms. He was so weird who could understand him? Anyway I don’t care at all for him even if he did go psychotic and stay that way because of what happened next.

    My boyfriend just ignored them but as we walked on I heard the shots ring out. I was so shocked I looked where I thought they were coming from and, sure enough, there in one of the skylights, I saw a flash. But what happened next amazed me for I felt of my arm, not because it hurt or anything, there was just something weird about it so I looked, and it was all blood. It was so gory I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t even scream. I just fainted I thought, but it wasn’t a faint at all. I couldn’t feel anything from my neck down and it was all dark, but I never would have guessed I was blind, not at that time.

    It was weird. It was like I could see everyone in the whole world from the president, in fact President Obama was there, and Desmond Tutu, Jack Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy and even Abraham Lincoln… people like that! And the cross was falling toward them and they would divide in half when it hit them—one half would fall and the other half would remain forever. And it kept going on throughout the whole world all the way back to Jesus Who when the cross hit Him He stayed on it and the rest of history fell away faster and faster until I was dizzy watching it fall away. Weird! Huh?

    Then once again I could hear the shots and screams as some bright girl yelled, “Shooter! There’s a shooter in the skylight! Get down!” I mean, like somebody didn’t know by that time. Then there was a time when everything was quiet and I tried to open my eyes to see what was going on. That’s when I realized I was blind. My eyes were open already! And, when I realized that all I could do was scream, and scream, and scream some more. All I could do was just keep screaming. My God! Why me! I didn’t want to be blind. I would still rather be dead than be blind for the rest of my life.

    “Easy now Miss,” a quiet reassuring voice said to me.

    “What- what’s happened?” I asked as I tried to reach out for him, but couldn’t.

    “There was a shooter in skylight. Your hit, but we’re here now. We’ll do our best to see you get the best help available.”

    “What the hell does that mean?” I shouted. “How-how bad is it? Am I blind?”

    He was silent but as I began to speak he said, “Yes, Ma’am. You do appear to be blind. But it might be just temporary.”

    I began to sob but I was relieved I could feel something wiping, blood, from my head I presumed, and I was glad help had arrived.

    “What do we have here?” I heard the stressed voice of a woman ask the man who was taking care of me.

    “She’s been hit three times. Injuries include a flesh wound, upper left arm, a head wound probable cause of blindness and one to her back, the apparent cause of her paralysis,” the man said.

    “Backboard here!” the woman yelled. “Take her to the fifth ambulance as soon as possible.”

    “Roger,” the man said and I tried to laugh but I was having too much trouble breathing to laugh. “Easy Ma’am,” he continued. “The nerves in your spinal area are rerouting signals to your brain. In a few minutes your breathing should improve. Just take it easy Ma’am. We have your situation well under control. Please try not to panic.”

    Not panic! I was blind, paralyzed, and losing blood! What the hell was there to panic about? I mean, if I ever had reason to panic I personally think it was then. Don’t you? I mean some people are so stupid!

    It was then that I realized my boyfriend had not even come to my aid. Where the hell was he? Why had he just gone and done whatever he did? Didn’t he care at all? There I was fighting for my life and he was no where to be found as far as I knew?

    “My boyfriend!” I shouted to the man. “Where the hell is he?”

    “Easy Ma’am,” the man said. “There are many injured. You’re not the only one. He may be injured or he may be helping out.”

    “Or dead,” I said moved with a great sadness. Then I began calling his name, but heard no reply. “Where the hell are you?” I yelled.

    “What’s his name, Ma’am?” the man asked. “I will inquire about him and let you know immediately what I find out. Okay?”

    I told him my boyfriend’s full name, which he repeated to someone I could not see nor hear, perhaps a cell or some sort of two-way radio. In a moment he said, “Roger,” and I thought he had been moved to sadness. “What is it?” I demanded.

    “He,” the man replied and then proceeded to tell me he was killed instantly. “The good news is Ma’am, he probably never felt a thing.”

    I wept openly and unashamedly. I had every right to cry I thought and I really didn’t give a damn who saw me nor what they thought. This awful thing was happening to me. There was nothing I could do about it. I wanted it to stop. I wanted to wake up. But I couldn’t. The damned thing was real! It was real! And you can’t stop reality, I thought. But it wasn’t fair. Things like this just didn’t happen to me. The most amazing thing that ever happened to me was when I got my Barbie Doll collection. Things like that are as amazing as things got for me, except for my boyfriend. I’ve got to admit he was far more exciting than anything else ever in my life before and now he was dead—he was no more! How could that be? My God! How in the hell could that be? I was amazed but I was also mad as hell. What right did that goof in the skylight have to take all we had away from us? And for what? They probably shot him to make him stop, or more likely he shot himself. It didn't make any difference. He was dead and it was too good for him. Even hell is too good for a nut case like that! There just didn’t seem to be any justice anywhere.

    Then I woke up in the hospital after they had put me out in the ambulance under a doctor’s supervision and did, God only knows what, to me. And a stupid nurse says to me, “Welcome back. You gave us quite a scare there Dear! Glad to have you back.”

    “Where the hell am I?” I said. “And what is this fricken taste in my mouth rubbing alcohol?”
    She laughed.

    “What the hell are you laughing at? You want to trade places, b***h?”

    She stopped laughing.

    I choked up. “It’s all real,” I said or tried to say while sobbing.

    “Yes,” she said softly and I thought with a lot of compassion. “That it is.”

    She must have done the needle p***k test or something because she said, “Do you feel this?”

    “Feel?” I said angered at the silliness of it all. “I feel cheated. I feel mad as hell! I feel stupid! I feel sad! I hate! I feel…” I couldn’t describe it. “I hate you! I hate this body! I hate these eyes that don’t see! I hate that nut in the skylight! I hate my…” I added. Then realizing it was true I repeated, “And I hate my boyfriend for dying on me.”

    “You feel a lot of things, all of them bad, I know,” she said.

    “How the hell do you know?” I said, and in her silence I added, “You don’t know anything!”

    “You’re right of course,” she said. “You know all there is to know. This has never happened to anyone else. You’re the first to feel what you’re feeling. No one ever hurt like you do. No one has ever known injustice like the injustices you’ve known. Nobody could ever advise you on any part of your recovery or lack of it, if you so choose not to recover. Everything was just fine and then all of a sudden it all went to hell. You are in hell and there really is no remedy for the way you feel, nor the way you are going to be for quite a time. Well, Missy. Just go ahead and have your pity party. If anybody’s a right to it, you do. So just go ahead. But forgive me I have better things to do, and better people to do it with. People who are patient with me. People who care about me. People who have had their fill of pity. Their fill of crying about the injustice of the real world. People looking forward to a rewarding life instead of wishing they were dead. And Missy! All of these people are paraplegic, blind, deaf, maimed, etc. Many are more than one. And their stories, atrocities you wouldn’t believe. If you will excuse me, I am going to go where I’m wanted, and if they make me do it, which I suspect they will, I will be back to see you, later, as much later as I can work it. Bye!”

    “Wait!” I yelled at the darkness. “I don’t want you to leave.”

    “You bet you don’t,” she said clearly angry.

    “It would be worse,” I realized aloud with my mouth and my mind both at the same time. “The only thing I can imagine is to be left alone in this misery.”

    “Even that will get better,” she said compassionately. “But really I do have to go now. I’ll be back soon. I really will.”

    Well needless to say, I learned a lot of how to deal with my “condition” and even to help others by telling my tale as truthfully and as honestly as I could. I even managed to get a special computer with a special reader on it that translated the words written on the screen to words that can be heard. And I began to cruise the net quite effectively ultimately finding the story on gaia online, written by that jerk I spoke of earlier, about the boyfriend I had forgotten about because it was just too painful to even think about the way he died.

    It was a gray day for us all, I wrote in the end. The incident at the mall had affected us all deeply. But I was there. I was among them. When he and his girl saw us I insulted him and they rushed away from us, not out of fear but out of anger. Then all of a sudden like, the shots rang out. I couldn’t tell where they were coming from and just hit the floor. I did not hide under his body after he was hit. He fell on me. I did not seek his corpse for safety and what would have been the harm if I had. He fell on me and I just chose to stay safe. That is all.

    Then I somehow found and read the story I believe was written by my boyfriend for it is very similar to the stories they tell of the incident at the mall that day. And now he not only lives on, on the Internet he also lives in my heart again. I realized that as I read:

    “Maybe there’s some kid reading stories on the Internet. Maybe I can remember the last few hours or so and write them down for that person. Maybe I can communicate that way. Remember all the time you spent on the net? Here’s your chance again. They won’t know. I’ll just pick someone’s username and I’m in. What does that make me a ghost? Naw! Ghosts aren’t real and I am real. And, this way I don’t forget who I am. As long as the Internet exists, I exist. Now what shall I write?…”

    But just try to imagine what I felt when I read the following written by him.

    “He felt the bullet enter his head. Strange as it may seem he even felt his skull shatter and the bullet plunge deep into his brain. It was as if time almost stopped and the speed of the bullet had slowed to where it barely moved, though the effects of the projectile were unhampered.”

    “He felt the heat of that instrument of death before he felt any tactile sensation at all. Then he heard only the eerie silence…”

    “To think! This is the way it was when I died. Not when I was dying any longer but, the way it was when I died…”

    Thank God he used UC Poika to write this series for us all who are victims of the incident at the mall.