Writer’s Note: This should be reaching you at about your lunch hour. If that’s the case, then you should certainly be in for a treat. I think this chapter is really going to start setting up the journey our main character is going to be travelling down. This is and the next post, you’re going to to want to read and share, I promise. Enjoy.
Dean and I got back to the station where he drops me off at the sidewalk. He tells me to meet him down the street from the suspect’s apartment in two hours. I grunt an affirmation in some language that doesn’t exist.
I unlock my bike and head the road. Yes, I ride a bike – cheapest and most effective form of transportation in a place like this. I couldn’t elude this sensation that burns my soul periodically. Generally, I’m indifferent to crime. Hyprocrisy would tattoo my heart if I was against crime, given that that is how I’ve made additional money. Recently, I’ve been feeling hypocritical and guilty for what I’m doing and I want out.
Cooled air, embracing every follicle and conforming to the contours on my face. Particles penetrating muscles and layers of skin I couldn’t name but give comfort. It was at that moment summer became fall. Golden leaves. Bare trees. Hipsters change their uniform from two-inch-above-the-knee-shorts to the trendy fall design scarf.
In that moment I forget there’s a mentally disabled man on the sidewalk standing next to nothing. He has earphones on, the kind disc jockeys wear or people conducting surveillance in a creepy van. But, he isn’t in a kidnapping van and he didn’t have a crowd of sweating twenty-somethings pressed together like a can of biscuits doped on ecstasy.
Earphone man stares at me and I cross the street as indicated by the light emitting diodes forming a green stick figure when he starts singing, “Just a perfect day, Feed animals in the zoo….” One more look back at earphone man before I throw my leg over the bike and ride away, “…such a perfect, I’m glad I spent it with you….”
Guilt tore through my soul with lye intensity leaving nothing by an empty cavity where my morals used to live; where my conscience would peek over my shoulder. “You made me forget myself. I thought I was someone else, someone good.” Transformer.
Oh, but for that one small moment, I had found calm. Now, the age resultant rhythmic squeak of the wheels only instruded on that moment and wouldn’t let me forget; from a patterned gride to a tortured plea for breath. Lungs full of air and screaming underwater.
I pass the small faded white church. Pushing the pedals, the gray drug store comes toward me and passes. Toes curling in worn footwear while I press harder. Faces pass me: frightened faces, intense faces, offended faces. I ride, emotionally contrasting contentment, my feet swell with every burning movement, tsunamis of blood. Legs compressing, willing that two-wheeled machine to go faster.
Not until I had begun daydreaming about flying, and not until I had the sensation of powerful anti-gravity, did the epiphany come to me – I’m free.
It was not until, already having experienced the gift of flight and freedom I realized my situational awareness could not keep up with the acceleration of the bike. My world turned red. My flight was over. Any good I may have been able to do has preemptively ended. Any bad I may have been able to rectify is errantly hopeful.
I would have liked to have said, as commendation to the paramedics, that they arrived promptly to render aid. However, I had been back and forth on whether to take a sabbatical from this exhausting life. Corneas and aqueous membranes filled with, what I can only assume to be blood, that obscured my vision. Dark, light. Dark then light. Dark. Light. My mind, scattered in a million places, each part of my brain receptors lighting up and getting a status report for functionality. When engineering calls headquarters and all that is heard are screams from the panic and pain, I realize my shields are down and we’re dead in the water.
Even now, I can’t be certain how much time has passed. I just know I made the decision to come back, rather, the decision was made for me, I just helped it along.