“From hell’s heart I stab at thee,” I opened my eyes and was blinded by mid-afternoon light. Blinking, I saw red hair and a young face holding it up. “Oh, hello.” An innocent smile beamed down at me.
I recognized the girl sitting cozily on my stomach reading from a thick pocket book, having laid me out neatly along the pathway in the park after knocking me flat. “I am not a bench.” I said sternly.
“So you aren’t.” She observed. “Still, you are kinda cushy…”
“Alright!” I hollered, pushing the young girl off as I struggled to sit up. I felt like I’d been run through a dryer with some bricks. Reluctantly, hating life, I stood and began hobbling away.
The girl protested loudly, shoving the book into her pocket before standing. “Where are you going?” She called after.
“Anywhere you are not!” I shouted over my shoulder. I heard footfalls and groaned as the youth easily caught up.
“Hey bub, don’t you know your under arrest?”
“For what?” I exclaimed. “What have I done deserving punishment? This whole day has been nothing but a cluster for me, none of said clusters being my fault or doing, and yet I’m under arrest? You’re the one who should be arrested for assault!”
“You’re voice cracked during that last part.”
“Didn’t your mother ever teach you to not stalk strangers?” I questioned. The girl burst into laughter akin to bells. If I didn’t know better I would have enjoyed the sound. Still giggling she grabbed my hand and tugged, clasping handcuffs around one wrist. pulling me back the way we’d come. I am not proud of what happened next. Having reached my breaking point hours before I had no dignity left to uphold. Collapsing to the ground I gripped the girl’s hands in my own and sobbed. “Explain to me what in the blue blazes it going on,” I pleaded. “Please? I just want to know why these things keep happening.”
“I’m not stupid you know.” She looked me up and down with a blank face.
“Neither am I,” my voice warbled.
The girl’s eyebrows came together. “You really don’t know why I’m following you?” I shook my head. “What’s your name?” She asked.
“Mike. Mike Kheschlavesh.” I answered without question.
She looked surprised. Taking a step back she looked me up and down then left and right. She smiled. “You really are lost, huh? Buy me ice-cream?”
“You ruined mine,” I reminded her of her previous lemur-like attack. “Why would I buy you some?”
“Do you want me to tell you something you don’t know or not?” She huffed.
“Yes,” I droned. “Have pity on me; I’ve been beat up today more times than I did all through middle school…” She laughed again and pulled me up off my knees, tugging me along in eagerness.
“So you bought her ice-cream?” Officer Buck questioned.
“What kind was it?”
“What difference does it make?” Officer Buck shrugged and bade me continue. “After I bought us cones we went to the boardwalk. This is where things start to make sense.”