Thursday, September 19, 2013


We stood at the entrance of the club as we waited for Stacey to get off the phone.  She was having another argument with her boyfriend and this time it seemed brutal.

The security at the door was beginning to get impatient he may have to turn us away, Donna was trying to will Stacey off the phone with the crazy “c’mon already” look she does.

It is five of us, NYU students, out on a girl’s night celebrating Stacey’s 21st birthday.  Of all days Steve chooses now to pull one of his bull headed acts, originally he was supposed to be taking her out to dinner but never showed up.  After waiting two hours for the jerk we kidnapped Stacey to make sure this night was awesome. 

But Steve chooses now to return her call, he completely forgot, surprise, and found a way to blame her, another surprise.  Albeit Stacey is furious, she is a simple chic, but my gods she has quite the temper.

Donna is Stacey’s childhood friend, they were buddies in since birth, and they lived in the same apartment building one floor apart.  If it wasn’t for Donna black with a rich dark chocolate skin and Stacey a pasty while red headed Irish gal you would think they were identical twins by their mannerisms, how they complete each other sentences, and almost have a psychic connection to know when the other is in trouble.

I would not believe it myself if I have not witness this phenomenon in action.

Sue and Mary joined us, all from the same dorm floor we quickly started our own clique from freshmen year.  Now three years later we are standing in front of Sha-Bang, the hottest club at the moment, looking all sexy about to be let in and the patience of the bouncer only can go so far on our looks.

When Stacey started drifting toward the corner, Donna followed suit.  The three of us gave up our spot, who are we kidding they’ll let us in when we flash the big guy our ruby red smiles, and moved to catch up with the other two.

Stacey was about twenty feet ahead of Donna about to turn the corner when she screeched at her iPhone in rage obviously hanging up and stomped off disappearing around corner.  Whenever she gets furious enough she prefers to be left alone, most of the time stomping off and reappearing and hour later cool as a cucumber.  However although the club is exclusive, the neighborhood is iffy and Donna, as well as she can in her tight skirt and six inch heels,  attempted to speed up to catch Stacey before getting to far.

Donna stopped at the corner looking confused, when we arrived we found out why.  Stacey managed to disappear.  Donna called out without success Mary and Sue moved across the street to see of she was sitting on a stoop there as Donna and I moved down the one side.

“Out of all the fucked up times for her to pull this shit” Donna commented with apparent anger, but I could hear the underlying concern.

“I think we should wait back at the corner” I respond, “In case she returns, there is a couple of alleys here and a side street she can easily take to come up the other side of the club.”

Donna nodded and we turned around.  I looked over to the others and they were already taking our hint.
“What the hell?” Sue asked as the two approached.

Donna shook her head, “She wouldn’t do something this dumb unless Don seriously pissed her off.”

We all shifted in place looking away uneasily.  For some time we suspected that Stacey’s boyfriend, Don, was cheating on her, never admitted it.  Donna had attempted to broach the subjected with her best friend, it ended up causing a rift in their friendship for two weeks.  She was in love, blinded by what they shared for a week in the Catskills.  He was too sweet to her, in a romantic cabin stuck in a power outage due to Sandy hitting NYC, surrounded by candles, still caught up in the moment.

Donna looked obviously concerned, not only was her friend distressed about a serious relationship issue, now she is wandering the streets of New York.  I stepped beside her and tentatively placed my hand on her back.   Sue and Mary instinctively moved in closer.  All of us peering down the block.
At this point Donna slipped her iPhone from her pocket and speed dialed Stacey. 

“Dammit” she exclaimed when the call obviously went straight to voicemail.  Without waiting for the greeting to complete; she forcibly thumbed the red ‘End Call’ button and slammed the phone to her side.

Not knowing what to do next she took a half step toward the block, I moved my hand to her shoulder to stop her.

“Donna wait” I said “I will look for her, you wait here”.

Without responding she stepped back.  Sue and Mary looked to me, I shook my head slightly as to say stay with her, and made my way in the direction I guessed Stacey took.

The block was short and I was at the other intersection in less than a few minutes, I peered over my shoulder and saw Donna on the phone again this time waving her free hand franticly.  It seems she changed gears and called Steve, tearing him a couple of new ones.  Seems like I the safe decision to seek out our lost girl friend, Donna’s wrath can be a bit uncomfortable, I feel for the ones I left alone with her.

A shuffling noise around the corner at this end of the intersection caught my attention.  Looking over I spy two men jogging off around the next corner.  Something of that scene seemed real suspect.  The men seemed to be trying to catch up with someone.

Hoping that someone was not Stacey I cautiously made my way toward the direction they were headed.

As I made my way around the next corner I already see the three men at the other end about to turn the next corner, they are joined by three more making them a group of five.  Almost completely out of sight two hung back, moving back down the block, toward me!

My heart pounding I ducked into the doorway of a now closed drycleaners, the inset of the entrance way before the door giving me enough cover.  Great place to keep from view, but a horrible trap if I were spotted making an easy prey.

After a few breathless moments, nervously my hand made its way my necklace.  Whenever I get agitated I always fiddled with charm around my neck.  A gift from my mother with a simple note that it was a family heirloom.

Grasping the jewelry I dared to peak from my cubby hole.  Relieved the two men didn’t notice me, but were more interested with something down a nearby alley way. 

Or someone!

Quickly I started to feel sick, the worst came to mind that Stacey may have been hiding down the alley and these to animals were in pursuit.  I felt sick, my legs were cemented to the ground.  Screaming in my head to move forward, to run down the alley, but what if?

What if Stacey was nowhere near here? What if the other three decide to return? What if…

It was all I can do to keep from hyperventilating, I held onto my necklace, feeling the smooth side of the back of the jade as the figure carved on front bit deeply into the palm of my hand.  All I can do is close my eyes, clasping the figure, the necklace threatening to break off, I counted to ten attempting to bring calm.

One, my heart beat so fast I shook with terror
Two, I hear only the blood rushing to my head
Three, my mouth clamped shut I wanted to cry out to my mother
Four, attempting to control my heart rate I slowly drew in my next breath
Five, released
Six, I drew in the next one even slower
Seven, sound slowly returned from outside
Eight, released the bad air
Nine, heard a slight scuffle come out from the alley
Ten, this time I easily took my next breath with control

With complete serenity I opened my eyes, looking at an ad on the other side of the doorway for an underground rave from long ago, I released my amulet.  The jade monkey figure almost stuck to my palm fell away back between my breasts, leaving an impression of a face with its eyes covered. 

I left the alcove ignoring that once feared alley and walked back to the club.

As I turned down the corner where my group waited I caught Stacey sitting at the curb hands to her face as if trying to hide from the world.  A dark figure was stepping away from her. 

Donna broke my trance as she cried out upon seeing her best friend, looking at them for a mere millisecond, I quickly looked back for the stranger, but he was nowhere to be seen.

“Donna.” Stacey called out and her friend responded by bending over and hugging her.  Sue and Mary moved in the tension melting away, I moved in closer as the two on lookers giggled.

I in turned smiled, the idea of a dark figure melted away.

  ©2013 Kinse, My Sweet Hero

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