Chapter two: laughs and dust.
You never know how things are going to work out or how people are going to react. You may expect them to do something and then bam!, they surprise you by doing the opposite thing you expected. For example, Jaime and I love chinese food; we eat it at least twice a week. One day I ate the last egg roll, I didn’t even thought about it, I just grabbed it and moved it into my mouth. Jesus Christ, it would seem that that simple action started the apocalypse. Jaime started screaming at me. Why did I do it? Why didn’t I ask her if she wanted the last egg roll? Why did I just assume things? Why was I so selfish? Why didn’t I take her feelings in consideration? The resulting effect of the egg roll incident was something I did not expect.
After that fight, Jaime moved out. Ok, yes, probably the egg roll wasn’t the real issue, but I guess that simple act brought her over the edge. We were separated for six months and then we found a way to each other again. And let me tell you it was better than the first time. I started being a more considerate man. And she stopped bitching about everything (well, no everything, but she did change significantly).
Here I was, standing in front of my boss. Who is known for being a short temper man. He just sat there, staring at me like I was crazy. I was expecting the blow, the screaming, the “GET OUT OFF MY OFFICE YOU ASSHOLE. YOU ARE FIRED”. Or something like that. But what happened next really surprised me. He started laughing. Really laughing. And I joined him. We laughed for at least 10 minutes. It was ridiculous, every time we tried to stop, we just started all over again. I felt like a little girl, giggling because her BFF farted in her sleep.
Our laughs started to fade away, until by boss stood up and pated me in the back. Actually patted me, like when a coach pats the back of his softball player when he hits a homerun. “You are crazy, Thomas”. He said to me. “I have to go, I have a meeting with the board. Stupid stuck up bunch of people”. He chuckled again.
“Oh, man, I haven’t laughed like that in years”. He motioned me out of his office and closed the door.
I don’t know how, but I just entered the major leagues. My boss not only patted me in the back, but he talked to me like a friend, with curse words and all. So you see. You never know how things are going to roll out. It seems, that for me, today was my lucky day.
I am happy when I get home. I tell the story to Jaime. Again, laughing like a little girl as I recalled the event. She laughs a little, but when I finish the story she just stares blankly at the wall.
“What’s wrong” I ask.
“Aren’t you a little curious of why did your outrage happened?” she asks. Oh, man, here we go.
“I don’t know Jaime, it just did, does it really matter? I'm having a great day, please don't ruin it” I say, as I get up and walk to the kitchen for a glass of water.
“It matters, Thomas” she says, still in the couch, her voice small. “That is just not normal behavior”.
“I was tired, that’s it”, I answer as I take a drink from my glass.
“So, you don’t want to talk about it” she says very softly, I can barely hear her.
“Huh?” I say. I did hear what she said; I just like to play stupid. Most men do this in this sort of situation.
“I said, so you don’t want to talk about it” she repeats. She is not going to let this go.
“Not really” I answer.
“Well I do”. Shit.
“Listen” I say, and I approach her carefully. I sit down next to her and I hold her hands. “I know it’s weird, and yes, it probably has something to do with my lack of sleep. But I don’t want to think about it too much. What’s the point? It’s not like I can do something about it.”
Before she can answer a big soaring sounds fills the room. In a matter of seconds it gets louder and louder. Jaime jumps from the couch and stares at me in confusion. She puts her hands in her ears and screams “WHAT IS GOING?” at the top of her lungs.
I don’t know what to do, so I also stand up. Before I can do something else, there is a loud crash. The windows in the condo fly into a million pieces. The world around me shifts and an invisible force throws me into the wall; knocking the air out of me. My ears are ringing, and I cannot move.
Dust blinds me, I try to ajust my world. What used to be the left wall of our apartment is now gone. Jaime is no longer there, next to the couch. I scream her name, but I can’t even hear my own voice. The air is filled with filth. I cough. The ringing starts to diminish. “Jamie” I scream again. I manage to sit up and rest my back into the wall. I stare into my arm. There is a big glass stuck into it. Blood is pouring out. I can’t stand up, so I start to crawl when I see her. She is spread across the floor. I move more quickly until I am by her side.
“Jaime, Jaime” I say, desperately. Her eyes are closed, but I see her chest moving. She is breathing. I place my hand in her hair and she opens her eyes. She looks disoriented. She finds my face and tries to speak. “Shh” I tell her.
I study her body in search for wounds. I see blood in my left hand and realize that it came from her head. She has a big open wound in the right side. Her hair soaked in blood. She lifts her hand and places it where the wound is. “Ouch” she says.
She tries to move. “No, no, don’t move, baby” I say to her and force her to stay in the ground. I hear screams coming from the outside.
“What happened?” she asks.
“I have no idea I say”. I look up trying to find a reason for this chaos. “I think something must have exploded”.
“I need to sit” she says.
“Ok, gently” I say and help her into a sitting position. She stares at her bloody hands and I can see her panicking.
“Don’t” I say to her. “You are fine, it’s just an external wound. You will be fine”.
She then sees the big glass in my arms. “Thomas, you are bleeding” she says.
I have to act. “We have to stabilize these wounds” I say to her. “I need the first aid kit”.
“It’s in the bathroom” She says. I have recovered some of my strength, so I manage to get up. I walk slowly into the bathroom. My hip hurts with every step that I take. My breathing is extremely loud. I find the kit and make my way back to Jaime. She is staring at the floor, her eyes lost.
“Here” I say. “Let’s get this cleaned up.” I open the kit and examine her wound. Thank god, it actually is only superficial. I pour some alcohol into a cotton. “I’m sorry, this is going to hurt”. She just nods. I start cleaning the wound. She flinches. I know this is hurting her more that she is letting me know. When I finish, I cover the wound with a bandage. When I am done, she sighs in relief.
“Now you” she says. I stare at the glass. “You do it” I tell her. She just nods. She preps a bandage and the alcohol.
“One, two…” she says.
“No, no, don’t count” I tell her. “Just do it”.
She stares at my wound and quickly takes the glass out. I am surprised that it doesn’t hurt that much. But then she immediately pours alcohol in it and I start screaming. She holds my arm, as I try to escape the pain. She cleans the wound and starts to bandage it. My whole arm feels like it’s in fire. When she is done, she looks exhausted.
“Thanks” I tell her.
“We should go outside, see what is going on” I say. I help her on her feet. Her face indicates she is in pain, but she doesn’t say anything. We slowly walk toward the left side of the apartment, where the screaming seems to be coming from. Everything is a mess. The wall is completely gone.
I am not prepared for what I see next. Right outside of our beautiful condo is and airplane. Or what it used to be an airplane. There are people running on the streets. The top of the plane is gone. And I can see the interior. There are people hanging from the seats. Most of them are motionless, parts of their bodies gone, probably dead. There is this guy, squirming in his seat, upside down, trying to free himself.
Could all of this really be happening? My heart is pounding in my chest. I look at Jaime. Her face is blank.
“We have to do something” she says.
To be continued...
Things don't always go the way you think they will... right?