I might as well not go to class for all the good it did. Mathematical equations melded into vibrant colors of dragons, spiders, crosses, and stars of David. I found patterns and designs in spreadsheets of numbers. Her face dominated my thoughts, her insane way of vanishing into thin air consumed my imagination. She derailed my concentration. The tapestry of her skin perplexed my efforts. It was fair to say I was captivated.
After walking out of the building I reached into my pocket and grabbed my phone. I dialed her number, then paused. It was the first second I’d taken to contemplate what was going on. You didn’t just call a girl moments after she gave you her number. You had to let that rest for a bit. I licked my lip and looked at her number. My phone started calling. I blinked, had I accidentally hit the call button? I thought about hanging up, but put the phone to my ear instead. My mouth was suddenly dry. “Hi.” Her voice was light. “Um.. Hi.” I said. I regained a bit of swagger and leaned against the railing of the walk way. “I don’t answer my phone for numbers I don’t know. Leave a voice mail if you want. Text if you want me to respond faster. Later.” I frowned. I wasn’t really ready to talk to her and hit the end button before the beep sounded. It was always annoying to get hang up voice mail. I could text her though. “Hi this is Micheal, the fountain guitarist.” The message sent icon popped up and almost immediately I received a response. “341 S Perl St. Basement entrance 8:30.”
I don’t know if this was a date invitation or something else. “Should I bring flowers? lol” There was no response. I put my phone away. The inclination to text again was strong, but no one wanted to be that creeper guy who kept sending messages after getting no response. It was Thursday, and I had no classes tomorrow. I started walking to my music theory class and decided I was going out tonight. I wondered absently if I could convince any of my friends to go.
I walked along the path towards the Musical Studies building. My college was a collection of buildings scattered about downtown and there were a lot of streets to cross. There was a playground to the left and as I was walking I noticed a ball was bouncing towards the street. I don’t know why I just watched it like an idiot before noticing the child running after it. There was no chance to stop the ball. Parked cars lined the sidewalk and the ball disappeared between them. The little girl followed without hesitation and I started running. She couldn’t have been more than 5 or 6. She didn’t even notice the trash truck lumbering down the road. I moved fast, my guitar case banging against my back as I sprinted. She reappeared in the street, emerging from between the vehicles to chase the ball across the road. I wasn’t going to make it. I jumped and slid across a hood to grab her. The truck’s wheels were screeching, but the massive vehicle had no chance to stop. I turned my back to the truck and felt my case push into me. The impact threw us forward and I rolled as I fell, trying to make sure I didn’t squash the girl. Pain came alive as the guitar case hit me. I landed underneath the child and heard the crunch of metal ring through the air.
The little girls cries were the first thing I noticed. I looked down at her and saw her. “Oh my God!” A teenage girl yelled as she came running to us. My back was in pain from the case, but nothing felt broken. I sat up and could feel two distinct points of pain, just below my shoulder blades. I checked the crying child over really quick. She looked fine and I gave her to the baby sitter. She was probably going to lose her job. “Thank you so much. Janey honey I told you not to chase balls into the street!” Dazed, I looked around and noticed the dump truck had slammed into a brand new sedan as it swerved to miss us. The poor vehicle, a victim to physics, had no chance against the industrial construction of the dump truck. Twisted pieces of metal and broken plastic littered the street. With a start I remembered my guitar. I looked quickly to the asphalt and saw the damaged case next to me. It was scratched up and had a deep gouge in it. I pulled it over and opened it cautiously. Trying to prepare myself for the damage I might see. My Les Paul rested easily in the red velvet interior. To my astonishment, it was untouched.