"Have a great time you kids!" my mom called from her permanent place on the couch as my friends and I raced from the house.
"We will!" I yelled just before slamming the door behind us.
"Jesus, honey! What you in a rush for?" Damion, my
wonderfully gay best friend, exclaimed as I practically dragged
him and Samantha down the shortcut, through the woods, to the
I slowed down just bit so I could turn to face him, walking
backwards. "You, of all people, should know about the insanely
humongous shoe sell going on in Journeys!" I exclaimed, trying
to keep a serious expression but failing completely as his face
broke out into an ear-to-ear grin.
He smacked his forehead and I giggled, he was always
forgetting things. "I can't believe it! This, of all things, I
decide to forget!" he exclaims as Samantha and I both
"It's alright Damion, all that matters is that Jen and I
remembered to remind you." Samantha assured him with sarcastic
"Come on! Now you know and we're going to be late if we
don't get a move on!" I informed them as I tapped my foot
They both rolled their eyes and we're off again,
practically running through the bright, lively, green forest.
Trees towered overhead, almost blocking the sun but an
occasional patch of sunlight would shine through the branches.
The wind lifted the leaves and they scattered across the ground
at our feet. It was a beautiful spring day in the amazing town
of Bayview, a small suburban town at the very edge of
Washington, so small and poorly populated, it doesn't even have
a place on the map. This is the place I've known my whole life,
as well as my parents and my parent's parents. This also goes
for my friends, whom I've known my whole life as well.
We slow our pace as we reach the end of the trail which
stops just a few yards from the parking lot that led to the one
small mall we have here in Bayview. We stop to gaze at it in
awe, as always, before making our way to the glass front
"It is... beautiful." Damion sighed, sniffling with
happiness, he always was the overly dramatic type.
I laughed, throwing my head back as I placed my arms around
their shoulders. "Well, why don't we quit smelling the roses
and check out the many glorious shoes that are awaiting us?" I
chuckled as we began to walk towards the building, our strides
matching. It didn't take long till we were entering the doors
and the lovely smell of clothes, shoes and food overtook my
senses. I inhaled the all-too familiar smell of leather and
junk food, it was absolutely enticing. "Wonderful," I breathed
as I released my breath. "Let's go!" we all exclaim at the same
time. We laughed as we took hands and ran to the place we visit
most often, Journeys. The wondrous smell of new shoes hit me
like a freight train as we entered the store. The great thing
about small towns is there is hardly any people ever in the
mall, so we practically get the whole place to ourselves- free
to do as pleased.
"Where to began?" Samantha exaggerated, her eyes wide in
excitement, a huge grin plastered across her face like she's
just seen the sun.
I take her hand and rush off to the Teenage Girls section
as Damion goes the other direction to look for the Teenage Guys
section. "So, what should we look for?" I ask as we turn down
"How about some dress shoes... so you can have something to
wear with that super sexy black dress you bought for your date
with John!" she teased with a giggle as I playfully punched her
arm while I turned ten different shades of red. "Come on! You
know you love him!" Her hands folded over her heart and she
spun around on her tip toes.
"Well, I'll just keep that little piece of knowledge to
myself, thank you very much." I mumbled as my face got hotter
with the truth of what she was saying. I had loved John since I
first saw him, in fifth grade. We're both now in eighth and he
just asked me out to a movie tonight after I was done with my
trip to the mall. Let's just say he didn't have to ask
We were quiet as we began our search for the perfect shoes
that would just match my black, strapless, mini dress. As I was
sitting on those little benches that had the slanting mirrors
on each end, trying on the millionth pair of shoes Samantha had
brought me, a strange feeling came over me. It was that really
annoying, but creepy, feeling that you were being watched by
unseen eyes. I glanced around the store but I only saw a man's
back as he looked through the men's shoes and Samantha, pulling
out box after box as she continued her hunt for just the right
pair of shoes. I shook off the feeling, knowing I was just
being paranoid... but why would I be paranoid, is what's
bothering me. I pushed the thought to the back of my mind as I
stood from my seat to walk around in the beautiful black
"Samantha! These are definitely the ones!" I called over my
shoulder and she ran over to have a look.
"Oh! Those are perfect!" she exclaimed as she clapped her
hands together while jumping up and down.
"Come on, let's put these back in the box and go find out
how Damion is doing." I suggested as I slipped out of the shoes
and placed them back in the box. I shoved the box under my arm
and we set of to the Teenage Boy's section to find a very happy
Damion as he tried on some really fancy, black dress
He looked up at us as we were walking towards him. "Don't
these look great!" he exclaimed as we walked together to the
check out area.
We nodded. "Jamie will love them!" I squealed. I was just
so excited to be out with my friends and then a date tonight
with a wonderful guy.
We paid for our shoes and left Journeys. I looked down at
my watch to see that I had about thirty minutes to get changed
and meet John at the theater.
"It's nearly time!" I exclaimed and we began to walk faster
towards the bathrooms so I could change into my new shoes and
Samantha came into the small one toilet bathroom to assist
in any way as Damion waited outside. I got changed and Samantha
looked me straight in the eye, like that would somehow get
whatever point she had in mind across before she even spoke it
"Are you ready, Jennifer Ann Jacklyn, for the best night of
your life?" she asked, very serious as she gripped my shoulders
like she was holding on for dear life.
I suddenly got very nervous but I nodded my head and we
left the bathroom.
"You are going to have a great time, Hun." Damion promised
as he gave me a warm hug. "He will not be able to keep his
hands off you!"
I flushed a deep red as I hugged him back. "Thank you,
"He speaks the truth, young grasshopper." Samantha agreed
as she folded her hands and bowed like some Chinese
I laughed. "You have trained me well," I murmured in awe as
I bowed back.
"We must depart here," Samantha concluded as she and Damion
"Ok, guys... wish me luck." I said nervously. They both
said their "Good lucks" and walked off with one last hug.
I turned to the front glass doors and, with a very deep
breath, exited the building. It's pitch black out but I think
nothing of it. I just continue to make my way to the alley that
leads straight to my destination. That feeling of being watched
creeped up my back like a cold chill once again and I chance a
quick glance over my shoulder to see nothing. I turn back
around and walk just a bit faster. You're just paranoid, I
think to myself but the comfort is washed away by the feeling
of dread that's consuming every cell of my body. I peek back
over my shoulder and this time, I see a rather large, buff
person walking several paces behind me. I whip my head back
around and clutch my handbag to my side. My feet unconsciously
sped up, I can almost see the light of a street lamp at the end
if I could just make it out in the open faster.
I yelped as someone grabbed my arm and pressed me firmly
against the brick wall. I struggled but it's no use, he's far
to strong. "W-what do you want?" I managed to squeak out as I
stared into malicious black eyes.
He chuckled darkly and I have a hard time swallowing. "Just
a little fun, sweet cheeks," he whispered into my ear, his hot
breath rolled down my neck, scorching my skin. I could faintly
smell alcohol on his breath as well, oh for heaven's
"Please... d-don't do this." I whimpered as I feel a hard,
cold edge press lightly against my throat.
"Oh, I'm not going to... yet." And, with that, he sliced
open my right arm in one swift movement.
I hardly recognize the scream that escaped my lips as I
clutched my split arm. I can feel right to the bone, blood is
everywhere. He chuckled at my pain as he stabbed the knife deep
into my leg and I crumple to the ground in agony with another
"Please! What did I do to you?!" I sob as the pain
escalates with every movement of my body.
He crouched over me and I knew this was it, I was going to
die at this very moment. I was going to die before I ever had
my first date, my first kiss, learn to drive, finish school, go
to college, have my father walk me down the aisle on my wedding
day, have kids, grow old with someone, live my life. But, most
importantly, I was never going to tell John that I loved him.
"Nothing, sweetheart." he whisperd just as the knife pierces my
heart and my life begins to slip away.
"Jen! Jen! Come on, wake up! For me!" I know that voice...
"John?" the voice that croaks my love's name doesn't sound
the least bit like mine.
"I'm so sorry, love! I didn't get to you fast enough. But you had to wake just once to hear what I have to tell you." he sobbed and I felt his hand tightly wound with mine. "I love you, Jennifer Ann Jacklyn, and I'll be joining you soon." he whisperd, his voice shaking uncontrollably with tears.
I want so very much to ask him what he means by that but breathing is already becoming far too difficult. "I... love... you... too." is all I can choke out before I hear a rather large 'bang' and am consumed by eternal happiness. To remain in the arms of my love, high above the world we left behind at age fourteen, forever.