A Race Against Time
Book by: Kaylene
Rowan is your typical teenage girl, bright-eyed and innocent with her long blonde curls, ocean blue eyes, tanned skin, and pageant worthy body. However Rowans past is another story. Five years ago today, her father past away in what the the police reports state as a simple mugging on the way home, with no other motive. Basically put wrong place at the wrong time. They never did catch the person responsible.
Rowan was always a daddy's girl. That was due to the fact that at the young age of three, Rowans mother past away from cancer just days before what would have been her twenty-eighth birthday. Rowan doesn't really even remember what she looked like, other than the fact that she also had long blonde curls and ocean blue eyes. Rowan's father couldn't handle that his wife was gone, so he had removed every picture with her mother in it. For years after her death though, she was constantly reminded that she looked so much like her mother.
Rowan now lives in a small and simple two bedroom apartment with her now ill grandmother. Rowan hated it here and she planned to run away at the first chance she got and when she had some money saved, but now she is just a few months away from her eighteenth birthday. She and her grandmother have never gotten along. Her grandmother loathed the fact that her son died and left her a responsibility that she didn't need nor want.
Rowan knew that if she didn't get up now her grandmother would be pissed and she would just scream for her again, and this time the neighbors would start banging on the walls and floors. Rowan dragged herself out of bed and headed to the bathroom to take a quick shower, and a quick shower it would have to be, because rowan could never get the water any hotter than lukewarm and within just a few minutes it would be freezing. As soon as the cold water hit her skin she turned it off and got out to get dressed.
It was in the middle of winter and snow had began to blanket everything in a sheet of white. It was for this reason Rowan decided to wear her favorite light colored jeans and her large, comfy black sweater. She quickly brushed her hair up into a ponytail, threw on her boots, and grabbed her bookbag before heading downstairs to deal with her grandmother.
"Well it's about time you got up. if i had to yell one more......"
"I know grandmother."
If looks could kill, Rowan knew that the look her grandmother was giving her for interrupting her, would have been the death of her.
"Don't worry a quick bite and I'll be out of your hair."
She knew that if she didn't say something soon her grandmother would have went into a lecture about how she need to act right and that she was doing Rowan a favor by letting her stay with her, and Rowan wasn't in the mood for that lecture again today.
Rowan grabbed a apple juice and snack bar out of the fridge. She put them in the front of her bookbag and out the door she went. Her grandmother's apartment was in a building with two hundred more apartments, for a total of five floors. The elevator no longer worked and she had to take the stairs.
Rowan didn't know many of her neighbors but she had her favorites. Maria Jenson was a elderly woman, who lived on the first floor with her dog Max. Her husband has past away a few years back and her son was in the military so she didn't have any visitors other than Rowan. Every night at seven Rowan would walk Max for Maria, because she had some health issues. Rowan wasn't sure what was wrong and she didn't want to ask, but she knew that every Thursday Maria went to the hospital for testing. Rowan never mind helping Maria because it was a way to get away from her grandmother for a while. Maria loved to tell her stories of her past and of traveling the world. Rowan always loved hearing the stories, because she too wanted to travel the world.
Rowan's best friend Brooke lived on the third floor with her mother Selena. Selena was a single mother and Brooke's father didn't wanted children so he left as soon as Selena found out that she was pregnant. After the death of her own father Rowan and Brooke met, and have since became inseparable. Where you find one you find the other. Brooke was funny, outgoing, and a great listener. Rowan really needed someone she could tell anything and everything too. By the time Rowan made it to the first floor and out the front door Brooke was standing there waiting on her.
Brooke has always called her Ro,
"Let me guess, the evil grandmother was on your case again."
"Isn't she always." we both laughed.
Every morning Brooke and I walked to school. It is only five blocks away, and buses don't run on this side of town anymore anyway. The city was tired of paying to fix them because of many cases of
vandalism, and they didn't make much running around her anyway. Most of the houses and other building were vacant or condemned, due to lack of care and of course more vandalism.
Brooke was really quite this morning but Rowan didn't mind because she was in her own little world anyway. They arrived just as the tardy bell ring, they hurried of to their classes promising to meet outside for lunch. Rowan's first class was her favorite, Language, they mainly read and that was okay with Rowan because reading was just another escape from her reality. The day was going by fairly quick and before long it was lunch time. Rowan was at their usual spot, the bleachers near the track, waiting for Brooke when she finally appeared from the side door.
They sit there eating and talking. They were in the middle of talking about their history paper due Friday, when Rowan happened to look up and seen a guy staring at her. Rowan had never seen him here before and she didn't know who he was. He was sort of tall and had black hair that was kind of spiked, he had they dark green eyes.
"Hey, earth to Ro."
"Did you even hear what I said about the paper."
"No sorry, do you know who...."
By the time Rowan looked back up to where the guy was standing he was gone.
The bell rang and lunch was over. for the rest of the day Rowan couldn't focus all she could think about was the stranger with the dark green eyes. School was finally over and she and brooke were heading back home. On the way they stopped at Al's corner store and got some snack and drinks for their study session so that they could finish their history paper. Rowan was looking at the drinks trying to decide what she wanted, when all of a sudden she had this feeling that someone was staring at her. She looked up and all around the store but didn't see anyone looking at her. She finally decided to get fruit punch and pretzels and head to the counter to check out. After they finished it was only another two blocks til they got to the apartment building. Brooke noticed that something was off with Ro.
"Hey what's going on, you have been acting funny since lunch."
Rowan told brooke about the guy at lunch staring at her and the feeling she got at the store that someone was watching her.
"That is odd, but I get those feelings all the time. I'm sure that its noting to worry about. he was probably a new student or something, and we were the only one in the store other than Mr. Jacobs for his weekly paper."
"You are right. it noting to worry about."
They finally got to the apartment building and started up the stairs til they reached the third floor. Rowans grandmother always plays bingo on Wednesdays, so she wouldn't be back until late tonight. so they went to Brooke's apartment to work on their paper. Three hours, four rough drafts, and two headaches later they finally finished and printed their papers. Brooke was throwing away the snack wrappers and bottles while Rowan put everything back into her bag. after she was finished she looked at her watch, it was 6:45 pm. Rowan and Brooke said bye, and they she headed to her apartment to put her bag into her room so that she could head back downstairs to walk Max tonight for Maria.
Rowan made it back downstairs by 7 o'clock on the dot. She knocked three times and opened the door to Maria's apartment. Maria always knew Rowan would be on time so she never had to answer the door.
"Hi Maria, Is Max ready to go."
Even before she could finish talking Max ran into the room with his leash in his mouth, tail wagging every which way. Max alway knew it was time to take a walk when he heard Rowan. Rowan hooked on his leash and they were ready to head out.
"I'll have him back soon."
" Okay Rowan, have fun max."
Rowan and Max always walked the four blocks down to the old park and back. The walk always takes about 45 minutes and Max always has fun. When Rowan and Max made it to the old park, Max stopped, turned his head to the side, and sniffed the air. Suddenly Max started barking at something in the bushes, Rowan thought that it was probably just a cat that was until the bushes started to move. Rowan grabbed Max's leash a little tighter and started to step backwards when she tripped and fell. Max jumped in front of her as a man stepped out of the shadows. At first Rowan thought it was the guy from lunch earlier that was until he stepped into the light from the street lamp. He was dressed in black pants and a black shirt. His face had this dark smirk pasted on it along with a scar that ran down his cheek, and his hair was dark brown and so were his eyes.
"So I finally found you!" he started laughing
"I don't know you" I said trying to get up off of the ground, Max staying put right in front of me barking and growling.
"Oh but I know you."
Suddenly he kicked Max away from me, Max yelped but he got up and shook it off, but before he could made it back to me the stranger grabbed my arm and jerked me closer. Pain started to flood my arm, side, and I could no longer feel my fingers. As I tried to catch my breath, I also had to keep from gagging, the smell coming from him smelled like death. Everytime i Tried to pull away from him he would jerk me closer and the pain would get worse. Max was now at my side attacking this man's legs and it didn't even seem to faze him. All of a sudden I see someone come up behind the stranger.
Whoever it was hit the man really hard with a piece of a metal pipe from the old swing set. I was tossed to the side, falling hard on my already hurt arm, pain shooting up and down it. Max was at my side licking my arm and whining. My unknown hero's back was turned towards me, he was still fighting with my attacker. Eventually the pain got so bad that everything went black, sounds and sights faded away, and there I laid in darkness's embrace without a single care in the world thinking that death finally got me too.
© Copyright 2017 Kaylene. All rights reserved.