Chapter 5: The Girlfriend

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 40

I was expecting myself to start passing out at any moment, but nothing happened. Instead, as soon as I opened my eyes, I found myself in front of a large pond. This time, the transition into this vision was immediate. There was no fainting, no dizzy spells, no heartbeats in my ear – no nothing. It was almost seamless. I started scratching my head and noticed with a start that I had my full mop of hair. I looked down at myself and realized I was wearing a comfortable polo shirt and slack shorts.

“Hey Julian, give me a piggyback ride!” It was Jules. I started wondering about the nature of this new quest that my mind was gonna take me on this time around. I could hear his footsteps running towards me from behind and braced myself as I felt him jumping on my back. I quickly grabbed his legs from behind me and started walking down the trail. It was a bit of a strain, but nothing a healthy man my age couldn’t handle.

The scenery was picturesque on a warm sunny afternoon. There were ducks gliding by dipping their heads into the water and poking at their feathers. We were in a wooded area with tall pine trees all over the place swaying gracefully in the gentle breeze. I could hear the shrills of cicadas up in the branches in a chorus of mating calls which gave a comforting contrast to the quietness of the surroundings. Honeybees were busy buzzing around over a trash can that we were passing by.

This place made me forget all my troubles and all my anxieties. It was a moment of pure tranquility and serenity. I looked around and marveled at the feelings of such perfect bliss. Everything seemed so calm, so peaceful and so … so perfect. I could feel the tension in my body fading away. I felt like I was in one of those panoramic paintings hanging on the wall that one can stare at for hours yearning to merge and lose oneself into the scenery. I no longer cared if this was an illusion or a vision or a hallucination. At this moment, this was my reality where every single aspect and every single detail was indistinguishable from my other reality. I could even feel Jules’ heartbeat on my back as I carried him along.

As I kept walking, I started looking around and realized I had seen this place before. I suddenly realized this was that same park I was in during my first vision where Jules was only five years old. I could see in the distance a metallic arch with the name of the park engraved on it, but it was too far to make out. I really wanted to find out the name of this park and so I started walking towards it.

“Julian, guess what – guess what,” Jules asked excitedly. His voice sounded deeper.

“I don’t know. What?”

“Stop, stop. Put me down. Hurry.” As soon as his feet hit the ground, he sprinted over to one of the trees. “Come over here. I wanna show you something.”

Not only did he sound older, he looked older. He was now a teen of about thirteen or fourteen. When I got to the tree, he turned to look at me and smiled displaying a set of braces on his teeth. He had sandy bangs that came down the side of his face and was nicely dressed wearing dark jeans and a buttoned shirt. He also had a backpack on his back. It appeared like he had just gotten out of school.

“Check this out,” he said pointing at the bark of the tree. “I just carved it out this afternoon.” There was a carving in the shape of a heart with Jules + Amy in the middle. “Julian, you’ll never believe what just happened,” he said just bursting with excitement. “Oh my God, I still can’t believe it.”

“Jules, calm down,” I said laughing. “Well don’t keep me in suspense. Tell me the big news.”

“She said yes,” he blurted out in disbelief. He grabbed me by the shirt barely able to contain himself. “Amy said yessss!” he screamed and gave me a tight hug.

I returned the hug and finally realized what all this was about. Jules probably had a strong crush for a girl at school and had apparently built up the courage to ask her out. No wonder he was so excited. “Jules, that’s wonderful. Congratulations dude. How did it happen?”

Jules swelled with pride and started rambling. “Well, Amy’s a sixteen-year old who sits behind me in English class and yesterday I heard her telling one of her friends that her boyfriend ‘William’,” he said mockingly with finger quotes, “… was being a real douchebag cause every time they hanged out all he wanted to do was get all lovey dovey with her and that was really creeping her out. What a total loser, right? So then they start talking about who they’re going with to the homecoming dance and Amy says she’s not going because she wants to break it off with douche boy. Her words, not mine.

“So on the way to my next period, I’m standing behind her at the water fountain. Without even thinking, I just asked her if she would consider maybe coming to the homecoming dance with me. She turned around and just looked at me for a while. Then she gave me one of those kiss of death answers. She said “Well, I don’t know. We’ll see.” Julian, I sounded like such a doofus I could kick myself. Auuugh!”

“And then what happened?”

“Well … this afternoon during English class, I was just sitting there minding my own business and I feel someone tapping me from behind. It was Amy and she … she gave me this,” he said sighing with infatuation as he handed me a folded-up piece of paper. I opened it and saw the word ‘Yes’ with a little smiley face with a fat tongue sticking out.

“Oh Julian, she is like the perfect girl in the entire school. She has short blonde hair with hazel eyes and every time I see her smile, I just … ahhhh,” he sighed falling into my arms. I envied him as I brought up fond memories of my own youth. Ahh, to be that young again.

We continued walking down the path. “Shit, I just thought of something,” Jules said suddenly looking worried. “Julian, I’ve never done this before. I’ve never been on a date or gone to a dance. What do I do? What do I wear? Am I supposed to buy her a flower? What if I spill punch on her dress? What if I step on her toes? Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all.”

I grabbed him by the shoulders. “Hey, it’s gonna be fine. This is your first date and it’s normal to feel nervous. Don’t think about it too much and just let it play out the way it plays out. You’re gonna do great okay?”

“Well, what about afterwards when the dance is over? She already told me she wants me to walk her home. Will she get creeped out if I try to hold her hand? Julian, what if she wants to …” His cheeks started turning red.

“Wants to what?” I asked.

“What if she wants to … you know …?” he said shrugging his shoulders with an embarrassed smile.

“Jules, you can ask me anything, okay? You don’t have to be embarrassed,” I said soothingly preparing myself for what I thought he was going to ask me.

“What if she wants to … kiss me, like on the lips?”

I sighed with relief at the extent of his curiosity. “Well what do you think, you dodo bird? You kiss her back,” I said laughing.

“Don’t make fun of me. I’m serious,” he said with annoyance.

“I’m sorry. You’re right. Listen, if she kisses you, you kiss her back but only if you feel comfortable about it. If you feel nervous, that’s okay. It’s normal. But Amy is older than you and probably more experienced. If she starts doing something that makes you feel like you’re not ready for it, it’s okay for you to say stop and back away. Do you understand what I’m trying to say?”

“Yeah, I don’t think I’m ready for that yet. But what if we’re kissing and her lips gets stuck on my braces? What if she sticks her tongue in and it gets caught?”

“I’d say you better brace yourself for a serious tongue lashing,” I said trying to keep a straight face.

“Julian – you asshole.” Jules started chasing me playfully trying to punch me in the arm.

“Hey dickhead!” We both turned around and saw three older teens walking towards us.

Jules looked at me with concern. “That’s William and two of his buddies Blake and Victor,” he said in a low voice.

William walked up to Jules and arched his head menacingly over him like some buzzard. He was a gangly teen with shoulder length wavy brown hair. Although he was shorter than the other two teens, he seemed to be the one calling the shots. “I heard an ugly rumor that you’re trying to steal my girlfriend. This must be some terrible mistake, right? I mean, a twerp like you wouldn’t dare try to steal my girlfriend right under my nose because, well, that would be like committing suicide.”

Jules squared his shoulders and puffed up with anger. “Yeah, well it looks like you haven’t read the latest headlines, William. Amy’s gonna dump your ass for being a real douchebag with her and she already told me she’s coming to the homecoming dance with me,” he said defiantly.

William immediately pushed Jules to the ground. “What the fuck did you just call me?” he said angrily as he stood over him. That’s when I stepped in.

“Hey! Back off,” I said putting myself between him and Jules.

“Who the hell are you?” William demanded.

“It doesn’t matter who I am. You boys are gonna turn around and get the hell out of here right now.”

“Hey, I know you,” William said squinting his eyes at me. “My physics teacher was showing us a film about that power plant explosion a long time ago. You were one of the survivors, weren’t you?”

The other boys started snickering. “Yeah, I bet he still glows in the dark at night too,” said Blake with a snort.

“Probably doesn’t even need a night light,” added Victor with a snicker.

“He’s like a walking glow stick. He probably glows even brighter every time he’s shaking in the sack with his lady,” Blake said giggling.

“Or when he’s shaking it by himself.” Both boys started laughing out loud.

“Hey, my burrito’s gone cold. Can you lay your hand on it and nuke it for me for about thirty seconds?”

The teens were snorting and cackling with laughter as they started giving each other high-fives. I took the opportunity to help Jules up and we both started walking away.

“Hey, not so fast,” I heard William saying threateningly behind me. “We’re gonna settle this right now.” William picked up a rock and threw it at Jules hitting him in the back. Jules arched his back in pain and fell to his knees.

In a fit of anger, I turned around and confronted this bully. I grabbed him by the front of his shirt and pushed him hard into one of the bushes. “You stay the hell away from him or I swear you’re gonna be swallowing your broken teeth, you hear me,” I said angrily. I turned around to look at the others. “And that goes for the rest of you.” The other boys just looked on not knowing what to do.

Then I heard a clicking sound. I instantly recognized the sound of a pistol being cocked. I slowly turned around and saw William holding a gun to my face. I felt a chill going up my spine at this incredible nightmare we were finding ourselves in. Wait a minute – if this is one of my visions, maybe I have some control over the aspects of these events. I closed my eyes and tried to will the gun away from William. I opened my eyes and my heart sank when I saw he still had the gun to my face.

“Will, what the fuck are you doing man?!” screamed Blake. “Where the hell did you get that?”

“I got it from my old man. He’s been teaching me how to use it.” he said with a sneer. “You guys grab Jules and make sure he doesn’t get away.” He looked at me, “You – glow stick, start walking.”

The other two boys hesitated with indecision. “Move!” William shouted pointing the gun in their direction. The boys jumped nervously and grabbed Jules by the arms. They started following along as William led us into a secluded area surrounded by vegetation. William pushed me hard against the edge of the bushes and directed Jules to stand next to me.

I could tell Jules was terrified, but still angry at the same time. “Julian, I’m scared,” Jules whispered holding on to my arm with a tremble.

“I know. I’m scared too. But let’s try to see if we can …”

“Quiet!” William shouted.

“Will,” said Victor almost exasperated. “Will, this is my Senior year. I can’t afford to get in trouble man. Put that thing away and let’s just get out of here,” he pleaded.

“Yeah, come on Will,” said Blake. “You still have one more year but me and Victor are supposed to be graduating this year and you’re gonna mess it up for all of us just for a stupid girl? Seriously?”

William turned to them angrily. “You know what? You guys are a bunch of wooses, you know that? Nobody steals my girlfriend and gets away with it, especially some snotty freshman. You oughta know that by now. You both need to grow a pair and shut the fuck up!”

While William was distracted arguing with the other boys, I casually reached out and slipped Jules’ backpack off of him. Jules turned to me and I put my finger over my mouth to keep him quiet. I tried to gage the distance between me and William and hoped he wasn’t too far away for what I was planning to do. I silently motioned Jules to stand behind me.

“What are you talking about,” exclaimed Victor as they continued with their discussion. “You never gave a shit about us. You never gave a shit about Amy either. The only reason you stuck with her was because she’s probably the only girl in the whole school who would put out for you. You even said it yourself.”

As William became even more distracted, I brought up the backpack in front of me and braced myself. There was enough material inside to make it heavy enough for an assault and bulky enough to serve as a good shield. As I prepared myself to rush him, Victor noticed and his eyes widened in surprise. He knew what I was planning to do.

“Um, Will, I think you should …”

“Shut up Victor! How many times have I saved your ass?” William screamed. “Both of your asses!” he yelled almost in tears. “And this is how you repay me?”

This is it. I can’t wait any longer. I have to do this now before William notices what’s going on. I quickly turned around. “Jules, as soon as I start running towards William, I want you to jump into those bushes and run away as fast as you can, you hear me? On the count of three. One … Two … Run!” I hissed. “Go, go, go, go.”

I started sprinting towards William holding the backpack in front of me at the same time that he turned around. Victor and Blake backed away in alarm, but William stood his ground. He quickly brought up the gun and pulled the trigger. The report from the gun was deafening as I felt myself slamming against him and bringing both of us down to the ground. He must’ve fired the bullet into the backpack because I didn’t feel any pain.

Victor and Blake were so startled that they immediately took off running. We started struggling as we both looked around frantically trying to figure out where William had dropped the gun. Even though I felt myself to be in pretty good shape, William seemed to be a lot more agile than me. He managed to wrap his arm around my neck and squeezed hard making me gasp for air. As much as I tried to leverage myself, I just couldn’t free myself from his iron grip.

At the point where I thought I was about to pass out, we both jumped at the sound of another gunshot. We both turned and saw Jules bringing down the gun after shooting a bullet into the air. Then he pointed it straight at William with determination. “Let – him – go,” he seethed ominously.

William immediately loosened his grip and got on his feet. I strained to get myself up and started dusting myself off. William regarded Jules for a moment with a dismissive grin. “Come on kid – put that thing down before you hurt yourself.”

“No William. I’m not putting it down,” Jules declared. “You’re the one who’s gonna get down on your knees.”

“Pfff … yeah, right. Or what? You’re gonna shoot me? Huh? You don’t have the balls.”

“Jules,” I said with my hand out. “Jules, give me the gun. Come on, just hand it over and let me handle this.”

Jules shook his head and seemed to be getting angrier by the second. “No Julian. If we let him get away with this, he’s just gonna come after me again. He is not getting away with this.”

“He won’t, Jules. He’s not gonna get away with this, I promise. He’s going to be charged with attempted murder for what he’s done.  I’ll just call the cops and we’ll hold him here until they come pick him up. But you’ve gotta give me the gun okay?”

“No,” he said with angry tears. “No Julian. He almost killed you. You would’ve died if I hadn’t come back. He needs to die.”

William started looking nervous. “Come on kid. Listen to the glow stick. Put the gun down.”

“Stop calling him that! His name is Julian!” Jules screamed as he aimed the gun with trembling hands.

“Jules … Jules, you don’t want to do this. Give me the gun now!” I said forcefully. “Jules, if you do this, it’s gonna stay with you for the rest of your life. Jules, please!”

The look on Jules’ face spoke volumes. It was obvious I wasn’t getting to him. He was determined; he was committed and there was no turning back. He was filled with rage. I knew at that moment that he was going to pull the trigger. By now William was really getting scared as he prepared himself for the worse. At the moment when I saw his finger pulling on the trigger, I immediately threw myself in front of William.

“Noooooooooo!” I shouted in desperation.

I felt the flaming sting of the bullet entering my chest with a deafening blow. Jules dropped the gun in horror and ran over to me. I felt myself losing consciousness as Jules wept over me trying to comfort me. “Julian, it’s okay. It’s okay – you have to let go,” he sobbed. “It’s okay, just let go. Just let go …” he said in a swirl of fading echoes.

Submitted: August 16, 2019

© Copyright 2020 Bright Light. All rights reserved.


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