August 16, 2019 6 min read

“Now give all your shit up!” My hands were still lifted up to God as he had the gun pointed at my chest.

“I...I” I couldn’t get the words out like they were stuck to my mouth with super glue. I wanted to tell him that I was a broke college student with no family and no support. I could barely afford to pay my rent. If it weren’t for my meal plan I couldn’t eat and now here he was ready to shoot me for money that I didn’t have. I had to find my words before I ended up on the news.

“Come on, I ain’t got all day.”

“I don’t have anything.” I told him.

“Bullshit. Half the shit you got on is somebody’s rent.” I put on a good show, I was impeccable at making thrift store clothes look like designer gems when in reality everything I had on didn’t cost more than a few dollars. Maybe that’s why he chose me.Was it the vintage coach purse that I found in a fifty cent rack at the Goodwill?

“You lying...what the hell you got in that purse?” he snatched it off my shoulder rummaging through nonsense, makeup, and used bus tickets. While he was preoccupied I scanned for help. No security, no students, not even a shuttle, just me and this man in a mask. 

“Quit bullshitting. I know you got money. All you rich motherfuckers are the same.” He tossed the bag down to the ground so hard that I felt the cement shake. I didn’t have to see his face to hear the rage in his voice.

The holes in his mask told me nothing about him. All I had were those red eyes, the way they looked around, the fidgeting. Was he on drugs? His blue jeans nor the black jacket he wore couldn’t help me identify him to police, that is, if I made it out of this alive.

“C’mon...give me the money….quit fucking stalling.” Me having money was like a joke but the risk of getting shot kept me straight. Instead, I turned my pockets inside out, showing him the flaw to his logic of robbing me.

“I don’t have anything...I’m broke...” Mid-sentence, he jammed the gun into my chest.

“I’ll kill you...right here, and I’ll blow your lungs out all over this sidewalk.” I shivered at the thought of my heart being blown out of my chest. My teeth chattered uncontrollably, giving me a cold cover of fear that fell over me like a ton of bricks. In a second I was staring at death in the eye.

I tried to memorize everything I could make out about this man; that was my only defense.

“Or maybe I should take something else.” He took a step forward and I took a step back. I had no way to describe this man beyond that. Just a mask and a gun threatening to end my existence. But describing him would be no use if I was dead.

“You saw my wallet. All I have in it is my ID card and five dollars.” I wasn’t going to get paid for another week and my school ID was only good for food at the cafeteria. I pointed to the spot where he threw my purse. “I promise that’s all I have.”

“Give me your damn phone?” It was stuffed down deep into my backpack with a dead battery.

“I don’t have one.”

“You're lying…”

“No I’m telling the truth. I don’t have one…” I couldn’t let him have my phone. It was the only thing that I had to keep me connected to the world. I had zero money and no help from family. If I lost my phone I wouldn’t have a way to do anything.

“I know you got one. I saw you talking on one earlier.”

“Earlier when...in the library. Were you in the library?” He raised his eyebrows and I could tell he had messed up. He had told on himself. I changed the subject quick.

“That was a friend’s phone and…”

“You bitch. You wanna play...you're gonna play with this dick.” He reached his hand back like he was going to hit me. “You lying bitch...” I prepared myself for the blow, closing my eyes, praying for the speed to run but if I couldn’t I asked God to give me the strength to fight this man. I waited it but I felt nothing, no hit, no shaking, no pain. My eyes popped open to find the dark figure in front of me rolling around on the ground with what looked like an angel in a jogging suit.

“Let the gun go…” the jogger said, firmly. I backed away, hoping the gun wouldn’t go off. The jogging suit clad angel got the best of the demon, climbing on top of him and pounding him with punches. Raining punches down on the demon’s head. 

“Fuck...is...wrong...with...you…” The punching kept going until the demon’s hands went limp and fell into the ground. The gun laying at his side was kicked away into the bushes. Getting up to his feet my angel looked like a god to me. Sweat glistened on his bronze skin under the streetlight, labored breathing was the only sound in the air as he sucked in air. 

“Oh God...thank you...you saved me...I…” That’s when I felt it. The death grip in my chest with the slithering reach of a python and the strength of the Hulk was squeezing the air from my lungs. I tried grabbing at my throat and rubbing my chest, but I couldn’t reach the parts of me that were hurting.

“Are you okay?” the jogger asked. But I couldn’t speak, words meant less air and I could only shake my head. It was impossible to reach into my lungs and stop the asthma from suffocating me. I would have been at home had that man not popped out of the bushes and stopped me. I would have been in my apartment taking my allergy meds and getting my daily breathing treatment but now I was outside on the sidewalk having a full-blown asthma attack.

The angel was concerned, he searched around as the demon still slept on the pavement.

“Are you having a panic attack?” he asked. I pointed to my chest, squeezing into a fist and pointing to my lungs. “Where is your inhaler?” I pointed up ahead to the apartments a quarter of a mile up a trail. “Shit...We gotta get you an inhaler...your hands are shaking.” Looking down, my hands were trembling like a leaf in the wind. My knees buckled a bit, going down on one knee. The sound coming from my mouth as I struggled to breathe was like a rattle of death.

“No no no...don’t get down. You have to stand.” It was hard to do so with the python tightening its hold. “Here...get on my back.” He pulled me to my feet.

“Wh---at…?”

“Just get on...we don’t have time.” I didn’t fight it. He helped me onto his back and with all 172 pounds of me he took off jogging down the street like I weighed nothing. “Just stay calm… ” I did as he said, trying to be as calm as possible on a strangers back bouncing down the street in the middle of the night, leaving an armed gunmen unconscious behind us.

My heaving and the sound of his sneakers on the concrete became our soundtrack as he ran.

“Which one…?” he asked. I pointed as he made it to my building.

“That...door.” I gasped like a fish out of water as I pointed him to the door.

“Keys...where are your keys…”

“Knock…..room...mate..” he pounded on the door, letting me down, but my feet gave way as my feet were unable to grip the ground, but before I could fall he caught me, his face inches from mine.

“It’s okay...I got you.” I felt secure in his arms, his muscles like steel gripping me up.

“What’s going on?” In the doorway was Lyric rubbing her eyes as I fought to breathe.

“She needs her inhaler. She got robbed…”

“Robbed…” There was no time to explain, he pulled me into the house laying me on the couch, but I felt like my life was ending.

“Here...here is the inhaler.” they shoved it into my mouth and seconds later the coating of medicine hit my lungs.

“Is it working…” I couldn’t tell, my chest was so sore and my eyes felt so heavy and the heaving still continued.

“Shit...I don’t think it’s working. Rya...talk to me… can you breathe?” I couldn’t answer, I wanted to scream ‘no’ but I couldn’t.

“Call 911!” I heard him scream. Lyric ran off as my knight came close. “Hold on okay...You just stay here with us.” He squeezed my hand as tears rolled down my face. My chest was so tight and my heart was pounding out of control. “Just stay…” He commanded me, but my body wasn’t listening. Everything was fading out of my grasp.

 


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