Eye for an Eye Ch. 2bynoplex©
To everyone waiting: The stories are coming. I fell in the middle of some personal problems toppled on to a move to a brand new university. So the past few weeks have been hectic. I have the second chapter for Dade, which is a year overdue, the fifth chapter of Magical Essence, second chapter of Aerial Knights, and you are reading the second chapter of Eye for an Eye. Enjoy.
One of the most bizarre feelings happens just after you are woken from a sound sleep. The few brief seconds after the antagonizing alarm sounds on the radio-clock sitting next to your bed. Then the next minute follows the groggy realization of exactly what just happened and for the brief second the brain questions the correctness of the digital readout.
It is much different than waking up in the middle of the night to a blinking red clock instead of the ear piercing alarm that has been synchronized across all brands. The bleeding numbers almost scream aloud, 'Why are you awake at 4:37 in the morning?' For a select-few their favorite station begins playing some crude wakeup music or a morning drive talk show for the working stiffs of the region.
There is a small part of the population that does not said method to wakeup. The innards of their body seem to just know exactly what time to rise out of bed, which could be constituted as almost a superhuman ability to subconsciously tell what time it is. Then snap out of a deep sleep at nearly the pace of greyhound bursting from the starting gates. These people are usually labeled as a "morning person." Dave was exactly that. When most teenagers were sleeping off the prior nights agenda he was up bright and early ready to start the Saturday routine. It was a rare day that he slept in past eight o'clock in the morning. In college this could the time that some students go to bed after a night of power-drinking.
Nevertheless at the strike of nine-thirty-two the shower inside Dave's half of the suite turned on. The majority of college students tend to live in what a person would consider a "normal" dormitory. This would include another student, a half-working or stuck closet, a few pieces of cheaper-than-Ikea furniture, and of course two just-barely twin beds. For the people who wish to spend a little bit more on their housing there exists more quality housing arrangements. These consist of a common-living area, kitchenette, and two rooms to the left and right of the common living area. The rooms are furnished with a little more expensive furniture (this time Ikea got the bid) and each room has its own bathroom. Instead of living with a roommate he decided to front the price for the full-single room.
The events of the prior night consisted of Dave staying up a good portion of the night scratching down his cast with a coat hanger. Every once and awhile he would be sure that his guest of honor did not soil his sheets. After a few successful hours of keeping her food down he decided to call it a night and passed out quickly. Danielle was sleeping off a pint and a half of cheap vodka when Dave skillfully hobbled into his bathroom at ten past nine after writing some sticky-notes with the trusty Black-Sharpie.
The sound of the shower had just finished filtering through the hardened doors when Danielle smelled the unfamiliar fabric softener on her sheets. As she sprung up into a sitting position the sticky-note attached to her forehead caused the natural sense of awareness to click on. She pulled her hands out from under the sheets and reached for the purple piece of paper. The note was written in clean print with a black-sharpie marker, there was only a single sentence.
'Do not worry. We only took the left leg.'
A panic-stricken Danielle reached for her left leg to find that despite what the cruel sticky-note spoke of indeed her leg was still attached. A sigh of frustration emitted from her as she crumbled the note and threw it aside on the floor. She spent the next few minutes surveying the room that she was sleeping in. After confirming that she indeed had all of her clothes on and trusting her body's instincts that her headache was in fact due to her inability to pay more than four-ninety-five for alcohol. She remembered the semi-crippled form of the man she met earlier in that day. The mind reeled through possible names and finally settled on Dave. The walk through the campus and the eventual trek up the stairs led them to where they are at now also found their way out of her short-term alcohol aided memory palate. She could only assume by any natural scientific process that it was his dorm room.
It looked like a normal male college dorm room. There was exactly one computer set up on the far corner, a few posters on the walls, and a television set up in direct line-of-sight of the bed that she was sitting up in. She had never been in one of these "upgraded" rooms and therefore did not understand what the light under the crack of the door directly ahead led to. She peeled herself out of bed and walked across the room. Her hands pushed the door open quietly and peeked in. At first the lights caused her eyes to go through that painful morning hangover transition between a dim-lit room and a properly lit bathroom.
Dave had a towel around his waist and he was shaving at the sink. Danielle's eyes followed the scars down his body from the car crash. Each and every one seemed to almost emit its own aura of pain and carrying a story alongside it. Despite the clothing that he was wearing the prior day she noticed more of his body now. He was definitely in shape. The arm muscles showed the wear-and-tear of using the crutches day in and day out. After a few minutes of staring Dave turned around to see her unexpectedly.
"Oh, I see that you have decided to join the land of the living" he spoke quietly as he reached for his shirt that was folded on the toilet. He looked at her for a few seconds before she realized he was talking to him.
"Yeah...yes" she decided to reply after those few seconds of looking like a bumbling idiot. It was an awkward position for her to be in. She did not exactly know this guy, but he went out of his way to help her.
"And so the silence begins" he laughed at his own crummy joke, "I will be out in a minute Danni."
Dave gave her a wide grin as he looked at her, "That means you can close the door while I get dressed."
She closed the door immediately as-if she was three years old and had just saw Santa Claus. Danielle went over to the bed and sat down. There were so many questions running through her mind at this point. Her eyes searched the room for some semblance and peace of mind. The butterflies in her stomach were not the answer she was looking for though. Dave exited the bathroom a few minutes later as promised and hobbled over to the bed where she was sitting. The whole time she stared him down as he did so. She decided to be the first person to strike.
"I do not know what you want from me but you are not getting any."
He looked at her with his deep blue eyes and grabbed her arm to examine the makeshift gauze-enhanced band-aid that he had crafted for her self-inflicted wound. As most morning hangovers the delay in reaction time had caused her to take a few seconds to notice exactly what he was doing and a little longer to appreciate his first-aid job.
"I put some of this cream I had on it and it should heal up nicely."
Danielle looked at him with a blank face, "What do you want from me?"
"A 'Thank You' would be nice. I am not asking you for anything. You can leave if you wish" he pointed towards the door as he finished his sentence, "if you decide to stay I am going to be making breakfast."
He hobbled over towards the door and shut it abruptly. As the door closed Danielle looked up from her staring point in the middle of the carpet. She did not understand men at all which was mainly because of the childhood she had gone through. She was only three years old when her mother decided to leave her with her abusive father. It took the state a few years to intervene and place her into a foster home. Danielle did not get much better treatment at this place and ended up in and out of foster homes. The whole time she was being abused both mentally and physically. There was sexual abusive at her final foster home just before she entered high school.
At this point she started living with her various boyfriends that she had taken a liking to. The drug habits had formed starting early-on with cigarettes and alcohol. These habits which eventually malformed into marijuana and some over-the-counter medication. When one boyfriend started to abuse her too much she moved to another boyfriend. This continued on through much of the beginning of her high school years.
There is always one teacher in high school that everyone remembers. It could be twenty-seven and one half years since the date of your graduation and still remember George English's lecture on the proper punctuation of an English sentence. Not because of the subject matter that you eventually acquired because of the unorthodox teaching style, but because of the teaching style itself. George English was able to "get down to your level" and make the lecture both interesting and fun. Well, Danielle had the equivalent to George English except this person recognized that she was not only a very smart girl, but she had a very heap amount of problems herself. Most high school teachers look the other way, but this man had a general knack for helping out troubled youths. He had decided to make it a mission of his own to help out Danielle.
The final straw that made her turn around though can be attributed to that man. At the end of her junior year he had a heart attack inside the school and died. She had put aside her drug habits with his help and brought her grades up to amicable levels. This man had put his faith, his time, and his soul into her. When the news finally hit her ears and the feeling washed over her that oh-so-familiar pit in her stomach had dropped. The final year in high school, her senior year, would prove to be her best year for grades. But she fell deeper into a depression that was only aided with her newly founded cutting regimen.
It took a few minutes for her to decide that the emptiness inside of her was due to hunger and not some form of malignant cancer. Danielle circled around the room checking out the various trinkets that had been placed. There were smallish action figures around the computer desk – a few of the Dark Night, Batman, the Man of Steel, and Superman and of course everyone's secretive favorite Iron Man. She trailed her fingers along the keys and the computer on the desktop came alive. Almost magically the screen was painted with a beautiful landscape of green hills of Ireland, or at least, what she presumed to be Ireland. Danielle actually had absolutely no knowledge of Ireland but she seemed to apply the standard that "Green must be Irish" to any landscape that she saw. The scent of breakfast cooking slinked its way under the cracks of the door. The sweet smell of both bacon and corned beef hash beckoned her to open the door. Her mouth began to salivate with the thought of fluffy pancakes, scrambled eggs and toast. She was drawn to the door and turned the handle almost in a deep trance and totally not understanding what she was doing.
"Well, I see that the smells of the morning have brought you a knocking. Go sit down. I'll have the food done soon," Dave spoke to her without turning his attention from the stove. He flipped a pancake with a swift idle movement while watching the highlights of the hockey game on ESPN.
"So are you one of those comic book freaks?"
"Absolutely not. I just did not have my fill of Barbie and Ken during my childhood."
She made a face and looked around the dorm's common area. The room was a little smaller the double bedroom that Dave had acquired for himself. It had a longer structure and adjoined the two living spaces. There was a small table with four chairs around it, which was in an actuality large enough to seat two. There was a small couch that looked as if it had been through years upon years of college freshman parties. She loathed even being near such a piece of furniture. But through all of the negatives the room had a homely feel, which might have been a result of the great smells coming from the quarter-kitchenette towards the door out in the hallway. Even if she wanted to leave she would have to walk past the tasty food and her stomach told her otherwise.
A few minutes later Dave served her with a potluck of breakfast meals. There were two eggs, two slabs of toast, a pile of corned beef hash and a large glass of orange juice. She looked up at him with her eyes with an almost pleading thankfulness and began to dig into her meal. The girl was far from starving, but anyone that has lived through college understands the pleasure of a properly cooked meal. They both attempted to hold a conversation while eating but ultimately decided that the food was to be attended to before it was to be cold. Dave got up to hobble over to grab some more orange juice and he brought over what was left of the prepared meal.
"Everything was good?" he asked while pouring another glass of juice for the both of them.
"Yeah. It was great." Danielle was not sure of exactly what to talk about. She had just met this guy and he was already treating her better than any guy has ever done so before. She sipped her orange juice and looked out on the snow-covered grass. He followed her gaze and smiled.
"I did not notice it until I had to go retrieve my crutch this morning. It was the perfect night for snow," he laughed slightly to himself, "I do not think I could have picked a better morning to be trudging through an inch and a half of the powdery white stuff."
"I am sorry. Is that what you want to hear? Is that what this is all about?"
She was cut off short as he stood up and took her plate. He had a slightly pained expression on his face. Dave struggled to make his way over to the sink to disperse the kitchenware from his fingers.
"This was about being a nice guy. This was about helping you..."
"I did not ask for your help, David, especially from someone that looks like he can not stand on his own. Maybe you should help yourself before helping others" and with that she got up and pushed past him out the door into the hallway.
He threw the remaining pots and pans into the kitchen sink debating on whether or not he should go after her to give her some words of his own. Dave made his way back into his room after realizing that he would not be able to catch up with her. After all, she was right, he was barely even able to move around himself. He could not even keep up with a cripple in a wheel chair let alone a normal person. He threw his crutches across the room into the wall and laid down on his bed. This was not the morning that he had expected last night while hauling her up the stairs and into his room. After a few moments of staring at the ceiling he fell into a short slumber.
The pounding on the door woke him up after only a couple of minutes of sleep. It took him more than a few moments to relocate himself to the kitchen to look through the peephole. Danielle was standing there exasperated and he pulled the door open slightly to look out at her.
"Didn't finish whatever it is you wanted to say the last time? Fuck you. I am sorry I even tried to help you. After I serve you breakfast you insult me. What do you want now?"
"My jacket..." she looked through the crack in the door and averted her eyes away from his gaze.
Dave swallowed and moved over towards the table where they were eating. He slammed his leg into the chair but caught himself on the chair before he was to fall. He screamed out some more obscenities and kicked the chair across the room. Danielle stood at the doorway observing silently but walking over after a few seconds of him blowing off his steam. She took the jacket off the table and looked at him.
"I am sorry, I didn't mean to..."
With that she moved quickly to the door and closed it behind her. Dave put his hands on his head and fasted through the pain.