“People tried to call 911, family, police, but there was no wifi. The driver was dead and his walkie-talkie was broken.
We were stuck.
We had to walk.
And I wanted to survive.”
I was walking toward the subway station with earbuds ringing with the sound of 50 Cent in my ears to help me walk on. When my tired legs got to sit down on the subway seat…
“Kasye,” Mom said.
I looked up to see Grace (my sister) holding her hand out. I rolled my eyes to Mom. Her green eyes pointed at my hand. I knew what my sister wanted. I stopped the music on my phone, pulled out my earbuds from my ear, and handed everything to Grace. Grace played a game while listening to Justin Bieber. Grace says she’s a “Belieber” (she’s obsessed with Justin Bieber). Then, all of a sudden, the subway lights went out. I heard someone scream, then the subway car stopped. I heard a huge CREAK and then the subway car fell sideways.
My head throbbed. I heard my sister cry. People were holding up their phone flashlights for light.
“Listen up!” a man’s voice said, “Point your flashlights at the subway door. We’ll try to open the doors.”
“What will happen after that?” a voice said.
Everybody was silent, shining their flashlights on the door.
“We walk,” he said.
“One… two… three… push!” Creeeak went the door.
“Oh –– ” I covered Grace’s ears.
“It’s open,” the guy said.
The silence broke and everybody started toward the door. I went out into the track and saw more closely the guy who opened the door. He had light, straight, gold hair, sky-colored eyes with a hint of jade. Tall and strong. Right when I walked out of the car, he started to walk with me.
“Hi,” he finally said.
“Hi,” I said back.
“What’s your name?” he asked.
“Should I tell you my name?” I asked.
“I’m Carter,” Carter smiled.
“I’m Kasye.” I said.
“Cute name,” he said.
“I look like a poppy,” I blushed.
“No, you look more like a rose.”
I blushed more.
I was scared. It was cold. I squeezed my sister’s hand.
“It’s okay,” Carter said, rubbing my back.
People tried to call 911, family, police, but there was no wifi. The driver was dead and his walkie-talkie was broken.
We were stuck.
We had to walk.
And I wanted to survive.
I put Grace on my shoulders to try to call 911. I shivered. Walked to the right of the tracks where there was a hill in the middle of the tracks going down, so we didn’t get electrified. Mom was helping an old woman whose leg was broken.
“I’m scared too,” Carter said.
“Can I trust you?” I asked in my serious voice.
“Yes,” he said, not smiling but looking me in the eye.
I put Grace down. Then I hugged Carter and cried on his shoulder. He hugged back. And in that moment I felt safe.
Dead mice and trash covered the area, sewage and mud pooled into my shoes, and the worst part, I was in love.
Yes. Carter. My heart thumped in me as he came closer.
“It’s so hot in here!” Grace complained.
“Go ask Mom for water,” I said.
Grace was right. People had bare skin showing right now. Even Carter had his sweater off.
“STOP! Don’t drink that, honey!” a woman’s voice shouted.
I turned to look as a kid found a puddle of swampy, muddy, sandy sewage water. The worst part was the kid put a scoop in his hand and gulped it down. The mom ran over as the kid threw up on the track. This was getting bad. Luckily, there was a doctor with his tools in his bag. The doctor made the kid throw up again. And the problem was that more people got sick. Even Mom did, and Carter said he would wait with us until she got better.
You might think I was crazy, but I met a stranger who was crazy cute and I now was crazy in love with. That’s a lot of crazy.
“Over the past hours,” Carter said, “I feel the need to admit something… I…” he blushed, “lo –– ”
“Love you,” I finished.
“I love you too,” Carter said.
Then I learned up and looked him in the eye and we kissed.
We walked and walked.
And when we saw a bright light behind us, I thought it was heaven. There was screaming. I heard Carter yell, “TRAIN!”
He pushed me right as the train flew over him.
At first, I was confused. But then I saw red. A puddle of red. And then I saw legs, feet, arms, more red.
“NO!” I said as I realized it was Carter’s body.
He was dead.
Mom put her hand on my shoulder. “Let’s keep going,” she tried to sooth my wrinkling heart but like a sharpie it stayed.
We walked three more hours. I was devastated the whole way, crying and barely able to keep my balance. But then we saw another bright light, this time not coming toward us.
“Yes!” people yelled, rushing toward the light. I did too.
Finally, we jumped off the tracks and on the platform.
“Ahh!” people yelled. And then everything went blank.
I woke up to beige walls and curtains. Hospital. I felt rested, calm, but I remembered Carter and his body sucked in a red bloodbath. Mom and Grace walked in and gave me a kiss on the head and a heart-warming hug. I got out of the hospital and looked up at the frostbite sky and thought, Peace, finally, peace.
I walked home, my feet crunching in the snow. Although Grace had crutches, we were fine. And although Mom was in a wheelchair, we were fine. And although my heart had one huge piece missing, we were fine. Fine, or good, or okay, or not too bad. Like a bird flying and soaring… and then falling in an ocean, drowning, and dying, never to see the light again. That’s fine to me.
That night, I met Grace in Mom’s room for nightmares haunting me, reseeing the horrors I saw. And then we all woke up and played Sorry the game.
Three Days Later…
I woke up to the chirping of birds. I put on my robe and grabbed a mug and made coffee. Mom was in the kitchen making blueberry pancakes. I grabbed some and sat on the couch. I watched the news and finally something caught my attention.
The headline: “One More Boy Walks Out From Subway… A Boy Named Carter.”
“Carter!?” I yelled. I ran to the hospital, only to see Carter outside in the snow staring at me.
I ran and threw myself into his arms. We fell in a pile of snow and rolled around, hugging.
“How?! What?” I said.
“You left me there!”
“What? I thought you were dead!”
“Didn’t you want a funeral with MY BODY?”
“We were scared! You would’ve held us behind!” I said, crying. Carter looked at me with a bitter face. The tears burned with flames and then froze in the cold.
“Do you love me?” I asked with the bitter face mask still on.
He didn’t seem to know how to answer.
“I….” But I knew his answer. “Don’t,” he said.
My face softened and turned from surprise to pity.
“What did I do!?” I yelled.
“You left me. I’ll never be able to play football again!”
He walked away.
“Do you… hate me?” I said out of breath.
At first, I thought he didn’t hear me, but he stopped. He turned and he was crying too. Then he walked away.
My legs ached, my head ached, and my heart ached. I went to the hospital and I waited for my appointment. Outside, in the silent waiting room, I heard, “… you know you’ll die soon.”
“I… know,” said a voice I knew was Carter.
Then crying. His mom. And I was tearing up the memories of Carter.
One Week Later…
Carter was dead. Gone. And I was at his funeral.
“We will remember Carter…” I was sick in the belly. Hurt, and dissolved. My life, my heart, gone.