Hitting Asphalt.

She’s strong tugs on my jacket level me out enough to get my foot up, and kick him in the face with a hard thud. The lanky hands releasing me instantly, and I come down hard on top of She. Scrambling quickly to my feet, and swiftly hopping the metal link fence. Boots hitting the asphalt of the sidewalk, and I’m running. Turn around to see if she’s behind me, and she is. Awkwardly sprinting in those clear plastic plat forms. Her long curly hair still wet from the shower, panic all over her red face.

Run, Angie, run.

It’s all I can hear, all I can conceive to do. I’m hardly even thinking about whether or not She will catch up to me. I just want to get as far away from that house, as possible. The street lamps zipping past me, the feet don’t even feel like they’re touching the ground. In my minds eye, the paranoia coursing through me, I see our enemies chasing me. The men, irate and vindictive. Tearing down the street. Catching up to us. Tearing me back by the hair, and taking me down to the ground. But they’re not. They didn’t even chase us, but everything in my body is demanding me to run. My brain is screaming, I’m not safe. My body reacting without thought. I can taste the blood in the back of my throat. The asthma kicking in, but I don’t give a shit. Turn back again, there She is. Still behind me. Running. Those awful shoes. This time she calls my name. I can hear it, frantic, overlapping with the hissing of wind in my ears. The pounding thuds of my heart. The loud gasping breathes from my mouth. She calls my name again. My running turning to a jog, and slowing to an exhausted tread. Leaning over, my hands on my knees. Choking with each winded pant. The tears on my cheeks drying quickly, and itching my skin. I can’t breathe. The heels coming up behind me, her hand on my shoulder.

I just remember feeling stunned. Like when I saw her face, and realized we were outside and I could feel the air on my face. Something inside, clicked, and I just went numb. Detached. Shut down. Seeing her there, in front of me. The curls of her hair wet, blowing in the wind. The redness of her cheeks, the way the freckles stood out more that way. The red rimmed, sad eyes looking at mine. My heart broke, and I just stopped feeling. That was it.

We walked after that, quiet and remote.

Somewhere in Quebec.

I have no idea where.

Hitched a ride with some passer-by.

“Where you girls headed?”

“Ottawa..downtown.”

“Hop in.”

The drive there, an awkward attempt at idle conversation.

Stepping out of the car, and standing on the side walk.

The streets were soundless that night.

The panic begins to sink in, with the silence of the after hours.

Ironically enough, distasteful even, three things were about to offer us an alternative to a penniless, cold night on the street.

The clear plastic plat forms.

The fact that She, had managed to escape with her purse.

And the over weight Asian student who’s just crossing the street, about to proposition us into performing illicit acts for money.

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