I shook my head and turned to the digital clock on my dresser. I was squinting, but the numbers were still blurry. My guess was 4:30 in the morning. I almost cried as I pulled the blankets over my face, knowing that I wouldn't be able to go back to sleep----even if I wasn't afraid to.
Who the.....? I sat up, trying to decide whether to be mad about someone calling me this late...or my basic ringtone.
I stumbled back off the bed and over towards my dresser, combing through the empty wrappers and half finished papers. God, I could barely see, but I didn't feel like putting my contacts on. Where were my glasses?
Finally, under all the mess, I found the bright phone screen. I looked at the caller ID and squinted, I didnt know this number either. Sighing, I grabbed a few of the wrappers and threw them in the trash. I paused, noticing a piece of lined paper that had been ripped into hundreds of pieces. And next to it was a deserted Valentine candy wrapper. It had been white chocolate----my favorite and was shaped into a heart the size of my palm. There were still tear stains from my cheep maskara on it. Gosh, I wish I never ate it.
I glanced down at the phone, still vibrating in my hand. Should I answer? Maybe it was an employer calling back. I had applied to so many places that I didn't keep count anymore. But then again....why would they call at 4:30 in the morning?
".....Hello? Who is this---"
"Hi," A man's voice answered from the other end, "Does a Baani Patel live here?"
I mean....that's literally what I was just trying to say. "Who's asking?"
"Oh, well, maybe you can help me⸺"
"What?" I interrupted, "I said who is thi----"
"You don't need to know that." The man cheerfully laughed, "But, you have been invited⸺"
I rubbed the space in between my eyebrows. Okay.... "You're kind of rude to be trying to sell me someth---"
There was a pause on the other end before a short beep signaled that he hung up.
Whaaat??? This little fuck just called me at four in the morning talking about "you don't need to know" and then he's going to hang up on me?!? I ran and flopped back on my bed and sighed with total annoyance.
....I hope he steps on a Lego.
I jumped and hit my hip on the edge of the bed. God! Reaching in the darkness, I re-retrieved my phone. If it was that salesman again I was going to file a lawsuit.
"Is this..." A woman's voice could be heard from the other end. She sounded....distressed. "....Calina Patel's residents?"
I looked over at the clock. It was 4:37.....and it begins, "No, Calina doesn't live here. That's my----"
"Are you sure, because⸺"
"I mean....yeah?" I snapped, annoyed that in only a span of ten minutes, two people have called me and then cut me off. And it was kind of my fault. I answered the fucking phone.
I dunno....I rubbed forehead, suddenly feeling a pounding in my head. Maybe it was a good thing, a distraction. There were only a certain amount of mind numbing assignments and youtube workouts you could do before your mind comes back to what's important. I felt like half of myself, I lost all my artistic talent----hadn't lifted a pen in weeks, my webtoon series has gone dry. I was starting to wonder if I even should be going to school for Cartoon Animation.
"Well," The woman said cautiously, "Maybe you can help me."
Oh. I forgot she was still on the phone.
"What does that even mean?!" I sighed and ran a hand over my face, "Look, I'm just a broke college kid. What, you think I have money just coming out my ass?!¨
"Your Baani right?"
I didn't respond. She sounded....again, distressed...nervous. I felt bad for snapping at her.
"I'm sorry for calling you so early in the morning, but, Calina Patel had an accident in one of the labs last night."
I sat up, fully awake now. "Who is this?"
"I'm a nurse at Northwest Hospital. My name is Macy."
"Ok...." I brushed a piece of hair out my face and glanced at my keys on the dresser. "Is she hurt...?"
I blinked. Damn. That was a dumb question. She was in the hospital...I...this wasn't good.
"She checked into Northwest Hospital early this morning."
I hung up and reached under the bed for my flip flops. I had to make sure she was okay. I threw my arms into the sleeves of my coat and grabbed my car keys. Pulling my glasses out of my coat pocket, I pulled open the door and slipped out into the hallway. What did mom get into this time? Why was she in the hospital at four in the fucking morning?
"There she is!"
I pushed my glasses up the bridge of my nose and glanced down the hallway. There were two buff men in jeans and dark hoodies running towards me. I blinked and shakily locked my door before turning to sprint in the other direction. What the fuck was going on?! Were they after me?? I glanced over my shoulder as they bulldozed their way down the hallway. Who the fuck were they, running-backs?
"Get back here!"
"Your under arrest!"
I ran to the end of the hallway and turned the corner. I was under arrest? I skidded to a stop and turned around. They slowed down too and pulled out their guns. I gulped as the barrows were aimed straight at my chest.
....I just ran from the cops!? But where were their uniforms? Were they going to shoot me? Why were they after me? Was...was I going to die?
I held up my hands and backed away. "What are you arresting me for? Where's your badge?"
One of the men held up what looked like a badge, but I was too far away to read it. I gulped as my heart beat magnified as he raised the gun to point at my head. What was I supposed to do? I shouldn't move. If I moved they might shoot me, right? And a headshot, at that? I wouldn't be able to survive that.
"What the fuck are you doing? Get down!"
What? He motioned the gun to the ground and I flinched on how close his finger was to the trigger. "Ok...I'm going down on my knees---"
"I didn't ask you to narrate. I told you to get the fuck down."
He moved closer, never taking his aim off my head. I swallowed, my throat becoming dryer than bone marrow and I slowly slid to the ground. The man then stepped behind me and pulled my arms behind my back. I heard the click of the handcuffs before he pulled me to my feet.
Was this...was this actually happening? I-I was being arrested for----?
"You are under arrest for the attempted murder of Calina Patel."
"What?? Whaaat??? That's not possible! She's my mom!"
He pushed me down the hallway. "You have the right to remain silent. All you say can and will be held against you in the court of law."