Just two best friends saving the day

We had been on again off again for about two months. After a spectacular first second third, fourth, fifth, all day, everyday, dates and many late nights building out our art gallery, I would get cold feet, and intense, all-consuming urges to be totally alone.

Specifically drunk and alone chain-smoking in my apartment. My previous love had done quite a number on my self-esteem, and I felt like a piece of litter or a paper bag that used to have glitter in it. I couldn’t see why anyone would want to spend any time with me.

I would tell him it was over and we would both boo hoo on the railroad tracks behind the studio, goodbye sorry! But then because our whole campus was in one building and we both needed the 3D laboratory, I a sculptor and he a designer, I would inevitably see him again. He would be covered in sawdust and smell like a boy, and I would be shaking from the amount of caffeine in my blood. I asked for a lot of help I didn’t need on the saws.

Finally one day, I made a choice. A cute dirty film boy I had been flirting with for months, maybe my entire college career, walked me up 4 flights of stairs and asked me out. Before I could answer, he came around the corner, and we locked eyes. I didn’t even answer the film boy, quietly walked away toward the gravitational force that was him. It was like being hit by lighting, my whole heart glowed, and I felt like there was finally someone else in the room.

That day, he had borrowed a scooter from a friend. On the back, I squeezed his broad shoulders as we rode to an art opening at this massive Spanish style villa on the lake. It was warm for April, and I had all these pale colored layers on. An ivory cardigan, the best grey blue tights, and soft brown boots that I rubbed religiously with linseed oil from my painting class.

Inside the mansion, we walked around parquet floors to admire century after century of strange family heirlooms behind cabinet glass. Alone in a room together, I touched a sculpture deliberately, sassily, and sensually as if I had made it myself, and I thought he would have a heart attack.

Nervously, he explained how everything in the room was constructed. I talked about lacquers.

We decided to get Mexican food. A slurry of dishes all melted together. I let him finish most of my plate because I was pretending to be dainty. Two margaritas in, it was time to leave, and I wanted to drive.

That was a really shitty idea. Today was my first day driving a scooter. And while I had driven there correctly, my dainty act of not eating had caught up to me. I was slow, confident, and stupid. We both got on, and I hit the gas far too hard. 10 feet in, we tipped the scooter over a sidewalk, and into the street.

Immediately. I felt the intense pain of the concrete, and gravel crush into my knees like it had when I was a kid. I didn’t feel it long though, because all I heard was his gasp of pain.

The scooter had fallen onto him. He repeated something I don’t remember twice, and then there were headlights. Two men, swearing at us about how stupid we were picked it off of us, and we sat in the road blinking at each other.

His eyebrow was bleeding, and his ankle. My knees and hands had road rash. But he was worse, he couldn’t put any pressure on his left leg. His huge brown eyes looked at me without any idea of what to do. I was so ashamed and blinked back big tears.

He was hurt, and it was my fault.

The men left, swearing, we thanked them, but they drove away quickly, embarrassed for us, or probably because they thought the cops would show up.

But they were wrong; instead, two beautiful Angels did. I had crashed the bike right next to the hottest latin-dancing-dress-coded-bouncered club, and these two beauties had stopped to help on their way to parking their roomy escalade.

One picked up the bike (at first she tried to put it in the car!), and after finding out it weighted 500lbs, we hid it behind the restaurant locked.

She introduced herself, and said, I knew I drove down that street for a reason, don’t you worry we are going to take care of you.

As we got into the car the small, slim one, K, hugged me tightly and said it was okay. T helped him in, and we drove across the city to the only urgent care I could think of.

Their long hair floated into the darkness of the backseats and the red glowing stereo system lit their exquisite, strappy manicured outfits, beaded and sparkling. My shame grew. Now I was ruining their night too. I had no money to help. My mind was still fuzzy. He grabbed my hand. We weren’t crying, but we were both in pain.

Both girls talked amongst themselves and to us simultaneously, explaining their lives and their families in succinct clips.

My baby brother, he died in an accident. I have always wanted to help him, if someone just could have helped him. Now I get to help you. It is my lucky night.

They belted out songs in unison. Their phones blew up over and over with custom ringtones and they criticized eachothers suitors together, and endorsed the other’s reply. You know, just two best friends saving the day.

At a red light, some girls leaned out the window. Nice car Shaniqua one said. Another in the backseat, yeah Shaquanda. Without missing a beat our driver shot back, Okay, nice Honda KATIE. STEPHANIE. Lameass. The angels laughed. The Honda riders defeatedly rolled up the window and turned up the EDM.

T responded by sticking out her tongue.

A responded by holding my hand tighter.

The Angels wanted our phone numbers and gave us theirs to text them as they dropped us off at urgent care. They wanted pictures. They wanted to be friends. I hugged them and kissed both their cheeks, and their shimmery finishes transferred to mine, proof they were there after they walked out into the night, six-inch heels snapping back to the car.

Now entirely alone with A in the sterile room, I could see the intensity of the destruction. My tights and shoes were scuffed and bloody, my wrist jammed and scratched. His eyebrow was split, and a big red scrape covered his ankle.

They had to do X rays.

They prepared us for stitches.

This is my first time getting a scar, he told me, as they shot topical numbing into his forehead. My arms were still shaking, I wanted to leave or die, or do anything or be anywhere else than face the person whose *perfect* skin I had just shattered. I looked down at my bloody knees. I wasn’t very careful with myself, or anyone it seemed. I had plenty of scars.

I’m so so so so sorry I said. Then I repeated it. And then a third time. I didn’t really think there was any going back after this, a wrecked bike. An emergency room trip. My selfish need to be social, drunk, and adored and my equally powerful need to be with him.

He took my hand, It’s okay. It’s okay. He paused, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I watched diligently as they closed his face up, watched him wince as they wrapped his ankle. His hurt was my hurt, and I willed myself to feel all of his pain too. As I kissed each fingertip I thought to myself, I am not leaving anymore. This is a gift.

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