She was a first generation immigrant from somewhere in China. She explained a few times exactly where but all I got out of it was that it was somewhere in China. Her accent was pretty heavy. I had the same amount of clarity around her folk dancing. It had something to do with the harvest and some god or another and a flag that she twirled as she danced.
I was running because he was running and he was being chased. Chased by kids that had chased me before and the last kids I’d want to be tangling with, but the kid being chased was my girlfriend’s little brother so off I went.
Her not far behind me, shrieking the whole way.
I intersected the biggest kid and told him to cease and desist. He did his talking non-verbally and was soon on top of me raining down blows to my face. When he’d had enough he got up and resumed the chase.
Eventually I made it back up to my feet and slowly made my way off in the direction I saw him headed. I heard a loud pop that startled me. It wasn’t long afterwards that I came upon him, walking slowly and his white shirt drenched in red blood. He looked up at me, his eyes wide.
The blood wasn’t his.
I looked past him and saw my girlfriend on the ground. Motionless. Next to her was her brother crying wildly, still holding the gun. He was sobbing in a primal way that made my heart ache.
I looked back at the big kid and when I made eye contact he began to cry as well.
He wasn’t allowed to cry in this scenario.
I went after him. Like I should have the first time. In the way that would have saved my girlfriend’s life. My rage seemed inexhaustible.
I remember liking it.
I didn’t kill him but so damn close that when I finally got off of him he might have been dead for all I knew at the time.
So that’s why I’m standing here with this red flag and her little brother. Trying to figure out the moves and the steps to a dance I’d seen her do a dozen times or more. Her… from somewhere in China. Something to do with the harvest.
Responsibility is a funny thing.