• “Damn it all,” a young man screams as he runs through a sidewalk full of people with a midday sun pounding on his skin. He stood at 5’4’’, which did not help matters through this crowd of people that stood at least a few inches above him. He ran as fast as he could in the direction of an intersection. Across the intersection was his destination. The crosswalk held the little white man that resembled his leaping body. He reached it, as the man turned into a flashing red hand. It was a very long intersection, and with his short legs, he didn’t know if he could make it before the light turned green. Halfway down the road, the light changed. The young man cursed. Someone who wasn’t paying attention to what lay in front of him began to accelerate while the man appeared in front of the car.

    “s**t,” he yelled leaping backwards as the car came at him. The side view mirror hit his side, sending his body in a spiral. Luckily, the man could stay on his feet. His ribs burned with pain. He had to continue. Fortunate for him the people in the other cars had seen him and stopped their cars. One young lady got out of her car to help the man. Two children sat in the back of the car asking their ‘mommy’ what was happening.

    “Timmy,” the woman gasped in a slight English accent as she ran to his side. That was his name: Tim Casola. He couldn’t move, and his vision was growing blurry from the pain that shot through his body. At the sound of his name, Timmy turned his head.

    “Kerry,” he coughed realizing who she was. Why was she there? Shouldn’t she be in class, Tim thought. That is where he was headed, to his history class at the community college.

    “Are you ok,” Kerry asked rhetorically, because she had seen what happened. The car that had done this was already on its way without stopping, a classic hit and run. Kerry grabbed Timmy’s free arm and tried to help him to her car. He didn’t resist. Why should he? Timmy wasn’t going to make it to class now anyway. As they both got into the car, the two children began to fill the air with questions.

    “Quiet,” Kerry commanded as she began to drive through the intersection. They immediately quieted down, a silent confirmation of what would happen if they didn’t. Tim was breathing heavily, but his vision came back slightly as he relaxed his body into the chair. He looked over to see Kerry. Kerry Williston was one of the most beautiful women Timmy had ever seen. Her blonde hair was long, but pulled back in a ponytail; however, that didn’t take away from its radiance. It flowed like rays from the sun down her back. Her blue worried eyes reminded him of dusk sky, full of stars yet still deeply colored. Her body didn’t show any evidence of her child bearing. She was perfect, but Tim knew better than to seek something far out of his reach.

    Tim was short, and more on the scrawny side, an awkward combination. Which made him look younger than 21, his actual age. He worked as a lowly bartender as he tried to gain some sort of degree at community college. The only thing that kept him going there was to see Kerry there with him. To maybe share a few words with her. Anything as long as she was around. He had always hated school, but she made it worth going to. Despite that, Tim knew she would never be interested in someone as short as him. The pain from his side brought him back to reality.

    “There’s a store around here to get some ice before I take you to the hospital,” Kerry stuttered with a trace of anxiety entering her voice. Tim could use the ice. He didn’t even want to know what his side looked like. Hopefully it was better than it felt. Kerry turned into a small plaza.

    “But Mommy, you said we were going to the movies,” one of the children, a girl, whined.

    “Well first we have to get Tim here some ice sweetie,” Kerry answered sweetly. Tim listened to her sweet voice. It was more lovely than anything else he had ever heard.

    “Fine,” the girl replied with a groan. The little boy remained quiet, intrigued by a toy that held little to no shape. As she parked Kerry got out of the car and helped her children out first before going to Tim’s door.

    “Stay here,” Kerry said as she put the window’s down. Kerry took her kids into the store, and Tim was left alone. He watched as two teenage looking boys entered the store. Almost simultaneous with their entrance, an older man yelled at them to get out, using more profane words than that.

    “Good ol’ Mr. Babblecock,” Tim laughed. The laugh sent wave of pain through his body. The older gentleman was a friend of Tim’s. He always came to give patronage after his class. He never did like teenager’s ever since some tried to steal from him. They tried but never got through with it because Mr. Babblecock was just a man in his late thirties and had a very built physique for his age. To make a long story short, the teens never tried it again. Tim enjoyed the older man’s company usually because behind the man’s rough exterior was a rather kind hearted man. Mr. Babblecock lived with a blind man, so he knew how to be patient and helpful. He just didn’t tolerate any young kid’s antics.

    “Kerry’s been in there for a while,” Tim said quietly. He looked at the time, and they had been in there for twenty minutes. Before Tim could think anything else, he heard a gunshot. His eyes dilated in fear. He could see through the window that someone was holding up the store. “Who tries this in the middle of the day?” Those were the only words to leave his mouth. Then Tim reminded himself that the neighborhood they were in wasn’t one of the best to say the least. He tried to feel for the door in order to leave. His trembling hand found the handle after a minute. The alarm did not go off as expected, which made Timmy curse lightly. He left the car almost falling from the pain. He needed to do something, because no one around here seemed to be doing anything

    “The one day I forget my phone,” Timmy cursed. He stumbled towards the door, where he saw a man in a hoodie holding a gun towards Mr. Babblecock. He saw Kerry holding her children close mouthing something to them her eyes on the verge of tears. She looked up to see Tim there at the door. Her eyes widened, and she gave the motion to go away. Where would he go? He couldn’t leave her there. He needed to do something. Without thinking Tim walked through the door limping hand still at his side. The bell the door announced his arrival.

    “Who the hell are you,” the thief screamed bringing the gun towards Tim. Tim didn’t know what he was doing. He shouldn’t be here. His mind screamed for him to run, but he couldn’t. “Back the ******** up, or I will shoot your a**.” Tim backed towards the wall. He hadn’t planned what to do. How dumb could he be? Tim watched as the man shifted the gun between him and Mr. Babblecock.

    “I need some ice,” Tim coughed as his ribs attacked him. The gun remained on him. He had to keep it that way in order for Babblecock to do something. He was lowering his hand slowly under the counter, as Timmy began to move slowly to the side in order to grab the man’s attention.

    “Stop moving,” the larcenist screamed as his hands grew visibly tighter on the gun. Tim’s heart skipped a few beats as his legs moved slowly towards the icebox. As his sight grew blurry and palms sweaty, Tim could hear a soft voice in the background. It was a female voice that weaved in and out beautifully through the cluster of invisible notes on the walls. In his peripheral vision, Tim saw that it was Kerry singing to her children. It was a lullaby. It even calmed Tim’s nerves indirectly. She had everything.

    “I said stop moving the ******** around.” The gunman’s angry voice brought Tim back to reality. He could see Mr. Babblecock nod at towards Tim. Tim breathed heavily, closed his eyes, and moved one more, tiny step. Then he heard it: A large metal to flesh hit, a gunshot, and a scream. Then Tim opened his eyes, the thief was on the ground gun sliding towards him. Where had the bullet gone? Tim’s mind grew blurry as blood came from his side. The same side he’d been hit on. The world grew black. He looked to the side before falling. Kerry was safe. Then Tim fell to the floor. He was still conscious. His body was limp. Kerry ran to his side.

    “Timmy,” Kerry exclaimed. She held his face. The children were crying.

    “You have a beautiful voice,” Tim said softly with hardly any air left in his lungs. His body was numb. Better than the pain he felt before. “You should do something with it.”

    “Don’t worry about that,” Kerry cried, tears falling on his body. Unknown to him, Kerry longed to be a professional singer, but had a hard time singing in public. “You were the first to hear my voice outside the kids.” She continued to cry.

    “Hopefully not the last,” Tim coughed. And then the world round him went blank. Maybe she did like him. Maybe not. Tim wanted to wake up. Maybe he would.

    Maybe not.