Frowning, I sit in the back of the car as we pull up
to the Book Cafe the next morning. If it wasn’t for our addiction to coffee, we would’ve stayed in the hotel. But
alas, coffee fuels us, and we were definitely not going to drink the hotel’s.
"I’m gonna stay in the car. You two get me my normal." I say as Jess parks the car and turns it off.
"Swiss chocolate?" Julie remarks, still disgusted that I prefer that flavor.
"Yes Jules, it’ll always be my fav." I add an eye roll for drama.
"We’ll be back in a few." Jess comments, opening the door and getting out. I watch as they walk down
the walk way. Slowly I open the car door and enter the front seat. I start the ignition and turn the radio on.
A familiar song comes on, and I hum along to it. ‘If You’re Gone’ by Matchbox Twenty comes on the radio, and I
choke back tears. Yes, it moves me, but I just can’t do it. I can’t get past what they did.
Thirty minutes pass, and I begin to wonder what happened to my friends. Decided to investigate, I pull the keys
from the ignition and open the car door. The chilly wind of Maine crashes into my face, and I instinctively pull
my coat closer. The Book Cafe looms in the distance, but there’s no buzz around it. Odd as it seems, I still proceed
down the walk way and enter the shop.
As I scan the room, I note that everyone is laying on the floor. "Julie? Jess?" I call out as the door
behind me shuts. A man with piercing green eyes and brown hair steps in front of me, and we stare each other down.
My eyes land on the hand gun in his hand, and I look back into his eyes.
The gun shot could barely be heard, but the pain was immediate and intense. Once the shock disappeared, I stumbled
over to the table to my right, finally sinking down to the ground. I close my eyes, and place my hands on where
the pain is coming from, the upper abdominal region. I hear the door shut, and then the screams and speaking of
everyone in the cafe.
"Maria!" Jess yells, coming to me and placing her hands on my arms. "Call an ambulance!" She
yells, looking into my eyes.
"You’ll be okay Mar, you hang on!" Julie, who kneels down besides me says.
"You know me. I’m tough. We can’t have Megan being the lead forever." I say, my eyes becoming heavy,
my speech slow and slurred. Finally I give into the deep darkness that overwhelms me.
"I don’t care what she told you last night! Get her family to the hospital! She’s type AB-, and that’s a rare
type! Her family may be able to donate blood!" Is the first thing I hear Jess yelling as I wake up. I’m unable
to move my head, and begin to panic when Julie soothingly says, "Don’t worry, you’re in a neck brace. They’re
taking you to the hospital."
"No family." I choke out in a whisper.
"What honey? Hold on, they gotta put you in the ambulance." Julie replies.
"No family." I say again.
"Just get them down there! Call them and tell them there’s an emergency!" Jess yells in the background.
"They’ll never believe it’s her!" The man’s voice yells back.
"Then don’t tell them it’s her. Just do it Hank!" Jess yells back.
"Don’t do it Hank. No family." I whisper, and give in to the darkness once again.
"Hispanic female, age 23, approximately 5’ 9". Gunshot wound to the upper abdominal region, lost about
two pints of blood. In and out of consciousness. Blood type AB-." The paramedic says to the doctor as they
rush me into the emergency room.
"Can you tell me your name?" The middle-age male doctor asks me.
"Maria Fitz-Fitzgerald." I say through the stabbing pain in my belly.
"Well, Maria, we’re gonna take good care of you." The doctor replies. A swarm of nurses and other medical
people come into view and begin milling around, each with a special purpose I suppose.
Once again the darkness threatens to over come me. I fight it for as long as I could, but finally relent.
"Hank, what the hell’s going on? Sam said you said it was urgent. What could be more urgent than the Book
Cafe Shooting? I should be down there right-"
"Luis follow me." Hank grimly replies.
"Hank, what the hell is my family doing here?" Luis asks as they round the corner.
"I called them all. You guys need to give blood." Hank informs Luis as they approach the other Lopez-Fitzgeralds.
"I don’t understand." Luis remarks angrily. "You called me down here to give blood when I can do
it any other day?"
"Your sister’s life depends on it." Hank urged, stopping in front of Pilar, Miguel, and Theresa. There
were just as curious as Luis.
"Theresa? She looks fine to me." Luis commented.
"Hank, I don’t need blood." Theresa insisted.
"Not you, Paloma. She was shot." A female voice called out, and a short tan blonde walked their way.
She wore blue jeans and a green sweater.
"Excuse me?" Luis stated.
"Paloma was shot. She’s AB-, it’s a very rare blood type. You all need to give blood and hope one of you is
a match. We’ll explain later." The woman replies. A nurse appears behind her, and then leads the Lopez-Fitzgerald
family to a closed off room.
"They’re gonna kill her when they find out she’s been in town and not visited them." Hank remarks to
Jess, who stayed behind.
"Not if I kill her family first. Each one of them disgusts me." Jess replies.
"Well, the best we can do is hope one of them has the same blood type." Hank comments, sinking down into
a chair. Jess does the same thing. "They’re gonna have lots of questions."
"And I’ll give them all the answers I know. But some things are gonna have to wait ‘til she answers them herself."
"Her and Luis used to have some pretty heated arguments. I’d hate to be in there when they are together."
"I hope she rips him from limb to limb." Jess sneers, disgust and contempt in her eyes.