This story is by Haru Sone and was part of our 2017 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the Summer Writing Contest stories here.
“What the heck happened here?” I thought, I was taking a nap when I heard Henry scream.
I checked on him and there He was, on the floor covered in blood but conscious. “Go get Josh” he said. So I did.
While running, I tried to wrap my mind around what I had just seen but I couldn’t. Everything had happened so fast. I was on the bed, I guess Henry was watching T.V. then the bell rang, he opened the door and that’s all. Henry was on the floor. How did this happen? Why? It didn’t make sense, nothing made sense.
I crossed streets without looking at the signals or the cars. I passed by Tito’s bodega and heard: “Hey my friend, why so fast?”, but I kept going. Everything was so overwhelming, the buildings, the people, the noise, and all that was driving me crazy. I didn’t know for how long I had been running but it was getting dark and cold. My heart was pounding, my head hurt but I didn’t care. I had to get Josh, that was the mission. A lot of memories came to my mind in that moment, like the first time I met Henry. I was already a two-tour veteran and this new guy came trying to tell me what to do. He didn’t even salute, he just said “Oh my God, the famous Wolverine”. After that, we became inseparable, I had his back and he had mine, till this day he still has it.
When we came back from our last tour, I had PTSD and I didn’t know what to do with my life. All I knew was how to be a soldier but I couldn’t do that anymore. Henry was there for me, he gave me a home, he gave me a purpose. If I’m not good enough to keep my unit safe the least I could do was to keep him safe, but I was failing and he was dying. I felt I was losing hope so I said to myself come on, don’t give up, not now.
In training I learned, if you feel you are losing it, stop, breath and focus. I stopped by the alley, looked around me and started walking slowly.
Couple of blocks later, I was at St. Nicholas Street when I saw in the distance someone that looked like Josh. “please, be Josh” I thought. I started running again. I ran as fast as I could and he recognized me immediately. “Oye mi pana, where is Henry?” he asked, but my face told him everything. As a good cop, Josh knew right there something was wrong. “Hey, slow down pal I can’t run as fast as you” he said. I slowed down as he requested.
We ran back, and when we passed by Tito’s he shouted my name, “Logan!”. Josh looked at him and yelled, “Do you know where Henry lives?” “Yeah, he lives on Riverside next to the school. Is everything ok?” Tito said. Josh grabbed his radio and said while running “send an ambulance and units to 101 Riverside”.
We turned left and a couple of blocks right after the school, there it was, my building. We went in and took the elevator that was in front of us. We closed the door and immediately I pressed number 8, our floor. Those couple of seconds in the elevator felt like an eternity. As soon as Josh opened the door I ran to our apartment. The door was still half open and when we pushed it, there was Henry laying on the floor next to his wheelchair. Rapidly, Josh moved towards him and checked his neck; I was there, feeling I let my friend down. All he has done for me, all that we have been through, missions abroad in the field and this is the way everything was going to end? It felt like the whole world was falling on me. I moved towards him, there was a pool of blood but I didn’t care, I put my head on his chest and there it was, a very slow and weak heartbeat. Unnoticeable for humans but not for me.
“Hang in there my friend, help is on the way” Josh said, while holding Henry’s wound. “We will find who did this, good job buddy, you saved his life” he said to me. I was so grateful, I wanted to cry, I said thank you but I guess all he could hear was a bark.