Sarah Nicole Jackson, Class of 2023

The Girl on the Street

short story

open book icon, isolated on white background, vector Illustration

It was honestly a normal Saturday like any other.  Well, that is, until she showed up.  A mysterious young girl with jet black hair, a strange necklace, and lips that were glossy and cherry red.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I had to go to school for tutoring that morning.  Ugh, I hate science! It’s so boring and makes no sense!  Makes me want to tear very strand of my dark brown hair out.  At least it’s only for forty-five minutes, and not a very painful hour and a half.  I have the rest of the day to do whatever luckily. One of the very few Saturdays when mom wouldn’t make me do chores around the house.


My friend Liberty was able to pick me up today, so we decided to hit up a Starbucks while she took me home.  I had already texted mom to let her know.


It was a nice day.  A few clouds, but I never liked it when it was just sun.  Like I needed more freckles.


“So, what’re you getting from Starbucks?” asked Liberty, not taking her eyes off the road.  I shrugged.


“Probably just a latte,” I answered plainly.


“The same thing again?  You don’t wanna try anything different?”


“Please don’t become my parents.”  She giggled.


“Okay, okay.”  Then a scene from outside piqued my interest. 


There was a girl who couldn’t be much older then ten sitting on the street curb.  Her eyes matched her jet black hair, which had a few strands sticking out in places. She looked Asian, or at least of Asian descent.  The tan skin was unmistakable and face were unmistakable, not to sound stereotypical. She wore a necklace with a red crystal that looked like something straight out of a movie.  It looked expensive. Her lips were cherry red and glossy; it looked like she had overdone it on the lip gloss. Or her mom. Or anyone who thought it was legal for a child to wear that much makeup.  Her last physical features were her black, sleeveless, knee-length dress and bare feet. Her chin rested in both her hands, and she looked…bored.

 


I’m not sure why I said it, but I did. “Hey, Lib, pull over for a sec.”
“Hm? Uh, okay.”  She swerved the white Honda to the right.  I was out in a flash. I wasn’t sure what it was, but something was pulling me towards this girl, tempting my curiosity.  Liberty was trying her best to keep up.


“Wait up!” She breathed.  She wasn’t very athletic, so it took her a second to match my pace.


I stopped about a foot from the girl, who had already noticed us.  She stared at us with curious eyes.


“Um, hello.”  I waved at her, an awkward, jerky motion.  She didn’t greet me back, simply continued staring.  “What are you doing out here?” She shrugged and looked away.  Not much of a talker, apparently. I held back a sigh. “Well, do you-”


Suddenly came the noise of the deathly screech of tires and the clashing of metal.  I flinched and heard a yelp come from Liberty. We all looked in the direction of the noise and saw a very messed up car and a dented public bus.  An accident.


I looked back to the girl, whose eyes were fixed on the scene.  She didn’t look scared or traumatized, but intrigued. She stood up, looking as if she were about to investigate.  I stepped forward to stop her. “Hey-”


But then she took off the necklace and held it in her hands for a second before turning to me.  She held out her hand, the necklace in the middle of her palm. “Take this,” she said with a high pitched voice.


I hesitated for a second, but then took the necklace.  “But why do you want me to have it?” I asked. She didn’t respond, simply turned to face me, closed her eyes, and gave me a bright smile.  She clasped her hands together behind her back. It was mesmerizingly adorable. I softly smiled.


Then I heard voices yelling, and Liberty suddenly tugged me back by the arm, a little too hard.  “Ow, ow!” I whined. I looked back towards the girl.


And it was then that I noticed the bus speeding right in her direction, out of control.  Just before her blood splattered everywhere, I saw she still had the same bright smile on her face.

~~~~~~~~~~~

17 Years Later

I yawned, taking my eyes off the road for just a second to glance at the clock on my car’s dashboard.  8:30.  I hadn’t the slightest idea why I was so tired.  I was more than used to waking up this early. Eh, probably had something to do with the fact that I stayed up ‘til midnight marathoning Brooklyn 99.  Such a great show, in my opinion.


I had been stuck at the same light for what felt like forever.  I looked ahead and saw the light was green. Impatiently, I honked my horn at whatever dingus was in front of me.  They didn’t move. I opened my car door and got out to investigate.


There was a disabled lady being helped across the street, which was taking quite a while.  I glanced down at my watch. Hopefully this wouldn’t make me late for work.
Finally, she got across the street safely, and I got back into my car.  The line of cars continued to move forward and by the time it got to me, there was a public bus passing by.  I paid it no mind.


Then, it suddenly swerved and headed straight for my car.  Before I could react, both vehicles painfully collided, and I was sent flying out of the car, shards of glass painfully poking through my skin all over.  I landed smack on the concrete street, and everything swarmed around me. People getting out of their cars, other cars speeding past the scene, the sight of frightened bus passengers.  The bus driver, who was miraculously undamaged emerged from the bus and ran over to me as fast as he could. He crouched down, and asked in the most panicked tone I’ve ever hears, “Are you alright?!  I’m so, so sorry, I don’t know what happened there! The bus ran its own course!” I saw him cringe when he saw me. I was undoubtedly covered in blood.


I could feel my life slowly draining from me; I didn’t have much time left.  As if moved by some force of magic, my hand made its way to the necklace of the little girl, that I had wrapped around my neck.  I hid it from everyone but Liberty, and kept it. Still moving against my own will, I undid the snap at the back of the necklace, and held my arm out towards the driver.  My mouth opened, and a pained smile made its way onto my face. “T-Take it…” I managed. Then my hand went limp, and everything went dark. Just before my life ended, I could still envision that smile that was engraved forever into my memory. 


Even now, in death, at age thirty-four, 17 years later, that girl sitting on the curb haunts me to this day.