K A I E G OLS ON
3 | THE NAKED EYE Pop, pop, pop! I immediately ducked down to the floor of my car. What the hell was that? In this neighborhood you learn fast that whenever you hear any type of popping the safest thing to do is run, or duck for cover and then you ask questions later. As I was on the floor of my car I realized that what sounded like firecrackers were gunshots! What! Reggie is out there! I raised up and saw Reggie’s hand go up, David running and then Reggie falling to the ground. I got out of the car and dashed to his rescue. “Reggie, Reggie can you hear me?” He nodded weakly. “Oh my God, my little brother has been shot!” I muttered. “Call an ambulance!” I screamed.
I looked down and his hand which had a huge hole in it! I could see right through the skin and it looked as if his bone was sticking out. Ewww, it looked like a picture from my anatomy book which was gross. I pulled myself together because although I wanted to vomit right there, I knew I had to be strong so that Reggie wouldn’t be scared because he can act like a big baby at times, but I have to admit his wound looked incredibly disgusting! An older, fiftyish woman joined us and put her hand on my shoulder and said, “Don’t worry, honey, I saw the whole thing and the ambulance is on the way.” I gave her a nervous smile. Why weren’t they here already? What was only seconds felt like years as I sat there holding him. Reggie suddenly looked up at me, gasped and said, “Autumn, you know where I’m supposed to be right now?” “Yes, I know you and I are supposed to be at the family reunion, but don’t worry about the family reunion…we can go next year. Right now we have to get you to the hospital, we need to get you some help and take care of that hand.” I kept thinking I’m so glad he was only shot in his hand. It could have been worse. I yelled again, “Can somebody call an ambulance?!” Reggie began to appear dazed as a teardrop rolled down his left cheek. With what seemed like the last bit of breath he had in his body he whispered, “Autumn, I’m scared, I feel really cold. I want you to know that I love you, Mom and Zoe. Tell Mom I’m sorry I couldn’t make it to the family reunion but instead I’m going to heaven.” “Reggie, stop talking like that, you were only shot in the hand, you are going to be fine. You’re panicking. Calm down and keep talking to me. Ok?” He looked in my eyes and shook his head. I didn’t understand why he looked so scared, but it started to really freak me out. I kept thinking, can somebody really die from a gunshot wound to the hand? Nahhh. All of a sudden I looked down at him and he took a deep breath and his entire body went limp in my arms. I screamed, out, “Noooooooo!”
PREVIEW | 4 As I lifted my arms from underneath his head I saw a pool of blood on the ground, on my sleeve and on my knees. At this point I realized my brother was not only shot in the hand, but also in the back of the head as well. Oh my God, I thought, this is why he was so scared! He knew something was wrong! He knew he was going to die! “Autumn, are you okay?” David was screaming out to me, but I couldn’t answer him. My little brother was dead. My only brother, my best friend, the only man I could trust. When Dad left us we made a pact as children that he would walk me down the aisle when I got married. He was my guardian angel. Who was going to look after me now? I felt so helpless. What was I going to tell Mom? She’s never going to be the same. This is her only son. A parent should never have to bury a child. I turned around at the crowd that was slowly forming around us. My vision became blurry, I heard voices but I couldn’t make out what the people around me were saying.
At this point a tall white guy with salt and pepper hair and a red bag pushed me out the way and started to perform CPR on him. I walked away from the scene numb with shock. Those bastards killed my little brother! Unfortunately, this would not be the first time I’d held the lifeless body of the man I love.