feeling the cool ribbed texture of the rebar entwined in my fingers gives a small sense of security, as i watch drawers fly from their holes in the cabinet, clattering loudly on the kitchen floor. tin measuring cups and blue stirring spoons join the growing pile of debris around the ankles of the men ransacking my apartment. they don't even bother wearing masks, this can't be a good sign.
i can hear summer singing in the last rays of sunshine slipping over the mountains, calling and end to the school year. exams are but memories, long forgotten stress drained, here on the front deck of our house. my roommates have fled for home, leaving me straggling behind, packing up last minute things before i find the road myself.
growling like a rabid dog, the tires of an old brown El Dorado drag to stop in front of the house, leaving angry black lines on the grey asphalt. his red and black shirt flaps in the breeze, over a white wife beater as the driver rounds the front of the car, his henchmen pouring out the passenger door. stepping back to watch from the cool shadow of the door, they meet me there driving me back to land squarely on the couch.
one heads instantly for the stairs, another to the kitchen, while the leader sneers, casting his cold shadow across me. my stomach knurls in the aloneness that floods my body with each thump and crash. hands hanging limp and useless by couch touch the hard metal rebar that has slipped under its edge, that would untimely go into the windows for added security. no sense in being discrete i place it in my lap, his lips curl into a crooked teeth smile.
an avalanche of footfalls pour down the steps, words bark from their mouths, my eyes never leave them. pausing by the door, a hand rips the phone list from the wall, balling it in a pocket, and then they are gone.
it takes a few minutes to convince my legs to move again, then they propel me constricting walls onto the deck, lungs burning for fresh air. breathe. breathe. a thousand "if onlys" cackle at my weakness, but "if only" i might not be here. it does not make me feel much better.
the sun is gone now, a discarded yellow orange couch sits by the dirty green dumpster, my only companion, turning grey in the encroaching darkness.