After all that build up, it was anticlimactic that he wasn’t at home. I called his cell, but he wasn’t answering that, either. Briefly, I wondered where he was, but realized that I wasn’t in the position to query as I was the one who had insisted on my autonomy. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, I guess, though I really wanted to know where he was. I left him a message requesting him to call me no matter how late he got home. Hey, I didn’t have to work in the morning, so what did I care? I was a night owl by preference, anyway, so being woken up once in a while was no big deal.
“Have you made up with Raphael?” My mother poked her head into my room just as I was hanging up my phone.
“Couldn’t get a hold of him,” I said tersely, not wanting to discuss it any further.
“Well, make sure you make up with him before tomorrow night,” my mother reproved me. “It’s his birthday.” Shit. I had forgotten. Thankfully, I had bought his gifts, though I had left them in the car. I went to retrieve them, leaving my phone in my room.
Just as I was stepping out of the house, I heard a crack, then something whizzed by my ear. It took me a few seconds to realize that someone was shooting at me and I better get out of the way, damn it. It took a few more seconds for the command to travel from my brain to my limbs and for me to respond. Once I realized the danger I was in, I fumbled with the door and pushed it open. Diving back inside, I heard another crack, but didn’t feel any pain, so I assumed that I hadn’t been hit. I slammed the door behind me and locked it. My heart was pounding as I sat on the floor, waiting to see what would happen next. It wasn’t until there was a minute of silence that I thought it might be a good idea to peek out the window and see who had shot at me. Of course, that would make me a sitting target, and I was pretty attached to my head. I would hate to have it get blown off. I waited another minute for good measure before risking a peek. Nothing. It was only after the adrenalin started fading that I realized I had banged my shoulder pretty good in my attempt not to get shot. It hurt like hell.