I don’t know how long my face was on fire for, but I do know it was one of the worst pains I had ever had in my life. I screamed in unison with several other students. Darcy quickly batted out the flames on my face. The blast had thrown me from my wheelchair and Darcy on top of me.
“Natalie?” His voice was strained. Deep pain swept across his face.
I didn’t know how to answer him so I just said, “Yeah?”
Darcy opened his mouth, and the sound of an explosion came out. I screamed, but one gut wrenching shriek drowned it out.
“Help me up,” I whimpered. Darcy just looked at me as if he didn’t know how to do.
Faint yelps from outside of the cafeteria caused my heart to stop beating for a moment.
“What do we do?” I asked as I listened to the sounds of gunshots and screeches.
It didn’t occur to me until then that I was in a great amount of pain. My face still felt like it was on fire and my torso heaved achingly.
No words flowed from my mouth. What does one pray when they don’t know what’s going on? What does one do when they are utterly helpless? What does one pray when all words fail and emotions plummet the soul?
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” I wept recalling the few moments before they sedated me for my surgery.
“Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?” Darcy continued.
“O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer!”
“And by night, but I find no rest.”
“Yet you are holy…In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them.”
“To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.”
“Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is none to help,” I skipped.
“I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast.”
“But you, O LORD, do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid! Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dog!”
“Save me from the mouth of the lion! You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen!”
“For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.”
“The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the LORD! May your hearts live forever!”
“All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you.”
“For kingship belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations. All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, even the one who could not keep himself alive.”
“Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation.”
“They shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it,” Darcy and I said together. Darcy gave me a light kiss on the forehead and somehow I mustered a smile.
So much peace abounded between us that I couldn’t even hear the cries.
I did, however, hear the sirens several minutes later.
Some girls started to yell for help when the sirens drew so near that they nearly deafened you. I chose to stay calm and close my eyes. Not long after I had done the relaxing action, I heard a puff like noise. I opened my eyes to find Darcy passed out on my chest.
I slowly felt my composure leave me. I vainly grabbed at it, but a small, barely audible scream left my throat. I struggled to get Darcy off of me. I gave up after I started to drawn in sweat.
“PLEASE HELP ME!” The same shrieking voice as before cried. I didn’t need to look to know that the paramedics had finally arrived.
“He needs help,” I whimpered when I heard gurney wheels near my head. Darcy was quickly lifted off of me. One of the female paramedics gasped, and her male partner looked sick.
I tried to sit up, but one of the paramedics laid my head down. I was swiftly put on a gurney and rushed out of the cafeteria.
What I saw outside of the cafeteria, I can never get out of my head.
Blood was everywhere. Pills of stray bullets were scattered across the red shrieked floor. Teenagers laid in the pools of their and others blood with anguish written over their faces. Everywhere I looked paramedics were trying desperately to save lives. It made me physically sick.
“Darling,” The paramedic said as I vomited over myself. “Hang on, dear. We’re almost to the door.”
I could tell the door was near because I was shivering. A group of teens cut in front of the gurney to get through the door. The paramedic let out a yelp as she hit one of them. The others got out the way as she pushed me out into the frigid air.
Dozens of unharmed students sat on the front lawn crying and shaking. A group of parents stood in the parking lot watching the door with bated breath.
My sees looked to see who had cried out. My mother was on the ground pounded her fists and screaming.
I lost it after that.