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Peekaboo, Mandy...

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I jumped in the car with Jemmy. He was sighing dramatically. He had an early class at college and dad had asked him to drive me to school, he wasn't happy but he did it. 

I have a study period before my first class but I couldn't focus at home so I go into school to use the library. Jemmy smiles at me and then reaches over and opens the door for me. I blow him a kiss and walk into school. 

In the library, I waved at Steve. Steve was cute and he liked me, at least I thought so. I tried to concentrate on the book I was studying from, and it suddenly became easy. I'd been studying for almost an hour when I heard popping going on. It sounded like firecrackers. Jason went over to the door and stood there or a little bit looking down the hall, he ran back over and yelled "Get under the desks. They have guns!" 

My heart almost pounded out of my chest as I got down on my knees under the table. Keith, a disabled student and someone I had talked to, didn't understand and didn't hide. 

They burst in and yelled: "Get up, now!" I recognised one of them as Luke, a guy I'd stood up for a while ago, then shot Keith. My eyes started to water and my heart hurt. I clamped my hand over my mouth to stop the whimper coming. They're shooting indiscriminately right now and I feel a wetness at my legs...I've pee'd myself out of sheer terror. My mind is screaming at me to run but I know if I do then I become an easier target so I stay put and try not to cry out. 

This has gone on for what feels like forever, no one is standing up so they're going under the tables to shoot people now. Oh God, They're right next to me and have shot both Steve and Marcus. My heart is grieving and I try not to make a sound. But my table is next to be crouched under. "Peekaboo!", do they think this is a game of 'hide and seek or something?' He laughs, "Hey, Luke get over here! This one's pissed herself." The one I didn't recognise was the one pointing a gun at me. "Scared?" I didn't need to answer as he then let out a roaring laugh. 

"Please..." I begged, please what? Please don't shoot me? Please stop? I don't know what I was begging for...

"Please, what?" It was as if he read my mind and let his gun off, the bullet piercing my leg, I whimpered. "Oh, little girl, don't be scared." He was mocking me. "It'll all be over soon..." he shot at me again, this one grazed the side of my right arm I screamed, I couldn't help it, the pain from my left arm adding to the pain in my right leg. He just laughed. Luke stared at me. I met his gaze.

"Luke? That's your name, right?" I hoped he'd remember me. "It's me, Mandy. We met a few weeks ago." my voice is thick with the tears of what I assume is pain and fear intermingled. 

He nods, "I'm sorry you had to be here today, Mandy...You have to understand why this happened, but it shouldn't have happened to you." I shook my head, It didn't have to happen, why are they saying it had to happen?

After shooting a few other people they left the library and we took stock of what had happened. Jason looked around, he pulled Steve out from under the desk, he was dead, so was Marcus. My heart is hurting but at least we can look out the window without getting shot. I can see some of my friends on the grounds. Jason has ripped a strip of fabric off his shirt and he tied the wound on my leg. The fire service has gotten a crane and is up at the library windows. Jason picks me up and hands me out to the fireman. My leg is searing and I had to sit on the floor. I turned my head and looked at Steve's body one last time. I thought of my dad, mom, and Jemmy. I saw news cameras, mom would've been watching and freaking out. 

I was bundled into an ambulance, and taken to the hospital. I hadn't been here since I was 10, getting my check up for my heart condition, and I wanted my mother. I started crying, the terror and the pain of today getting to me finally. "I want my mama..." the tears are streaming down my face, the nurse is fussing me while the doctor sews up the bullet wound in my leg and tends to the graze on my arm, I wanted my grandma as well...she'd help me calm down and my grandpa's strong arms would comfort me. 

They put me in a ward, in a bed, I still can't stop sobbing.

My mom's red hair is the first thing I see, followed by daddy and Jemmy. "Mama." My uninjured arm came out and my family pulled me close. 

"It's alright, baby girl. Mama's here..." she pats my unruly curls and speaks soothing words. I just mumbled into her shoulder than I couldn't help anyone...that Steve was dead and I was so terrified I pee'd myself right there where I was hiding. She shushes me, there was nothing I could do about it now. 

"I want grandma and grandpa!" I was terrified and wanted my entire family. Mama nodded and said as soon as I was discharged we would go and see them. I start to relax. Everything had changed but soon I'll be with my entire family again. Daddy holds me close as I drop into sleep. "I love you, daddy..."

Daddy smiles and kisses the top of my head, "I love you too, a leannan. You get some rest, my wee darling". The last feeling I remember before I fall asleep is feeling safe, the last thing I remember is my daddy's arms around me.