SWORD OF LOVE: A Parisian Love
My name is Reyna Alms, I’m nineteen years old and I once lived in south Florida, Tampa to be exact. My mother and father are above middle class and they wanted to enlarge their living space so I was forced into moving along with them. I was living the life with no mishaps, drama or family problems. Allow me to share the story of my life with you, of how I was murdered and why.
The U-Haul truck pulled up in front of my house, mom hired workers to lift the heavy furniture. I took apart the furniture in my room that could be disassembled and put back together again. My phone went off and sounded with a pop ringtone, my best friend was calling to say goodbye. Jasmine Carlton was crying over the phone to me, “Reyna I’m going to miss you.” She was my best friend since forever and we did everything together. The only difference between her and I was that she was in love and had lost her virginity. I lost and felt neither only because my boyfriend was my textbooks and schoolwork.
“Reyna, please come show these gentlemen what needs to be moved,” yelled my mother from the downstairs hallway. “Hurry Reyna!” yelled my mom again. “Okay, I’m coming.” My mom was packed up and ready to go, “Jasmine I’m going to call you back because my mom needs me.” I hung up the phone and did as I was told while pointing out the rooms to the furniture movers. A brilliant idea had come to me and it would be the first and last time I’d do this.
The weather was nice and had been increasingly humid, more the better. Where I lived there happened to be a community pond for the people at the Avalon. You could feed the ducks and go fishing there but today I was going to do neither. A five-minute walk to the back of the community’s Avalon was like walking through a dessert: hot and unsafe. The sun boiled the water and cooked the grass so no one was at the pond this beautiful morning.
The only thing left to do was take advantage, so as I reached the tip of the pond I stripped of my clothing leaving me to take off my undergarments and just dive in. As my body hit the water I could feel the fish swimming around me. As I lay on my back I let the sun take its course, finding a way to say goodbye through memories and a long moment of silence. “Reyna! Honey its time to go.” I didn’t budge anyhow; all I wanted to do was stay in the warm pond water and nakedly swim around.
My mother had come over to the pond and was in shock at how I was in the community pond. She stuttered to get her statement across, “r-r-r-Reyna! Where are your clothes?” I ducked under the water and chased the fish that kept nipping at my body. Listening to my mother lecture me like before was not cool! Personally I had nothing to hide, not even my body. Students from school called me “the model” because I had a beautiful face that was of a white chocolate complexion, my hair was always done and everything about me model-wise was flawless. I was petite and could fit a size zero to three. “My clothes are there on the ground, can’t you see?” My mother was embarrassed at me as neighbors walked from their town houses and began yelling at me. “I can’t believe you, you’re going on punishment young lady.” To be honest I could careless because I was grown and never started nor looked for trouble.
“I’m calling the Avalon and reporting this type of behavior,” said Mr. Gonzalez-Nunez “this should not be allowed!” I laughed crazily out of control out of control at how much of a big deal they were making this. “Report it than, when they get here I won’t be in the pond!” Mr. Gonzalez-Nunez rolled his eyes and marched his Mexican chops back to his house.
“Do y’all mind? I would like to get dressed now.” I swam from the center of the pond and when I came back up everyone was still surrounding the pond. “Okay fine,” I shrugged my shoulders and came out completely naked. “Oh that’s gross!” yelled some of the women, I picked up my clothes and went back into the house to shower and do my hair. “Cover up!” yelled my mom from a few feet behind me. My body was free of suffocating from the tight clothes I usually wore.
After showering and flat ironing my hair I put my clothes in the washer and dryer machine. “Did you see my car keys?” I asked my mom, she dropped my keys on the kitchen counter and left me alone. “Thank-you my queen.” While she walked through the front door to start her car I went to the room to bag my clothes and put them in the trunk of my car. My parents brought me a Scion Toyota Camry IQ for my birthday and an apartment to go along with it. I guess that was their way of teaching me responsibility by getting used to the adult life. My current job didn’t know that I know was moving because I never bothered to tell them and once again I couldn’t careless. They treated me so bad there because my co-workers would steal, break things, or even prank our manager and blame it on me. I had five write-ups and there wouldn’t be a next one because he threatened to fire me, then take me to court for things I never did. “Doll I’m leaving in a few minutes.” My mother was always in a rush; she didn’t know how to relax even if her life depended on it.
The machine stopped so I went to the dryer and retrieved my clothes and the left over detergent. I wasn’t too happy about starting over but caring was my last opinion. My car was warning up and I made my way to my mother’s car to tell her that I would follow her. “Reyna I need to do a few things before we hit the road.” The first reaction I had wasn’t a pleasant one so I made an easier way out. “Mom, I’m going now so text me that address,” I moved from her side of car and walked over to my car. “Text it now okay?” My mom didn’t seem to be happy about me traveling without her supervision.
Everything about being supervised was irrelevant to me; at some point in my life I would be doing things on my own. I guess my mother was in denial of the fact that I wasn’t the same little girl she sang lullabies to at night. I was close with my parents but not close enough to share personal things with them. “Be careful on your trip and here take the EZ-pass with you.” I kept yarning non-stop during my ride to Starbucks. The idea of the stop was to buy an extra-large French vanilla coffee, extra sweet.
When I walked into Starbucks the smell of all the coffee flavors made my adrenaline increase. Something so appealing had my nose, coffee had been my legal drug for almost everything.
“Next!” yelled the cashier.
“How may I help you?” My eyes wandered the menu board for something other than coffee.
“Hi, may I have an extra-large cup of coffee please?”
“Anything specific?” asked the teenage girl that was servicing me. She seemed nice and down to earth; being a people person was my job so I started a conversation with her after giving my specific choice of flavor. “French Vanilla extra-sweet please.”
“I don’t mean to be nosey but are you from around here?” a smile set on my face.
“No I live in the next town over, what’s your name?” I took my pocketbook from over my shoulder and dig through it for a pen and paper.
“I’m Reyna Alms here’s my number, maybe we can talk or text sometimes.” She went to make my coffee and on my coffee and on my cup her number and name was written on it.
“Your total is $3.49, here’s your change and thanks for coming to Starbucks.” I took my cup and on the way out I bumped into the cutest boy in school, literally. I didn’t know what to say because I was too busy blushing.
“I’m sorry, I… I didn’t mean to…”he walked up close to me and I could feel this “hype” in my stomach. We stared at each other and smiled, I wasn’t in love with him I only had a crush on him. Almost every girl in school wanted him but he never recognized me, at least that’s what I thought.
“ It’s okay…Reyna right?” his face had this glow to it and something about him made me weak whenever I was in his presence. “Yes.” I cut the connection between our eyes and walked off to my car. “Wait a minute.” He walked towards my way and grabbed me from behind.
“I’m Sean Rivers.” His hand touched mines as a polite gesture of kindness. I bit down on my lip to keep me from getting nervous, next thing I know my phone is vibrating loudly from my pocket. “I know who you are.” My hands found their way in my back pants pockets.
“Oh really? How?” he leaned on my car with his arms crossed. Sean was doing what guys do best, being charming for a girl’s attention.
“Everyday you’d pass me in the hallways. In math class you tried flirting with Mrs. Jameson.” He laughed and played with my hair but I gave him the look that said, “don’t touch my hair.” I couldn’t help but chuckle after her kissed me. Why would he do that? I could feel my body trembling with his hands around me. Humph, my phone was vibrating again.
“Reyna you’re not like the other girls.” Sean’s eyes had driven straight through the many thoughts I was having. I froze up after he let me go. “What was that for?” I asked.
“For being different Mrs. Alms!” he said with confidence.
I took my keys from my bag and pushed the start button on the keypad, something didn’t feel right at the moment. Maybe he was just being nice, but than again different had nothing to do with being nice at all. My phone started to vibrate again and so I decided to check and see who was bothering me. Why is it that my mother worried too much when it came down to me? I really hated being an only child sometimes because things got a little lonely. “Hello?” I answered in a calmly tone.
“Are you on the highway like your supposed to be?” My mom was doing a little too much by nagging me.
“Look mom, I’ll get to the airport when I get there!” I hung up the phone on her and five minutes later I felt horrible about it.
There were four text messages on my phone and the number looked familiar. The first three digits from the coffee cup were on the phone; it must’ve been her. I read the text which said “wait for me in the parking lot please, don’t leave me,” people do crazy things and so I waited for her. Three minutes into me entering the airport address the girl came out in her Starbucks uniform. Immediately I got out of the car, “did you text me a while ago?”
“Yes I did,” said the mystery girl. “I saw you out here.”
“Out here doing what exactly?” My expression was blank and I couldn’t hide the fact that I had just kissed Sean Rivers.
“Kissing on Sean Rivers!”
“Wait, what?” How do you know him?” I asked
“Get in the car and I’ll explain when you pull out,” she said.
“Oh, my name is Jasmine Villeway. Nice to meet you.”
I couldn’t tell if she was Hispanic or Caucasian because her looks were confusing a bit. The nose ring in her nose was a distraction to her broad face. Whenever I talked to her I felt like I was conversing with the huge ring that sat on her face. She seemed like she could be a cool person, someone that lived life to the fullest. “Ok Jasmine, I’m going to my new home and it’s in another country. You have to get out!” She looked at me like I was crazy and she didn’t move. Her hand touched the radio dial and she stopped at Dance for you by Beyoncé. I pulled out of the lot and hit the road. I guess she was the risk taker. She turned the music up and I couldn’t hear where the GPS was telling me to go. I reduced the volume a bit and let the windows down for air.
“What are you doing? That’s Beyoncé you’re listening to!”
“I know whom the artist is Jasmine!” I nearly yelled at her for a second all because my patients were running thin.
“What’s your problem?” she asked looking at me in a disturbing way.
“I’m going to the airport and I need to focus and be able to hear the GPS, the directions it’s giving me.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t notice that…”
I cut her off, “it’s fine. Tell me how you know Sean Rivers.”
Jasmine took the hair bow from her arm and put her hair in a ponytail. This was probably going to be a long story so I grabbed my coffee to keep myself from going to sleep on her story. Driving at night wasn’t a big deal for me. “Oh, by the way the coffee is on point.” She smiled then went into story telling mode, hopefully she would make it sound exciting. This was going to be a long trip and so I needed excitement or an attention catching conversation.
“Summer of 2003 Sean’s parents were murdered by their next-door neighbor’s son Zack. He lay at the bottom of the bed and watch from below as his parent’s blood drip from the sheets and soaked into the beige carpet. He cried in silence with his hands over his mouth to prevent noise from being heard. The sound of a butcher knife repeatedly striking at his parent’s flesh made him paranoid. When Zack left the crime scene and searched the rest of the house to find Sean he couldn’t find him. Sean climbed from underneath the bed looked at the two their bodies hang from the bed. “My God!” he yelled out, Sean had been a church going boy so all he had known was being a prayer warrior and using that as a sacred weapon.“ I can’t do this anymore father,” Sean yelled over his dead mother’s body. “I sat there and I watched, didn’t even do anything to stop it!” He wiped his face of the tears and replaced it with the blood from his parent’s bed sheets. “I watched it all go down from my bedroom window.” Jasmine had this shaky vibration in her voice. “Why didn’t you stop it?” Sean yelled to me from outside.
“I was locked in my room because Zack had put a bolt on my door from the outside. I banged on the window and yelled at the top of my lungs but no one could really hear me. Zack sealed my windows shut and killed our parents also, than he tried to perform a procedure on me. One night I sat at my desk and wrote out an evacuation plan. My planning had to be on point because there wasn’t enough room to make a mistake. If I messed up that would have been my life on the line. At the time I couldn’t drive so I had to figure it out on my own. Zack cut all the phone lines and confiscated all computers and electronics we had. Sometimes he even stood outside my door and tried to listen in on what I was doing in my room. “Zack, if you’re listening I want you to know that I care about you.” That was the only way to use phycology on him to make him think I was really concerned for him when I really wasn’t. I just wanted to keep my life and get out of the house. He shouted at me through the door “no one cares about me!” a loud repeated banging at my door caused me to jump back in fear. ”Yes I do…please just let me out.” Zack stood against the door and seconds later he walked away as I crouched down in tears begging for help. I cried and prayed asking God to help me out of this situation. So I kneeled down by the closet and said what I had to say to him: “Father in the name of Jesus, I ask that you forgive me for all my faults and sins. Remove this cup from me and guide me through life, allow me to have the wisdom and knowledge to understand things that cannot be understood. Thank-you for your grace and mercy, Amen.” I went over to my bed and lay down so I could keep my adrenaline from causing me to pass out, this was the worst horror movie I never laughed at. From next-door I could hear Sean screaming out for Zack but my brother was nowhere to be found. The last time I saw him was when he took a baseball bat with him towards the middle school on Lamington Avenue. Around a quarter to eleven the police and ambulance were gathered around the River’s premises as they wrapped the yellow tape around the trees and light pole in front of their house. The detectives collected evidence such as: the bloody sheets, butcher knife, fingerprints from off their bodies, fibers from the carpet and the tape from the answering machine. “I saw them come out of the house with all the evidence they could collect. Zack left about a hundred messages on the River’s answering machine, threatening ones.”
Reyna stopped at the gas station to fill up on gas when she saw a man shoplifting from the gas station. “Jasmine! Jasmine!” I yelled, hitting on the car window with all my might. She jumped out of the car in a fearful reaction. “What?” she yelled back at me. “Look at him stealing and holding the cashier at gun point,” Jasmine turned her head then quickly jumped back into the car. “Let’s go Reyna we have all the gas we need.” I walked over to the passenger side of the car and did my best to pull her out by her legs.
“This is a pointed gun scene so I’m not going in!” Jasmine gripped onto the car handle and tried to negotiate with me, I wasn’t going for it. “Look, we have to help that cashier or we’re going to feel guilty that we saw him get gunned down and didn’t do anything about it.” Jasmine gave up the fight and pulled herself together. “Fine how are we going to do this?” I sat in the car and told her exactly what to do. Nothing to daring, but also nothing that would cause us to become hostages either.
Ding Dong, The store bell went off as Jasmine walked in, “get down!” yelled the gunman. ‘Okay!” Jasmine knelt down on the floor; I could see her slowly getting down and shaking her head. I called the police before I entered the store and followed through with the plan. The first thing I needed to do was locate the fire extinguisher from outside the station’s store. I crept on my knees from the back of the store because the store was made of all glass.
Jasmine had seen me and was lip talking to me while sitting on the floor. “Stall, duh!” I watched as her mouth went to work but whatever she was saying to the angry gunman wasn’t working. The police was taking forever so I needed to act soon, and soon enough. Jasmine rolled around on the floor as the man followed her to the back of the store. I eased in through the door, about thirteen feet away from the fire extinguisher. The way Jasmine was rolling on the floor looked like she was having a seizure. “Please don’t hurt the girl,” the cashier cried out. His pants were wet from when he had urine on himself. “Shut your face or I’ll put a cap in it,” yelled the six-foot skinny man. He carelessly waved the gun in the air.
Still no police sirens…I dropped a pack of chocolate chip cookies on the floor accidently. “What was that?” I crawled as fast as I could on my knees and elbows. “Don’t move hoe!” knowing me I refused to listen because of the name he called me. “Don’t call me that, I’m nothing like that!” I decided to rebel against him and do what I wanted. “I have something for you!” I said quickly.
He ran up on me and pressed the gun to the back of my head. “Their coming!” yelled Jasmine with excitement, “shut up and get down.” I could turn my head just enough to see Jasmine hurry up and get back down. “Eww, look at that rat over there!” I screamed. He pulled the trigger and was shooting at the rodent, while doing that I pulled the fire extinguisher from the wall and sprayed it in his eyes. The sirens sounded even closer and Jasmine escaped the building. “Are you okay?” I asked the cashier. “Yes, I am now.” He walked over to me and attempted to shake my hand, but I refused. The urine spot on his pants turned me off; he was a cute guy too. “Umm your pants.” I pointed at the spot and then walked off to check on Jasmine.
I couldn’t help but notice that one of the officers had one leg. How was he going to arrest the suspect and walk him off to the patrol vehicle? Jasmine called me from the passenger seat of my car and started to complain about the one legged officer. “How in the world is he going to arrest him? That officer messes around and the suspect might walk him like a dog.” Another patrol vehicle pulled up and this time two of the officers with both of their legs ran in the store.
“Jasmine relax, maybe he loves his job so much that he doesn’t mind.” The one legged officer walked over to my car and checked on Jasmine and I. “Are you ladies okay?” he asked politely, “we’re fine thanks.” Jasmine kept her eyes on his one leg and not once did she look up to answer or greet him. “Jasmine, he asked you a question. Don’t be so rude,” I whispered to her. She got up and shook his hand “I’m okay sir.”
He limped off and held onto anything he could grip from my car. I had to give him credit for doing his best to be the best. “Wait!” I walked over to him and started a conversation because I wanted to know where his motivation had come from. “May I ask you something?” he removed his shades from his face and looked me in the eyes.
“Yes you may,” he answered.
“Where do you get your motivation?” everything in that moment had became serious to me.
“I ask myself the same question,” he extended his hand to suggest that we sit down.
“Criminals try to justify their morals for all the wrong reasons but there needs to be a stop put to it because someone is going to get hurt over the wrong justifications.”
“That’s a good point and from now on I’m going to try and look at it that way,” I was marveled.
Night was getting closer than ever and so I needed to get back on the road to the airport before my parents became worried to death. The tank was full and free snack from the cashier were just what I needed. There wasn’t a little microwave in the store for me to reheat my coffee so he told me to hang on for a while. Jasmine was getting too comfortable and from the way she looked she made me want to lie back and just fall asleep also, but I couldn’t. My phone battery was still good and after looking at the time I noticed that there was one missed call. My mom never failed to be a mother with all the nagging she did with me. I’m not complaining because I loved it when I got lonely. “Here y’all go,” said the cashier. He even changed his pants and looked properly attired to communicate with me. “Thank you and I hope you’re okay.” The snacks and coffee was a way of saying thank-you, he made it clear and now my next mission was to get home.