Samantha kicked a rock as hard as she could with the toe of her slip-on sneakers, watching with satisfaction as it bounced violently off the sidewalk and then plopped into the gutter. And you stay down, she thought in a slightly self-depreciating mental expression of exactly how over this stupid day she was. The morning had started with her mother making bacon for everyone, and forgetting tofu bacon for her so she had to sit there and watch her parents shovel dead pig into their faces before 8am, and had only gotten worse from there. There’d been a pop quiz in math that Mr. Anderson had made her take even though she was still catching up from when she’d been out with a cold last week, so she’d definitely failed that, Brittany Wescott had put her stupid sneakers in her track locker, and she’d been late enough for that to happen at all because she’d gotten distracted when she’d seen Jacob talking to Lisa Kilroy by the parking lot. More like flirting with, she thought, and almost tripped as she aimed another kick at a rock and missed, stubbing her toe on the sidewalk. Not that she cared if Jacob was flirting, he could do whatever he wanted, it was just that Lisa was suck a snob and she would have thought Jacob had better taste. He was her friend, and if he went out with some awful stuck up chick she’d have to hang out with her too.
Then the whole abandonment-at-track-practice thing had happened and, honestly, how immature could her father possibly be with his whole “Daughter? What daughter? Are you Ben?” shtick? Eventually she’d turned off her phone and started off, ponytail bedraggled and running shoes dangling listlessly by the laces between her fingers, towards the old complex. A lot of her parents’ friends still lived there, and she was pretty sure she’d be able to find someone to give her a ride home if she hung around long enough. James or Jacob could have taken her home, but she was not in the mood for either of them right now with their glitter and their Lisa-Kilroy-flirting.
Boys sometimes, she thought disgustedly as she pushed the door of the complex lobby open and shuffled inside, moving past the woman lying on the floor to…
…wait. She whipped around and dropped to her knees next to the body before she’d even registered the decision to move, her heart kick starting in her chest several moments after the first shock and sending heat flushing through her veins and bile rising in her throat. Her hands reached out towards the woman’s crumpled form, then flinched back a moment before she made contact as she realized the extent of her injuries, the fact that the blood she was covered in was coming from so many different wounds, that her face wasn’t unrecognizable because it was covered in blood it was…Oh God Samantha clapped her hands over her mouth and struggled with nausea for a moment, wanting nothing more than to scream and get as much distance between herself and the goriest thing she’d ever seen as she possibly could.
Then she noticed that the woman was still breathing, and her hands lowered slowly, almost of their own accord. At least she’s unconscious, I can’t even imagine how much pain she’d be in if she woke up, and that thought galvanized her into action, steadied her hands enough that she could maneuver her phone out of her pocket and type a message on the comms. “It’s okay,” she whispered to the woman, “someone’s going to come and it’s going to be okay, we have lots of people who can heal you, I promise.”