By Jack Nolan
One hour, forty-six minutes and eleven seconds.
That’s how long Jordan had to wait. The narrow, gold embroidered timepiece on her left wrist had been counting down the days, the months, the years until she would finally meet the man of her dreams. She had spent the last hour, trying on every fabric in her closet, scouring for the perfect outfit to flatter her body. Close to twenty-four years of her life she had waited for this decisive moment.
She had thought forever about who the destined person might be: a doctor? An actor? A musician? Someone she met before? Or maybe she walked past him everyday on her way to work and she just never bumped into him. Maybe they went to a party and just never saw each other. Her heart rate sped just thinking about it again, launching itself against both sides of her rib cage like a tennis match in her chest. The nervous energy sent her feverishly back to combing through her closet.
After tearing apart her entire closet she finally settled for a simple pair of jeans and one of her favorite band t-shirts. She felt comfortable in these familiar clothes, unlike the discomfiture she felt in any dress or skirt she had. She tried to rationalize the decision by telling herself that it didn’t matter what she wore, they would be in love no matter what she looked like. She looked at the timepiece again and her heart started to do an Irish jig. 32 minutes and 52 seconds! Hurriedly, she looked in the mirror and quickly threw her medium champagne hair into a messy, lopsided bun. This was done out of habit, for she wanted to keep her hair out of her face when she was working on her music. Pulling her hair back framed her fair colored face, and drew attention to her bright, sea green eyes that pierced any object they laid their gaze upon.
After putting on a little bit of makeup and studying herself in the mirror for a few moments she remembered why she addressed her appearance in the first place. Wanting to make sure she found him, She had decided on going out of her apartment in New York City and walk a few blocks to her favorite coffee shop. She loved the music that was showcased there every Wednesday night and she knew that a new band would be starting in an hour or so. She had always hoped that maybe her timer would run out at one of the showcases near someone who shared her passion for music.
She got to the front of the line and reached for her wallet. All she felt was empty space. She frantically searched her pockets and purse but to no avail. She must have forgotten it at home. Panicked, she looked down at her wrist she saw she had fifteen minutes and eighteen seconds until she met him. Her heart started to jump, as if at any second it would burst out of her chest and fly onto the counter. She ran out of the shop and sprinted down the street the 6 blocks to her apartment. Heart pounding she raced up the stairs and bound into her apartment where she found it right where she left it. She glanced down at her timer. Seven minutes and three seconds. Her heart plummeted into a free fall, like a penny dropped from the top of the Empire State Building. She would need to make it through every light at the crosswalks to make it back to the shop on time. The chance was slim, but she had to make it back. She rushed out of the apartment and bolted down the sidewalk towards the shop again.
Two blocks from the shop she hit a busy intersection. Looking down at her timer she saw she only had two minutes and twenty-three seconds left before she met her soulmate. She had to make it to the shop. She might miss him on the street. Looking to her left Jordan saw there was a small gap between cars that she could make. She started to rushed across when a red blur came into her peripheral. Suddenly she felt a sharp pain press through her torso, as if she had been kicked by two hundred horses at the same time, sending a shock-wave of pain through all the nerves in her body. Warmth spreading throughout her figure and then nothing as her vision folded into darkness and her consciousness faded into oblivion.
When she came to, her first instinct was to frantically glance at her timer. Twelve seconds until she met him, but the rotation of her arm to see the timepiece sent searing pain into her side. Blood was pooling near her abdomen and she could feel the cold seeping into her mangled frame. Six seconds left and she glanced out as a heavily tattooed young biker stopped near the red Mustang a few feet to her left. The panicked driver didn’t even notice the bystander as he got off his Harley, pulling a small red and white bag from his backpack as he moved towards her. Two seconds and he was just five feet away. Her heart started to flutter faster and faster as he closed the distance. She started screaming, her banshee-like wails drowned out by the noise of the city. She felt as though a knife had been plunged into her chest, her heart cutting itself to ribbons as it raced faster and faster, destroying her in the effort to keep her alive...
The biker kneeled over her and cradled her distorted figure in his arms as she sobbed. Sirens wailed in the distance, steadily becoming louder as they rushed to the scene. He started to check her broken and twisted body for wounds near her waist and chest. He was running his hands down the side of her ribs, feeling for broken bones that could have pierced major organs when he saw the blinking timer at her wrist. Glancing down at his own he saw it still read three years, fifteen weeks, three days, six hours, forty-five minutes and seventeen seconds.