One of the first stories I heard when I got off the cruise ship (the one opportunity I had to decompress these last 3 months) was about the tragic shooting in Colorado during a screening of the Dark Knight Rises. Watching the hourly updates on the event in the airport terminal and listening to them on the radio brought any euphoria and elation I’d garnered on my voyage to an abrupt end.
12 people died that night and dozens others were wounded. Amid the personal stories to horror and hope, tragedy and triumph, there was one story in particular that stood out for me, and that was a story that exemplified the essence of cowardice.
Of course, because the American media is the deceiving, mendacious, half-cocked entity that it is, we had to rely on the Brits to bring this story to the masses in its raw, truthful form. Somehow, the US media has managed to spin it as a ‘survive against all odds love story’.
By now you’ve heard that the youngest victim to lose her life was a 6 year old girl, and had it not been for the heroism and selflessness of a total stranger, the youngest might have been a 4 month old baby. Who brings a 4 month old baby to a midnight screening of such a violent film in lieu of hiring a sitter? This pair of geniuses, and most recent winners of the prestigious Darwin Awards. Their excuse?
“Well, you just can’t stay cooped up in the house all the time”.
And you don’t have to. But you should be able to spring twenty bucks for someone to watch your infant for a few hours.
I called my sister A-Dub to ask her if she’d heard of this story (which sadly involves a marriage proposal).
“No!” she said with anticipation. “What happened?”
She was organizing her dishes and smiling into her cell phone as I recounted the tale. I quickly rattled off the important details, telling her how the couple had gone to see the Dark Knight, and how the father of the infant darted around the room trying to make an escape.
“When he couldn’t make it out, he put his baby on the floor and jumped over the balcony and ran out.”
“Oh wait, it gets better,” I continued. “His girlfriend was in the theater with their daughter and he left them there.”
“Just a second!” I interjected. “A Black man came along, saw the woman struggling to get to safety with the two kids and leapt to action. He used his body to shield them and ran with them out of the exit door. He took a bullet for it.”
By this time she had stopped smiling. She told me as much.
“I thought you were going to tell me about how this guy saved his family and asked his girlfriend to marry him because he realized how precious life was,” she groused. “Instead you’re telling me another dude took a bullet for this dude’s family because he’s a punk b*tch?”
I snorted, and suddenly remembered a vital bit of information. This was the cherry on the cake.
“Oh! How could I forget? When he left the theater, he got into his car and drove AWAY,” I yelped. “He didn’t come back until his girlfriend called him to find out where he was.
I think my sister died a little bit on the other end of the line. I delighted in her horror. Her two year old son is the apple of her eye and the pride of her life. I don’t think she would take too kindly to her boyfriend leaving him in the midst of a massacre in order to save his own life…and then have the stones to come back and ask for her hand in marriage. I giggled maliciously at the thought.
“What would you have done if Chris had left Plankton on the floor next to bleeding bodies, drove off and come back to the hospital while you were recovering and asked to marry you?
“Chris is no fool,” she said darkly. “He would know not to come within 10 feet of me. There’s a lot I could do in 10 feet.”
******Lights fading out *******
The steady whir of electrical equipment kept A-Dub from getting any real sleep. When she did close her eyes, the terrifying memory of gunfire and twisted bleeding human flesh in the windowless theater propelled her out of sleep. The only thing that gave her peace was the knowledge that her son was safe. A good man – an angel – had seen her limping where a bullet had pierced her thigh. He’d grabbed her hand and lifted Plankton in the crook of his arm ushering them to safety outside. Had it not been for him, she and her son could have been among the mortally wounded that fateful night.
If she could just keep her mind on Plankton, and focus on the knowledge that he was safe at home in his own bed with relatives, she might be able to get some sleep.
“A-Dub?” said a familiar voice.
Her eyes flew open and darted around the room. When her vision came into focus, she saw Chris standing in the doorway. He was holding a bouquet of flowers. She made a gurgling sound in her throat.
“Yes, babe,” he breathed. “How are you feeling?”
She shrugged her shoulders and looked out of the small window with a view of the industrial part of the city. She cleared her throat and looked back at him. He was smiling and healthy.
“You’re not hurt,” she said matter-of-factly.
“No,” he giggled. “Remember? I got out okay. I got to the car and…”
“And drove away,” she finished for him. The act of cowardly betrayal suddenly became more than she could bear. Her breathing quickened. She struggled to keep her ire in check.
Chris set the flowers he’d brought on her dining tray and looked out of the window. Finally he turned around with a solemn look on his face.
“Look, I know this isn’t the time or the place – what with your leg all blasted open with a bullet hole – but I was wondering if you’d marry me.”
A-Dub stopped breathing altogether. It was only when her chest began to burn that she remembered to suck oxygen in.
“I don’t believe I heard you,” she murmured. “Could you come closer?”
Chris knelt by the side of her bed. He licked his lips and held her left hand in his.
“I asked if you would…”
The sick sound of glass splitting his skull penetrated the air. A-Dub had viciously attacked with the very vase he had presented as a gift. Clutching his bleeding cranium, Chris staggered to his feet.
“What the hell man!” he screeched. “What are you doing?”
Ohhh, but A-Dub wasn’t done yet. Blinded by fury and fueled by her disgust for this whimpering simp, she threw her legs of the side of the bed and wrapped the cord from her morphine drip around his neck. Chris choked uncontrollably, trying in vain to get the massive Black woman off his back.
“Do you feel like you’re about to die, nigga?” she growled lowly. “Do you feel life seeping out of you? That’s what I felt like when I got SHOT while carrying our son. And where were you headed? To KFC? Rally’s? It was just another day in the park to you. You Black mutha sucka.”
She released her grip on him and sneered as he crawled around on the newly mopped linoleum floors, gasping for breath. The adrenalin suddenly wore off and intense pain shot through her leg. She eased herself back into her bed.
“You ain’t worth two dead flies,” she croaked. “Now get out of my room and stop bleeding all over my floor.”
****Lights fading in *****
Now, that’s what that idiot Patricia Legarreta SHOULD have done when that sad excuse for a man Jamie Rohrs left her and their kids in the theater to face possible death, and then turned around and asked to marry her. Instead, she accepted his proposal. Yes, she is going to marry this grease ball.
Well, at least she knows he won’t ever try to protect them and certainly won’t die for her or those kids. It’s good to set those types of expectations early in a marriage, don’t you think? <—-Sarcasm
Has your significant other ever left you in a situation where your life was at stake? Would your significant other ever think to do something so low and heinous? Is it just me, or is Jamie Rohrs a special kind coward?