She opened her locker and it went off. A blast like 1/8 of a stick of dynamite, shredding steel that burrowed into her arms and legs and stomach. The boy did it on a dare as a prank. He, too, was seventeen and planned to live forever.
She lay on the cold marble floor, eyes open and conscious but not moving. Bodies crowded in, making it dark and close and hard to breathe. Ms. Haley leaned over her and the others backed away. The teacher checked Lynn’s pulse. Still alive, but now what? She stood up.
“Somebody call 911.”
The boy who did it pulled out a smart phone, a phone that was smarter than himself. He called and handed the phone to Ms. Haley who provided details and urged the operator to send help quickly.
There was a long, long uncomfortable silence during which time stopped for Lynn and dragged on endlessly for everyone else. Ms. Haley tied a shirt around the biggest wound but blood still flowed onto the floor.
Lynn’s boyfriend was in history class, unaware. Her parents were at their jobs. Her little brother was in elementary school. Lynn was alone except for her teacher, various students who she knew slightly, and her assailant.
The medics arrived, took a pulse, listened to her heart.
“Am I going to die?” Lynn asked.
“No, honey,” said Ms. Haley as they carried her off on a stretcher. “You’ll be fine.”
Local news covered it that night, and told viewers where they could send flowers. By the next morning, events moved on to other stories. The hole in Lynn’s stomach and in the hearts of those who cared for her remained unhealed.