Slipped:A Love Story Birthed In Chiraq

By: Cece S



“O’mega?”

“No!”

“O’mega!” I screamed.

“Stah’si!” the officer yelled from behind me.

Through the thick smoke, I took off toward the collision. Bleeding faces and broken up bodies dragged past me as I got closer.

“It’s not safe that way.” A young boy tried to stop me. “It’s an oil spill.”

“Move.” I push his hand from around my wrist. “I gotta get to my man, let me go.”

“It’s not safe!”

All the way up on the crime scene, I scramble to get next to the tape that the firefighters are putting up to secure the scene.

As I went down the line, I looked at each and every face, and none belonged to O’mega.

“Can I see your phone?” I asked a man.

He declined, so I went to the next, and the next, and the next until a woman hands hers over to me as soon as she’s finished.

“Thank you.” I dial O’mega’s number on the small trap phone and pray for him to answer.

“No problem. Who you calling? Your husband?”

I nod. “I can’t find him. He’s supposed to be here.” My face becomes as droopy as my mood. When his phone goes to voicemail, I try one more time.

“It’s gon’ be alright, baby.” The older white woman soothed me. “If he was here before the oil spill, he’s still here.”

“His phone is not answering though!” I panicked, looking around again.

“Try him again,” she urged me. “He is here. Ask one of the officers, come on.”

She pulled me and her both right to the front of the accident. The smoke was heavy and the scene was brutal. So many wounded and waiting for help. On stretchers, people sat with third degree burn over their entire bodies.

“How did this happen?” The elderly lady fussed beside me.

“A drunk driver!” A skinny kid behind us answered. “He was running his mouth, talking to somebody. We seen him the whole time, from cars back. I said he was crazy, ma! I said it!”

His mother, an older looking version of him with darker complected skin came and covered her boy’s mouth.

“You don’t say that. He could’ve been in a rush, ma’am, my baby gets ahead of himself sometimes.”

“Ma, he was angry! I’m telling you!”

“What kind of car was he in?” I asked him.

His little face lit up before he said anything. “Ma, she’s so pretty,” he murmured into her.

“Kids.” His mama sent him along.

“Wha- What kind of car was the drunk man in?”

“Four door,” the woman said. “Four door 300c. Dark. The man was fine, just mad. Real mad, or something.”

We made it to the yellow tape like it was nothing.

“Can y’all tell me where the angry man is?”

“What’s wrong, baby?”

The elderly lady flagged a police officer over. “Officer, she’s looking for her husband, she needs your help.”

“Ma’am, we aren’t in the process of locating people, right now...”

I left them standing there and called O’mega’s phone again. The officer starts talking to me. My stomach and my head are not in agreement. On one hand, I’m sick, sick as a dog—disgusted. From the smell of burning flesh and hair. From the nasal insult of the spilled toxins. And on the other hand, I’m scared, scared as fuck. I want to shit. No, I wanna throw up. Right now I could do both. The entire collision was so ugly, I couldn’t even tell the cars from the trucks and white bodies from brown bodies. People were crying and sirens were blaring, loud.

In the middle of the Brooklyn bridge, they were all bruised and burned all the same. O’mega’s cell phone isn’t though, and I swear that it is his cell phone I see vibrating on the ground next to a burned man.

“O’mega?” I headed to him.

“You can’t be back here,” an officer practically football tackled me back to the yellow tape.

“That’s my boyfriend, that’s my boyfriend, please!”

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