As usual, Daniel hugged his cousin Caroline goodbye as they got to her math class. That’s when it happened. The incident that would forever alter the small town of Bluewater.
As Caroline was releasing Daniel from the hug, she suddenly fell over as screams erupted in the hallway. He could not believe his eyes: Emily, the girl who harassed him at the school dance the previous night, shot his cousin several times in the leg. He was able to drag her into the math classroom as her teacher shut the door, locked it, and shut off the lights.
Whipping his phone out, Daniel decided to have an outside source relay messages. He dialed the number to the Bluewater Transit dispatch office and Jeff took his call. “It’s Daniel, Michael’s son. I don’t care how you do it, but reroute all buses away from BTC. I need you to get as many police and medical responders to Bluewater High. Caroline’s been shot and I know who is doing the shooting spree.”
Time was critical. It was 8:20 and he knew buses would be pulling into Bluewater Transportation Center any time (they were due there by 8:25 AM), and he didn’t want buses involved. He heard the radio in the background. Apparently an operator was calling in something suspicious at Bluewater High. Daniel figured (correctly) that the driver noticed the incident going on.
Gunfire and what sounded like small explosions tore through the school, which frightened everyone in the classroom. “I just want to go home,” Caroline whimpered.
Two of her classmates came over and applied pressure to her left leg in an attempt to slow the flow of blood while another was at the in-class sink prepping another paper towel.
Daniel looked at Caroline and then looked out the window. Police officers were already blocking BTC (the police station was next door to the school) and Daniel held his tablet to the window with big print font “My cousin needs medical attention”. Daniel stayed on the phone with BT Dispatch and Jeff said, “I told your father that Caroline was shot. We are sending a van to meet him and are sending him to the police station. They have a triage area set up.”
Meanwhile, Daniel clearly heard more gunfire and what sounded like explosions coming from above, which Daniel relayed. Caroline appeared very weak, but stubbornly refused to leave her cousin’s side. Her classmates were trying their best to at least slow the bleeding.
That is when Daniel noticed the text message on Caroline’s phone. His Aunt / her Mother / the School Principal was worried. Daniel responded “Caroline shot. I’m on phone with BT Dispatch. Dad knows. Dad en rt to police station. You safe?”
Aunt Rachel replied, “Office secure. How is Caroline?”
Daniel replied, “Classmates helping to stem bleeding. We are in her math class. She needs medical attention.”
More gunfire erupted, then suddenly silence. Caroline was still bleeding, but not as badly, thanks to her classmates makeshift bandages and splint, and was very nervous. The classroom was quiet, and everyone was extremely nervous.
It may have been a few hours or it may have been a few minutes when finally, police in SWAT gear burst into the classroom to led everyone to safety. Caroline didn’t want to leave her cousin’s side (who could blame her?) and several students were able to get her onto the teacher’s desk chair, which was on wheels. Was it perfect? No, but it did get Caroline out of the building where her mother and uncle were waiting.
Caroline was put on a stretcher to the triage area and started crying. “It’s over Caroline,” Her mother (Principal Rachel) said, “Emily is in police custody.”
“Daniel,” A familiar voice called out. His sister Rowena pulled him into a huge bear-hug and said, “I’m glad you’re alive. I was in the Deli when Dispatch called Mom.”
Daniel didn’t want Rowena to stop hugging him, and she fully understood. “It was Emily. The same bitch who tried to fuck me at the Dance.” He thought about it for a moment then demanded, “Where is Opal?? Is she safe?”
“I’m right here,” Opal Junior – and Opal Senior – both called out. Daniel was relieved, because he feared Opal Junior would be a target of Emily. It was Opal Junior who had the last dance with him and she was the one who had Rowena’s trust.
As quickly as it began, it was over. However, everyone knew that Bluewater would not be the same ever again. The shooter was in police custody and Caroline was, like several others, on her way to the hospital for treatment that was believed to be non life-threatning.
Daniel sat there, with his sister Rowena and his best friend Opal both holding him tightly as his brain was only beginnig to process the magnitude of what just happened. He refused to let either woman let go of him as he started crying.