New Beginnings, Episode 2, Part 3

The Correspondent

People always talk about where they were when they first heard about The Correspondent. She came out of nowhere and tried to make a difference. Some saw her as a beacon of hope, others as a sign of how far down the slope we had come. I never paid attention to all of that. I was too busy. Too busy working to pay my bills, too busy trying to figure out life. I was seventeen when it started. I was The Correspondent. This is my story.

When I finished my sketch, I was impressed. I had never considered myself an artist but I had learned that if I took my time I could create something that looked good. I just had to keep myself from looking over at Kate’s work. She was amazing. Her drawings had something extra to them that made mine looking like the scratchings of a cave man.

I closed my sketch book and pulled out my reading for criminal justice. I no longer had any excuse to skip that reading, but it was so boring I looked for one anyway. As midterms approached all of my teachers seemed to think we needed extra work. I had papers to write, reading to do and all I really wanted to do was work on my art projects. There was something therapeutic about them.

After five minutes of reading my eyes glazed over. There was no way I was going ot be able to sit still and read for the next hour or so before going to bed. I stood up, my chair scrapping on the hard floor, and headed out of the room. I looked at Kate, but she had her headphones in and was engrossed in some online video game. I grabbed my blue hoodie and shut the door, making sure I had my keys in my pocket.

The air was crisp, winter hadn’t quite set in, but it was cold at night. I was wearing my usual outfit for school, leggings and a hoodie, which meant I didn’t look weird when I started running to stay warm. The wind bit at my cheeks but I didn’t care. It was too wonderful being out at night. I felt a strange peace fall over me as I ran through the campus.

My dorm was on the far west side of campus. I threaded my way around buildings, staying off the main paths and authomatically running in shadow. One of the presentations that I had been forced to sit through had been about campus safety. About how it was important to travel in groups and to not be afraid to call security if something was happening. But I didn’t care. My evening runs were one of the few times I was actually alone at school.

Kate was great, but I had never shared a room with anyone. I was used to having privacy and not having to worry about a shower schedule. I think that was the hardest part of school, living in close proximity to other people. As I reached the tree that marked the turning back point for my run I wondered if I would ever be normal again.

My thoughts were interrupted by a loud explosion and the rapid staccato of gunfire.

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The story of The Correspondent will continue weekly. If you enjoyed this story, please scroll down and recommend it. Follow me on Medium or on Twitter. I also have Patreon.

Dylan Reed has always been interested in a good story. Raised without a TV he spent a lot of time with books and loves reading. Dylan has been a professional entertainer, studied commercial diving, and loves random trivia. He brings all of this and more together in his stories.