The Girl from Ipanema, Pt. II

The Girl from Ipanema, Pt. II

A story where cats lead to many strange places.
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Pt. I

I was 2 blocks from my apartment when I encountered the cat. It was a brilliant pure white. A white that stood out uncomfortably against the dark backdrop of the city, as if the cat were some sort of glitch in reality itself. Too white and clean for a cat with no collar sitting on the sidewalk at 2 in the morning, that was for sure. It looked at me and tilted its head quizzically. I almost felt like I was being sized up and silently judged as I approached—maybe that’s just a cat thing.

As I got closer, I noticed the colors of the cat’s eyes. One eye sparkled a gentle, crystalline blue, like the clear water you see in advertisements for tropical vacations, or that split second at the very edge of a waterfall where the dark water of a river turns a brilliant light blue before exploding into white froth. The other eye was emerald green. It was lush like the woods after a heavy rain. I suddenly realized that I had been standing in front of this cat practically having a staring contest for several minutes at least. I tensed up and self-consciously looked around to make sure nobody had been watching, the last thing I needed was somebody thinking I was trying to telepathically communicate with stray cats or something crazy like that. Thankfully there wasn’t a soul in sight. First the pizza girl, now a cat? I exhaled and shook my head, a little disappointed in my own peculiarity, before stepping around the cat and carrying on.

“Lost your way, Miss?” came a quiet, posh voice from behind me. I froze in place. Only a moment ago there had been nobody around except for the cat.

“Oh, no, no. I’m almost home actually!” I said nervously. My voice felt almost foreign on my tongue. I spun about to face the voice, waving my hands apologetically in one awkward, swooping motion. My eyes widened and my shoulders tensed, there was nobody there. Someone had definitely spoken to me, unless I was suddenly becoming schizophrenic on top of everything else.

“You’d see a lot more if you only looked a little harder, you know,” the soft, vaguely English voice spoke again. This time I keyed in on the angle it was coming from. I looked down to find that the cat was sitting at my feet, his tail lazily swishing back and forth as he looked up at me.

“Did you just talk to me?” I asked, my voice strangely calmer now.

“Well, of course. Did you expect me to send you a letter or hold up a sign? I have no fingers or thumbs. I’m a cat," he said matter-of-factly, as if I was an idiot for questioning it.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend.” That was it, I was sure I’d officially gone insane.

“It’s fine. I didn’t expect your perceptions to amount to much anyway.” Now I felt offended.

There was a brief lull in the conversation, an awkward silence permeating the air between the cat and I. Finally I asked him, “Do you have a name?”

“Haiku. Haiku the Cat.” He nodded.

“Like the poetry?”

“Exactly like the poetry.”

“Well, Haiku,” I paused to consider my next few words.

“Yes?”

“Is there something you want?” I finally asked, hoping I didn’t sound too rude.

“There’s nothing that I want, but you, on the other hand, seemed quite lost.”

“Lost?” I ventured to ask.

He nodded again and flicked his tail. “Lost. Out of place. As if part of you exists here in this reality, but another exists elsewhere. In a timeline far removed from your own. Things aren’t supposed to be split like that, you know. It messes with the natural flow of the world.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Your soul. You’ve been without it for quite some time. I’m here to help you get it back.”

End Pt. II

Cover Image Credit: honesttopaws.com

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To the guy that shot my brother...

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To the guy that shot my brother,

On January 9, 2019 my families entire life changed with one phone call. The phone call that my little brother had been shot in the face, no other details. We didn't need any other details. The woman on the phone who called us in full panic told us where he was so we went, as soon as possible. I don't think it helped that not even 10 min prior I talked to Zach on the phone.. kind of irritated with him, and the ONE TIME I didn't say 'I love you' as we hung up. Could've been the last time we ever spoke.. I remember pulling up to the hospital thinking 'this can't be real' 'it's not our Zach' 'this is just a dream Sarah, WAKE UP' I'd close my eyes really tight just to open them, I was still in the hospital emergency parking lot. I could still hear the ambulance sirens coming. It was all real.

The day our life's changed was definitely a test of faith. A test of how strong we were, as a family. I sat in that waiting room ready to see the damage that has been done to my sweet baby brother. Because at that point we had no idea how lucky he got. That glimpse of seeing Zach will haunt me forever. How helpless I felt in that exact moment frequently wakes me up from these horrific dreams I've been having ever since that day. That is a moment burned into my me and families brain forever.

You always hear about these things in the movies or on the news, a house being shot up, someone shooting another innocent person, not to care if they died on your watch. But we found ourselves on the news.. We have been confined to the hospital since that day. Running on barely any sleep, taking shifts of sleep so we don't make ourselves sick taking care of Zach. Watching him suffer. Undergoing surgeries, to repair the damage you did.

Before I proceed let me tell you a little something about the man you shot.

Zachary Keith Wright. A blonde hair blue eyed boy. Who could potentially be the most annoying human on the planet (possibly coming from his sister). A man who loves his God first, loves his family second. Perfect by no means, but almost perfect to me. A 19 year old who was to graduate high school this month. After graduation he was prepping to leave for Marine boot camp in the summer.. being in the military has been Zach's dream since he could talk. Literally. Running around, playing war with underwear on our heads, and finger guns. Some would say we looked like natural born assassins.. growing up he has been a country boy. Let me tell ya country to the core. He loves this country like he loves his family. He believes in helping people, taking charge in what's right, and never leaving a brother behind. He's lived by that his whole life. Until now....

The day you shot him. The day not only did you change my brothers life, you changed his families life too. The day you almost ripped my brother out of this world... for what? A misunderstanding? Because you've let something take ahold of your life that you can't let go you're willing to kill someone innocent over? Luckily for him, his guardian angels were protecting him in your time of cowardice. There were 3 times that day he should've died, the time you shot him, the time you tried to shoot him again as he stared you directly in the face, (even tho he couldn't talk I know you could read his eyes, and he still intimidated you. That's why you tried to pull the trigger again) and the time he was running out of the house. But he lived. A man who was shot in the face, didn't lay there helpless, didn't scream in agony. That MAN walked to the neighbors to get help. Why? Because he's a MAN, and because he's on this earth for a reason.

It's gonna sound a little strange not only to you, but the audience who is reading this. I must say thank you. Even in this situation, this was the best outcome we could get. He gets to live. He will make a full recovery. He will graduate. And he will go off into the Marines. You united my family together. Closer than ever. Thank you. You tested our faith and brought us closer to our God. Thank you. Because of your moment of weakness, you showed us what prayer could do. Heal anything. Thank you. This was a bump in the road, and a helluva way to kick off our year of 2019. But here we are.. all laying in the hospital. I'm looking around as mom is sleeping in her recliner chair exhasted but still here, Zach his awake playing his xbox all hooked up to machines, fighting to heal and get better. And of course I'm writing this letter to you.

See you in trial,

From the girl whose brother you shot.

'Fight the good fight' - 1 Tim 6:12 🤟🏼💙

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