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    Home / College Guide / The Beginning (Part II) - KARMA! | Royal Road
     Posted on Thursday, February 22 @ 00:00:04 PST

    Advertisement [Remove](/premium/subscription) I woke up next to a pile of Skittles and Froot Loops. I groaned, wiping the dried blood from my lips and analyzing my surroundings. From what I can guess, they moved me inside this convenience store to avoid the heat and to have a safe place to rest my unconscious body. I massaged my head, it felt like a hammer was being hit directly on my brain. I nearly curled into a ball as I prayed the pain stopped. Right then, I felt a plastic wedge stab my elbow. I quickly moved my arm out the way, revealing a yellow capsule and a bottle of water not too far away. Medicine! Without hesitation, I grabbed the capsule and read the label. A little handwritten note said Martin, if u can see this, the old dude said this should calm ur headaches if u get them. Obviously, I didnt think twice before gulping down the medicine. I sat down waiting for the medicine to take effect. After fifteen minutes or so, the pounding stopped and my vision became crystal clear. Now that had been cleared up, I could fully take in my surroundings; and boy, the shock wave really did a number on this poor store seeing as the entire front side had been blown apart. It was like a war had been fought here.

    Rows of food stuffs and toys were pilled on the right side of the front of the store, and rubble was seemingly pushed to the left. I looked out and into the sky, the sun had already set. It was also a blue moon tonight, and the moonlight shone upon the crowd of people still camping right outside the store. It would seem as the crowd had been ordered to stay put as I saw rows upon rows of police vehicles. As I slowly walked upon the convenience store, the sound of glass and concrete being crushed under my feet echoed throughout the store, I heard a fleshy schlop. My mind raced. In my heart, I already knew what is was. I told myself to keep walking, to not let curiosity get the best of me, that it was a bad idea to look down. But I was human, and in my infinite curiosity, I looked down at the ground and I saw it... I stepped on a dismembered hand. I didnt even think, I just ran out the store. Im not even going to try and describe how it looked, as it would be ingrained in my head. All I needed to do was find Tsagi. The crowd, by my guess, numbered nearly a hundred people. A pretty big chunk of the street had been shut down to accommodate these people, and by the numerous tents and blankets I was seeing, it seemed as if we were going to be stuck here for a good while.

    I also saw police officers but every single one patrolled the perimeter of the chunk, and by the looks of it, they werent there to keep something out; they were there to keep the people in. I mean, it wasnt uncommon, but in an emergency like this one shouldnt they be more focused on the outside? My question was answered when I walked farther out into the near border of the chunk: an entire unit of military officers, soldiers, and personnel. Each of them were stacked head-to-toe in military gear and giant AK-47 that looked like it could shoot down a tank. Miss, Im going to have to ask you to step away from the border, a deep and rough voice ordered behind me. Were all restless and want to go home, but please dont make these brave men and women risk their lives for your restlessness, I turned around and saw a man in jet-black military gear with a giant AR in his hand that literally towered over me. Im a cool 510, but I literally had to bend my neck to meet this guy face-to-face...or well, mask-to-face. While I stared in awe at the giant man, he squinted his eyes at me and then tapped my forehead. Hello? Earth to miss, you there? I snapped out of my awe-stricken daze and nodded my head, the blood rushing to my cheeks again.

    I dont know why, but I freeze and just become quiet around authority; something my grandfather instilled in me as a child because I was too wild and free. After nodding like a dumbass, I walked aimlessly around the chunk in search of Tsagi. I got a few catcalls from people, but one quick hi in my deepest and masculine tone quickly shut then down. Honestly, it was comical the way their face went from suave and sexy to what the fuck and it made me chuckle a little. Suddenly, a strong grip touched my shoulder. A chill ran down my spine, was one of the men who catcalled me mad that he was catfished? It wasnt my fault anyways! If you find this story on Amazon, be aware that it has been stolen. Please report the infringement. What are you so skittish about? Its me, All the stress deflated from my body like a balloon and I breathed the loudest sigh of relief. I turned around and was face-to-face with a grinning Tsagi, who had taken his shirt off to reveal bandages around his lower abdomen. What happened to you? I asked. He puffed his chest and proudly rubbed the bandages. Oh you know, war scars from saving some people, Oh he thinks hes a superhero now. You saved people? Tsagi began walking and signaled for me to follow him.

    Although the chunk was pretty small for a hundred or so people, it wasnt crowded; mostly because people clumped into groups so there were lots of wide open spaces. A lot of these groups were either a family unit, college kids that stuck together, or just people with the same aesthetic. For example, I spotted a group of older men all dressed in outdoor country wear; boots, loose jeans, and buttoned up shirts. One of them even waved at me. Tsagi stopped at a patch of soft grass and sat down with me following his lead. We just sort of stared at the sky for a minute, before Tsagi sighed and looked down. His entire demeanor changed; what was beaming with confidence, he was slumped in a defeated position and the true weight of his emotions crushed him. I tried to save him... Ah, I see. He felt guilt. Tsagi was a very generous and helpful person, he would risk his life to even save a puppy. And if he was unable to make a person happy, it utterly crushed him. So failing to save a life mustve absolutely destroyed him. I placed a caring hand on his shoulder and scooted next to him. Whats wrong? What happened? He sighed heavily. When me and that old guy got done fixing you up and safely removing the plank from your side, we went to the convenience store to safely keep you there so you could rest.

    When we got there, we saw a man on the floor bleeding out- Wait, dont tell me- His arm had been sliced clean off by sheet metal and he was on the verge of death. Me and the old guy tried everything in our power to save him, but in the end it was too late. I saw... tears began streaming down his face as he tried to talk, and as his friend, it pained my heart to see him like this. ...I saw the life leave his body...*sniff*...and when I turned around...we saw a little girl staring at the man...and thats when we learned that that was the mans daughter... I could feel my heart and soul shatter as I listened to him. Seeing that mustve been extremely traumatizing, to see the exact moment a human dies. ...she kept on shouting Daddy, Daddy wake up over and over...I didnt have the heart to tell her that her father had died...the old guy had to get her away from her fathers corpse... I looked at Tsagis face, the ocean of tears strolling down his face as he recounted events. I wish I could just take the pain away, but all I could do was hug him tight and reassure him. His body went limp as he cried, he had given up. He had no drive anymore. I know its hard seeing that, believe me I know, but you shouldnt beat yourself up over something you couldnt control.

    You tried your best to save him, but it wasnt enough, Why. Why isnt my best enough? Am I that useless? I playfully punched him. Of course not! Who was there for me when my dad died? Who was there to comfort me when me and my grandfather fought? Who risked their life to save their sister from oncoming traffic? I could see just a tiny spark of life in his eyes, but a spark could easily turn into a flame and then a raging inferno. Tsagi, I remember all the times youve been a hero in my eyes. You have a big heart and a strong spirit. You cant control every outcome, but you can control how you react and how you continue to help others. Tsagi wiped his tears and looked up at me with a mix of gratitude and determination. Youre right, he said, his voice stronger than before. Its just so tiring, you know, I hugged him again. You saw a man die before your eyes and still kept on pushing, I said. If thats not a symbol of true strength, I dont know what is, I saw the flame come back in his eyes as he stood back up and hugged me back again. Suddenly, he grabbed my shoulders and pointed into the neighborhood blocked off by police. I heard rumors that people were are still trapped out there, Tsagi informed me, much to my shock.

    Do you think your sister and mom is out there? Tsagis remarks hit me like a ton of bricks. My pulse raced as I imagined the prospect that my sister and mother were still trapped out there, in the chaos and uncertainty from which we had just escaped. The thought had persisted in the back of my mind, but I had pushed it away, focusing on the urgent chores at hand. I took a long breath to calm myself down. I... I dont know, Tsagi, I acknowledged, my voice trembling slightly. Ive been so wrapped up in everything thats been going on here that I havent allowed myself to truly contemplate... What if theyre out there? What if theyre in danger? Tsagi put a soothing hand on my shoulder. Well find out, Martin. he said. We wont stop till we do, I smiled warmly to him, but the task was near impossible. How are we going to get past the swarms of police and SWAT team units? A devilish grin crept up on Tsagis face. Oh, I know a way, Advertisement [Remove](/premium/subscription) [Log In](/account/login?ReturnUrl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.royalroad.com%2Ffiction%2F81914%2Fkarma%2Fchapter%2F1527538%2Fthe-beginning-part-ii)

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