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It was only the two of us since we left Lizton. It’s a terrible town to fall in love in because no one loves in that town. The men are in love with the fields, the crops, and the machines to plant the crops into the fields. The women are in love with the bigger towns that surround Lizton – Brownsburg, Avon, Zionsville, Danville, and Indianapolis. But no one loves there. “The only Lizton in the world!” the signs say, welcoming you into what you think would be a magical town experience. "The only Lizton in the world?" you think. How interesting! Of course, the town is anything but. The town consists of 366 acres of run-down and once-was. Within that 366 acres are 497 people thinking that they either wish that they could’ve done better or thinking there’s nothing better. The latter is not how we saw it.
The second that we graduated from Tri West, we sold the parts to Maxx’s ’76 Monte Carlo and took my car further up North. Our favorite place to go together was the dunes. Every summer, we would make a road trip out of visiting. We stopped at every antique store we passed, we made a game out of counting how many McDonalds we can count on the way there, and we made a different mixtape every year, consisting of our favorite songs. We even made one for our move-in trip. We looked for apartments in Porter County before our senior year of high school was halfway finished. Online, I found a studio apartment on top of an old café in Chesterton and immediately fell in love. It wasn’t big, and it wasn’t permanent, but it was in Chesterton, and it was ten minutes from the state park. The second that I showed him the pictures, Maxx looked at me with the biggest smile on his face, and I knew his answer.
Eight months later, we were moved in. Having just graduated high school and escaping the only town we ever knew, the world was ripe with new experiences and possibilities. We weren’t nervous about this big move because we were together, and that was all that we needed. Ed Sheeran was playing, and Maxx was holding an invisible acoustic guitar and singing in my ear, and I was laughing and smiling and in love. The world was so good. The first few nights were stressful, given that the two of us had never moved furniture into an apartment before. We fought about what wall would look better with the couch against it. We fought about whether it was the walls’ fault, the couch’s fault, or that it looked terrible against all of the walls. It was also unbearably hot in the apartment because we didn’t know how to turn on the air conditioner. But by the end of the night, we put the couch against the wall, laid down on that ugly couch, and fell asleep way farther apart than usual because of the heat that stuck to our bodies. But we were close. It was the best day of my life.
We had just arrived back from Walmart, windows down to keep cool and singing along to the same Ed Sheeran song that Maxx loves so much. He added my name in the funniest spots, where there was no time in between the lyrics to do so, but he did it anyway. “TAYLOR, TAKE ME INTO YOUR LOVING AAAAAARMS! TAYLOR, KISS ME UNDER THE LIGHT OF A THOUSAND STAAAAARS, OH TAYLORRR!” The song was still playing as the car was parked in our parking space and was turned off. He finished the song in boisterous fashion, mixing his loud over-enunciated lyrics with our laughter. He finished the song and kissed me quickly. As I rolled the windows back up, he unbuckled his seatbelt and left the car, closing the door behind him.
Before I even unbuckled my seatbelt, I checked the time on my phone and began planning the rest of the day in my mind. It’s 3:09 right now, and the recipe says that the chicken will take three hours to fully cook, so if I start the chicken in the next five minutes, that will be 3:14, which means the chicken will be done by 6:14. I can cook the vegetables in twenty minutes, make the mashed potatoes in ten minutes, and —
In the most sudden manner, I heard a fist slam against the passenger side door window. My phone flies out of my hand and my body immediately retracts from the sudden noise. BANG, BANG, BANG. The car immediately fills with fear, and my shaking hand fumbles with the seat belt, trying desperately to unbuckle and get as far away from this moment as possible. I look out the abused window. I see a body, I see a blurred fist, but the person was too tall for me to see their face. BANG, BANG. There’s blood on the window, sinking into the small crack that had inhabited that window since 2014. The crack was growing.
Before I knew it, tiny shards of glass were flying towards me. With my hands covering my face, I heard the glass fall onto the dashboard. I felt the glass fall onto my lap. I felt it hit my hands. I knew that it would be on the passenger seat, on the floor, and I would likely find tiny shards even after the car would be cleaned, possibly in between the cushions of the seats, or maybe in between the seats and the center console when I drop my phone down there. I know that the broken glass is going to haunt me until I get rid of this car; that is, if I get out of this car right now.
(to be continued in part 2)