The goose bumps stood all over Jane’s shoulder and she stomped her foot, at least partially because of the cold. She’d claim it was only because of her frustration over the line and insist that chain smoking cigarettes kept her warm.
“This is truly infuriating,” Jane said, flicking her cigarette to the dampened sidewalk and smashing it with her stilettoed boot.
“Maybe we should just call it a night,” I suggested.
Our fake IDs had not been as impressive as Jane’s connection had promised, and this would be the third club we’d be turned away from, if we ever managed to make it to the door.
Since we were going out, I had allowed Jane to dress me, so everything was ill-fitting and far too revealing for the Minnesota night. A heavy mist settled over us, but she refused to shiver or admit that any of this fazed her. Her plan was to get crazy drunk and hook up with somebody completely random, and I couldn’t reason with her.
“No!” Jane shook her head. “I have a good feeling about this place.”
“It’s after midnight, Jane.” The pair of heels I borrowed from her caused permanent damage to my feet, and I shifted my weight to ease the pain.
“I just want to dance and be stupid!” She started whining, making her seem much younger than seventeen so we’d be even less likely to get into the club. “Come on, Alice! This is what being young is all about!”
“I really hope not,” I muttered. Waiting in line for hours and getting declined from clubs did not sound like a good time. “We can try again next weekend. I promise. It’ll give us more time to find better ID’s.”
“I don’t even have any alcohol.” Her expression had gone all pouty, but I knew that she was starting to cave.
“I’m sure we can find some somewhere,” I said
Jane could find alcohol the way I found water. She had nothing to complain about. Wherever Jane went, a party was sure to follow.
“Fine.” Sighing, she stepped out of line and headed in the direction towards my apartment, away from the bright lights of the clubs and drunken people smoking cigarettes. “But you owe me.”
“Why do I owe you?” I demanded.
“For making me leave early.”
We’d made it a few feet from the line when I couldn’t take it any longer. I stopped and ripped off the borrowed shoes, preferring to walk barefoot on the dirty cement than risk any more blisters. Most likely, I’d get gum or something in a fresh wound and end up with typhoid or rabies, but it still seemed like a better option.
We walked far enough away from the clubs where it started to feel deserted, and two teenage girls walking around in downtown Minneapolis wasn’t the safest thing in the world.
“We should get a cab soon,” I suggested.
Jane shook her head, negating cab ideas. We didn’t have very much money, so the farther we walked, the shorter the cab ride would be. I lived by Loring Park, which really wasn’t that far from where we were, but it still wasn’t within walking distance.
A green and white taxi sailed past us, and I gazed longingly after it.
“We need the exercise anyway,” Jane said, noticing my expression.
I don’t know why I ever agreed to her shenanigans. They were always much more fun for her then they were for me. Being the less sexy sidekick wasn’t a very glamorous life.
“But my feet hurt,” I said.
“-pain, yeah, yeah, I get it,” I grumbled, cutting her off.
Jane lit another cigarette, and we walked in silence. I knew she was sulking about the club and trying to plot some exciting adventure to drag me into, but I wouldn’t fall for it this time.
The sound of the traffic from Hennepin Avenue had faded enough where I could hear the footfalls echo behind us. Jane seemed oblivious, but I couldn’t shake the feeling we were being followed.
Then the footsteps behind us started to hurry up, becoming heavier and louder, combined with the sound of ragged breathing and hushed male voices.
Jane looked over at me, and the panic in her eyes meant that she heard them too. Out of the two of us, she was braver and stole a look back over her shoulder at them.
I was about to ask her what she saw when she started sprinting forward, and that was answer enough for me. I tried to catch up to her, but she wasn’t about to slow down for me, remaining a few steps ahead.
The street ended with a parking garage, and Jane ran into it, and rather dumbly, I followed her. There had to be other places with crowds, but her first choice had been a dimly lit underground parking garage.
I allowed myself a look back for the first time. In the darkness, I could see little more than the silhouettes of four large men. When they saw me looking at them, one of them started to cat call.
I ran forward, only to realize Jane wasn’t in front of me. I didn’t have a very good fight or flight reflex, so I just froze when I didn’t see her.
“Over here!” Jane hissed, but the acoustics in the garage were awful. I couldn’t tell where her voice was coming from, so I just stood frozen underneath a flickering yellow light and hoped that my death would be quick and painless.
“Hey little girl,” one of the guys purred in a voice that sounded anything but friendly.
I turned to face them. Since I had stopped running, so had they, and they strolled over to me.
“Do you always run from a good time?” another one asked. For some reason, the rest of them thought that was hilarious, and their laughter filled the garage.
The hair on the back of my neck stood up, and I opened my mouth to say something, maybe even scream, but nothing came out. I stood in a pool of cold water and oil, and the light above me decided to go out for good.
Closing my eyes against the dark, I didn’t want to risk seeing anything they did to me. They talked amongst themselves, laughing and making perverted jokes, and I knew I was going to die.
Somewhere behind me, I heard the screech of tires, but I just squeezed my eyes shut tighter.
“Hey! What are you doing?” a voice shouted to the side of me. As soon as I heard him speak, I knew that it didn’t belong to the group of guys closing in on me, and I opened my eyes.
“What’s it to you?” a large tattooed guy growled, but he started taking a step back. A car had pulled in the parking space to my right, shining the bright headlights past me.
“I think you should just back off,” the new voice said.
I peeked over to the side at him, but the shadows from the headlights hid him. It was too dark for me to make anything out, except his pink tee shirt.