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New York City, Manhattan, somewhere between So-Ho and Hell’s Kitchen: What are the chances of not only finding yourself face to face with another Irishman, but one who is nearly twenty years your senior and you’re inexplicably drawn to each other as if wielded by fate?
Bronwyn awoke and found herself trapped in a carcass of ripped and crunched metal. She blinked rapidly and tried to wipe broken glass from her hair. Flustered, she tried to maneuver around to see if she could somehow get free. She felt the warmth of fresh blood as it ran down the side of her face. Her breath was deep yet calm. Rain beat down in the pitch dark of night; the droplets echoed like pinging thunder and silenced any other sound until she heard footsteps slowly overtake the downpour. Heavy. Echoed. She didn’t move. She covered her mouth to subdue a yelp that would turn into a blood curdling scream. A strong weathered hand grabbed at her ankle and yanked hard on her leg to pull her from the wreckage.
“I’m not done with you yet!” the graveled voice howled. Bronwyn kicked back with her other foot to fend off the attacker. She desperately tried to find another way out. “Come here bitch!” She kicked back harder and clawed her way through a hole. She scrambled to her feet and began to run again when the man tackled her to the ground. He bashed his fist into her face. She could taste the blood as it filled her mouth. “You’re pretty,” he smiled.
His teeth were crooked and black. Spittle gathered at the corners of his mouth. “Stop it,” Bronwyn whimpered. He reached behind his back and pulled around a silver blade. Bronwyn began to cry. “Shh, don’t cry,” he wiped a tear from her cheek as it mixed with rain. “It won’t hurt, for long.”
“No!” Bronwyn shot up in her bed, beads of sweat ran down her forehead and chest. Sheets mangled and wrapped around her feet. Her phone vibrated against the night stand. Bronwyn rubbed her eyes, “Hello?”
“Bronwyn good morning,” Detective McDonald said cheerfully.
Bronwyn yawned as she sat up. “I’m tired of this. Every year you call. Every year I look at another hundred mug shots. It’s been ten years. I don’t want to do this anymore.”
“I told you I wasn’t going to give up on this. I know something will pop out and happen for us. All I’m asking for is a few hours.”
“No, all you’re asking for is for me to relive it over and over again. I can’t move on if you won’t let me let it go.”
“Promise me you’ll-”
“I’m not promising anything. I have to get ready for work; I’ll call you next week.” Bronwyn put the phone back on her nightstand and proceeded to prepare for the day ahead.
Once Bronwyn jumped out of bed and got herself into the shower. She looked at herself in the mirror. Her pale blue eyes were puffy as they stared back. She had unblemished ivory skin, straight long light brown hair and was taller than the average sized woman, an easy five foot ten inches.
She applied some face moisturizer as she began primping for the day. As she reached for the toothbrush, she knocked over the toothpaste and sent her hair brush to the floor onto her foot. “Goddamn it! Ow,” she rubbed the top of one foot with the other. As she brushed her teeth she ran into her closet to quickly throw an outfit together.
She pulled a long black wool skirt off its hangar and snagged a dark red, long sleeve scoop neck top to go with it. She ran back to the sink, spit out the toothpaste and picked up the brush to comb out her hair and part it in the middle. She glanced at the clock; it screamed 9:15 back at her. “Shit, shit, shit.” She got dressed took one last glance in the mirror, seized her bag and coat and flew out her apartment door.
She hustled down 7th Street and doing her best to keep from running into other people. Her cell phone began to ring. She tried to dig through her purse to find it and in doing so poked her finger on an uncovered pen. She quickly yanked her hand out and gave a quick suck to it. Her phone continued its persistence and beckoned her again. She pulled herself up against the outside wall of her favorite coffee shop, forced her bag open and began to rummage through all her junk and finally found the phone. “I’ve got to get myself a smaller bag,” she uttered under her breath as she clicked the answer button.
“Bronwyn, where are you?” Adam, Bronwyn’s colleague, asked with a thick, gruff voice.
“I know, Adam. I’m sorry. I had a wicked night’s sleep and must have accidentally turned off my alarm or something.”
“He’s waiting,” Adam continued. “I know you’re in charge of this one so you have to be here to oversee the transfer. He was adamant,” he chided.
“Look, I’m on my way. Tell Mr. Seeley I will absolutely make sure all the Is are dotted and Ts are crossed.” She paused and in that split second as she looked up time came to an utter standstill, at least for her. She locked eyes with a man.
He was tall, maybe six foot or more, Bronwyn couldn’t tell in the brief encounter. He had a creased brow deep in thought that vanished as he shot back a glance and smiled. Those eyes, she thought to herself. Bright blue and would have seemed average on any man, but not on him. He had short brown hair that was slightly grayed on the sides and a lean physique. His hands were huddled in the pockets of his coat. Must have forgotten his gloves. She completely drifted from her phone conversation.
“Bronwyn? You there?” Adam nudged. She looked away for a split second and lost sight of the gentleman.