2 am. Everything took on the dark blue hue cast by the moonlight filtered through the thick, never-ending blanket of clouds covering the sky. Little raindrop explosions bombarded puddles on the sidewalk. Streams of water poured off the roof of a gazebo in the middle of a long-deserted park. Muffled beats of music came from the trunk of a passing car, studded winter tires scratching out their own melody on the wet pavement.
She couldn't have been older than sixteen. Ninety five pounds at the most. Her shredded tank top barely covering her bruised, waifish torso. A short black leather skirt left little to the imagination as she sat sideways on her knees, her head hung, wet clumps of hair sticking to her face. Bitter, salty tears were running down her cheeks to the corners of her mouth. She was cold and wet and in more pain than should be experienced by any woman or man.
In her bony fingers she held a tiny bag of heroin. Her last, she told herself. She'd done a lot of stupid things for drugs in the past few weeks, since she got kicked out of her house by her angry, disappointed mother. Letting an entire gang pass her around like a blowup doll was the worst. She held back tears as she imagined herself in the arms of her last boyfriend, they laughed as they threw her to each other.
He was 19 when they met. Standing there, outside her high school, waiting to pick up his brother. He was leaning against his car, smoking a cigarette. His hair was spiked, with the tips dyed blue. Short black leather jacket covering a wife beater hanging over the belt holding up the blue boot-cut jeans tucked into a pair of untied black combat boots. She was wearing her favorite schoolgirl uniform that her girlfriends envied so much. She'd saved for it by doing extra chores around the house on weekends instead of going out to the movies with all her friends.
The draft came a few months later; he went to Iraq with the rest of the guys over 18. He was the gunner of a humvee during a convoy mission. The deep-buried IED was tripped when the truck rolled over a pressure plate the size of a frisbee. Three inches to the left and everyone would have been fine. The blast filled the truck with smoke. The three passengers' and the driver's lungs were charred by the air as it was instantly heated to 3000 degrees. The molten brass projectile of the IED went through the middle of the floor and into the gunner. He was turned inside out by the pressure of all the water and blood in his organs heating up and expanding. Inside his kevlar vest, right next to the armor plate there was a small picture of her, in that same schoolgirl outfit she was wearing the first day he saw her.
She pulled out the dirty, burnt spoon and a butane lighter. Using the broken strap that barely held on to a clip on her torn purse, she tied off her arm. A used syringe was in her hand, slowly filling up. She pushed the needle into her skin and a little drop of blood dissolved in the null gravity of the hot liquid. The syringe empty, she pulled the knot of her tie-off loose and wondered if she'd see him in heaven.
But when it rains, it pours - the next morning her mother identified the body of an OD'd Jane Doe at the city morgue.