Empathy: Before we Go / by LAZY GENiUS

  

   I met her when I was 32 and she was 19 but we still got involved. I walked around the campus with a bottle of wine in my coat pocket looking for her dorms with a slightly sinister grin. I climbed the stairs until I reached the fourth floor, sent her a text, "open your door".

  "Did you hear that?". "Hear what baby?". "It sounded like gun shots". I knew something didn't feel right on this campus. How did I get myself in this position. I mean, she's a great girl but she's so young, look at her. I wonder what flies through her mind as she walks around in this world. "You had to hear this time!". "Yes!, what do we do?". "We stay here, open this wine, and hope no one comes in here, the crazies can have it out there". "What about the people being hurt out there?".

  "What about them?, what can we do from here? Do you have a armory in your bathroom I don't know about?". "What does that mean?, what if you were out there and not in here? There are people dying. I'm scared in here, I couldn't imagine how I would feel being outside with no where to hide with a crazy man shooting away at will". I sat up more to the edge of the bed not fully looking in her direction. "That's the beauty of it, you don't have to imagine what you would feel like if you were in danger because you're not in danger, I don't understand that sort of thinking! Why put yourself through the pain and stress of what ifs, just to feel something you're not actually involved in. Don't get me wrong, I mean ya, what's going on outside might be horrible but, I don't want to feel the pain of those outside, it would wreck me. I would instead rather focus on enjoying my night". By this time I was standing and walking towards a book case where my belongings were and she replied, "where are your feelings?". "In the heart of my mind", I responded.

*radio plays
Andrew Waltz left this letter with his best friend Michael Penn. Michael has just handed this letter to us and our own Marsha Will read it, Marsha take it away...

Marsha reads:

"Dear all,

  To you all I deliver a gift that has been irking the very fibers of this great world and the life we live. For years I watched my father go off to work and tirelessly work to try and build relations in the community only to be shot down again and again. He worked with the filth everyday and everyday I watched parts of his soul dwindle away. I watched his fire, and spark disappear as he tried to understand and relate to the suffering of everyone, and for what? To be killed by the his comrades, the boys in blue. The only way I could repay my dad is to make your family feel what I felt everyday watching my father come home dead inside. For him I shall eliminate every officer I see the night after my fathers funeral".

  The room fell silent as I stood at the bookcase. "Now what do you have to say... Officer!?", she said "The same as before, I'm not on duty.", "those could be your friends out there!, you don't feel anything?", "I feel like, like..., like I need to smoke." By now I'm wonder if my brother was out there. This was his first month out of the academy, "look I know this kids father, I know how he died and when he died.", "Did you kill him?!", "I didn't say that, I just know him, I know Andrew, I just hope Phil isn't out there." I grab my phone and text, "Stay away from the college, Waltz' kid is shooting down cops".

  March 5, 1999
Bullets rain from the sky and start falling on unknowing targets. Those who have heard or seen a shot reached for their phones and began to alert the police. Officer Riley Brown of the State Wide University campus police is the most recent victim shot down. The gunman unloads a rattling shot to those in hiding and the sound pierces through the sky. Silence covered the campus for the longest fifteen seconds, sirens plummet closer towards the scene. A single shot rings out and peels through a cop car killing officer Phillip Longwell instantly. Screams from students drown out the next shot from the gunman. Fear covered the campus.