It would have been better if she was what I expected. It would have been a lot easier if she was some drunk, crazy, screaming meanie, filled with booze and hate, fighting with some other girls about whatever it is they fight about. It would have been just another call if she just cooperated, and was obnoxious, and demanding and thought the world revolved around her, and ignored me and paid more attention to her phone. That would have made it easy.
But it wasn't easy.
She was adorable, and sober, and dressed for a night dancing with her boyfriend. She was worried that her mom would be mad that she got hurt. She wasn't drunk, she didn't even drink. She was in the line of fire, that's all. The wrong place at the wrong time. She was in the way when a drunk, crazy, screaming meanie threw a bottle, and her face broke the intended path,and more glass started to fly, and fists and kicks started, and when it ended her beautiful face was sliced up, and her teeth were broken, and her eyeball gouged, and a four inch laceration bled from the top of her breast and soaked her dress with blood.
I wish she hadn't smiled through the mask of blood, and then winced with pain when the jagged edges of her skin moved, and her lip separated when I asked her her name.
And most of all, I wish she hadn't told me with another painful smile that her name is Marlin. Marlin, like the fish, she said, and asked me if her face would be okay.