The sky was the pallid white of an overcast day with the sun fighting unsuccessfully to break through the clouds. Shining unseen casting an unearthly glow on everything. Molly sat on the median of the freeway watching the cars speed by. Every once in a while one of the speeding plastic and metal frames would honk it’s horn, and the sound would move like a musical note through her head.
She had come to the Martin Freeway at 5am, when there were hardly any cars out. Now it was 10:45am. She chose to sit in the middle of the freeway everyday she had nothing to do, which was a lot. Molly was a shy 17 year old dressed in a black shredded shirt over a satin corset, with a school girls skirt over tights with so many runs in them you’d think it was a marathon. Molly had her headphones in and was listening to Combichrist at maximum volume.
“Don’t tell me how to talk or how to live my life!
Fuck that shit! Fuck that shit!
Every time I’m right a little part of you dies!
Fuck that shit! Fuck that shit!”
Molly was banging her head like a head banger mouthing the words.
“Should I ever be punished for crossing the line?
Fuck that shit! Fuck that shit!”
Molly out of the corner of her eye saw a Gothic woman on the side of the road yelling something, the words were being drowned out by the song playing on her iPod. When the woman saw that Molly was looking she started waving her arms frantically to get her attention. Molly slowly took off her head phones and tried to give a defiant rebel look. She was also thinking the Gothic woman looked cool, old, but cool. She was in her mid-20’s and was wearing a black dress slit up the middle along with a black wool knit sweater, and a black shawl. Her make-up was dark metallic lip-stick and cat’s eyes drawn in with eyeliner. She was ghostly pale and had flawless skin. “Hey what the fuck are you doing out there! Are you like suicidal or something!”
“Whatever! I do this all the time! What does it matter to you if I’m suicidal?” Molly shrugged.
The 20 something Goth cupped her hands around her mouth, “You’re young! And you look pretty cool! I don’t like seeing cool kids get pancaked! I work just down the street!”
“I’m not trying to kill myself! I just didn’t have anything to do today!” Molly hoped her voice wouldn’t crack when she was yelling, she was starting to think the Goth girl was cool.
“That’s a pretty stupid reason to tempt Death!”
“No it’s not! It’s a daring feat of courage!” Molly had her arms outstretched in hopeless abandon.
“How did you get out of there!”
“I wait til there’s a break in traffic and run!”
“Well I’m going to wait here til that happens so I can call the ambulance!”
“You do that! I hope it makes you feel better!”
“Look my name’s Kate OK!”
Molly looked her over again, she smirked, “Really you look like more of a Bronwyn, or Lady Caldare!”
“Now isn’t the time to be sarcastic! I think there’s break” As Kate was yelling Molly bolted across the freeway towards her.
Molly made it safely to the shoulder of the freeway and confidently strode up to Kate.
Kate grabbed Molly by the shoulders, “Are you insane!!! That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen!”
“I think the Jocks at my school are stupider… I think I was being courageous.”
“Well let’s talk about it over lunch, I’ll buy.”
“No I know a nice little Cafe a few blocks from here, you’ll like it. And then I can talk some sense into you.” Kate started walking North towards the Grange Village. Molly heard only Hipster douches hung out in the Grange Village.
“But the douches!” Molly pointed towards the Grange.
“What? What douches?”
“The Grange, it’s full of douches…”
“No it isn’t! There are some business men, but it’s got a lot of alternative people. You know like you, well not like you, but into different things.” Kate thought she was over explaining it a bit… Of course there were some douchebags, you get them everywhere something cool is. And the Grange had a lot of cool shops. On the four block walk Kate pointed out some shops where Molly could get some clothes she’d like, as well as a few of the more alternative galleries.
Molly had never been in the Grange before, her older brothers and all her friends, what few she had, had told her it was a shitty place. She was taken by the restaurants with the smell of 4 star lunch being cooked wafting into her nostrils. When Kate brought her to the door of the Cafe, a nondescript European Cafe with a sign that read “Cafe Paradiso”.
The two took a table near a window. Kate ordered a couple of coffees and a couple of menus. And then when the coffees had come and the two had had a couple of sips, she look at Molly with a concerned look. “Sitting in the middle of a busy freeway is reckless and endangers the most precious thing you have. Your life. I can’t even begin to understand why a person like you, who looks pretty smart, would do something like that.”
Molly looked guilty for a second and then her rebelliousness kicked in, “Look what do you care what I do with my life, I thought Goth was all about death! I’m sure you do stupid things.”
“Well, yeah, but the stupid things I did when I was your age were pot and hallucinogens. I didn’t even do that much of them… But you know what, Life really matters to me. We only have a short time to enjoy things, like dark art and poetry, and music, and cheesy sci-fi epics, and zombie movies… You know we only have a little time.”
“Woah, deep. A Goth that loves life. Look Kate thanks for the coffee but you’re not my type of person.”
“Look Molly, I just don’t want to see a young life end stupidly. I have some pretty good reasons to want a long life.”
“Like, I have brain cancer.”
“What? Oh, I’m sorry… How… How long do you got?”
“A few weeks now. I was told I had two or three months six weeks ago.”
“You don’t look sick.”
“I’m wearing a wig. An expensive one, but it’s still a wig. I lost my hair to the chemo weeks ago. It didn’t help before you ask.”
“Oh…” Molly took a long sip of her coffee.
“It why I care about life. I want more time.”
The two talked for another hour before Molly took her leave.
Molly never saw Kate again, and always liked to think she made a miraculous recovery, but deep inside she knew she hadn’t. Molly never sat on the median again during rush hour or any other time. She met someone she could have seen as a role model and lost her the same day. She could have gotten her cell phone number, but what was the point she was going to be dead in less than a month. At least she could appreciate life more. Kate would like that.