The brick landed hard.
At first I didn't feel anything, just the thump and the jerk in my neck. But then the pain receptors kicked it and it started stinging hard, and I could feel the warm, wet, sticky blood beginning to pool in my hair. My eyesight fuzzed out, and then all the dumpsters and fire escapes in the brick alley started swirling.
I didn't know who could've assaulted me. Or who would. Some gang bangers around the corner? Some assholes with a club? Oh shit, I thought. This is it. Mom told me I shouldn't have moved to Chicago.
My head twisted around, darting this way and that, looking all over for anyone. Was that a shadow of a cat or a thug with a nine? Is that a group of skinheads with pipes? But there was nothing. Nobody. Bright, sunny Chicago summer. Cool and shaded alley. Me and a bleeding head. So I looked up at the tenement building I was walking past. What did I see?
About six or seven crumbling loose bricks about three stories up at the edge of the roof.
"Fucking rotting city."
So I pulled out my handkerchief and dabbed the back of my head with it, turned around and went back to my shithole apartment. Fuck class, fuck college, fuck Chicago.
Fuck, my mom was right. I shouldn't have moved out here.