This weekend’s Trifextra challenge is calling for something different. Non-fiction, as in “a real account of a period in your life that can be clearly identified by (wait for it) the number three.” And it must be 333 words or less.

I thought about it for a while until I finally came up with two real life experiences. After vacillating between them for a while, I finally decided on this one, figuring the other to be better suited for a much lengthier piece. My life is full of arbitrary, defining moments. And I would certainly count this experience among them. Only the names have been changed.

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A memorable night made MORE memorable

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It was the night of my sweet sixteen party. There were nine of us celebrating our milestone birthdays that night. The event was perfect and, when it ended at midnight, my date, Gus, and I left with my friend, Sarah, and her date, Stephen. We were headed to a music club in the Marigny, a neighborhood just downriver of the French Quarter.

We had a hard time finding a parking spot and had to circle the block a few times before finally grabbing one nearby. As we stepped out of the car onto the sidewalk, three men … teens, actually … rushed us and demanded “Purses, wallets and belongings.” I remember staring into the eyes of the boy who couldn’t have been more than a few years older than me as he pointed a pistol directly at my chest.

I never moved or spoke. I froze and my bones and muscles all locked, as though by rigor mortis. The boy literally used his gun to knock the purse out of my rigid fingers.

But all three of my co-victims had distinctly different reactions.

My date, Gus, was oddly cool. He remained totally collected and produced his wallet with the speed and compliance of someone at the supermarket.

My friend, Sarah, was angry. Furious. The long string of relentless expletives that she thew at the three gunmen would have made even the saltiest sailor blush.

And then there was Stephen. Poor Stephen who had just been violently mugged over Spring Break two months earlier. Fearing for his life, he yelled “Run!” and took off on foot down the street. But there was a fourth man waiting at the corner. And he took Stephen’s wallet (but, mercifully, not his life) from him there.

As suddenly as it happened, it ended. I’ll never forget it. And it cripples me with fear as I think about my children creeping up on their teen years. I don’t know how my parents did it.

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Fauborg Marigny at Night

(Photo Courtesy of virtualtourist.com)


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