I was in the mall, browsing through a selection of furniture.
Then I heard a thump.
I looked up and saw a young man lying on the ground, his feet in a pool of blood.
I ran over and called the police.
A few minutes later, I saw the man’s body on the sidewalk.
The man’s death had happened in the same mall where I had spent time in the past year.
I was standing on the corner of a busy intersection, when a car swerved onto the sidewalk and slammed into me.
It hit me like a ton of bricks.
I didn’t know what hit me.
I remember being scared and being in shock.
What happened next, as I was taken to the hospital, was traumatic.
At first, doctors told me my left leg was in a cast, but when they moved it further away, they found it was fractured.
They also noticed the bone had been torn.
The doctors told the man to stop working.
I told them to take him to the doctor and get an X-ray.
After the doctor looked at me for several minutes, he asked me if I was okay.
I couldn’t answer.
I felt nauseous.
He then told me that the other person who hit me was still on the loose.
He said that he wanted to be careful because he didn’t want to have anyone hurt.
He told me he was going to kill himself.
A couple of days later, another man was arrested and charged with murder.
The other man, whose name I can’t remember, had also been driving drunk.
They were both released on bond.
At the time, the man I was with was not in the hospital.
When I finally got to the mall and walked through the entrance, I noticed a crowd of people.
Some of them were dressed in black.
They had masks covering their faces and were holding flags.
“Are you alright?”
No one answered.
I saw that the person who was killed was a man, and I felt like a stranger.
It wasn’t until later, when I went into a different mall and found the same man, that I realized I had never been alone.
This is part of an ongoing VICE series exploring the mental health of Americans. Read more