It surrounds us, engulfs us, chases us, and eventually, catches up with us. We watch as it grasps people and pulls them deep into its depths. We see it as it tears families apart and laughs at the fear in their faces. We know it's inevitable, yet we never expect it to get a hold of us.

As I stared death straight in the face, I couldn't help but think of all the stupid things I'd done. I realized with stunning acuity that I regretted more things then I was proud of. In my twenty-five years, it was the unpleasant memories that flashed before my eyes. Not the happy ones. Not even the corny ones, like winning the spelling bee in third grade. But the bad ones.

That was pathetic.

I gasped in pain as the knife plunged into my right side. The buildings fell and the lights swirled as the world tilted. My cheek pressed into the cold cement, oddly comforting as the heat from my side seeped through my fingers, wet and warm.

Several people screamed. Yells broke through my mind, flooding it with bright sound. I shuddered and my breath came in deep, gasping sounds. I closed my eyes and turned to lie on my back. A cool breeze that smelled of the sea brushed softly against my face. My eyes flickered open for the briefest second, and what I saw was the dark night sky stretched out above me. Stars sparkled above me, beautiful, despite their small size.

Suddenly, everything was collapsing. The sky sped towards me and swallowed me. The burning pain in my side faded away into a dull throbbing. I was sinking into blissful numbness, and at that moment, I knew it was over. I could feel it all around me. My life had come to an end. Somewhere deep inside me, a panic was clawing its way to the surface. I let out a small sigh, wishing it would give up.

I cried out as something pressed into my bleeding side. My mind swam its way back to consciousness with the new burst of pain. I was abruptly aware of the pain coursing through my body. My eyes flew open as a struggled for a breath. The panic that I had suppressed was bubbling up, and it was breaking through the surface. It was making everything worse, and tears began to leak out the corners of my eyes.

"Don't give up," breathed a deep voice next to my ear.

In the darkness of the night, I couldn't see the man's face. I could only see his eyes. They flashed a bright, emerald green in the lights of the street. They were beautiful.

They were the last thing I remembered.