Authors Note: Yay chapter 4 is up! Thanks again for reviewing guys. Things are going to start getting a bit more emotional now that everything is kicking into motion. Parts of this might seem confusing, but just keep in mind that we are also inside someone's head where things are just as jumbled. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this next part :-)
"We're here with you now just outside the Humanities building where just moments ago shots rang out from inside. Campus security quickly alerted the local police who responded the call of shots fired. Also on scene with us now is the FBI. There's no word yet on how many have been injured but we do know that a classroom full of students has been taken hostage. There is no word yet on who is involved, but I'm sure this has everyone asking 'Just who would commit such a heinous act?' I'm Cathy Lee, and I'll be continuously reporting live, on scene so please stay tuned for any developments."
This can't be real. That's the only thing that runs through my head as I continue to stare at the newscaster on the small screen in front of me. Just under two hours ago Alex and I were on the phone laughing and smiling; just under two hours ago everything was normal. But as I watch the officials hustling in the background I know this is real. What do I do?
"I call," I say to myself as I fight against the tears I feel starting to form as my eyes burn. "They didn't say what room it was. For all I know Alex could be fine. So what if he didn't call? If I were down there and had to evacuate the building I'm pretty sure my mind would be preoccupied too." With new resolve, I bend down to pick up the phone from it's place on the floor and quickly dial his phone. Ring. Ring. Ring. Each time the phone goes unanswered I feel the small bubble of hope I had grasped slowly fading until finally his voicemail picks up. As his voice fills the line my façade starts to break and the tears come back. One slowly slides down my cheek but I quickly wipe it away and hang up the phone, not trusting my voice to leave a message.
I bite down on my bottom lip and close my eyes in an attempt to keep myself calm. Before I know what is happening my legs turn to jelly and I'm unable to hold myself up anymore. I barely hear the small thump as my knees hit the floor, nor do I hear the newswoman any longer. She said enough. Alex, my Alex, was inside that building. Police, FBI, and SWAT were surrounding it at this moment, setting up snipers and preparing for the worst. And suddenly, I can't seem to breathe.
One. Two. And then a river of tears slide down my cheeks that are suddenly on fire. My whole body is trembling and my eyes are out of focus. Rather than see the navy blue of the carpet all I can see is Alex's face, his eyes wide with fear. He must be so scared…if he's even alive. "No! Don't talk like that," I yell to no one but myself. "He's just trapped inside…that's all, and all those people are there. They'll get him out okay right? I mean, that's their job. They save people."
Letting out a frustrated sigh I stand up, my hands tugging at the ends of my hair. This is all wrong, completely wrong. Alex was supposed to be back in a couple hours and we would take my car to the restaurant. We'd laugh and talk about how crazy our professors were and how despite it all we owe the school at least something, since we wouldn't have met otherwise. Then we'd take the car to the movie theatre and sit in the back so we could cuddle without drawing too much attention from unwanted onlookers. I laugh for a moment, remembering one time when we had been caught. All I did was smile sweetly and laugh as the young woman turned away and glared.
We were supposed to be celebrating our anniversary! He's supposed to be back here with me, safe from anything and everything. Maybe I should have let him skip class. He had mentioned it yesterday, but I said we'd have plenty of time. "Oh god…." Suddenly I feel incredibly nauseas and rush to the bathroom. With no strength left I collapse, my knees smacking against the cold, hard tile floor, and empty my stomach. It takes a few minutes before I regain some sense of control, and even now my breathing is still shaky. My limbs feel like jelly and it takes all I have to simply keep myself propped against the bathroom wall.
When I bring a hand to my cheeks I almost pull away, feeling my skin burning underneath my fingertips. They're wet with tears that I have yet to stop shedding as emotions course through my body. What if it's my fault that he's there? If I had just let him skip like he had wanted he'd be here with me now and we'd be having a blast, but noooo. I just had to play grown up and tell him that he shouldn't skip classes when we would have plenty of time to spend together after he was through. Shows how much I know. God, I'll never tell him not to skip again…
I'm drawn from my thoughts when the sound of thunder fills the air, followed by a flash of lightening that momentarily lights up the room, casting shadows along the walls. Damn storm…how fitting for the current events. Because if Alex isn't frightened enough already, he has this storm there to make sure he's completely scared out of his mind. If only I hadn't made him go…"This is stupid," I say quietly, shaking my head. "I can't just sit here putting the blame on myself and everything else. He's gonna be fine…they'll get him out and it'll be fine. Maybe I should be there. He'd like that…"
I pause for a moment, taking in a deep breathe before mustering up the energy to push myself off of the floor. With silence as my only companion I trudge to my room, the television still flickering with people shuffling on and off camera. Before the reporter can finish her sentence I turn it off and kneel down to search for a pair of sneakers. There, in the corner between my nightstand and bed is the pair of sneakers I've had since school started. They're no longer suited for rain but I can't bring myself to care. My feet slip into them easily and I tell myself to calm down enough for my trembling fingers to tie the laces.
When I straighten back up I use one hand to rub the tears from my eyes, grabbing the keys off of my bureau with the other. All is quiet except for the jingling of the keys as I bound down the stairs. However, I stop short when my senses are overtaken by a sweet aroma. A hand runs through my hair as I realize the cake must still be in the oven, having been forgotten in the chaos that is now my life. But I know I can't leave it on and take the small detour to my kitchen, slowly turning the knob on the oven until it is switched to "off." There's a small pang of sadness that it won't be finished for later, but I ignore it. It's just a stupid cake right? And when I come home with Alex later we can make one together, one that'll be a lot better than this one would have been.
Finally satisfied that everything is taken care of in the house I head towards the door. When I pull it open a gust of wind rushes through the room, several leaves gliding across the floor. Rain is pelting down from the sky, each large drop splashing against the pavement. There's a rumbling in the distance from the thunder still and it seems almost cliché. Though as I walk towards my car and the water hits my skin, it's almost refreshing. My worries ease just slightly for a moment and I think that perhaps things will be alright. But then the police show up.
Red and blue lights flash, illuminating against the puddles and cause me to look up, slightly shocked. There was no reason for them to be coming to me. I'm not a family member to anyone, and though Alex and I didn't hide anything we weren't really sharing our relationship with the entire world. I turn slowly, my eyes watching closely as a woman steps out of the unmarked vehicle. My body stiffens slightly and nervousness takes over. "C-can I help you?" I ask, trying to keep my stuttering to a minimum.
"Are you Andrew Kallahan?" the woman asks. She seems nice enough. Her strawberry blonde hair is flattening in the rain, strands falling over her blues eyes, though she tries several times to keep it from blowing in the wind. Rather than a normal police uniform she is dressed in a pair of black business pants and a suit jacket covers a lavender blouse. As soon as I nod my head she continues. "I'm sure you must have seen the news…from the looks of things." I couldn't argue, I probably look terrible. "I was hoping you would come with me back to the school. You're…brother, he's in contact with us as we speak. He claims to be Alex Kallahan…however we were unable to find anyone by that name listed and you were the closest match."
I nod again, unable to find my voice jus yet. He had given them my last name…he wanted me to know he was okay. I can't stop the small smile that graces my lips or the tears that are forming yet again, this time from relief. I guess she can see this because instead of having me give some kind of explanation right away she leads me to her car and waits until we both settle into the seats. There are questioning glances sent my way as she puts the car into gear and pulls out of the driveway and I sigh, knowing that I owe her at least something. "Alex isn't my brother…," I say slowly, my voice barely above a whisper.
"Who is he then? And why would he give us your name?" she asks, her voice professional but still tinted with concern.
"He…he's my boyfriend. We've been together for a year…a year today actually. I was going to meet him after he was finished with classes. He doesn't really have family…both his parents passed away a while ago. He probably knew that you guys would find me I guess, I don't know. I'm as surprised as you are…but you talked to him right? I mean this means he's okay right?" I turn to her with anxious eyes, waiting for some kind of affirmation.
When she finally does glance over to me she's wearing a sympathetic smile. "I haven't talked to him personally, but my partner has. They've been on the phone trying to negotiate with the men who've done this…and they've got him talking for them. That's how we were able to find you."
I don't know what to say after that. It finally hits me that he did this to let me know he was alright, that he's alive. He gave them the wrong identification in hopes that they would figure it out. My heart is aching and all I want to do is hear his voice, talk to him even. Maybe they'll me listen to what is happening right? I mean they came and picked me up for some reason. All I can do is hope that it's the one I am hoping for.
When we reach the school it looks nothing like it did on tv. Hundreds of people are lined up behind a barricade, newscasters shoving their way through people in hopes of catching something worthwhile to their viewers. The woman I am with flashes her badge and our car is let through, moving slowly to avoid the people rushing around trying to control the situation.
As the car slowly halts and she puts the gear in park I find myself rushing to get out of the car. People are rushing all around, not sparing us a glance. I shiver involuntarily as the rain continue to fall and rub my arms with my hands, jumping when I feel a light touch on my shoulder. When I turn around the agent is waiting for me, motioning towards a large trailer that has been set up.
I follow her inside, glad to be out of the rain. There are several other agents standing around, talking amongst themselves while one seems to be at the center of it all. He's talking on the phone to someone and I slowly become aware that the others are wearing earpieces and must be listening to the same conversation. The man glances over at us and I look up to see the woman nod before turning to me and then back to the phone. The next thing that is said is the first to really register in my mind since seeing the news. "Hey Alex…I just want to let you know that we've got your…brother. He's here."