It's Too Late

She found herself sprinting towards that particular direction. Anxiousness filled her mind ever since she heard a gunshot came out from the emergency stairs, causing her to run without a break for the past few minutes. As she got nearer to the stairs, the curiosity of what was going on the other side overtook her action. With so much of force, she rammed through the pair of metallic doors without taking a note of the physical pain her body suffered.

Her dazzling blue eyes were wide-open when she caught a glimpse of the truth. Standing in front of her was none other than her best friend, Andrew; a significant wound on his left shoulder caught her attention.

Andrew's long coat, running through his tall, lanky body, was soaked with blood while his deep blue jeans were ragged badly. Blood trickled down his arm, with few strands of his blue-dyed hair were stained into crimson colour by his own blood. Andrew's greenish blue eyes were stared at another familiar figure.

Her eyes drifted to where Andrew looked at, and she found Steve standing there, unharmed. He was holding a Glock 17 Handgun. There were definitely a spray of bullets, since seven bullets were found on the ground. Steve's hazel eyes stared at Andrew in return, while sweats moistened his cheek.

"What had just happened?"

"Jessica." Andrew winced; it caught the girl's attention. She turned to him with an innocent look, or at least that was what Andrew saw.

"Tell me, Andrew." He was already captivated by her voice.

I just like everything about her. He found himself reverberated the same phrases over and over again. Jess. Her pinky lips. Her silky hair. Her deep blue eyes. Her sharp chin. Her chubby face. There were none in which he doesn't like. The thought soothed his wound.

However, Andrew let out a deep sigh inside his mind when he thought of a particular event. She doesn't like me, in fact. His heart almost broke apart, shattering into tiny little pieces. Though they were childhood friends for so many years, Jessica doesn't show any slight interest towards him. She only sees him none other than a best friend, not any more than that. The situation got worse when Jessica told him that she had a secret crush on Steve, and there were few occasions in which Jessica almost confessed to that guy.

But thank god. He cursed silently. She didn't. Andrew raised his eyes up, glaring at Steve.

"Thanks for the shot, jerk." Andrew whispered coldly to his nemesis. He returned his attention to Jessica the next second. "He's a serial killer." His words almost had her stunned.

Andrew began to laugh within his mind. I won. His mind was filled with the joy of overthrowing Steve, and he knew he would stand a chance against Steve's position in her heart now, at least.

Much to his surprise, Jessica flung her hand across Andrew's cheek. He found himself not only at a loss of words, but tears almost spill out from his eye lashes. Why? He just doesn't understand.

"Why can't you stop accusing Steve?" In the extreme state of emotion, Jessica burst into tears. She sobbed shortly before continued. "You had been blinding accusing Steve ever since we're getting closer."

Accuse? He felt his heart crushed at this particular moment. I failed, just as you said, Michelle. Andrew remained motionless. She was correct after all.

Even though Andrew managed to recover from the physical pain, the mental pain and heartache Jessica had just carved to him would never heal. He felt like crying, but he just couldn't let them out. What he felt was…defeat.

I've lost to Steve, with a big margin.

Both of the teenagers were interrupted by Steve's ghastly laugh. Jessica's face turned pale when she found Steve dashed towards her, holding her at a gunpoint, much to Andrew's horror.

Curse you. Andrew was in an extreme state of emotion; he couldn't just bear Steve killing the girl he likes. Unfortunately, his attempt to struggle only made his body grew weaker. The pain was far too excessive for him even to handle, and how could he get to his feet when he was facing problem with his body?

Steve pressed his Glock 17 nearer to Jessica's face. Reacting upon his instinct, Andrew whipped out his trustworthy Beretta 96 handgun and pointed her at Steve. The devilish smile on Steve's face sent chill running down his spine- he had a really bad feeling about this.

The words 'She-Will-Be-Dead-If-You-Shoot-Me' was imprinted on Steve's face while the life-threatening aura hung around the air. The silence was interrupted when Steve begun speaking. "Drop your gun, or I'll penetrate her head with just one single shot."

Andrew noticed Steve's tone wasn't his usual one; he sounds more unnatural and inhuman. The smile on his face could leads someone into thinking Steve was someone who suffered from some psychological problems. That might be a hint of his serial killings. Andrew deduced, but that was couldn't assist to him in saving Jessica!

Steven pulled the tip of his gun nearer to Jessica's forehead, index finger readied on the trigger if Andrew took any suspicious action. However, Jessica wasn't struggling even though she was held as a hostage, in fact she was totally disappointed and feeling hopeless from the turn of the event. Her pleading eyes drifted back towards Andrew.

That was when she found her childhood friend gave her an assuring smile. It'll be fine. Jessica could've sworn she heard his words echoing into her mind.

"Drop it now!" Finally, the psychotic Steve yelled.

Andrew nodded and eventually giving his nemesis an obedient and defeated look. "Okay." His tone was in the mixture of reluctant and anxious. Regardless, he dropped his gun to the ground, disarming himself. Steve burst into laughter; now that he was the master of the game.

"Farewell."

Horror filled Jessica's face when she found a bullet burst towards Andrew's direction. A scream escaped her lips but she was too late; the deadly shot had just pierced through Andrew's chest. The impact sent her poor childhood friend further back against the wall with his eyes lids shut tight.

"No!" She gasped in horror. Smokes around the gun faded off eventually, and Steve was still smiling at Andrew's dead body.

Jessica remained emotionless without moving even though Steve pressed his gun against her forehead- her will to struggle were all lost at the moment Andrew had been shot in the chest.

"Goodbye." Steve said enthusiastically, before a sudden burst of the metallic doors forced him to retreat. Jessica was freed from his grasp and she sank to her knees; the sorrowful look remained on her face.

A maroon-hair girl passed right through the hallway, and a handgun, being the same model with Andrew's Beretta 96, was on her right hand. Her coat only differed from Andrew's in term of colour; it was deep brown in colour. In terms of physical impression, the maroon-haired girl seemed to be more mature compared to the innocent-looking Jessica.

"Andrew." Her voice doesn't match her look at all regardless of her mature look; she possessed a soft and yet sweet tone. A single stream of tears trickled through her cheek before falling off to the ground. Solidifying her feelings, she swung her arm with her gun aimed at Steve in a 45 degree angle, not hesitating to pull the trigger.

"Die!"

The maroon-haired girl unloaded a whole clip to Steve when she was done speaking. Though she was an expert in gun herself, none of her gun shots hit Steve; whilst, her target was able to make his way towards the exit at the bottom floor of the emergency stairs without breaking a sweat.

Steve laughed at her with a mocking taunt. "Severally weakened from the death of Andrew? You couldn't even stand a chance to capture me for your idiotic organization." He ended his line with a smirk.

"You bastard!" She cursed while blasting her gun at that direction. She missed her last chance to hit Steve as he strode through the exit. The fading footsteps notified her that her target had escaped.

Her sight drifted back to Jessica, who surged towards Andrew's body, hugging him so hard. Squatting in front of her, the maroon-haired girl sent her a sharp glare, but she got no response.

"Damn you." She sent her hand right through Jessica's cheek. Her face turned red in an instant. Then the maroon-haired girl laid both pulled Jessica's face to meet her gaze.

"Do you know how much Andrew likes you?"

The word 'like' was an exclamation to her. Jessica, widened her eyes so big and stared them at the maroon-hair girl, said. "Michelle."

The girl replied, clearly frustrated. "Yeah?"

"Andrew likes me?"

Michelle gave her a nod in return, with tears came streaming out from her eyes. Subconsciously, Michelle found her hand grabbing Andrew's wrist.

"He loves you more than everything." Michelle sobbed silently, but forced herself to continue anyway. "He doesn't even care if he hurts himself; all he wants is your happiness." Her hands clenched into fists as she took a brief look on Andrew.

"He's such a selfish guy." There was a mixture of crying and hiccupping in her tone.

Jessica wouldn't dare to believe the truth Michelle had just told her about. It was entirely my fault. Despair manifested in her emotion and she felt so horrible now. Her eyes were staring at Andrew; his face was calm, the assuring look he gave her moments before his death never fades away.

I...I...She hesitated.

Before her feelings overtook her, Jessica's lips came into a near-contact with her best-friend's lips. I love you too...She yelled out as hard as she could through her mind; she finally delved out the words which she buried deep within her heart. I'm sorry. She mourned as her voice trailed off, few drips of her tears stained Andrew's cheek; she kissed him on the lips.

It was already too late. Things that were done couldn't be undone.

-----

While Jessica was still dwelling with the past, Michelle had left her with a letter. Her final words before she leave was her wish of Jessica to read the letter when she had recovered from the sadness. It was a letter which Andrew wrote a day prior to his death.

Her pair of deep blue eyes drifted towards the direction where the envelop was; it was yellow in colour, the cover itself looked old. Picking the letter from the ground, Jessica broke its seal and found a sheet of paper inside the envelop. Somehow, without reading the letter, Jessica could felt it was overflowing with Andrew's emotions.

It was where first paragraph was, she started mumbling to herself.


Dear Jess,

I'm sorry about the things I had done to Steve in the past, which always caused you nothing but anger. You're always so angry whenever I talked bad about him. But somehow, I found my chest burning with pressure. I am jealous, yeah.

Frankly speaking, those accuses were the truth. The organization I am currently working for had supplied me with some reliable information. I had arrived at the conclusion which Steve was found guilty for being the serial killer for a top secret case. I found myself disbelief at the conclusion, but Michelle convinced me with the further evidence she gathered.

I just don't want you to become his next victim, so I sought all of my authorization to get you protected; there will be a high risk of being caught for my misact, but I don't care. All I want is to see the smile on you face, that will be the sweetest thing I could ever receive.

Tomorrow night I'll be on an important mission to capture Steve. The higher authorization had pressured me several times before I actually accepted the job. I will reveal Steve's true face and eliminate the possible threat from harming you.

I hope everything will just go alright tonight.

So, stay sweet always, okay? At least, let me be your guardian, your shield.

Signed,

Andrew


Her tears which welled up around her eyes came flowing out without her control; she sobbed, tears dripping off from her cheek, and the liquid landed and moistened the surface of the paper. It permeated through the paper, revealing some almost-invisible blue-pen stains.

I love you.

He's such an idiot. She was half-crying, grabbing the letter with her clenching fist.

A flashback occurs before her. Though before Michelle leaves, she could remember a few important sentences she had told her.

-----

"The organization. They figured Andrew was doing something out of his authorization." Michelle paused and Jessica swore she heard her gritting her teeth. "The consequence for Andrew's protecting you was significant; they planned on using him for capturing Steve, who was more dangerous than anyone could ever handle at this point of time."

Jessica didn't give her a response, but Michelle continued anyway. "I love him too, you know." Tears crossed her cheek. "I just don't understand why you don't even like Andrew. You're wasting a good guy, like him..." Her feelings were overflowing her emotions and Michelle knew she couldn't fight back the tears anymore.

Michelle knew she couldn't fight back the tears anymore, so he ran through the doors and leave the place before her rival would saw her shedding tears. That would be the last thing she would ever allow to happen on the earth.

-----

Listen to your heart. Follow what your heart is telling you. A female teenager mumbled with passion while holding a blue-covered book. Her eyes followed the sentence and continued reading until the very end. Do not ignore them or regretting over your mistake will be too late…

The book, she finally got it from her friend, Katrina, which boasted how much it helped her with her love-life. The book, it was meant to give herself some clarification and guidance.

Listen to my heart, huh? Her eyes blinked a few times before she closed them, her right hand in front of her chest.

Steil. The name was carved into her mind, so strong and vivid. Gentling closing the book, she sprinted towards a long sidewalk. In the end of the route, she found herself yelling out so loud at another teenager.

"Steil!" The guy turned to her and gave her a blank smile. His mouth almost fell agape when the girl sent him a few words he had dreamt so much to hear of.

"I love you!"

Enveloping each other in a hug, the girl leaned her head further onto his shoulder. She found herself whispering the next second.

"Thank you."

"Madam Jessica, the author of this book."

It's Too Late was the book's title.