It hurt. It had hurt since freshman year when Zachary Hoffman called me dickless. But that didn't seem to matter. For the first time since we had come up with the plan, I felt like maybe it could be better. Maybe I wouldn't have to die. Maybe it would be worth it just to get to know her.

I couldn't tear my eyes from hers. The startling amber. The almost orange, brown that seemed to sparkle. They were so tranquil, so calm. So different from my own, troubled, hate-filled, and scared. I couldn't remember the last time I had felt anything different.

I noticed how hers and that gay guy's, Curtis's, hands were intertwined, gripping eachothers like a life line. I glanced at McCaphry's body. I felt bile come up through my throat. I swallowed. Had I really done that? Then the self disgust. How could I? How was I different from the jocks?

How I wanted to just pull the trigger. Maybe then her eyes would stop looking like that. Disgust I could understand. Hate, I could understand. But calm? I was anything but and it bothered me. From the way that she didn't seem to care that Allen and Curtis were dating, she obviously wasn't one of the people who teased the losers or she'd be on one of the couches making out with some jock. She was certainly pretty enough for it. Not that anyone could see that.

……………..

I couldn't tell what he was thinking. But the shot never came. I looked up at him. He seemed confused. What was wrong with him, other then the gun and the death wish? I gripped Curtis's hand harder. What was he thinking? He turned and faced the other way, he yelled to his friend, "What should we do with them?"

Suddenly, it seemed, that shooting up a school wasn't such a brilliant plan.

His friend replied, with a slight sneer, "Separate them. See how tough they are without their cliques."

I felt Curtis's hand tighten even more on mine. It would've hurt if I wasn't so distracted. But then he let out a sob. I turned to look down at him. He was staring at Allen's body. My eyes started to sting. He looked still, so still. I let go of his hand and threw my arms around him, muffling the sobs against my shoulder.

…………

I couldn't help but stare. She was stroking his hair and murmuring words of comfort. Was that what it was like to have a mother? Was that what it was like not to care about what other people thought? Curtis's glasses had fallen off and I suddenly noticed the slightly red eyes and the large bruise around them. He was a stoner. And Lana and McCaphry were the only people he cared about in this school. And I had killed him.

Did he hate me?

I would hate me. Then I noticed that Curtis was looking up at me with tear filled eyes. I felt something pull at my gut. I looked away. And focused my attention on another guy, a few feet away from them. His name was George Allens. He was a jock. He threw me against a locker everyday since freshman year. I pointed the gun and pulled the trigger.

………………….

It's easy to cry. It's easy to hate. It's easy to fear. But it's hard to understand. It's hard to forgive. It's hard to see. But usually I tried to understand. To forgive. To see. But now, I wasn't doing any of the three. I was crying. And for the first time, I hated. I hated the ease that he pulled the trigger with. He was killing someone's son. He was killing someone's boyfriend. And he was killing someone's loved one. To cause pain to someone else? He was a selfish bastard and I hated him.

It was easy to pull the trigger. But the fact that he just killed that guy? I wanted to barf, scream out in pain, and wring his neck all at the same time. The only thing that I could manage was a large sniffle. Followed by a sob. I cried my eyes out some more. It was difficult to watch.

But watch I did. With morbid fascination. As he pointed the gun at Zachary Hoffman's knee cap and shattered it. How he screamed out in pain. I watched it all. Horror. All I could feel was horror at what he was doing.

But it ended. Someone had called the police. They banged on the doors and loud speakered to let them in. For some reason, the police couldn't get in. I didn't know why but Brendan didn't seem to heed the police. Neither did Michael. I thought we would all die. And maybe, I was happy about the way that we would because I would be with Curtis and Curtis would get to be with Allen, wherever he was.

…………..

I had almost been able to get rid of her image in my mind's eye. But when Michael pointed the gun at some guy's head, she cried out. "STOP IT!!!"

Michael looked at her. I couldn't see his expression because he had a mask on but I could imagine it was in shock.

"What will killing all these people accomplish? Glory? Infamy? What does it matter?" she was, strangely, not crying. Her eyes were red and puffy but she wasn't crying.

Michael looked like he was about to reply but we all heard a banging on the door. They were trying to knock in. I didn't know what to do. For some reason, I couldn't point the gun to my head and shoot. It felt like there would be so much that I wouldn't experience. So I had to get out of there, without the cops getting us. I walked over to that girl with the dark hair and pointed the gun at her gay friend.

"Get up," I said.

……………….

Shock grabbed my by the throat. I couldn't say anything for a full five seconds. I put my hands up and slowly stood up, like I was facing a wild animal.

"Put the gun down," my eyes started to sting. Not Curtis, please not Curtis.

"You're coming with me." I felt my world shatter. But he was pointing at Curtis. The gun was pointing at Curtis.

"Leave Curtis out of it." I said quietly.

His eyes were wide, still hazy and red from the pot. I glanced at him. He looked so scared. I wouldn't let him die.

"Alright," I said. "Just stop pointing the gun at Curtis."

He slowly moved it so it was pointing at me. I felt that chill that everyone gets whenever something dangerous comes near them. I froze. Then slowly, walked towards him.

He called to Michael, "C'mon. We're taking her."

Michael shrugged. He walked towards Brendan, who seemed like the leader of this whole thing.

Brendan yelled, "Can you guys hear me?"

There was no answer. Then on the loud speaker, "Yes."

"I'm taking a hostage."

There was a long and uncomfortable pause.

"What do you want?"

"I want to be let out of here and into the parking lot. If you even come close, I will shoot her."

I let out a whimper. I was going to die. The police were going to screw up and I was going to die. But I moved. Because if I didn't, Curtis would be dead and it would've been by fault. We shuffled out of the auditorium awkwardly, Brendan's gun at my back and Michael behind Brendan, watching everyone like a hawk. The last thing I saw before the door closed, was Curtis's wide blood shot eyes.

………..

It was dark and cold, the spinning police lights interrupted the night every few seconds. Everyone was watching. I was shivering, not only from the cold. But more cold then the weather was the metal nozzle of the gun on my back. I held back a sob. Brendan led me to a car in the parking lot. It was an inconspicuous, any-old-Joe kind of car. I wondered if it was Brendan's or Michael's.

They got me in the seat. Michael kept pointing his gun at me as Brendan got in. Then Brendan held it at me while Michael got in. I wouldn't have escaped even if they weren't threatening me. I was frozen and I probably wouldn't be able to run. I finally let out the sob. I started crying. The two ignored me.

By the time we pulled out of the parking lot and were driving on the highway, I had stopped crying and was wondering what to do. I had always fantasized about something like this, a dangerous, dashing criminal taking me hostage. In eachother's company, I would heal his wounds. Yeah right. Brendan killed Allen and was going to kill Curtis. Just because they were gay? I clenched my teeth. Then I said coldly, "You're worse then the jocks?"

I saw Brendan's hands turn white on the steering wheel. Michael's gun was on me again. I swallowed. I guess we wouldn't be talking on the ride to wherever we were going.