Existence

By; CompulsiveLiar

Chapter 11; Silence

It was inevitable, I suppose, the end of it all. This never occurred to me, only because I never really thought that the end would come on its own terms instead of my own. The end seemed, at first, like it would never arrive. At one point in my many years of life, I would have given anything to finish it off- to cut it short, to kill off anything that I might have found worth-while in the future, to simply jump from the dagger my life was suspended upon and never look back.

But I never would have guessed that I wouldn't want to go when the day came. I wouldn't have suspected that the end wouldn't be welcomed with the hospitality I would have shown it just a month before, because before Dwayne, nothing seemed like it would ever be alright in this hideous body that I had found myself in. This boy whom I had come to know for a month before my goodbye had grabbed my heart, yanked it out of my chest, and forced a beat to emit throughout, something that was impossible.

Times like the ones with Dwayne are the times you realize how much you want to live. There is just something inside of you whenever you're around him that swells, and radiates this energy that lights your spirits like a candle; flickering, never giving out until the wick crumbles into a pile of ashes and the wax melts until there's nothing left.

And when my wick broke, and when my wax melted into nothingness, I still hadn't had my fill. I was greedy, and I knew that, but I couldn't help myself. It was too hard to be happy with what I had, because it just wasn't enough. A month isn't long enough.

A month just isn't long enough.

"Now everyone shut your mouths and we'll get this over with nice and quick," Edward spat, pointing his gun in every direction. "Now, if you'll all stay in your seats during the performance, that would be greatly appreciated."

Girls out with their friends, mothers, and children were all crying uncontrollably as Edward pointed his gun at them, all too afraid to do anything else but sob and beg for him not to shoot.

I didn't look at the man as he walked around the shop, explaining his motives. I didn't pay any attention to his reasoning behind the barrel, or the crying of the people in the small shop. All I could seem to keep my mind focused on was Dwayne's eyes, which stared back into mine passionately. They were a more focused, intent blue than I had ever seen before. There was also something inside them that I couldn't name, something that was unrecognizable. That was so very unlike Dwayne; he was usually so easy to read, especially his eyes. They were always so clear and transparent.

Now, Dwayne's eyes looked shadowed, dark and full of that confusing emotion I couldn't put my finger on. All I could think about as I stared at him was pressing my lips onto his so that I could feel that electric rush that made me feel warm. Because in that room with Edward, in that room with the gun, all I could feel was ice.

I was suddenly aware of just how cold I was; my teeth chattered subconsciously, and my breathing got a bit heavier. Underneath the table, Dwayne grabbed my hand. He rubbed the smooth surface on the top of my hand, giving it a light squeeze of reassurance. This helped only slightly; my motionless heart was thumping louder and louder with each passing second.

"Dwayne," I murmured, "we're going to be fine."

"I know," he replied in the same tone, "don't worry."

"I'm not worrying," I said, turning my volume down to a whisper.

"Yes you are," he said sympathetically. "I can see it in your eyes."

A loud booming noise, the sound of the gun being fired, split the thick air inside the shop. Both of us shot our heads toward the noise, and without warning, my mouth fell open.

The body of a woman was sprawled out on the floor of the cafe, her eyes wide and her breathing heavy. Slowly, a patch of bright red began to show through the pink blouse she had on.

"Meredith!" the woman with her shouted. She sprang up from her seat and ran around the table. "Oh my God!" Tears spilled over her eyes suddenly. Everything seemed to be happening suddenly. Nothing really was making sense.

My eyes felt swollen, like they were red and puffy, and I didn't know why. My heart wasn't beating, still as ever. But in that moment, I wished I could truly feel. Then maybe I might be able to understand that pain she was feeling. I might be allowed to feel how much hurt she had welled up inside of her chest, caused so shamelessly by that silver bullet.

I squeezed Dwayne's hand under the table so tightly, and he glanced over at me. All I wanted to do in that moment was get out of that place; leave everything for something simpler than that gun. Dwayne stared back at me with a look in his eyes that filled me with an invisible fire. It was the spark that made me feel like nothing was going to happen, that this was all a fluke that we would be getting out of sooner or later.

Oh, I wished this were a dream. Everything seemed to be happening too fast, I could hardly process anything, register it into my brain and aknowledge that a woman had been shot and was bleeding all over the floor of the cafe floor.

"Why did you do this to her?" the woman who held her bleeding friend hysterically asked the man who now looked down at her confusedly.

"Do what?" he asked. After staring blankly at those tears that poured down her face, he let a ghost of a smile appear on his lips. "Oh, if I told you why I really did it, you wouldn't get it."

"Try me!" she shrieked, clutching at the dying woman.

He turned his gun at her suddenly, staring down at her from behind the barell. "Just shut up, please."

She bit her lip and I watched helplessly as she stared back at him with a cornered look in her eyes. He raised his eyebrows at her, daring her to say one more thing. When she didn't, he laughed.

"Okay, that's better. Not great, because you're still annoying the hell out of me, but better."

I bit my own lip, this time, not daring to look at Dwayne. The reality of this was beginning to sink in; this man was going to kill us. I loved Dwayne, that's all I could think of to take my mind off of the situation. All I could think of was the feeling of my hand in his, and how safe he was trying to make me feel.

"Dwayne," I whispered, making sure that Edward couldn't hear me. "We have got to get out of here."

Silence hung in the air, and I knew that he heard me over the sound of Edward's shoes pacing the floor in loud, even stomps. His breathing grew uneven, and I squeezed his hand tighter.

"Please," I murmured. "I'm scared." My voice broke half-way through my statement. I was so frightened. Dwayne, I forced myself to think, don't think about what's going on! Think about Dwayne! Think about how much he loves you! Think about how happy you will be when you get out of here! Think of the future! You are going to live!

All I could do was hope that we would live, that the both of us would make it out alive. I closed my eyes and prayed; I actually prayed, for the first time in so long. I prayed that, if I didn't make it out, that Dwayne would.

Please, I thought, save him. The world needs him, he's so special and perfect. Forget about me. I love him too much. Just let Dwayne stay alive. Please.

Edward was speaking again, but I kept my eyes shut. This didn't help the way I thought it would; all it did was make me blind as to where he was, what he was doing, where he was pointing that damn gun.

I opened my eyes again and, as if he knew that out of everyone there, I was the most disturbed by this gun, he had it pointed at me.

"Well, hello," he said. He sounded like he was actually surprised to see me. I didn't buy that for a second. "And who might you be?"

"Put down the gun," I murmured.

"You aren't answering me," he pressed, twirling the gun around on his index finger. "Are you deaf, my dear?"

"Put it down," I repeated. I could feel my lip quivering out of weakness, and Dwayne's eyes on me, staring silently. Beneath the table, his grip was tight; my hand was numb, but that was alright. That just meant that he was still there, that we were both still there. That we were both so much alive that we thought were were going to make it out the same way.

I felt pitiful. I felt even more pitiful than Dwayne looked that first day I met him, with him trying to be brave for me. He was trying to keep that guy away from me; he was giving up his silence to speak up on my behalf. And I couldn't even tell him thank you. All I could do was pretend that I was brave in front of him so that I didn't seem so weak and wilted. I felt like crying. I felt like crying so hard.

"Well," Edward said with a sinister smile that curled around his teeth like Dwayne's fingers around mine. "Aren't you just so full of spunk. What will we ever do with you?"