Circled

All was still as the footsteps grew louder, pounding on the stairs up to our room.

"You knew they were coming," I whispered in low voice.

He took a moment before he spoke. "Yes."

"You told them where we were."

"Yes."

I couldn't look at him. Instead, I just stood, knowing the soldiers would inevitably storm into the room any second, swarming me and dragging me away as I kicked and screamed. But not him. No, they wouldn't take him.

They came in the door, then, armed with their guns and wearing their uniforms, circling me, trapping me, aiming at me.

They didn't have to say anything. I just stayed where I was, feeling the eyes on me, knowing any one of them could kill me in an instant.

And though I refused to look, refused to let my eyes wander to him and show him anything, I knew he was there, the one I used to trust, watching me as I was circled by his friends.

I wondered, then, when he had begun to betray me. Did they find him alone, threaten him? Did they offer him a better choice, a better way to live? Or—I shivered—did he seek them out, try to find them on his own before begging to join them? But now it didn't matter, because I had been a fool, and I had fallen for his treacherous act.

They closed in on me, still aiming their dozens of weapons at me, ready to shoot on the slightest point of resistance.

Maybe I knew I wouldn't get another chance, maybe I knew I was going to die, but without thinking, I shot him a last effort glance, a last chance for him to save me and prove me wrong, make me believe he wasn't a traitor after all.

His eyes caught mine, and I held them there, daring him to be the first to let go. And when he looked away, I knew that was it—the bond severed, the friendship shattered, the promises broken.

And he did nothing. Didn't move, didn't speak, didn't even blink. He just watched as I was guided away by the men I had thought we both despised with everything we had. And now, here we were, a girl with feelings that had nowhere to go and a boy that had no one to put his in.

"Safe & Sound" by Taylor Swift cover by Julia Sheer 10.24.12