Part 7

Catherine got up after hearing her five companions' breathing fall into a rhythmic rise and fall. The sky was dark and there was not a sound in the distance. She reached into her pink Louis Vuitton purse where she kept her diary and pulled out six small hand-held pistols. One of them was the one Azina had fired with. The other five, she had taken from Fred's belt when he died. She walked around, watching the others. She laid out the guns on the ground and picked the one that seemed the most expensive. She decided that she would use that for herself and put it in her purse. She put another one in her purse and then carrying the other four, she paced around. She decided that she would start with Richard Bolson. She had never really liked him; he was too cunning a business manager.

Evan lay motionless, slumped on one of the less jagged edges of the airplane. Then, he heard the footsteps. He opened one eye to peek out and saw Catherine's pink heels. He wasn't exactly sure if he was surprised or not. He had expected Zane to be right. After all, Zane was smart. Even if others weren't aware of it, Evan was, right from the first day. Perhaps that was why I didn't like him, he's smart, good-looking, and arrogant, too much like me, mused Evan now. He thought back to the day that he had left his Business textbook open on the table and had seen Zane look around as if afraid anyone could see him and then read a few pages. Evan now understood why Zane did it. He probably wanted to be a smart graduate student like Evan, possibly a law student but his family had forced him to lead the life they wanted him to lead. But then again, Evan thought, at least he met Christina. Evan could tell how much Zane loved his sister, even though he'd never admit it. Zane was just like Evan, never expressing his feelings, thinking that no one would listen.

Then, he heard a gunshot and that knocked him out of his reverie completely. He turned around slightly, not daring to draw too much attention, and saw Catherine bent over Richard's body, sticking the gun into Richard's hand and bending the arm so the gun was pointed at his head. Evan suddenly felt a surge of anger. Catherine was disguising her murders as suicides. She wanted it to look like everyone just held a gun to their head and killed him or herself. Under normal circumstances, Evan would have thought this was ridiculous. But this was actually real, not just some bestseller murder book.

Evan sensed that the gunshot had also awakened the others but they were, like him, pretending to still be asleep. He wondered if they had opened their eyes and seen Catherine and if they were as infuriated as him. He knew that Zane wouldn't be. He was welcoming his death. Or at least accepting it. He felt Azina stir, about two meters from him. He craned his neck to look at her and motioned for her to stay quiet. Azina probably wanted to spring up and tackle Catherine, and Evan felt she would be successful but he didn't think the odds were in their favor after she did that. Catherine had all the guns and she would probably fire them randomly. It just wasn't worth it.

When Evan heard Catherine's footsteps moving again, he felt a pang of sadness and guilt. He had known that Catherine was going to kill them all, and yet he hadn't even tried to save them. He watched as Catherine strolled around, then headed towards Zane. Again, Evan felt as if it was his duty to do something, anything, to prevent this. But again, he buried this feeling in the pit of his stomach and tried to tell himself it wasn't his place to do it. Besides, Zane's waiting for death anyway, he thought. But he knew it was just an excuse.

He turned back to look at Azina, who was also staring at Catherine, just one step away from Zane. She watched as Catherine knelt down so she was parallel to Zane and took aim at the side of his head. She fired. And a few seconds later, the echo of the gunshot reached Azina's ear. She gritted her teeth, fighting the urge to jump up and kick Catherine in the face. She glanced at Evan, who was biting his lip and evidently fighting back tears. She wondered what he was thinking. Everyone knew that Evan and Zane never got along, but perhaps something had changed between them during this. Whatever this was.

Evan sensed Azina looking at him and was going to turn away in embarrassment when he stopped himself. Why should I be embarrassed for being on the verge of tears? I just witnessed two murders, shouldn't I be allowed to cry? Besides, we're all gonna die today anyway, who cares if someone sees me cry? he thought. So he stared back at Azina and noticed something he had never expected to see in Azina's eyes. There was sorrow and sadness in her eyes. And damn, her eyes were prettier than the stars. They glistened under the moonlight.

Another gunshot brought Azina and Evan out of their trance. They had been looking at each other for a while and didn't even notice Catherine walking to George. Well now, she'd killed him as well. All Evan could think about right then was a picture George had showed him once, maybe a year ago. He and his wife were in it, holding a newborn. Evan thought hard and remembered that George had said he named his daughter Karen, after his mother. He has a wife, and a daughter. And now they will never see him again. They won't even be able to say goodbye to him. This time, when Evan touched his burning cheek, he realized he had shed a tear. Not just for George and his family, but Richard, and Zane, and Christina. And his mother, and the bodyguard Fred. They were all dead. And he realized that Azina and him were the only two left. Them and Catherine.