Chapter 1: A Normal Life
Not everything is as it seems.
"There! I saw her running near the bend!" A policeman pointed to the closest curve there was while he was running. The other enforcers who heard got out of their cars and joined the chase. "Don't let her get away – we need her. She knows too much!"
A woman kept running. Blood dripped and stained her jeans. Tears flooded her vision – it was getting mistier and harder to see where she was going. She slammed against a metal railing, bent over, and closed her eyes, trying not to focus on the pain on her side.
"Come on, Kim! We have to run; we have to get away from them!"
Kim felt a hand reach for her, felt someone pulling her up, and haul her forward. Through her tears, she could see azure eyes looking back at her with concern and urgency. Was she always there? Did this lady always stay by her? Did the wind always make her look so pleasant to look at?
"Get it together Kim!"
Kim's legs were fumbling, hitting the concrete post, making her fall down only to get back up to her feet. Her lungs burned, her arms hurt, and the wind whipped her hair to her face. The soles of her sneakers left small trails of black rubber on the asphalt. Kim didn't know what else to do – her legs were doing things on their own. She could only think of following the woman who still held on to her hand.
"Come on, we gotta hurry!" Her mouth, its movements… why did it seem to slow down…?
More importantly, why did she feel like she was about to be dragged? Why was the asphalt so close to her body now…
Why could she barely see the woman's face even though there were lights shining upon them? It felt like she was being brought in a dark, eerie place.
"Dammit! You can't black out on me now. Wake up! We have to work together!" Kim barely noticed how she was being rocked, how close the lights were, and how desperate this woman's voice was becoming… her body was turning numb.
She blinked. Dark, tall figures loom over her. Men's voices all about. No female voice. Where did the woman go? Did she leave her behind? She can barely think – her body was failing her. Soon, she would fall into a deep, dark abyss.
"We aren't giving up. Never."
She was soaked. The water pouring over her face brought her back to reality.
Kim opened her eyes. She was beneath a tree. It was night and it was raining. She blinked several times. Mud covered her arms, as well as stains of dried blood that came out of her cuts. She sat up. She was in a sort of secluded forest.
"Glad to see you're finally awake."
She had to rub her eyes. It was the same woman from before. She had a smirk on her face… with the smell of blood about her. There was a large knife in her hands.
"You're pretty heavy, even though you look slim." She chuckled. "I had to haul you out of that mess."
Kim felt a sense of relief and dread, security and danger. This was the vibe she got from this woman who was just smiling at her. She felt like she was a target in her eyes.
"Don't tell me you're scared of me." She mused, placing the knife on the ground beside her. "It's not like you're any better."
Kim didn't understand what she meant. The woman pointed to her clothing – soiled, wet, and…
Kim shook. She hurriedly took the tank top off and threw it to the ground. She hugged her knees. Her brain was a mess. Even though she tried, she can't piece together what was happening.
A snicker was heard.
"Don't tell me you forgot who I am."
The woman got up and kneeled in front of Kim. She brushed the hair that covered Kim's face. Slowly, she ran her thumb down Kim's cheek.
"You shouldn't forget." She smirked. "We're partners, remember?"
A warm smile spread across her face. Kim focused her eyes. What she could tell was that the woman had short, black hair that was cut until the nape with bangs over her eyes. Everything else was a little too close for personal comfort.
"Who am I?"
Suddenly, at the spark of the moment, Kim pushed her away. Her heart beat faster and despite it raining, cold sweat was coming out of her pores. Those taunting eyes – something so haunting, it scared her. It made her remember a few episodes of the past. The grin that was for her – it felt more scary than fun.
Cuts. Lashes. Laboratory. White. Blood.
"Get away from me!" Kim choked out. "Stop it. Stop haunting me! I'm… this is me, NOW. I don't need the past!"
"You sure wanted to know who you were though." The lady laughed. "I'm just here… because you wanted ME to be HERE."
Kim covered her ears. This was enough. She had enough. She didn't want to take anymore of this… this… craziness.
"I just want a normal life!" Kim cried. "This wasn't it!"
She stared at the one in front of her.
"We're being hunted down here, Ira! Let's give up… I don't want to run anymore. I want to stop. I want everything to stop!" She shook her head. "Just let me go! I… I can't continue like this!"
The woman grinned. "Let you go, Kim?" She chuckled when she remembered how her name was called just then. "Oh, you're far from it. Run away if you can – I'll ALWAYS find a way to get to you."
"S-stop it… Ira."
Ira let her index finger go down until Kim's throat, then, pushed her against the trunk.
"You're asking for the impossible."
Tears ran down her face. She gasped for air. Kim clutched Ira's wrist.
It wasn't supposed to be this way…
How did we end up with this?
Will we… survive?
All I wanted was a normal life. I didn't want this.