I found Michael at the school at seven and he treated my wounds. He asked many questions about how I got it, but I just told him that my brother and I were just practicing our knot trying skills. He bandaged them up in gauze and all I can feel is the pain in my ankles as I walked to my locker. I put my jacket away and I went to sit.
In all the events that happened, I can’t find it in myself to move. I just sat at the table looking at my wrists but when I saw Chase, I got up and went to him. I just noticed that he was holding my bag.
He smiled a tight smile and put the strap over my shoulders.
“Thank you,” I said. It was more than for the bag, it was for saving me. He shrugged it off and smiled half-heartedly. Then he went to join his friends in the band room. I went the other way and went to buy myself some coffee at the cafeteria.
* * *
I sat lunch with Amber and Zaq today. I know it was a really stupid decision to make. Once he saw me sit down and start to eat, his eyes widened and he somehow managed a very convincing smile. So convincing I had to smile back.
“Oh my god, what happened to you?!” Amber asked as she took in my bandaged wrists and bruised ankles. She was mostly looking at my head. So I put my hand there and felt a huge bump and it hurt when I touched it.
“I, um, fell. I tripped going down the stairs,” I lied. Amber is the last person I want to tell the truth to. Chase already knows and so does Zaq. Brooke knows too but she can’t help me now. It’s too late for her.
Guess who I’m not fooling with that story? Amber. She raised her brow and gave me a weird look.
“Okay, that must’ve been a nasty fall,”
“You have no idea,” I muttered underneath my breath. I finished my water bottle and took a bite of my sandwich. Meanwhile, Zaq stares at me. He’s obviously confused and extremely pissed off. I bet he’s wondering how I was able to survive in that musty closet.
We sat in an awkward silence until Amber said, “Guys, where’s Brooke?” That three word sentence made me cry. Tears started streaming down my cheeks and I had to leave. I speed walked to the bathroom and went inside a stall. I started to sob and images of her body made me throw up twice. When I was done puking, I washed my mouth with water and took a couple mints from my pocket and chewed them. I washed my face and I was able to relax some.
The rest of the day went by extremely slow. Each class seemed like a thousand years. I wasn’t paying attention. I was busy thinking about what Zaq might do to me. Obviously he has to kill me. I know too much. I could get him in serious trouble if he doesn’t kill me soon. If I were to be completely honest right now? I’m okay with death. Death right here, right now is better for me than living.
If I continue to live, I’ll go crazy. I’ll go crazy thinking about death. About Brooke. About Zaq and Chase.
When the final bell has rung, I put my stuff down, went to my locker, grabbed my
jacket and went to find Michael.
“I need to talk to you, it’s extremely important,” I said.
“Okay,” We walked outside and I didn’t dare say a word until we were on the eight away from the building.
“Brooke is dead,” I blurted out. I’m going to die anyways, so nothing I do now will hurt me anymore.
“What?” He asked. I met his gaze and I nodded. I let the tears come and we sat down on one of the benches. I faced him and he’s having a hard time believing me.
“How do you know?” He asked me. I took a deep breath and exhaled slowly.
“Because I saw her die,” I whispered. In my head, it felt like a movie. I saw the knife impale her body. Her eyes wide with fear. Her face drained of color. Then the thud as her body hit the floor causing the knife to go completely through her body. Then Chase coming and rescuing me.
“That’s terrible,” Michael said. His voice brought me back to reality and I told him what I saw. I told him everything. I started from the moment I took that drink. I told him how I was drugged. How I was bound and gagged. I left out the part about Zaq and Chase. I just told him that they were wearing a mask so I couldn’t see their faces.
I explained how I got the rope burn and this bump on my head. As I was talking, he listened very carefully. He didn’t interrupt me and he didn’t question anything I said. He believed me, because when I finished he was crying a little.
“We have to tell the police,” He said.
“And tell them what? That two masked murderers killed Brooke and tired me up in a musty closet? They won’t believe us! Think this through Mike,” I exclaimed.
“Yes! That’s exactly what we tell them! This is serious! Our friend is dead and you were close to die too! We need to tell the police!”
“You can’t escape the inevitable Mike! I’m in big trouble! I wasn’t supposed to escape! I was supposed to die with her! I know too much, it’s going to be a short time, before I die too! I’m begging you do not! Do not tell the police!” I pleaded. Our gazes locked and after a while he sighed.
“Okay, have it your way,”
“Thank you. You have to promise me that you will never tell anyone about this,”
He nodded, “I promise,” I believed him of course. He always keeps his promises. He’s extremely loyal and will always stay by your side. That’s why I love Michael. It’s why I told him and not Amber. Amber is really close to Zaq and will not believe a single word I say.
“Thanks,” I pulled my knees to my chest and buried my face in them.
“Are you okay?” He asked. I shook my head. What an incredibly stupid thing to ask. Um, yeah I’m fine. I just watched my friend die. It’s no big deal. Yeah I know I was bound and gagged and almost died but I’m perfectly fine. NO! I am NOT okay! I’m traumatized! I’m petrified! I’m going to die and you ask me this question?! How stupid can you get!?
“So what are we going to do about it?” His question has been building inside me. The answer is simple. Nothing. There’s nothing we can do. The only thing that we can do is wait. There’s no justice in killing another for the other’s death. Brooke wouldn’t have wanted me to kill her brother. I don’t have it in myself to kill a bug much less a person.
“Nothing, There isn’t much we can do and still live,” I shrugged and didn’t meet his gaze. I know he’s probably thinking that I’ve gone bonkers but he nodded his head.
“Okay,” He said and he shrugged. I sighed and decided to walk around some more. The worst part of it is, I have to go home and pretend absolutely nothing happened.
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