“Jesus, Melita, what happened to your clothes?!” Were the first words my mom yelled at me as soon as I walked through the door. “And what took you so long? You know when we have dinner, and you’re coming back this late. I thought you were going to the library. What, they have a kiddie pool there now? I swear, Melita, sometimes…” It was after that I tuned her out and waited until she was done.
“Well?” Mom asked me expectantly, staring right at me. “Are you going to tell me what happened?”
I had felt so calm when I dropped into the water, but now, I was getting this frenzy feeling building up inside me. So much for an epiphany or anything.
“I, I fell into the bay,” I admitted, trying to avoid her gaze so that she wouldn’t see my eyes. So much weirdness was around me these days.
My mom’s dark blue eyes widened immediately. She crossed the small space behind us and clamped me into a forceful hug. I could hear the worry in her voice as she said, “I’m so sorry, Melita. I didn’t realize. I thought you were just lollygagging off around somewhere.” She rubbed my hair, keeping me in the embrace.
I saw Marshall come up behind Mom and then stop in his tracks as he saw me and Mom. “Uh, I’ll come back later…” he said, and walked the other way to his room.
“Ma, Ma, you can let me go now,” I struggled to breathe as her grip around me tightened.
“I blame your father,” She said as slowly unwrapped her arms away from me. “He said that you would outgrow it one day, and that’s why he kept pushing you to swim. You’re probably traumatized for life now; you’ll never get over it.” She muttered, and then walked away towards the kitchen.
I walked down the stairs towards my bedroom, ready to hurry up and get out of my soaking wet clothes. Just as I reached the last step, I heard the doorbell ring. I let out a groan, pulled my shirt back down since I was halfway taking it off, and hussled back up the stairs to the door.
I realized how much my shoulder was aching as I reached to open the door. I swung the door open, and my mouth dropped open.
“Dre?” I asked, completely shocked. “What are you doing here?”
He raised his eyebrow at me. “You told me to come here at dinner time, remember?” He leaned in to whisper in my ear, making me seize up and sending a flush across my neck. “So we could talk about, you know.” He said.
I thought I had gotten over my whole panic attack thing once I was “reborn” in the bay, but the more I thought about it, the more it just sounded like I was on drugs during that period of time. I’m a really skepitcal person, yet here I am believeing that I’m a siren. A type of mermaid or something that kills people for fun. What was wrong with me? I guess I had gotten so hyped up with Dre that I didn’t realize what I was hearing.
And what did my whole being “reborn” experience do for me? I’m still having panic attacks, my eyes are still glowing in a weird way, and I still have blue scabs all over my body. Not just my face, but now on my legs and stomach, too.
A million more thoughts were racing through my mind as I realized that Dre was so close to me. Close enough that I could smell him, the scent of Irish Spring soap (just about everyone used that) and chocolate. Close enough that I could see he had skipped shaving today so that there was just a little bit of stubble growing along his jaw line. Close enough that I could see the tiny, tiny curls in his hair that made even bigger curls all together. Close enough to realize how much I was in love with him.
I was suddenly very apparent by the little space between us, and I could feel my cheeks and ears turn red and heat up. I thought I had gotten over my awkwardness around Dre, but apparently not. I was as embarrassed as the first day I met him; completely jittery and afraid to meet his eyes. I felt like if I just touched him, he would just vanish.
I got the courage to look at his facial expression, and noticed that he was standing there, waiting for me to say something. Oh my god, what do I say??! I panicked in my head. Anything, just say anything! Nothing can be worse than this awkward silence. Just say something. Now.
“Balls,” I blurted, just trying to think of something to say that wouldn’t be this awkward. Anything but that! “I-I mean…I like balls.” I finished, stuttering the whole way through.
Dre blinked at me, not saying anything. Usually, he would be amused by my awkwardness, but I guess this was just too out of the blue for him. “Balls?” He echoed. “You like balls?”
Oh my god, what have you done now? I asked myself in my head. You’ve really dug a hole for yourself now. Me? Why blame me?! You’re apart of me too, you know! I argued, then realized how crazy I was because I had just gotten into an argument with myself.
I need a life, seriously.
“Any kind!” I added, deciding to go even deeper into the hole. “Basketballs, footballs, you know. Baseballs are my favorite, I guess.”
“Melita!” My dad called from the kitchen, bringing me out of the awkward conversation. I silently thanked him in my head for doing so. “Close the door and come to dinner!” He ordered in his no-nonsense voice, so I knew that I needed to hurry.
I turned to go to the kitchen, pausing for a second to give Dre the universal sign for “come on”. The hairs on the back of my neck stood on edge as I felt Dre walking right behind me, and my stomach churned in nervousness as I imagined sitting right there next to Dre at the dinner table. Scary stuff.
“Well hello, Dre!” My mom greeted him as soon as he walked in the kitchen, embracing him in a hug. Mom treated Dre like he was her own son; which was a good thing and everything, but she always felt like he should be forcing a better “attitude” towards me since he held down multiple jobs and still had straight A’s.
Which, it’s not like I slack, well, okay, I do a lot. But still, it barely even affects my grades, I swear. If I tried, I could get an A+ in every single class. But right now, I just have A’s and A-‘s. So it’s not really a big deal. Yet still, Moma nd Dad are always praising Dre, they think he’s the perfect child. And in a way, I used to think he was perfect too, but now I realized there was a darker side to him.
I had witenessed this darker side of him, on that day when Ryan Sopera – who moved to Minnesota afterwards – had caught me outside the locker room and slapped me on the ass. I was so embarrassed and shocked that I couldn’t even react to what had just happened. That’s when Dre had stepped in. I had never seen him so dangerously mad…
My eyes were wide with shock as I backed up against the wall, my palms pressed up against it as I watched in fear as Ryan walked closer and closer to me, closing the small proximity between us. I was terrified out of my mind, suddenly adrenaline was coursing through my veins, making me notice small things that didn’t really matter all of the sudden.
I could see the multiple pieces of gum dotted along the gym walls, blurring together with their blues, greens, and pinks. The glowing red exit sign seemed to glow down a harsh light on me, making droplets of sweat slide along the stick-straight hairs on the back of my neck. All the meanwhile, Ryan kept lunging for me like it was a game of prey as he watched my every movement, my every twitch, my every nervous and panic-filled flinch.
I was in shock not only because I couldn’t believe that this was really happening to me, but also because I couldn’t believe that it was Ryan Sopera doing this to me. I mean lately, he had been a total asshole ever since he grew like a whole f-ing 10 inches over the summer and everyone had accepted him, earning him a spot on the football team. But before that, before high school really, he had been a pretty nice guy. I didn’t really know him personally, but he was that one quiet guy you could always count on to share a pencil with you and wouldn’t judge you when you returned it with bite marks all along the sides. (Which, I swear, I didn’t even realize I was doing it, and was totally embarrassed when I returned it back to him with all my drool and saliva all over it…)
I mean, he used to be the shortest kid in our entire class, the one who got made fun of a little because of it. But, I guess things had changed. Suddenly, girls weren’t running away from Ryan, they were running towards him. I guess I hadn’t really been paying attention though. I was too hung up on the fact that even though my braces looked completely cool with the blue and yellow lightning bolts in them, that they would probably get stuck in Dre’s mouth if I ever got the chance to be alone with him and just let things happen. Sure, it would probably never happen, but a girl could dream.
Here I was, thinking of the past while a guy who I had no knowledge of his personal life was about to probably rape me. Or at least try some like fondling moves or something. The idea frightened me, while sending waves of angry through me the whole time, wishing my knees would stop wobbling so I could kick him in his playpen area and jet out of this weird smelling locker room.
I understand that lots of things go on in locker rooms, but I couldn’t believe it was this bad in the girls’ locker room. We were just a messy as the boys, seriously. It was suddenly pissing me off. All the other girls always complained how the boys’ rooms were pigpens, but look at this! There’s a pamphlet on birth control information lying on the bench right there, next to the box of…oh wow. I didn’t know there was such a thing as female condom. Oh, I think I’m going to be sick. They looked kinda…used.
I couldn’t believe that I was contemplating about how dirty the girls’ locker room was right when I was staring into the crazed eyes of Ryan. Now, he was right up on me, just about half a finger’s distance away from me. My chest huffed back and forth as I sucked in deep breaths so that I wouldn’t have a full blown panic attack. I mean, I had a lot of panic attacks, ever since I was a baby, but the ones I had were just small ones. If I wasn’t careful now, I would have a full blown one. The ones where you think you’re dying kind. Ones that people get to sent the hospital for and really are sometimes fatal.
My senses started to kick in again, and I realized what was really going on and I should actually pay attention the present and not the past, especially at a critical moment like this. I forced myself to make eye contact with Ryan, although it made my stomach feel all queasy inside and flop over on its side, it seemed.
He finally crept towards me all the way, and I stiffened as he bent his head down in my neck and took in a deep breath. It took all of my might and power not to just piss my pants as he did that. I wanted to be so mad, but I was frozen to my spot with impeccable fear.
Oh God, he just sniffed me. I realized in horror as he continued sniffing me like I was a piece of meat or something. His eyes finally settled back on mine again, and I looked away, not wanting to meet his eyes anymore. He then settled on kissing me on the neck a little bit, instead of sniffing and smelling. The whole time as he continued, I tried scooting to the wall so I could get away, but he sensed what I was doing, and would herd me back with his left arm while still kissing me.
I would yell and scream, but that day, my tonsils were really red and swollen. I had stayed home from school on Monday and Tuesday because they had become so swollen that they started rubbing together and bled in my mouth. It was pretty disgusting, but it was another reason that stopped me from getting out of there sooner than I did until Dre came. I could have saved myself instead of dragging him into the situation, and he wouldn’t have ended up getting a mark on his permanent record.
I thought I was seriously doomed as he began to put his hands on my shoulder, but then I heard a voice. “Mel?” I heard the person say; not understanding who it was since they seemed so far away.
“Mel! Where are you? We need to catch the bus now!” They said, and I realized that it was Dre, coming to my rescue.
Ryan snapped to the direction the voice was coming in, near the entrance of the locker room around the corner. He looked back at me, squinting his crazed eyes at me.
“Who’s that?” He growled, staring at me hard.
I shrugged, not being able to verbally telling him. With that, he turned around and walked near the glowing red exit sign to see who it was. I knew it was my only chance to save myself and that it would hurt like hell, but I knew that this was my last chance and I needed to take it.
Bracing for the pain, I yelled out, “Dre!” The first sound I had made that day rumbled deep in my throat and chest, making my tonsils vibrate together violently. I double over instantly – missing the panicked look that Ryan sent me – and started coughing up mass amounts of blood. It came out thick and dark red, the worst spurt I’d had since they had swelled in the first place. I started coughing violently without being able to stop, the pain of my tonsils rubbing together making myself spew out more blood, which in turn, made me turn dizzy as I lost more and more.
I knew Dre had come to see what was going on, but I didn’t expect him to react so fast. One minute, I was coughing out my lungs, and the next, Dre was a blur as he burst in with his head lodged into Ryan’s hand while simultaneously pummeling him in the face wit his fists. Still coughing, I watched in awe as the fight continued, the whole time Dre had the upper hand.
I had seen Dre mad before – like when we took some vocabulary test in English and Mr. Fuhrman had marked a point off of the test when Dre put ‘cows’ instead of ‘cattle’, which was completely unfair – I had seen him mad then. But this, this was a whole new side of him. He had reached the ‘Marshall Young’ barrier, as I called it, of anger and gone past it. He was about to reach the point of murderous, he was so angry.
Again and again, I watched as his fists raised and then slammed straight into Ryan’s face, breaking his nose and giving him two black eyes. Ryan was subdued and almost passed out, but Dre just kept going and going, a murderous and intense hate in his eyes as he was trained on staring at Ryan.
Even though I was pissed the hell off at Ryan and grateful that Dre had come in when he had, I knew by now that he had gone too far. Instead of fighting back or defending himself, Ryan was just moaning and crying help over and over again. He deserved it, he really did, but Dre had to stop. He had done enough.
“Dre,” I croaked, a little bit of blood spurting through my lips as I said so. “Dre, stop.” I tried to say. It took so much effort just to get one word out, my chest was heaving up and down as I struggled to breathe. I put my hand on the wall, trying to brace myself, but I eventually slid down, completely tuckered out. I closed my eyes for a brief second, trying to take in more breaths so that I wouldn’t hyperventilate and pass out right then in there.
After resting for only a couple of seconds, I crawled to my hands and knees over to Dre. “Dre, that’s enough,” I said, coughing a little more as I said it. He still didn’t seem to hear me, so I grabbed his arm, hoping that he would stop and get out of this trance he was in.
My touch wasn’t enough though, and he pushed me back. Not rough, but enough to get me to move back. I was shocked as he do so, not only because I couldn’t believe that he would push me, but also because he had kinda pinched my nipple through my shirt a little bit on accident. I winced as I felt the pain, and the sound I made seemed to shake Dre out of his trance. His head whipped up, his fists stopped pummeling, and looked down in horror at Ryan’s face. Two black eyes, a tooth missing, and his nose was broken. It was bleeding like a faucet too, the drippage only slowing down a little bit.
All the meanwhile, Dre’s eyes slowly turned from this stormy, dark black and resumed their dark and colorful brown as usually. He looked back at me, with shock written all across his face with his eyes wide. He looked at his hands, which were covered entirely with Ryan’s blood. His hands started to shake uncontrollably, and he looked back at me again, his eyes full of worry and terror.
I crawled back over to him and he wrapped me up tightly in a hug, his eyes buried in my hair and my face into his neck. Tears started to roll out of my eyes while we still embraced, and I couldn’t stop them from falling. I could feel Dre’s body shaking slightly against my face, and realized that he was trying to hold back in his tears. The thought of Dre crying shook me inside, because I knew that Dre almost never cried, no matter the circumstances. We gripped each other tighter, our fingernails digging into each other’s backs, but we didn’t care. We just needed to be together, now.
A few minutes after that, Coach Burgess found us there huddled on the floor, next to Ryan’s body, well; actually he was alive, so it wasn’t just his body anyway, and called the police. The whole time though, Dre and I never separated. When they asked us to get up, we still held each other by the waists and slowly made our way out into the gym.
Once the police finally arrived, I got a lot of weird looks from them, but they didn’t say anything about it. I could hear Coach explaining to the detectives that he had found Ryan beat to a bloody pulp and we were wrapped around each other. He assured that that we weren’t together as a couple; that we were just friends. The detectives asked Dre to leave my side, since they were convinced that he was an abusive boyfriend or something, and it took the both of them to pry our hands from each other’s waists.
I was reluctant to answer the detectives’ questions, but they had me cornered once they led me into the Coach’s office and closed the door behind them. His office was filled with all those motivational posters, which I guess it was just me, but they didn’t motivate me to do anything. Just because you have the word “power” with a picture of a beach behind doesn’t make me want to be powerful and take over the entire world or something. No, it makes me think of how I wish I could escape to that beach right there and not think about what just happened to me. That’s what I think of when I see those motivational pictures.
The detective made eye contact with me, breaking the trance I had withheld as I scanned over the posters on the wall. The detectives were the same height, had the same hair color, and even the same eye color. With a start, I realized that they were identical twins and felt a whole lot more stupid for not noticing before. Then again, I guess I could cut myself some slack since I had just ALMOST BEEN RAPED. How had I not been freaking out before, when Ryan had come clomping over to me? I knew I should have known that something was wrong when he had walked into the locker room, supposedly looking for his girlfriend Millie. She wasn’t even in my gym period, I should have known, I should have known, I should have known!
“Hello, Melita,” The detective on the right greeted me. “We know that—,”
“Hi,” I interrupted him, suddenly. I had fallen back into that weird, mindless trance again and I just realized that he had said hi to me.
He gave me a wry smile. “Uh, hi. I’m Detective Sanchez, but you can call me Elias and my partner here, Hector, since technically we’re both Detective Sanchez.” He smiled, like had pulled a funny.
I didn’t smile back, just kept staring at that stupid poster behind him. The other detective, Hector sent a look to his twin, probably along the lines of “just get to the point”. I watched as Detective Elias cleared his throat awkwardly, looking at me. It was then I realized they had been waiting for me to say something but I had been so far off in my own world that I hadn’t heard them say anything. I was turning into Mya really, always off in her little world.
Once I thought of Mya, I thought about how someone like Ryan could do that to me. How could he just almost traumatize me (I wasn’t traumatized right now; just kinda phased for the moment), knowing that I had a family at home? I love Mya to death and I know she loves me just the same, so what would happen if her big sister just suddenly wasn’t there for her anymore? It angered me that the only person Ryan had been thinking of was himself, and that he hadn’t even thought about the consequences or the effect it would have on me, him, hell, even the people at WOHS.
“Where is he?” I suddenly said, instead of asking them to repeat their question. I stood up from the chair, trying to look out the window of the office.
“Who?” Detective Elias asked. He saw me trying to leave the office, and put a hand on my arm. I immediately flinched back, not wanting to be touched by anyway but Dre right now. He was the only one I trusted at the moment.
“Oh, sorry,” He immediately apologized, giving me an understanding look. Something told me in his light orange-y brown eyes that he understood what was going on with me, like he had been through something like I had too. “But Melita, we still have questioning to do.”
I wanted to be so angry, so angry at Ryan for trying to basically rape me, so angry at Detective Elias for not letting me beat Ryan’s ass, so angry for them stripping Dre away from me. But, I just couldn’t. I couldn’t help but feel just suddenly so tired, and wanted to help Detectives Sanchez so that they could go home tonight without a bunch of worries on their mind. Not just about me of course, but in general. So I sat my ass back down in that uncomfortable green chair and answered all their questions politely in an efficient manner, until they let me out of the office and into Dre’s arms again. We left after the questioning, the detectives saying that they would visit our houses tomorrow morning, since it was a Saturday.
Because Dre’s grandmother was dead and his mother was in rehab, he didn’t have an adult or guardian living in his house, which was illegal. If they came over to his house and found out that no adults lived there, he would be in big trouble. So he decided to stay over at my house, helping me tell the story to my parents, along with the detectives who drove us home in their cop car. Which, surprisingly, Dre told me that it wasn’t the first time he had been in one. I didn’t question him of how he ended up in the police car for doing what, I was just too tired and confused by the day’s events.
Of course, when the police car pulled up to my house, Mom was completely freaked out. Not that she wasn’t, because it was for a good reason. I would freak out too if my daughter and her best friend had just come out of the back of a police car, with blood splattered all over the both of their shirts, and not to include the part about there was blood steadily flowing out of my mouth and smeared across my chin. Truly, it wasn’t my prettiest moment, but Dre hadn’t really cared as my head drooped into his lap and my eyes closed because I was completely exhausted.
He said he could tell I was extremely tired because I didn’t even get embarrassed when my face was just centimeters from his er…junk. Which I hadn’t thought about it until the next day, and it made me blush so furiously that I thought I had a 24-hour flu strain.
That day in eighth grade was one of the few things that Dre and I never talked about. Ever. In fact, I had been blocking out the memory for so long that it came as a start as I began to recall that day. I looked down at my suddenly intimidating plate of spaghetti, then to Dre smiling right next to me, and I realized that if I didn’t leave then and there, I would seriously freak out.
What had I been thinking before? I wasn’t ready to face whatever it was that was going on with me. Maybe it was just puberty that was giving me the blue scabs and hallucinations. And they were obviously hallucinations because I once thought that Dre had died in my arms. And here he is, sitting right next to me. I needed a psych, and fast.
“Mel, just relax,” I heard Dre whisper in my ear, startling me. He snuck up on me so suddenly that I jumped, causing my knee to jerk into the table and tilting the table over so that Marshall and Mya’s drinks spilled up all over them.
“Oh God, sorry, sorry!” I apologized immediately, my cheeks flushing as I bent down to pick up my fork that dropped to the floor. In the process, my forehead accidentally and completely bumped into Dre’s junk, which made him let out the most high pitch sound a guy with a voice as deep as his could muster.
I was embarrassed as hell, and everyone’s eyes were on me as I repeatedly apologized. “Oh god, Dre, I’m so sorry. Oh my God, are you okay? I know it hurts…” And then I did the stupidest thing ever by asking him if he wanted me to ice it, not realizing how awkward that would be.
Marshall immediately started laughing at me. In fact, he was laughing so hard that his entire face turned a bright red, and tears began leaking out of his eyes like crazy. Mya and Mom laughed with him too, while Dad tried to smother his laughs while simultaneously covering his crying eyes with his hands.
I hadn’t been so embarrassed in my whole life. I looked at everyone laughing besides Dre, who just looked worriedly at me because he could probably understand what I was thinking: that this was a sign that he didn’t belong in my life, and that was exactly what I was thinking at that moment.
My face began to crumple on itself as I began to cry. The tears came hard and fast out of my eyes, and before I could see anyone else’s reactions, I bolted out of my chair and out of the door, making one of the most dramatic exits I’ve ever done in my life. Although I was so distraught and full of emotions I hadn’t been aware of until now, I had the sense to slam the door behind me but not grab my house keys.
I didn’t run far, just two small blocks up to the park. It was dark and quiet outside, just the sound of my old hi-tops slapping on the concrete as I ran with the muffled sounds of my crying and sobbing whipping around in the wind in my ears. I tripped across a twig as I passed the blue side I used to slide on and sometimes took Mya to. My knees scraped painfully across the woodchips, cutting through my jeans and making a medium-sized cut on my knee. I tumbled to the ground with my hands out in front of me, scraping them as well and crashing into a little block section underneath the main playground so I was completely covered.
I slumped my hand back against the wall, still crying so that the tears ran from under my eyes and down my neck. I wasn’t crying because of my knees or my palms – even though they really hurt like hell – but because everything around me was just falling apart. Brite would never admit this, but I knew that she was growing away from me. Being with Charlie was changing her into a different person, not for better or for worse, but because she expressed so many different emotions while around him.
And it wasn’t just Brite, either. So many people were moving on while I was stuck behind. Marshall was back with Luna, and there was no doubt in my mind that they would eventually get married and move away from Baltimore. Dre has been taking care of his little brother since he was born, and never once has he slipped up, even though he has take two jobs and schoolwork and somehow he still stays on top of them both.
All that’s left is me, Melita. Melita, who hasn’t matured since probably the age of 13, the 16 year old that’s liked the same person to no avail for three freaking years. The girl who’s not good at anything, and knows that she’s either going to die an early death or not have a future worth living.
I’ve known since I was little that I wasn’t supposed to live long, that I was supposed to die at an early age. All the other kids in my class always knew what they wanted to be when they were grown up; I was the only one who just shrugged and said, “I don’t know” whenever I was asked the question. I was the only one who couldn’t picture a future of themselves, and stopped giving a shit at the age of 10. I was the only probably on this earth that didn’t care about what happened to them, they were just waiting for death. Except I was surrounded by people who cared about what happened to them and I was the only one who didn’t care. I was the only one who wished everyday at night for their death.
I had never told anyone about how much I didn’t care about my own life. People just assume I’m some kind of complex teenage girl who you can never expect what to do, but that’s not the truth. The simple fact is that I wait day in and day out for death. Plain and simple. So when I had first met Dre, he was the first type of spark that sent me wanting life again. Suddenly, I could hear and feel my heart beating, instead of just lying down at night and wondering when I could be taken off of this earth.
No, it was Dre, only Dre, who could get me to give the will to feel like there was something worth living for. I know that sounded selfish and conceited of me to say, considering I had a family that loved me, but I didn’t feel that way. I was just so…depressed, except it was all the time. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, and I just couldn’t live. These problems originally started within me during about the fifth grade. My parents were really concerned about what was happening to their daughter, so they took to me get a psych exam.
They tested me and said that there was nothing wrong with me, that I was just having “normal pre-teen problems”. That’s what they thought, but it didn’t change the concern that my parents had for me. They tried to enroll me in a bunch of extracurricular activities and everything, but it didn’t really help. It wasn’t until around the sixth grade, around the time I met Dre, I stopped feeling so depressed and down all the time. It was like there was something about Dre that exuberated life, and something about him just made it seem like there was something worth living.
Suddenly, I realized that my family and friends did love me, and maybe my life was actually worth living. Sure, the worries of dying at early age did sometimes still plague my mind, but they were growing smaller and smaller every day. Before long, I was back to the regular Melita: panic-attacky, but still happy and able to function at least.
I hadn’t felt this depressed since the few years before I met Dre. But now, everything seemed to be crashing down on around me. I wanted to just lie down and die, let whatever higher power it was to take me. I didn’t care anymore about life; I just wanted to die. Die and never be seen again.
“Death,” I suddenly seemed to mumble, my head lying back against the wall. “Death.” I repeated, and then realized that it wasn’t me. Well, it was, but I wasn’t forcing myself to actually say it. The words were just coming out of my mouth without me trying. I tried to sit up to look around just to see if anyone else was around, but there wasn’t. I sat up all the way fully, and then a sharp pain went through the center of my chest.
“Oh God!” I cried out in pain, and then doubled over back to the ground. My chest felt like it had been cracked open or something, like I had open bypass surgery or something. The pain surged a fiery path all the way up to my neck, making me thrash to the ground in pain. I suddenly began coughing furiously as the thumping pain in my chest came faster and faster, and there were no more breaks in between.
As my coughing fit became even worse, I let out another heaving cough and blood sprayed from my lips onto my hands and the woodchips underneath me. I was paralyzed in fear as I observed the blood spray across my hands, the shock in my mind making it hard to think. Another cough rumbled through my chest, and even more blood spurted through my mouth, coming out in thick, dark red clots. Before I knew it, I was lying completely against the ground, coughing up blood as it filled my lungs. Black and red dots began to appear in my vision, and my head lolled to the side in unconsciousness.
“Death.” My lips parted to say one more time, and I realized that it was coming for me. I was dying, in a playground that my siblings and I used to play on. Death was finally coming unto me.
My blood filled lungs struggled to make the oxygen flow throughout my body. I gave one last, shuddering breath and my eyes closed in one final position.
From afar, in a bird’s eye view, a dark shadow stepped outside of Melita Young’s body. The shadow, halfway protruding out of the live body, was the same shape and size of Melita’s. Gradually, as the shadow made its way out of the host body, it began to drain her color and slowly became another copy of Melita. Finally, the once live host body slowly drained from its color, leaving only a shadow of what it had originally been. The shadow, now completely the same as the original Melita, wore a sly smirk across its face. Still grinning devilishly, it looked to the original Melita.
“Death.” It uttered the word, and the smile grew even wider. The once shadow bent its neck at an awkward angle, twisting it farther than humanly possible, so that it let out a deafening crack that sounded wordlessly through the abandoned, dark playground.
Looking off into the distance and using its eyesight better than a regular human's, the shadow spotted Melita’s house. Jerking their neck to the right to crack it one last time, the shadow set off for the once live one’s house.
Hell had finally arrived.
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