Strings attached

It was five o’clock in the morning when there was a knock on the door. I refused to get up and see who was, my warm bed was making it impossible for me to abandon it. Whoever was behind the door started to bang it louder. That’s it! Furious. I got up and opened the bloody door for only to reveal my panic-stricken friend, El. “El what’s wrong? You okay? Stop shaking for the love of God!” She walked inside my apartment quickly and unbalanced as she collapsed on the floor. Before I could ask her, tears started streaming down her face as she retorted “Please I’m begging you, help me. Help me!” But I replied with just one word “Explain”.

Before she could say a single word, a powerful gunshot echoed through the room. She seemed terrified of the upcoming event as if she could predict on what was going to happen next. My blood drained from my body as a piece of the wood from the door had seriously wounded my thigh. El came near me, holding my face in her hands as she devastatingly said “Krystal you have to get up, okay? You have to get up and leave no matter the costs. War is about to happen and there is no time for me to explain but we need to find a safe place to hide. Do you understand me?” Her face was cold and scarred from all the fight she had been putting until now. Her hair was a mess and her clothes were wrecked.

She helped me up and we headed toward the emergency stairs. Another shot made me yelp in fear. “Keep going” El exclaimed. That was when her body collapsed and pulled me down the stairs. With my thigh burning and aching, I got closer to El’s cold and lifeless body. The shot had pierced right through her liver and her brown eyes had no signs of life. To say I was traumatised would be an underestimation. Despite being in a shock state, I carried her body down the janitor’s closet, ignoring my intense pain. Whoever did this must still be after us.

Tears escaped as I mourned for the way El had died.

I closed the closet’s door and hugged El’s petit body. That is when a whisper said “Shh, they’ll listen”. My body trembled as I heard that dead voice. Cautiously I craned my head to be met with a pair of black- brown eyes. I knew those eyes like I knew the back of my hand. Kris! I immediately got up and hugged the life out of him, craving for security. But as I wrapped my arms around his back I took a step back, completely stuttered. The cold object sent shivers down my skin. He was holding a gun. “It’s okay, I’ll protect you from them” As to defend himself, he quickly justified his actions.

“What’s going on Kris? What are you doing with a gun? What the hell are you doing with a freaking gun?!” I screamed directly at his confused face. He looked away, caught in his web of lies. But I did not really care about his emotions rather than mine.

I screamed more as I tried to get away from this psychopath but he was swift enough to cover my mouth with his hand. “If you actually care for your life, you better hush and leave with me. Now” I froze. “What are you saying? You monster! You probably killed El and now you are going to kill me too!” My assumptions caught him by surprise for only to let sudden anger emerge. He caught ahold of both of my wrists, pinning me against the cold granite.

Anger was fuming out of him and in that moment I felt like shrinking under his deathly stare. He sucked in a deep breath and turned his head to the side, making his jawline prominent from all that clenching. When he realised he started shouting, he softened his tone but still the fierceness to his voice was the same. “You call me a monster? You wanna get away from me? Do you think you’ll be safer out there with all those firing guns? Who do you think has been keeping you safe this whole time?” I was shocked, again. That was when he started getting closer, still holding my hands from under his holds. Kris released his right hand and brought it over towards the pale skin of my cheek. He leaned his head on my shoulder and hugged me closer to his warm and tense body. When our eyes met, his soft tone broke the silence. “All these times I’ve been running up and down the entire city to protect you from them. All that just to keep you safe” His eyes were passionate and fierce, burning with life and soul. “There were moments when I might even die, but that didn’t really matter, because the last thought etched in my mind would be you. I will protect you with each and every heartbeat of mine. He grabbed my trembling hands and pressed it in the middle of his rising and falling chest. His breathing was anything but normal, with all that arrhythmic heartbeats. But I kid you not, as soon as my palm rest in his, his entire being relaxed.

“You feel that? it’s beating for you, so please, just be with me. Be with me. I don’t see a reason not to.” His pleading melted my heart and I could’t resist at his words anymore. I released both of my hands from his hold and grabbed his face, locking my lips with his plump ones. In that vulnerable moment I took his gun and pointed at his chest.  Not even letting him to even give a second thought to all of this I pulled the trigger merciless, while looking at him dead in the eyes. “You gave your heartbeats to someone who doesn’t have one.”


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