What have I done? Someone died and it was my fault! The boy was so young. He had so much life ahead of him! I couldnt even help him. His baby blue eyes, lifeless. His corpse rigid. His skin as cold as ice.
I told him not to take so much so quickly! I told the boy! He didnt listen. I said that he could overdose if he took that much at one time.
Tara, we have to go! yelled Jerome.
He grabbed my hand and pulled me away from the body.
I cant leave him like that Jerome! I argue with him.
Jerome stops running and looks into my eyes. We have to go Tara, he softly explains, Please.
How could I say no to the man that I love? He is doing this to protect me. I have to go with him.
Jerome and Tara begin to run towards the exit sign, both taking one last glance at the young boy whose body was lying on the ground.
You okay? Jerome asks as he pauses from stirring his coffee, You seem to be ripping out the fringes in the booth. You can talk to me about it. You know we share everything, right?
I sigh heavily, debating whether to lie to him Jerome. I have lied to him countable times in the past and he does not like being lied to.
No. Im not okay, I replied, We killed someone Jerome.
Be quiet! No too loud! You dont know who is here in this diner, Jerome whispers.
A long silent pause comes between the two friends, now turned killers.
You know we cant see each other again, right? Jerome adds.
I dont see why not. I know we saw what we saw but
He interrupts, softly whispering in a hard tone, We cant talk about that ever again! Do you want to end up in Jail for the rest of your life? If so, continue shouting.
Clinking cups, scrapping cutlery, hardy laughs. The diner was filled with conversations and slurps from customers drinks. No one in the diner knew that they were in close proximity to two killers. No one in the diner knew that a young boy from Boston was lying on the cold, hard cement of an underground parking ground, dead. No one knew. Not one person knew of this terrible event. Tara however is acting all guilty and suspicious. She is looking at everyone at the diner to a point that Jerome begin feeling uncomfortable.
The doorbell rings and two men dressed in black walk inside the diner. They slowly walk towards the booth directly behind Jerome and Tara.
I dont know if I can live like that Jerome. Having that burden with me for the rest of my life is too hard to bear. I can feel my heart beat in my chest. I am trying to imagine my future, living on the run, living in solitude...
You dont have a choice now, do you, Jerome mutters with an air of sadness.
I do have a choice Jerome. I can go to the police, tell them everything that happened and maybe, just maybe we will be safe.
Thats not how it works Tara, Jerome said, We will never be safe if we snitch. Dont you know the saying, Snitches get stiches?
I know that saying, but I do not believe that it was real thing.
You dont know that.
Yes, I do Tara. And you know it too, Jerome said. He seemed more mad with me than ever. Dont go running your mouth. Youll get us both killed.
I starred down at my cup of coffee, noticing that I had not taken a sip the entire time I was sitting in the booth. Worlds Best Coffee, was written on the window of the diner next to the booth Jerome and I were sitting at.
I never resolved to try the worlds best coffee. It seemed pointless now that my life is basically over.
Im done with this Jerome. Im going home.
I begin to stand up from the booth but I am stopped by Jerome graving my arm. I can feel his strong hand pressing deeply into my arm muscle. His nails begin to dig into my flesh. My arm begins to throb from the immense pain from his grip.
Let go Jerome. Youre hurting me, I plea.
Tara, Im warning you. You say a word to anyone; your neighbour, your postman, even your damn dog, and Im done protecting you.
I dont care Jerome, I yell at him.
Silence erupts in the diner. The conversations cease, the clinking of the cups stop, and all eyes were currently laying on Jerome and Tara.
I notice everyone glaring at Jerome and I so I tear my arm away from Jerome and begin to walk out the door.
You dont tell me what to do anymore Jerome.
I begin to walk away from the table and I dont look back to take one last look at Jerome.
The coffee really is the worlds best, I say to the waitress with a smile before walking out the door.
The two men in black stand up from their seats and begin to walk towards the door, Tara does not know that they are in fact following her.
Jerome telling me what to do, I begin to talk to myself, appearing crazy to anyone else who was talking down the city street.
I need to calm down. A cigarette. I need a cigarette. I should have a box in my purse.
Tara lights a cigarette and inhales the smoke heavily and continues her walk down the alleyway. She is not aware that the two men are right behind her. The two men grab Tara from behind, covering her mouth and pulling her more into the darkness of the alley.
What is happening to me? Who are these men?
A black van becomes clear in the darkness of the alleyway and the doors open. The two men throw Tara into the back and jump into the van as well.
Hey! Get off of me! What are you doing?
We knew you couldnt keep your big mouth shut. Youre a liability for our operation. The man who was speaking had a slight Boston accent.
We heard what you were saying in the diner. We cant have the police involved. I could tell that this wasnt the same man speaking as before. This mans voice was softer and seemed shakier than the other.
You cant kill me! I yell, Help! Help!
The two men begin to laugh.
No one can hear you, the softer voiced man says.
And why exactly cant we kill you? the Boston man asks.
Because if you kill me, Jerome will go to the police. I know he will. Jerome would protect me, even if he said he wouldnt. I know he would notice I was missing. I know he would go to the police then.
You think Jerome cares what happens to you? He doesnt for sure The Boston man laughs, You dont work for him anymore, you dont make money for him anymore. Youre as good as garbage to him.
Thats not true! I yell at the man. I begin to panic. The man is right. I dont work for Jerome anymore.
Shut her up, will you? The driver orders the two men in the back.
The softer voiced man cuts a long piece of tape from a roll and stick it over Taras mouth.
Please dont, I plea. The softer voiced man has a saddening face but he places the cold, sticky tape over my mouth.
It seemed like we were driving for a long time in silence. Suddenly, the car came to a jerky complete stop. The doors from the van open and I notice that we are at the carnival.
The carnival is completely dead and silent.
The two men from the back of the van throw Tara out of the back and the Boston man places a knife across her neck.
Walk, he orders.
I can feel the cold silver across my neck. The sharp ridges piercing into my neck muscles.
Any last words for Jerome? The Boston man asks, laughing in the process.
Im not going to die like this! I need to find a way out. Look around. Use your brain. Survive.
As we are walking, all I can do is think about Jerome. I am in denial at this point and cannot imagine the words of the man with the Boston accent that Jerome does not care about me
What about the endless nights we have spent together? What about the coffee and lunch dates? I mumble
I think you are losing your mind now. The man with the softer voice utters.
I know he loves me and will do anything for me. He will contact the police, and you will all go to Jail I respond while looking at one of the men to express my seriousness
All this time I am lost in mixed thoughts of what I can do. I recall one of my favorite movies Columbiana and begin visualizing it my situation only to remember that this is a real situation.
What if I run? what are my chances of survival? I am sure I can outrun them. I am light and have represented my community and school in racing. There are several times I have raised against Jerome, and he has never defeated me.
What freaks me out to the point that I stop is the utterance of the man with a soft voice. He states. I think this is the best spot. I am sure it will take time before someone discovers her body.
The man with the Bostons accent responds, I agree. Let us get over it as fast as we can before we are discovered.
They are going to kill me. I cannot die. At least not today. I need to do something.
I am considering screaming, but with the cold silver object rubbing on my neck, it will not take more than a second before my throat is split wide open.
The only option remaining is running. Luckily, I spot an abandoned race bike approximately 15 meters from where we are. I have to stop us before they take note of my last resort. I now begin counting on the chances that this bike is functional.
Can I pee? I ask the men while making funny jumping movements of someone who is really pressed.
The man with soft voice notes, Let her pee, it is the last thing she will ever do on this earth beside seeing our faces. Watch over her
We step aside at a distance of about one meter. As I squat, I pick a large rock, and before the man with the Bostons accent turns, I hit him in the back of his head and run towards the bike. The other individuals hear the noises and start chasing me.
As I had suspected, they could not catch up with me, and in a matter of seconds, I am on the bike. I begin thanking the heavens that the bike is in good condition and ride it away from the two men who are running towards me while making all sorts of threats.
I swear you are dead. Says the man with a soft voice.
I will skin you alive that Jerome will not recognize you. Says the ma with Bosons accent.
Although they almost get me at the time I was taking the bike, my adrenaline is still high, and they cannot catch up.
Did I injure him? Are they following me with a car? What if they catch up with me? These are the questions running through my head as I pant harder as a result of cycling until I arrive at a crowded place.
My initial ideas are on calling Jerome and informing him of my movements, but I have second thoughts.
Why did those men sound so sure not to count on Jeromes help? What if he is the one that tipped me off since he knew my thinking and possible action of going to the police?
Then I recall the Boston accent man earlier statement, Jerome cannot risk his life.
Tara realizes that Jerome had ordered the men to kill her and becomes more tensed and based on the disbelive, she breaks down in tears. She, however, recalls she is on the run and immediately looks on every side and continues cycling without knowing the next destination.
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