“Jump or she dies. Your choice sweetheart.”
How we ended up on this roof, how his arm came around my neck and his gun to my head. I guess everything happens the way it’s supposed to at least, that’s what Daddy always told us… but I just can’t understand why this was happening. What did we do to deserve this?
Today was just like any other day we got up, went to school, came home and went through rounds.
Daddy was late though, he was always home before us, but this time there was nothing but an empty room. Jackie swore he’d be there soon, but I knew by the way she kept checking the windows, that something happened. And that used to make me so mad, ya know? The secrets. Nobody ever telling me anything. I’d yell and stomp my feet, demanding answers and calling her some of the most awful names when She just smiled at me- like a tired mother trying to placate her child.
I wish I could take it back. I have so much to say and apologize for, years worth of tears and laughter to remember, but time was just burning away with every step she took toward the edge.
“Come on kitten, tick-tock, mousey ain’t gonna last much longer.”
I could feel my heart pounding against the cool metal pressed to my temple. And I wondered if Jackie’s was beating just as hard.
But knowing her, it was just as steady as it had always been and looking at her now seeing that damn smile, she wasn’t worried. The way she looked at me, didn’t feel right. There was almost a resigned sadness in her eyes, and Jackie had never smiled so largely in my entire lifetime. I didn’t know if it was supposed to make me feel better or not, all I know is that dread sat like a lead ball in my stomach.
If only Daddy was here, then it all be okay again. This guy would be dead, and Jackie wouldn’t have to look at me like that and I wouldn’t be so afraid. But he wasn’t, Daddy Wasn’t here, and he wasn’t coming. He’s dead, and we’re on our own.
But when I felt my airways close and a hand around my throat I realized, one of us isn’t walking away from this. This was different from all the other times we looked death in its face. This time we stared a little too long, and he wasn’t letting go. Black dots danced across my eyes, and I was sure I’d be the one he was taking. But my eyes found my sister’s and the three words crossed her lips like poison before she was gone.
I screamed so loudly I was sure God himself could hear it, but I didn’t care. I just kept screaming, thrashing, hoping that my fighting would somehow bring her back and pretending I didn’t hear the distant sirens speeding closer. Only when I hit the hard ground and the breath was knocked from my lungs, did I stop.
“Well look at that, she actually did it! Who knew the famous Bascom family were such spineless cowards.”
A fiery rage lit in my heart then. How dare he? I didn’t care about the gun in my eyes, about the inevitability of death that I was about to face. All I could look at was that damn smirk on his face, the way his eyes were so alight with bliss at my suffering. I knew I was about to die, but I also knew that Jackie would’ve kicked my ass if I faced it lying down. So I stood up, and I ignored the pain in my ribs. And just as I was to my feet I fell once again, this time with a bullet in my chest. Only I didn’t see darkness or a bright light leading me to wherever it was I would go. I stared up at the starless sky and took a breath, felt my heart pump the blood in my chest just as strongly as it ever had. And as his hand reached down to me I grabbed his arm and that gun from his hands. I look him in his eyes, watching them fill with fear as I pressed that gun to his forehead.
I listened to him plead and beg, praying for mercy and all I could think is how fast the predator became the prey when a gun was pointed at their head. I pulled the hammer back, looked into his eyes, smiled that same damn smile and pulled the trigger.