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have to go upstairs!" Ozzie stated, "We have to hide."
"Follow me," Jonah stated, "Everyone follow me."
He grabbed onto my hand but I saw Adrian push him hard and grab a hold of me. Adrian had pushed Jonah hard into the lockers. I could hear Jonah's body slamming onto the back of the lockers. Ozzie and Rebecca were looking on just as shocked as I was.
that Quashie's coming with me."
"You are joking right?" I asked.
has a gun, she's killing people," Jonah told Adrian,
"Is this the time for you to be having your little jealous rant?"
I couldn't believe he called Adrian out like that especially in front of Rebecca and Ozzie. People were panicking. People were running and he was pushing Jonah? What the fuck!
"Run..." Rebecca stated, "We have to go."
"Not with him. He knew about it. Didn't you see his face?" Adrian stated, "He FUCKING knew she was going to do this! That was what this assembly is about."
"No!" Jonah stated.
"WHO GIVES A FUCK! SHE'S DOING IT!" I stated, "I'm not following anyone. You guys can fucking follow me!"
I didn't wait around to listen to any thing else they had to say. I could see people pushing past one another to the other side of the hallway. It was madness! I had never seen panic like this. We ran towards the stairwell and that was when we heard gunshots.
"Oh my god! That's a machine gun."
"How the fuck did she get an machine gun?" Adrian asked.
I still didn't care at this point. The guns were followed by screaming. It was getting close to us. It wasn't normal screaming. These were screams of...death. The sounds began to scar my mind. I found it hard to breathe.
"Upstairs," Oozie stated, "All the doors are blocked and downstairs has barred windows."
"Barred windows?" Adrian asked.
were robberies. They were installed last
year. The upper floors don't have any
bars. We can jump down."
Adrian shook his head, "Way too high."
"Well I'm going," I stated, "I'm not sitting here waiting to die."
I started running. I could feel my adrenaline kicking in. What the fuck was going on? Lauren had it gotten this bad? Had she already killed people? Rebecca said she did. She couldn't come back from this now. It was too late.
Her life was over.
Now it was about my life. It was about Ozzie. It was about Jonah! Hell it was even about Adrian. I had to make sure everyone was safe. Who knew what was going through Lauren's mind.
"Quashie! Over here! Come over here."
I hadn't even recognized the voice as we ran upstairs. Upstairs had a lot less chaos then downstairs. We had to run to the top floor to escape the chaos. It was just a minute or two but it felt like a lifetime. People pushing past one another. There was this scent. There was this scent of death all around us.
I turned around in circles panicking and then I saw him. I saw Jackie waving his hand at me. I lead the others towards where Jackie was.
Jackie let us in the room and barricaded the door behind him. As we ran in we saw that it was Jackie and Aaryn in the room. It was a science room. I had never been in a science room before.
As we ran in the room I was surprised when Jackie immediately hugged me.
"God you are ok," he stated.
I was shocked that he was showing that kind of care. He quickly moved over to his brother giving him a similar hug as he gave me. On the other end of the science room I saw Aaryn and Rebecca embrace and start crying wildly.
Adrian stood up against the board. He was breathing heavy. Ozzie was crying as well. He was almost as hysterical as the girls but he ended up in a crouching position on the floor.
"Block the doors," Jackie stated, "They don't lock. Put anything in front of them. Anything that will stop them."
Jonah and I were the only ones functional enough to listen to him. We start pilling thing in front of the door. Unfortunately the school doors didn't lock. We put chairs in front of it though. We put tables in front of it. We put anything we possibly could put in front of the doors. Luckily we had a few things to grab and place in front of the door but as I looked it I knew that if she really wanted to get in here nothing would stop her. NOTHING would stop Lauren.
"Jackie," Rebecca stated, "It's not them. It's only one person."
"What? I ran past 5 bodies downstairs...five dead bodies. This cannot be from one person," Jackie stated.
"It's Lauren," I stated.
Jackie got speechless. His role as leader seemed to automatically fade away. No one had the guts to tell him about that his sister had turned into a murderer...a cold blooded killer.
I turned to Adrian. He was clutching onto his arm. I went over to him and realized that there was something wrong with him. I hadn't been paying much attention to him as we were running from the panic. I hadn't noticed what was going on but he looked like he was seriously hurt.
"What's wrong with your arm?" I asked.
"I fell and it got trampled over."
"Let me see..."
"I'm fine," he stated looking down.
"Let me see Adrian."
I looked at his arm. It was worse than I thought. He couldn't even move it. He was just holding it and gritting his teeth. I pressed on the bones. Luckily I had taken enough a premed course for college and I knew exactly what I was looking at.
"It's broken," I stated.
"Fuck," he stated banging his head.
"I need something to wrap it up and make sure it doesn't move. Something like a sling. We want to make sure it doesn't get any worse than it already is."
At that point I noticed Jonah taking off his shirt. He didn't even hesitate to rip his shirt and hand it to me. I took the time wrapping up Adrian's arms. Adrian didn't even thank Jonah for it but I knew Jonah wasn't doing it for thanks. He was just a good person.
"Did anyone call the cops?" Rebecca asked.
"I heard someone downstairs on the phone with them," Aaryn replied, "They know this bitch went psycho."
"Psycho?" Jonah asked with this pain in his eyes, "You people created what is downstairs killing people. YOU did this to her. You called bullshit. Let me ask you something Aaryn...is this bullshit in this very moment when your life is on the line because you liked to harass people?"
Jonah was tearing up. Hell everyone was crying at this point except for me. Jackie and Jonah had silent tears. Aaryn, Rebecca and Ozzie were bawling their eyes out. Adrian seemed to be crying from the pain as I finished wrapping his arm.
"Are you going to let your brother talk to me like this?" Aaryn asked Jackie.
"He's right," Jackie stated.
Aaryn looked surprised. She looked horrible at this point. Her mascara was running down her red face. Snot was rolling down her face. What did her being the perfect white model of America matter in this time of desperation? Her true ugliness was finally showing and it was scary.
"What?" she asked.
"He's right and you are not my FUCKING girlfriend anymore," Jackie stated, "I should have fucking listened. You came into my life and made me into such a toxic person. I wasn't like this. Quashie. Jonah. I wasn't like this the whole time. I promise. I don't know where I went wrong. I hated everything that was different. I hated myself. The self-hate drove me to turn on my own family. How could I have not seen this coming."
"It's ok Jackie," Jonah stated.
"No its not," Jackie told his brother, "After you left I was supposed to be there to protect her. She was my baby sister. She looked up to me. She wanted me to protect and be her big brother...but what did I do? I...I..."
He couldn't finish. He broke down in this awful wailing. It wasn't until Jonah went over to him and patted him on the back that the sound stopped.
I would never forget the sound of Jackie crying out his regret.
"We are all going to die here today aren't we?" Adrian stated.
There was silence. I wanted to tell him that it was going to be ok. I wondered how many other people wanted to comfort him somehow. I couldn't comfort him though. I was scared out of my mind. The crying was not helping either. It wouldn't stop. Aaryn and Rebecca were so loud with their tears that it was probably giving us away if we wanted to hide. I wanted Jackie to take up that leadership role but he was already defeated once he found out that it was his baby sister that was shooting up the school.
"Maybe if someone talked to her," I stated shaking my head, "Maybe if someone stopped her and let her know that things will be better."
"She's a monster," Aaryn stated.
"SHUT UP BITCH!" I finally stated, "You don't get to fucking talk! You hear me! Stop your fucking crying or I swear I'll throw you out of this room my damn self."
I couldn't take it anymore. No one seemed to blamed me for going off on Aaryn either. Me screaming seemed to shut her and Rebecca up at the same time.
"Can we make it out the window?" Jonah asked me.
"It's too high," I stated shaking my head, "We won't make the fall. We need to just wait for the cops. They have to be on their way."
"I love you."
Everyone turned to see who had said it and I noticed at that point it was Adrian. He was looking at me with these eyes that seemed to have been in a trance. I immediately looked back and Jonah and I could tell he was just as surprised as me. Hell everyone was surprised.
Where the fuck had this come?
"What?" I asked.
"If I'm going to die today I want to let you know that," Adrian stated, "I want you to know that I'm in love with you Quashie. That's why I can't sit idly by let you be happy with Jonah. Because I want it to be me. I wanted it to be me who was brave enough to kiss you in that lunch room. I wanted to be the boyfriend. Don't you get it?"
I was breathing harder...faster...
"I can't deal with this right now."
"Is everyone gay?" Rebecca stated.
the guys in here except Jackie," Aaryn stated, "Hell
dumping me like that you might as well be!"
"Shut the fuck up!" Jackie stated, "I'm cool with it."
"Huh?" I asked even more confused.
Jackie shook his head, "You heard it. I'm cool with it g'damn it. Quashie if you wanted to date Rudolph the red nose reindeer I'd be cool with it. The same goes for Jonah. I knew the two of you would connect. I should have known it would evolve. Adrian...word to the wise, don't try to get in between these two. Love like that is hard to find..."
Adrian didn't answer.
He rolled his eyes to the ceiling. I was fucking shocked Jackie was talking like this.
"Oh god," Aaryn stated.
Just at that moment there was thump on the door! And soon after someone was shooting at the FUCKING DOOR!
She was here for us!
She was shooting at the door and kicking it!
I felt my heart racing in panic.
"Everyone hide in the cabinets!" Jackie stated, "I'll talk to her. That's my sister. I'll fucking talk to her."
Jonah shook his head, "Not alone you won't. That's my sister too."
Adrian came up to me, "Come on..."
"I'm not leaving Jonah."
"Quashie..." Adrian stated but then quickly turned to Jonah when he realized I wouldn't listen to him, "Jonah..."
Jonah backed Adrian up, "Quashie go with him. Please...for me."
I shook my head, "I stick by my man."
I was talking without even hearing myself. I just didn't even care. Jonah looked as confused as I was. Adrian, Rebecca, Aaryn and Ozzie squeezed themselves in the science cabinets hiding. Jonah was looking at me with this shocked look. He hadn't expected me to stand by his side like I was. I could almost read his thoughts. I wasn't leaving him. No matter how much he wanted to get away I wasn't going to lose him again. Not if I had any say in it.
It wasn't only a second before she got into the room, knocking over the barricade that we had set up. I had never seen such a rage in someone before. I could barely even recognize her. In one hand was a pistol and the other hand was a machete. They said she had a machine gun but she didn't have that at this point. She just had the one gun. It was almost as though she was possessed when she walked into the room.
Blood stained, Lauren's face was wrinkled up.
Every tear I wanted to cry came out now.
It wasn't crying for myself.
I was crying for her. Every single tear I wanted to cry for myself I cried for her.
"Lauren, please stop," Jonah was the first one to say something to her, "It's not too late. You aren't alone anymore. The world is not against you---"
"We are here for you," Jackie finished.
DON'T GET TO TALK! Ok?
YOU don't get to say a fucking word."
She came forward with her gun and pressed it against Jackie's forehead. She had been crying but she wasn't crying now. All hear tears had gathered underneath her eyes. Her eyes were redder than I knew eyes could get. Were they drugs?
Her voice shook as she spoke. I couldn't help it but stand close to Jonah. She had lost it. There was nothing there. There was no getting through to her any longer. They had to see that. Even though they were her brothers they had to see it.
"Lauren," Jonah stated weakly.
He sounded defeated. There was something lost there. There was nothing but darkness in Lauren now. She was dressed in all black with a leather jacket.
"Where is your girlfriend? I want Aaryn," she stated, "I want Rebecca. You all die together..."
Oh my god...
"WHERE IS SHE! TELL ME NOW OR THIS ONE DIES!" she stated immediately aimed the gun at me, "THIS SELLOUT dies right here and right now."
The darkness in her soul was unmovable. Jonah seemed to be the only one right now that she didn't look right into the eye but as she pointed the gun at me she stared me down. She looked at me and there was this madness. My whole body was shaking.
I was going to die today.
NO!" Jonah stated, "Don't fucking do this.
You can't take this back."
"It's too late. My life is over," she stated.
talked," Jonah stated, "So many private discussions.
I know how you feel.
"Shut up Jonah! Tell me where they are or this one dies in ten seconds!"
She had pressed the gun against my dome.
I close my eyes.
"This isn't about your life anymore," Jonah stated, "This is about your soul. Save your soul Lauren."
"Ten, nine, eight."
I braced myself. I could already feel my body getting cold. Jonah's voice was breaking. He was crying. It wasn't the gun that I worried about. She wasn't pausing. She was counting fast. She wanted to do this. She wanted to kill me. I knew it. I felt myself being locked in a world where I first saw Jonah. I remembered the beautiful painting.
"No...no...no," Jackie kept saying.
"Seven, Six, Five..."
me," Jonah stated, "Take me instead.
Please. Lauren if our talks meant
anything at all to you don't kill the man that I
"We are here," a voice stated, "We are all here."
I had opened my eyes finally to see what was going on. From the corner of my eye I could see movement. Lauren's gun was still pressed on my forehead. It was Ozzie who had screamed out initially and now him and Adrian were climbing out of the cabinets with their hands up.
Lauren's eyes shot over. She had recognized something. It was Rebecca and Aaryn.
at her she's fucking lost it," Rebecca stated, "Look how she's looking at us."
"Please don't kill me..." Aaryn was pleading, "It was all joking. Please. I know...I know I wasn't the nicest person but it's just how I was raised. I was raised in the south. I say things that aren't socially accurate but I don't mean it---"
The gun wasn't pointed at me anymore. As soon as the gun was removed from my forehead I could see Jonah running up to me. He grabbed me close holding me and wrapping me in his arms. I felt like the weakest person in the world as I cried on him but hell everyone else was crying by this time. Lauren didn't even seem to notice me anymore. She seemed like she had a bone to pick. It was pointed at Aaryn.
"You can't come back from this," Jonah stated.
He wouldn't let up.
"The darkness surrounds me," Lauren stated, "All that is left is pain and agony, Jonah. You were the only one who knew. Where were those apologies when I needed them? Where were they before the darkness came? I thought how can I make them feel like me? Every day I came to school I was shot down and murdered with no care...no emotion? Where was their souls then?"
"We are all going to die," Aaryn stated crying so hard that she was letting out this strange gasping sound.
That was when she shot.
The gun went off.
Panic. I saw the flash of blood and I was pretty sure Aaryn had ducked behind Rebecca.
Rebecca's blood sprayed across the walls painting them. Rebecca stared out as she pressed at the gun shot in the middle of her chest. Ozzie was screaming. Adrian had run over to her to catch her but he wasn't fast enough. She fell down immediately to the ground.
Rebecca died...with her eyes open.
That was when Jackie made a move he ran at his sister, "EVERYONE GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!"
They began running out of the door. Ozzie and Aaryn ran first. The gun went off several more times. There was a slight chaos at first. I started out the door and I saw that Jackie was wrestling or something. Adrian had picked up off the floor and headed out running past me. Jackie was still wrestling with her. Aaryn was out. Ozzie was out. Adrian was out of the room. We were almost clear. We were almost clear of this.
"I'm here," He stated.
He had been looking back. I knew he wanted to try and save her but he had to know that she had gone too far. We had seen now that it was real. Rebecca was laying DEAD in a puddle of blood.
He grabbed onto my hand and was running with me.
The gun went off again.
I felt a jerk on my hand from behind as I tried to pull Jonah out. Every part of me KNEW that Jonah had just got shot and my whole world seemed to end.
I was so afraid to look back as I heard Jonah's voice scream.
Just when I found someone...
My eyes shot. Please god. I could feel the scream of death around me.
Just when I was in love...Jonah was leaving again. One final disappearance.