Shadows of the past

5 min read

I can feel chaos is coming.

Blood keeps pouring out of my mouth. The warmth, the alarming color, and the consistent metallic taste are awful. I watch as it flows from my lips, streaming in a zigzag to form a pond of red pool. My poor heart keeps beating, in an attempt to compensate her loss. I can feel the adrenaline rushing through my body, I’m in a state of fight or flight yet I can’t do either or both. I don’t know what’s blurring my vision. Is it the tears from the pain? Is blood staining my eyeballs? As I watch the scene of people running in slow motion, in a landscape view, I try to figure out the series of events that led to this moment. I close my eyes shut… focus 

I awaken, my mind's eye morphing the crime scene into the familiar glow of my computer screen, the cold hard ground replaced by my mattress. I remember flipping the pillow to the cold side when an email popped up. I mindlessly open the message as I let out a sigh of relief from resting my head. 

“If I can’t have you, no one else will, not even God.” The ominous message grips my heart with icy fingers, sending a shiver down my spine. The cryptic username, "@Bloodyphantom," only adds to the unease. I rise from my bed and place the laptop in front of me. My fingers tremble slightly as I scan through the email, searching for clues, but the message offers little. I decide to hover over the “reply” button only to withdraw my hand and bite the nail on my thumb. I muster the courage to click on it. My cursor blinks expectantly in the reply box. “Who is thi-” My phone blows up in an instant suddenly interrupting my tense reverie. Seeing my friend’s contact calms me. I take a deep breath as I pick up.

"You got it too?" she asks, her tone oddly casual, I respond with forced nonchalance. “What are you talking about?”

“The email girl!” My eyes widen. I was beginning to open my mouth to speak when she interrupted me  “50% off on those boots is insane, do they think we’re stupid?" …I wasn’t listening. Millions of worst-case scenarios were unraveling in my head. 

“Maybe we should buy them? What do you think?” She asks,

“Uhh, can’t hurt right? They’re pretty”

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I just woke up. Buy me a pair will you?”

“DIBS ON THE BROWN ONES” She yells  “I had to…You always take the nice things”

“I chuckle, Whatever Hannah. Call me later”

“Bye, bestie!”

I hang up and get dressed. I exit my house with a heavy sigh seeking solace in my usual coffee shop. “Maybe I should go to the police? They’ll probably want more proof” I think. The waiter sets down my cup. The comforting aroma of the freshly brewed coffee with the incense fills my nostrils and just for a split second, everything is okay.

“It’s probably a scammer” I think again “He wanted me to reply all puzzled to which he will lure me into- What am I saying? ” The sense of threat is back when a different waitress approaches me holding a mini bouquet, accompanied by a note, “We are meant to be, for eternity.” He must be around. I look around the coffee shop for the waitress, nowhere to be seen. I described her features to the manager and he listened in confusion. “I’m sorry miss, we are understaffed as you can see, All of my employees work one shift and they look nothing like the one you described.” 

Dark hair with blonde highlights, warm smile, uniformed. How can this be possible?

As the days passed, the cryptic messages multiplied, and each one kept getting vague. I couldn’t sleep, each word whispered through the corridors of my mind. It's not until I find myself standing in the crowded mall that the pieces finally begin to click into place. “Not even God can separate us.” “You are mine, for eternity”... It’s him. This is the first time I've seen him in 4 years. In the cold gaze of a familiar face, I recognize my agonizing past, the toxic ex I thought I'd left behind. He’s running towards me, mouthing something as if to warn me, but he’s far away. Before I can process his sudden reappearance, a kid shouts “Burglar!” when chaos erupts in a series of gunfire.

It all happened so fast, that I could only describe it in single words. Mass shooter, People running, Injury. Pain sears through my body as the bullet finds its mark on my abdomen. I fall helplessly on the ground and feel the blood pooling from my mouth, I gather all of my strength to see the sight before me. The shooter approaches me, slowly lifting the mask. My stomach turned as I saw the smirking lips and red lipstick. I realize with sickening clarity who the person is. “You always take the nice things” My brain remembers all of the playful jabs and comments of murdering me for dating her crush. 

“Hannah…How could you?” 

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