For once, perhaps the first time ever, Benny was quiet.
A solemn stillness filled the air. It was like the world had ended in that blast. She wasn't sure what was going to happen next. She didn't want to. Time had stopped, perhaps blown up in that blast. As she completely pulled out, she could see Benny's eyes.
They were confused and scared. It was as if he didn't know what to say. Katie didn't, either. He stammered, and finally ended with...
Katie wasn't sure if they could. The attacker could be about. And some part of her wanted to stay tucked under the piano, to never see anyone ever again, to never know anything again. It felt as if everything would be okay if she just... avoided it all.
Reluctantly, she lifted herself off the ground, slightly wincing at the ache in her leg. Katie noticed she could barely stand, as if she was about to pass out then and there.
Warren. Ramona. Kenneth. She could see none of them. She could see Sycanus. But no one other than her and Benny. Surely they were still hiding, right? And they were still quiet! Yes! Maybe that was it.
"... Yeah. Leaving..." she murmured, as if she had slipped away mentally.
Katie took a few steps towards the door. The smell of debris still hovered in the air. Wait, something was underneath her foot. She looked down and lifted her foot away. At first, she was sure that she had stepped on some kind of debris. It was charred like burnt barbecue, with an object partially melted around it. Then Katie realized that she recognized it, though it was surprising that she would be able to.
Ramona aspired to be a jeweler. Katie had always remembered that. And she knew that she wore a ring on her finger, and that must mean...
Oh god. She suddenly felt ill.
That was... that was her finger, wasn't it?
Even if she were alive, she was now missing at least her finger. She was so close to the blast because we was worried it was going to go off, and...
Ramona didn't make it.
She heard Sycanus say something, but in the back of her mind she didn't pay attention, nor did she really care. She didn't want to stay. She didn't want to look around and look at the rest of her friend, and possibly what was left of Warren and Kenneth. She didn't know where to go.
A hot, dusty wind had managed to brush inside what was left of the saloon, blowing in her hair. She knew she had no choice but to go out.
And so, Katie slowly followed Benny out of the saloon, not knowing her future from that point onward, or if the attacker was still outside, or if she and Benny were going to make it, or being completely certain that Warren and Kenneth had made it.
Her mind was suck in one mode. And she wasn't sure how to get out of it, or if she wanted to.
((Katie Tanaka continued in No Country For Teenagers