What would she do when the world ended?
It was a question theyd been posed in English class, forever ago. A writing exercise, a way of stretching their creativity. For the most part, Bella was fairly good at stuff like that, easily able to trot out a few paragraphs in her delicate handwriting and receive praise from her teachers, but this one particular question had left her stumped. Shed spent the half hour theyd been given to write staring blankly at the page in front of her, panic steadily mounting as ideas refused to come forth. Luckily, their teacher had picked on someone else to read aloud, and the second the bell rang Bella had ran from class, never letting the question enter her mind ever again.
It was only until she stood atop a cliff with Ami at her side, watching her boyfriend bleed out just a few yards away from her that she found out the answer. In her case at least, it was scream. She screamed, a long drawn out scream splitting the air around her as her stomach tied itself into knots. It was as though she couldnt breathe, couldnt focus. The only thing she could do was scream, and even when her lungs had ran themselves dry and she was retching in panic she knew it hadnt been enough.
When shed seen Hansel round the corner, her eyes had widened in panic and her heart had began to drum violently. Here he was, one of only two threats to her steely resolve, one of only two killers in this place she felt she could forgive. She didnt want to see him again, didnt want to have to pick between the rules shed constructed for herself or the emotions Hansel stirred within her. When Garrett had instructed Ami to keep by her side, had refused to let her get involved, it had almost been a relief.
And then the worse thing that could ever happen, happened.
For a moment, Bella refused to believe it. She couldnt believe that the one person whom she truly cared about anymore could be gone, couldve been snuffed out so unceremoniously by Andi Victorino, a girl shed scarcely even talked to back at school, a girl whod just shot at her and Ami for, effectively, being
there. She couldnt believe that her world was crumbling around her and there was no way for her to stop it. Her Garrett was gone, and he wasnt coming back, and this was really happening, she really didnt have anybody anymore. What was her purpose, if it wasnt for Garrett?
Bella could feel Amis arms around her waist, dragging her away from the scene in spite of her incoherent protests. Her sneakers struggled to find a grip on the soft earth, digging painfully into the dirt as she tried to resist Amis hurried tugs. Her nails found their way into the other girls arms, clawing and scratching in vain as she tried to force her to release her. She wanted to run towards the pairing, wanted to release the hurricane of emotions threatening to surface and explode, wanted to end their lives just as theyd done Garretts. The fact that shed once defended Hansel seemed completely laughable now. Thered be no more forgiveness, not anymore. Any insane justifications shed made for him were gone, snuffed out the second hed willingly let someone steal her very reason for living, instead replaced by endless hatred.
Eventually Ami had pulled her out of their sight, away from Garretts final resting place, away from two of the vilest, unforgivable people on the planet. She stopped her frenzied protests almost immediately, instead shaking uncontrollably in Amis grasp. And then she stopped. She collapsed in Amis arms, letting herself go limp as she refused to acknowledge whatd happened, refused to let herself feel anything at all.
And then they fled, and Bella left everything her life had meant to her behind.
((Mirabella Strong continued in Litany Against Fear