The fingers of Belle's left-hand twitched.
"You really didn't listen to her, did you?"
"And you did?" she snarled, whirling about.
"When she asked to die, the reason you didn't try to talk her out of it... was because you didn't even know she was in trouble."
"That's not..." Belle still hadn't turned to face her. "She just..." What? Had she let Jackie die? Why hadn't she noticed? Had she not taken the girl seriously? Or had she-
"You didn't know, because your little feud with me was more important than lending an ear to a friend in need!"
Master Xiang had warned her--had warned her time and time again. Never fight out of anger. Never strike first, never lead the assault. Peace. Peace. Peace.
Oh God I let her die.
She heard the proposal. Heard her enemy--heard the hateful, murderous bitch that was standing near her, making her an offer. "So you can kill!" cried Belle, her whole body trembling. She took another step forwards. "You killed her, Sam! She was...she was sad for a moment, and you...!"
You shot her with an arrow.
And you didn't listen to her. To Jackie.
Belle's head darted backwards, to Jackie's fallen body and the protruding arrow. Back to her mistake--her aggression. Was she wrong to have attacked Samantha? No, she couldn't believe that; she couldn't believe that what Sam was doing was right, that killing was okay. But...
But did she have faith in that assumption, anymore? Just because Belle couldn't accept despair, did that make her anymore right? Did she have a right to kill Samantha where she stood?
Jackie, all appearances to the contrary, had wanted to die. And Belle hadn't even listened.
She tensed her arm and then hurled the bow with all her might. It landed about 25 yards off, just in front of a distant building. "I'll be here, Samantha," she hissed. "Hope to God I don't hear your name on the announcements again."
And then off, off and running, away from all the death and her failure, away from the nagging sensation that she could stop her, that she should
stop her, that it was her fault Jackie died and that Samantha was right and she shouldn't be glad to be alive, she should be just as in despair as-
(Mirabelle Nesa continued in "Can You Hear Me Now?"