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“Hand it over.”

“Do you seriously believe that I’d let you get your hands on this?”

“I’m doing this for you. For us,” the man tried his best to be diplomatic.

      Sharee was one person hard to deceive, so no matter how true something seemed to be, as long as it came from someone who was likely to tell a lie, she’s never going to bite.

“There is no us,” replied Sharee, in her most serious tone.

      Roughly twenty-four hours ago, there was sweetness, and there was love. There were flowers, and a home-baked macaroni. Now, the props have changed. The bouquet of flowers in the hands of the man became a gun. The platter with which she served him food turned into something she didn’t want to give up.

      The man’s patience was at its limit.

“You’re all that stands between me and my goal,” exclaimed the man, “You know what’s going to happen if you don’t give me what I want.”

“You’ll kill me. I know. Believe me, I’d rather die,” there was arrogance in her tone, choosing death over submission.

“Then I kill myself, but only after I finish what I have started. It will be just like Romeo and Juliet. The only difference is that I pull the trigger for the both of us. Don’t force me,” the man threatened.

      The leaves rustled outside as a violent wind passed by. In the middle of the room stood two who used to be one in heart. The clock’s pendulum swung from side to side as it waited for the next one to speak.

“How could you even do this to me?”

“Why do you choose to die when we have the chance to fix this?” replied the man, answering with a question.

      Sharee found herself shaking her head.

“I cannot trust you anymore,” she told him.

“You remember? I told you, didn’t I?! I warned you about me, that I’m not as good as you thought I was,” he fired back, as if blaming her to be the reason why they’re currently tangled in deadly strings.

“Being with you was a mistake. I won’t let you hurt more people,”

      Even at gunpoint, Sharee didn’t cry. She never does. The last time she cried was when her father died. Her eyes remained dry ever since.

“I do not want any of this, you know that!” said the man, firmly holding the gun in his hand, “But you leave me no choice.”

“Revenge is more important to you that you couldn’t at least make the effort of being sorry for what you did to me? Who are you?”

“I am running out of time! We are! Look at the bigger picture! Give it to me now!” the man demanded.

      Sharee closed her eyes. The man in front of her has changed. Her thoughts went back to her papa’s funeral, then further back to her younger years.

I’m going to see you soon papa,” Sharee Lou thought.

      Sharee loved her father. She used to ride on his shoulders when strolling the park, and there would always be ice cream. There’d be balloons after church as well as cotton candy. On her 12th birthday, he bought her a bike. She remembered asking her papa to remove the training wheels because she thinks she could manage without them. Her papa did remove the training wheels. Just as Sharee had gone a few yards and was about to fall down, she remembered her papa quickly catching her. Her papa had been behind her all the time that she was trying to make the bike go and maintain balance with her feet at the same time.

“What’s it gonna be? We can easily resolve this,” the man said, his eyes never moving away from his target. “I’ve never used this gun, you know? Ironic, it was supposed to help me protect you.”

“Like I said, there’s a first time for everything,” Sharee replied.

“You think I won’t do it?” the man was mad enough for one to say that he wasn’t bluffing.

      The figurines atop the shelf were amused as they watched them quarrel over a mere subject. It’s been ages since they saw them fight. This discussion, however, is somehow likely to end with one of them dead .

“What are you waiting for?” Sharee taunted.

“It does not have to be this way!” said the man, trying to sound angry.

      But Sharee knows when he’s faking it.

“You’re right. It doesn’t have to,” she said with calmness. She knows he won’t pull the trigger. She doesn’t care if he does.

“Don’t test my patience Sharee. I will kill you if I have to,” the man laid down one last card on the table in an attempt to make her fold.

“By all means, please do,” said Sharee with a faint smile, still confident that he won’t. She knew him too well to actually fall for his act.

“I have but one request though, after you pull that trigger, please don’t just leave me here after,” asked Sharee.

“Of course,” replied the man.

      Tactlessly speaking honest words, they were hurting each other even before a single bullet has been fired.

“Will it hurt?”

“Yes, but only for a while.”

“It hurts already,” said Sharee as tears ran down her cheeks for the first time in years.

       The moon is full tonight, just like last time when they stood at the edge of a cliff in Lanak, admiring the view. The air this time is colder though. It carried with it a different kind of chill. Both stared dead blank at each other, waiting for something to happen. No one was willing enough to make the first move. Each wanted a different thing at the cost of something which neither can afford.

      A moment of stillness.

“You won’t do it,” Sharee said.

“What makes you think I can’t?” the man replied, cocking the hammer.

“I didn’t say you can’t. I said you won’t,” she tried to sound like she’s the one in control of the situation.

      The silence that followed a gunshot was deafening.



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