Ch.2 Fall of Kar'm - Part 4

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Christina knelt down, staring at Remi's face, once so full of life and strength, now bloody and with a dead-eyed stare. Her entire body was vibrating, from her quivering chin to her shaking hands. Her mind still unable to grapple with what she was seeing. She hadn't noticed Angelina running off, or that parts of the ceiling were falling down around her. All she could see was the loss of one of her best friends and bloody failure everywhere.

At the back of her mind, she heard Angelina's words from minutes ago. Did she say something about people tackling a man with a bomb? And there being only a single survivor? One survivor. One.

Christina's chest heaved, and her hands shook as she reached out and ran a finger along the side of Remi's face.

The room shook, and a two-foot chunk of ceiling came crashing down in front of her. She didn't move, not even a flinch, as the dust shot into her face.

A voice inside screamed for her to leave, if not to help the others, then for her own survival. The voice was drowned out by the crashing waves of guilt and regret.

"You shouldn't have let me in that day," she said to Remi's blank gaze, tears welled up in her eyes. "You shouldn't have listened to me. You weren't giving me a new world, I was infecting yours with my past." She swallowed hard and gestured about. "You trusted the wrong person to listen to. Why?" Her hand hung in the air, as if to smack him in jest, and instead, crumpled to the ground. The anger and rage she craved wasn't there.

Christina rubbed her nose and stared at the broken ceiling, swallowing hard. "I deserve this, not you. You should be towering over me." She bowed her head. "For once, I'm thankful that our interests were opposite, or we would have undoubtedly married and had a child. And right now, I would be grieving over them too."

For the first time since she was little, a tear escaped her emotional clutches and rolled down her cheek. She breathed in deeply and tried to push the sorrow back down, but there was too much of it.

Staring at the center of the blast, her head wouldn't stop shaking. "I should have seen this. The man with the cloak and that look, that strange look, it must have been him. It's so obvious now. How could I have been so distracted? How could I have not said something?"

The room shook violently, and wooden support beams crashed down around her. She coughed from the cloud of dust.

Closing her eyes, she laid down on the ground beside Remi and pulled his arm around her. "Can we stay like this, one last time, pretending there are stars above us, and we're wondering about the world?" Her chin quivered.

"I'm sor—" the word froze in her throat, refusing to come out. Another tear slipped out. "I failed all of you."

She drifted into a strange slumber, with crashes and bangs happening all around her. She thought of Mounira, rushing around in a panic, yelling. There was someone with her. She couldn't tell who, but she was certain he would take care of her.

Then she felt strong hands grab her and lift her up.

Her blurry eyes opened, and she stared at the bearded figure in confusion. "Abeland?" She passed out.

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