❝ where did i go wrong ❞

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Where did I go wrong?
I lost a friend,
Somewhere along in the bitterness.
And I would have stayed up,
With you all night,
Had I known how to save a life.

"How To Save A Life"-The Fray

I didn't aim it so that it would hit them.

I didn't want to kill either of them, especially without knowing who the hell was behind all of this. All I wanted was to get their attention. Still, it was an impulsive shot, so it did go near them. It went above Vanessa, but high enough that it wouldn't have -shouldn't have- caused any damage.

Shouldn't have being the key word.

I didn't expect Vanessa to jerk backwards.

Something must've happened between them with the knife- maybe Vanessa had decided to stop, or Keira had applied a sudden burst of strength that forced Vanessa to move back to avoid having her head cut off. Whatever it was, it forced Vanessa to jolt up into a sitting position.

And right into the path of the bullet.

It was so fast that I didn't even realize what had happened until Vanessa slumped over. Her mouth was open, but I didn't know if that had been because she had been about to say something, or if it had stretched open to scream when the bullet hit her.

And she wasn't moving.

Keira -realizing and registering the dead weight on top of her faster than I did- scrambled up, the knife clattering to the ground. She stared at Vanessa's still form for a second before bending over, pressing two fingers against Vanessa's neck.

I watched numbly as confusion passed over Keira's expression, then realization, then... Fear? Oh god, what if I killed her? She's not moving. I couldn't see any blood- was it too dark or was she simply not bleeding? I tried to think back, replaying what had happened. It had hit Vanessa's left side, upper left...

But her shoulder or her heart?

The gun shook in my hand, somehow still staying there, despite my slack grip and sweaty palms. "Is she okay?" I asked, my voice coming out as a slight, cracked whisper.

Keira didn't answer, instead she stood up. In a frighteningly calm tone, she said, "We have to go Elena."

"What? What about Vanessa? Is she okay? Is she..." Dead? Alive? Tell me she's alive; tell me I didn't kill her. Oh god, oh god, oh god. I started towards them, but Keira intercepted me, grabbing my arm.

"We have to go," she repeated.

I shook my head frantically. "No, we can't just- we can't- is she." I couldn't get a full, competent sentence out. My mind was to frazzled- Vanessa couldn't be dead. The bullet couldn't have hit her- it shouldn't have, it wasn't supposed to!

Keira pulled me towards the door. "We have to go." Why did she keep saying that? Why didn't she care that Vanessa might be dead? Was Vanessa dead? Keira had checked, but she didn't answer me when I had asked. Because she didn't want me to know, because she didn't know how to tell me?

I felt my breaths coming faster, I was close to hyperventilating. I usually managed to stay calm in even the worst situations, but this wasn't- this wasn't bad. This was way beyond the worst. "I can't- we can't."

"Listen," Keira hissed. "We'll say it was self-defense. Ashton will back you up. Jacen will back you up. Skylar will too. I'll back you up. You'll be fine."

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