Decisions – Part Two
Everything’s burning. My legs feel heavy and stabbing pains are shooting up my shins. I’ve been sprinting so hard, dragging air into my lungs hurts . How long have I been running? Where the hell even am I?
I turn off the road into a little park. It’s dark here and I’m alone, I think. I collapse onto the damp floor and immediately vomit. As I wipe some of the clumped sick off my shirt I realise my hands are covered in blood. I don’t remember touching the cashier, but where else could the blood have come from? I throw up again. More burning, but now it’s that acidic taste and scorch at the back of your throat and nose that happens when you’re heaving out bile and fuck knows what else.
Images flash through my mind. The cashier, crumpled on the floor in a growing sea of red. My hands, grabbing and slapping him. A woman I hadn’t noticed before, running out of the shop. The cereal box, smashed on the floor. My face of terror, reflected from the automatic doors. Then the light-dark, light-dark cycle of running past streetlights.
There’s nothing left in my stomach now. I’m retching dry air, my ribs contracting and bending painfully. What the fuck have I done. I try to wipe the blood from my hands on the grass, but it’s starting to turn thick and gloopy, stringing like strawberry laces between my fingers. Did the guy die? Am I a killer now? Shit. If I am, what did he die for, how much was that guys life worth? I reach into my pockets. Fuck. I left the money. I left the fucking money. Idiot. Idiot. Idiot. Nice one – I’m a murderer with literally nothing to show for it.
I forgot the money. I am well and truly fucked. I need a lot to pay back what I owe for the gun, and the guys I owe aren’t going to be happy to get shafted. I see my baby brother and sister in my mind. The whole bloody point of the whole fucking thing was to get enough to feed and clothe them. Now their hero of a big brother is just like everyone else in their life – scum, worthless and definitely going to prison.
The woman. Fear spiked through me. Whatever adrenaline left in my pancreas surged to my brain. Lightheaded, a dark tunnel descended on my vision. Who was she? Did she come into the shop after I shot the guy, or was she there the whole time? I hope, I fucking hope, she didn’t see my face. My whole body is shaking, shoulder blades jerking back and forth. A weird noise comes out of my mouth, part cry, part scream and part pure fear.
Flashing blue lights snap back to the here and now. A million thoughts shouted for my attention: are they for me, do they know I’m here, was I followed, am I paranoid, where the hell am I?! I push myself back between some bushes, willing myself to stop sobbing and stay quiet. Eventually, the lights pass, though I can’t relax in the slightest. I need to get home, but can I go back there? No, it’ll put the kids in danger. I can’t.
But what do I do?