SHE HAD NO IDEA HOW LONG SHE HAD BEEN THERE. It felt like just moments ago that the explosion went off and reverberated throughout the room, sending chunks of rubble and debris all over the place, not distinguishing between person or object. Everyone and everything was a victim. Moments ago, there had been excited cheers for the festivities of the night, music playing as many in the room danced to its slow and deliberate melody; however, it was all wiped away with ease.
Coughing, the woman tried her best to remain conscious. Of course, even that was difficult to do, for every heave for survival resulted in a horrible pain shooting through each and every one of her nerves. She felt as if she could cry, just lying there.
It certainly wasn’t how she expected to die. Laughing to herself, or doing her best to produce something that resembled a laugh, the woman immediately cringed at the horrid waves emanating throughout her body.
“Please,” she attempted to mutter, tears streaming down her face. “Somebody help me.” The shift in weight from the rubble that landed on her stomach had become unbearable, and she let out another shriek of pain, barely able to breathe.
Just as her eyes began to close, possibly forever, footsteps in the distance echoed through the already barren room, whose interior had been coated with a mixture of blood and broken beams and rocks. If she wasn’t mistaken, her name was being called.
Her eyes quickly fluttered open, and despite the intensity of the rock’s weight planted on her lower half, she mustered up the strength to call out for the person.
Moments later, her name was called again, and she knew that someone was there. Was she saved? For just the shortest amount of time, relief flooded throughout her, as if she had a chance to keep on living.
She didn’t want those people to see her as she was. Her tears had already covered half her face, and if her vision wasn’t already compromised enough, the blurry film of the liquid made it nearly impossible for her to see. But, she could tell who had arrived. She knew it was him.
“Hey,” she stared back at him, wanting to cry her eyes out once more. “I’m sorry you have to see this.” A pained smile formed on her face as she struggled to mouth the words.
“No…” The man approached her and looked at the rock that she had been well aware of for quite a while. “No…please.”
“I don’t know what to say,” She weakly smiled, allowing a tear to run down her face. “I’m…cold.”
The man tried to hide his pain, but it had become increasingly difficult to do so. He couldn’t bring himself to muttering a single word, and all he could do was stare into her half-lit eyes.
“I know…” She coughed. “…it’s hard to see me like this, but…you can’t blame yourself.”
“But, why does this have to happen? Why now? Why ever?” His hand shook as he reached over to the rock. “This isn’t fair.” His voice wavered. “This isn’t fair at all.”
She sadly smiled. “I know, but you have to live on. Please promise me that.”
The man turned to her. “How could I possibly——“
“Please, promise me you will…” She coughed louder, blood spraying out of her mouth as she did. The echoes throughout the room made it all the more difficult for the man to handle. Not only did he have to hear her cough once, but the cruel walls of the gigantic room decided to remind him a few more times of her pain.
He rushed to her and placed his arm under her head, giving her some comfort. He had been in many a fight, trying to hold onto his life, but this, by far, fighting back his tears for her…that was the hardest battle he had ever endured. Finally, he conceded to her calming words. “I…I promise I won’t blame myself.”
“Good. I’m glad.” She smiled weakly and closed her eyes a bit.
With a look of terror, he called out, “Hey, wait!”
“Yes?” She could barely mutter, as her eyes slightly pried themselves open.
The dam of tears the man had built up continued to stress itself. “I know that you won’t be…you know.” He avoided saying it.
“Alive?” She smiled politely. “It’s okay, you can say it.”
He could feel a lump form in his throat. “Yeah, that.” He paused. “But, I do want you to know that your death won’t go forgotten.” He paused, taking in a deep breath. “We will avenge you.”
“I’m overwhelmed with the amount of kindness you display for me. I wish I could have been around to share a life with you in the future, but——“
“But you will.” He interrupted. “You will be, and we’ll share it together in peace.”
A warm smile formed on her face again as she took a shallow breath. “I’d like that.”
The man stopped for a moment, letting himself listen to her voice. She had such a calming tone about her. He had to do something, or else the woman would no longer be alive. He couldn’t have that. His eyes widened as he found a new sense of confidence and determination within himself. “I know what I’m going to do.”
“What’s that?” She coughed again, wavering in strength.
“But you’re going to have to do something, too, if you want it to work.”
“I…I can try.”
He took a deep breath and nodded. “I am going to revive you, but you’re going to have to try to be ready when I do, or else I will not be able to bring you back. I don’t know what it’s like to die, but I’m sure it’s not easy. You’re going to have to hold on with everything you’ve got…and more. Understand?” He stared into her eyes, trying not to cry.
Her breaths were getting sharper and more pained by the minute, but she was able to mutter the words, “I understand.”
“Good.” He smiled, hiding his tears. “You’re going to be alright very soon.”
A thin smile formed on her face as her eyes began to close tighter. “I’m cold.” She whimpered.
The man turned around and frantically looked for a jacket, and just as he had done that, another man handed him his.
With a rush, the man faced back at the woman and unfolded it, allowing it to slowly descend onto her body. “Here.” He placed it on her. “To keep you warm.”
She shivered in place, the life slowly draining out of her, and he watched as her final fleeting moments passed by. “Now, rest. I will return for you.” A tear ran down his face, and he brought his face to hers, kissing her on the forehead, and stood up.