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Around the time when the sun came up, Brian released me and walked into the bathroom. As he began to pee, I heard the bedroom door unlock, and Jane came in, gun and all. My heart skipped one, two beats. And my breathing was suddenly very ragged. Before I could do anything, say anything, even think of anything, Brian flushed and came back out of the bathroom. Frozen on the bed with fear, I could do nothing as Jane fired into his chest.
I didn’t even have enough air in my lungs to scream. The sound of the shot rang in my ears as I watched Brian crumple and fall to the floor. I practically dove to the floor, and finally managed to put myself in a position between Brian and Jane.
“Get away from him, Evan,” I barely heard Jane say in the background. My entire world was swallowed up by the terror pounding in my own chest as I gently tried to hold and cradle Brian in my arms.
Jane repeated herself, but this time, I didn’t hear anything at all. Brian’s eyes were fluttering as he tried to look at me. And he did. He stared right into my eyes with his dimming blue oceans. I was so lost in tears that I didn’t notice his hand come up and touch the scar and my cheek. My eyes jerked open in surprise, and I became aware of the fact that he was trying to speak to me. By some strange instinct, I began to hum our song, and he smiled at me.
“I… loe yoo,” he managed to sputter, “o-lee… yoo.”
His hand started to go limp against my face. I held it there, trying to rub and squeeze life into it, but it was of no help. The light in Brian’s eyes began to flicker and fade like two blue candles dancing in a harsh gust of wind. I bent over and touched my lips to his forehead as the last breath wheezed its way out of his lungs. With my free hand, the other still clutching his hand, I gently closed his eyelids and let him find his own path to peace. I listened to the sound of my singing soul that had started when Brian came into my life. And suddenly the sound was extinguished, replaced with the hollow echo of the emptiness that rocked my insides.
I don’t know how long I was on that floor, bathing myself in the touch and raw scent of Brian’s blood. I was a mess, broken and sobbing against his lifeless body. Maybe an hour passed, but maybe it was only a minute before Jane spoke again.
“It’s over, Evan. Come home with me.”
“My home is right here,” I said in a low voice. “Right here shattered and bloody on the floor.”
“I know you cared about him, but you have to let him go.”
I turned to face her. The light of the dawn caught the amber necklace that I had given her, giving off a brilliant and eerie radiance. My stomach twitched at the thought of the gift. “I don’t have to do anything, Jane. I didn’t just care about him. In the few short weeks that I’ve known him, he has become everything, EVERYTHING to me. Why can’t you understand that? You murdered the man I loved, and still love, more than anything else in this world. What do I have left?”
“You have me, darling, can’t you understand that?”
“No, Jane. You’ve left me with absolutely nothing. The only reason I came with you was to do my best to keep him safe.” Twin tears rolled down my cheeks before I continued. “Well, I failed at that. This was the one time when I was needed more than any other, and I failed.”
“No, Evan. You’re so wrong. I need you, too, and now we have all the time in the world to be together. No more distractions. No more delay. You and I begin today.”
I was shouting with all the strength that I had left in my being. “There is no more time! I’m dead! You just killed my soul, so WHY DON’T YOU FUCKING GET IT OVER WITH AND KILL MY BODY!”
“You can’t mean that. If only you—”
“I MEAN EVERY DAMN WORD I’VE SAID! I WILL CURSE YOUR NAME UNTIL avrupa yakası escort THE DAY I DIE. SO GO AHEAD! LET’S MAKE THAT DAY TODAY!” I collapsed to my knees with an anguished wail. I looked at my blood covered hands and began to cry again. No pain was comparable to the pit that had dug itself into the core of my being.
Jane could only look at me. Even her face had begun to crack as her eyes watered and relented to the tears that clouded her vision. I knelt before her like a servant waiting to be dismissed, but I was waiting for a cruel and sadistic deliverance from the slavery that she had entrapped me in this world without Brian.
Without looking up, I heard her caulk the hammer and listened to the bullet roll into place. There was an infinite pause. I waited. And waited. And waited for the eternity that seemed to stand between me and death.
Finally, Jane lowered her gun and said, “I can’t do this, Evan. I can’t do this to you because I love you too much.”
“Please,” I began, “I’ll beg if I have to. Please, I can’t live with this pain.”
One gun fired, and Jane sank to the floor. “Allow me to be of some assistance,” said Noah, stepping into the room. And there I was, kneeling in blood and tears between the two dead forms of the love of my life and my once best friend. Life didn’t get more dramatic or more devastating.
“The bitch killed him, didn’t she?”
I numbly nodded my head.
“I told her that he didn’t have to die,” Noah choked out, his voice wracked with emotion. “No one needed to die.” He paused for a moment. “And you loved him. I know you did. And he loved you. I just wanted him to love me more. But he was always yours, kid.”
Words escaped me. Noah just seemed to be lost in a trance. “He was always yours,” he repeated.
“Well, kid, I have a few more bullets. How about we both go pay him a visit?”
In that moment, I lifted my head to truly look at Noah. He looked back at me with a sympathy that I hadn’t seen before. It was as if he knew what I had been robbed of because he too had lost Brian. He gave me something of a reassuring smile, and I responded with a grim shift in the lines of my mouth, though I suppose it was the best smile that I could manage. He readied the gun and fired.
Howdy, all. This is Erica speakin’. Evan asked me to fill in the next part of the story ’cause he wasn’t exactly there.
I came home on Wednesday after work, so I decided to pay the boys a visit. When I got to the apartment, the alarm was off and the apartment was unlocked. As paranoid as I was about the whole thang with Jane, I knew somethin’ was wrong. I called Brian’s cell phone, but when I heard a ringin’ phone, I soon realized that it was on the couch. I tried Evan’s cell phone next, but that began ringing in the bedroom. There was no note. There wasn’t anything. I started to call the police, but I realized they wouldn’t take my missing persons report into account because the boys hadn’t been missin’ for long enough. I frantically began to search the apartment for some phone number that I could call and find them at or at least get in touch with someone who may have heard from them. I found Evan’s address book. Remembering Evan’s sister’s name, I found the entry for “Maria” and quickly called the number.
“Hello?” a woman picked up.
“Hello, may I speak to Maria, please?”
“Hi, I don’t think you know me, but I’m Erica, Evan’s friend.”
“Yes, he talks about you a lot. You met him through Brian, right?”
“Yes,” I said impatiently. “Listen, has he called you today or anything?”
“No, we’re coming to see him on Saturday though. I needed to double-check that he had our arrival time.”
“Well, istanbul escort I haven’t seen him all day, and I’m here in his apartment that was left wide open.”
“Where’s Brian?” she asked.
“He’s not here either. Both of them left their cell phones here.”
“Hold on just a minute.” I heard her speak to someone in the background for a minute. I sat at the bar, nervously drumming my fingers and twirling the phone cord.
“Yes!” I answered a little anxiously.
“I’m going to make flight arrangements to be there as soon as I can. You stay at the apartment, and I will meet you there as soon as I possibly can.” She gave me her cell phone number so that I could reach her if anything happened.
Knowin’ that it would be quite some time before she could make it to New York all the way from California, I locked the door to the apartment and tried to make myself settle down. First I called my boss to tell him that there was a family emergency, and I wasn’t going to be able to make it to work for at least tomorrow and possibly Friday. He was very understanding and told me to take the time I needed. I picked Jane’s number out of the book, but there was no answer at her apartment.
I tried thinking of ways to pass the time until Maria arrived. Television and magazines and food were of no use to distract me though. My mind was set on where on Earth Evan and Brian could be. I actually didn’t have to wait as long as I expected. About two hours later, there was a knock at the apartment door.
I opened the door and found myself face to face with a little couple that looked to be in their late forties to mid fifties. The man introduced them as Evan’s uncle and mother as the woman pushed her way into the apartment and began frantically wailing about where her baby had gone. James, as I later learned he was named, cool and composed, explained that Maria had phoned them and told them everything that she had learned from me. I sat down with them and tried to fill in the details that Maria had left out and some of the ones that I hadn’t explained to her about what had been going on in the past month. Evan’s uncle listened with uncanny patience and calmness, but his mother kept interrupting with her bullshit about how Brian turned her baby gay and led him down some dangerous path. I was too worried about my boys to properly cuss the bitch out.
We all waited around together for any news, but none came. Maria knocked on the door at about 4am, but we still hadn’t heard anything. The atmosphere of the apartment was very somber; we all felt helpless and defeated, having no idea of where they could have gone or how to find them.
It wasn’t until late in the morning that we finally got a phone call from the police department in Quakertown, Pennsylvania. They had received a call from a concerned neighbor who had been expecting a friend (that we later found out to be Jane’s mother) and complained of several gunshot sounds coming from the house. It turned out to be the house that Jane’s mother had decided to retire in after her late husband died. The police had gone in and found what they thought to be five dead bodies, but once the paramedics had arrived on the scene, they confirmed that one was still alive.
We all piled into James’ car and drove down to the hospital in Philadelphia that Evan had been taken to. He was comatose and on life support when we arrived, and the doctor was honest and said that his condition did not look promising. The police asked Maria and I to identify the bodies that they had found in the house. Maria identified Jane and her mother, and I confirmed the dead forms of Brian and Noah. The bullets found in Jane’s mother and Brian matched the gun with Jane’s fingerprints mecidiyeköy escort on it, and the bullets taken from Jane and Evan and Noah matched the gun with Noah’s fingerprints on it. We made our own fairly accurate speculations of what had happened, but the truth would remain untold; all of the people involved were incapacitated or dead. The newspapers were teaming with stories and comments about the mysterious Quakertown Murders, but the only thing we could find ourselves concerned with was Evan’s survival.
We managed to get in contact with Brian’s parents in Boston. They were heartbroken to hear about their son, but to avoid any complications, they agreed to have the body buried in a cemetery closest to where Evan grew up. It wasn’t a place that Brian had ever called home, but I think we had all begun to acquiesce to the thought that Evan was not going to pull through, and Maria, Mark, who arrived that Saturday, Brian’s parents, James, who made a big stand against Evan’s mother, and I agreed that Brian and Evan would want nothing other than to be buried next to each other.
The funeral for Brian was held on Monday. The arrangements and service were fairly simple. His parents didn’t want a grand scale burial ceremony. When I watched them begin to lower Brian’s box, I finally lost it and cried for the first time. Maria was there to help me and comfort me as we all went back to the hospital.
Mark managed to get time off from work, and we all stayed at the hospital as much as we could with Mark and Maria sometimes having to go to the hotel room they rented so that they could take care of their kids. Usually Maria stayed at the hospital and Mark took the kids. I think he understood how much she needed to be with her brother.
On Monday evening, Maria, James, and I were waiting in Evan’s hospital room. Mark had taken Ms. McGill and the kids out for dinner. Really the rest of us needed a break from the headache that the four “children” were giving us, and Mark knew it. Maria had to love that man. I woulda been all over him like ants at a picnic if I didn’t know he was married. Hell, I almost tried to put a move on him despite all that. Anyway, we had slipped into another one of our silences that had dotted the whole weekend in the hospital when we heard a noise.
By some miracle or other small work of God, Evan said, “Let me go. Let me go to him.” Every single one of us heard it, but he never regained consciousness and his vital signs never changed one bit. I looked at Maria, who looked at James, who in turn looked at me. And I think we all felt the same shiver trickle down our spines.
Once we all had time to regroup, Maria and James began to speak to Ms. McGill about letting Evan go. She fussed and fought for awhile, but they were finally able to convince her that it was for the best.
They unplugged him later that night, and he died a few hours later.
“Thanks for recapping that part of the story, Erica,” I said.
“Anytime, sugah,” she smiled. “I’ll be on my way now, but you take care.”
“I know I’ll be seeing you around,” I said. She waved and was gone.
“Evan, are you going through these old memories again?”
I felt two warm and familiar arms hug my torso, and I melted into them like I always did.
“Just remembering how it was that we got here, babe.”
Brian pulled my body back into his own and cradled me between his legs. “I know,” he began, “but don’t you think you’ve looked at these moments in history enough?”
“I could never get enough of looking at you, Brian.” I turned around in his arms to face him. “I love you, only you,” I said, repeating his last words to me on Earth.
“I love you, too, now and forever. Don’t you know by now that you won’t be able to get rid of me if you tried? This is Heaven, babe. We have a whole eternity together.”
He leaned in to kiss me, and our lips softly met in a gentle kiss. I accidentally broke away because I simply couldn’t stop myself from smiling. An eternity with Brian.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
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