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Scene word count: 703
I rested my chin on my hand atop his chest while he stared up at the ceiling. I felt soft tugging at my hair as he ran his fingers through it. My heart swelled for him, though I could not call it love. But it was enough. "You know, after I found out my mom was going to die I blamed the world. I blamed the doctors. I blamed the factories for the pollution. I blamed my brother and I blamed me. I thought that if I had prayed enough perhaps god would save her. If I had gone to church, if I had been a better sister, daughter, and friend. I was not good enough and so he was taking my mother from me." I paused, swallowed back the tears. He did not move. "It's not your fault she’s dead."
His fingers stopped and I could no longer sense his breathing.
"You both were meant to be in that exact same place together. For some reason no one will ever understand, it was her instead of you. The pain is yours forever. But so is your decision to live." Lance had tried to convince me of this for years, only now did I understand what it meant.
“We can’t control everything Ari,” he sat up and didn’t look at me. “You can never plan for your sister to be shot and bleeding, her small body broken and splattered with blood, her innocent wide eyes looking at you wondering what happened. Why? Why her? You can’t plan for a day when you learn that everything you thought was good was actually wrong. When the world as you knew it carried endless possibilities for you, only there was a catch: your sister had to die in one senseless act. I never even found out who did it. The cops said it was a stray bullet from a shooting across the street. One stray bullet smashed through the windshield and caught her right on the side of her head. I didn’t decide this for my life.” He stood up and took her picture slamming it on the floor. The glass didn't shatter and I wondered how many times that picture ended up there. The chords on his neck bulged and he tightened his hands into fists.
I went to him and placed my hand on his shoulder. He whirled around fast, forcing me to jerk backwards. I skidded back and slammed into the door. He was on me already, smashing the door with his fist above my head. His eyes widened and he leaned his forehead against mine.
“Don’t do this. Don’t try to make sense of this. Don’t try to feed me the bullshit of going on with my life. You were there in the car with us. It happened again. I almost lost you. I have to end this.”
“How Marcus? How can you end this?” My voice tight.
He hit the door one more time and pulled away from me, his back towards me. “I’m going to find who did it.” He didn’t turn around to look at me when he said it. I felt sorry for the person he finds to feed his anger.
It was life living in the streets. It was war. It was survival. It was real.
“It’s not going to bring her back. There’s always going to be someone Marcus. It will never end.”
“I should take you home.” He turned to look at me but did not move.
“Marcus...” I wanted to tell him something, anything that would make him stay with me. That would give him hope. “Stay with me. I don’t want to lose you to the streets. I can’t follow you there.” I felt my feet moving though I could no longer control them. I put my hand behind his neck and pulled him towards me, kissing him. A flutter of emotions and sensations enveloped me. I didn’t want it to end. For one magical moment I thought of all the possibilities for our future, Marcus at MIT and me at Brown. The East coast. Together. He could meet my mom. We could be together. Always. I was ready.
Then his phone buzzed.