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Down The Road
My cigarette had burned down to the filter, before I tossed it through the open slit in the window. It hit the road with one last spark before it went dark, like the night sky above us. It was a beautiful summer evening in Cincinnati, and Kate and I were driving back to her house from dinner.
Today marks two years that we have been dating, and I love her more than anything else in my life. I glanced over at her, sneaking a look at her before turning back to the road. Kate has long brown hair that today was styled into an elegant bouquet of curls and strands, which cascaded down her sharp cheeks. She has beautiful blue eyes and full lips, which after she reached up and turned down the radio, began to speak.
“Thanks for taking me out John; I really had a good time.” She said, smiling at me.
“Well what was I going to do? Leave you at home while I went out and celebrated our two year anniversary?” I replied playfully.
“It’s not really our two year anniversary, John. Only married couples get to call their years spent together anniversaries.” She stated with a smirk.
She’s brought up marriage a lot lately, but I know I can’t marry her, as much as it pains me…
“Um, yea, well I think we should hold off on marriage for a bit honey.” I suggested awkwardly.
“That’s what you always say whenever I bring up the subject!” She pointed out. “Is there something I should know about? Are you already married to someone, and I don’t know about it? Are you living a secret double life or something?” She ranted. “….Oh my god, John! Do not tell you’re gay!” She proclaimed jokingly.
“No, no, nothing like that. I just… don’t want our feelings for each other to change from the way they are right now. You know?” I improvised.
“No, as a matter of fact, I can’t say that I do know.” She pouted next to me.
I glanced up at the rear view mirror and saw nothing but a distant pair of headlights coming up behind us. I always had to keep an eye out for everything, and I hated it. But I guess that’s part of being in the Witness Protection Program. Always on high alert, no matter what you do or where you are. I had become somewhat like a special agent or something. I always carried a gun in the car, and when we went out to eat, I always insisted on sitting in the back corner of the restaurant, in order to see anyone coming up on us.
I haven’t told Kate yet, but I know I should. I’m just afraid of what she will think of me if I do. Will she think that what we have between us in nothing but a lie? Meeting and loving her is just about the only honest thing in my life right now, and I can’t lose her.
“Hey babe,” I spoke to her, reaching my hand across the middle of the car and grabbing her hand that was lying in her lap. “I’m sorry to upset you. I don’t want to ruin the perfect night, so what do you say we find a dark empty parking lot somewhere and pull over….”
“Well….. if you insist.” She played along.
The drive to the abandoned mall was a quiet one, besides the soft beat of the music streaming from the radio, all was silent. It seemed as if we were the only two people in the world. Well, besides car behind us, but other than that, it was nice just being alone with her.
“Hey John, Can I ask you a question without you getting mad?” She spoke, leaning her head against my shoulder.
“Sure, honey.” I responded, somewhat nervous as to the conversation that was about to surface.
“What do you think about kids?” She asked softly, rubbing my arm.
“Well, their disgusting, rude, obnoxious, sticky, messy, clingy, and smelly.” I answered with a smile, followed by a chuckle from Kate.
“Seriously John, I think I want to have kids one day.” She stated.
“You don’t have to rush it Kate, you’re only twenty-three, and I’m only twenty-four. We got time to think about that down the road.” I explained softly.
“Well, I know, but you never know what could happen. You have to live every-day like it could be your last. That’s what dad always told me.” She pointed out as we drove down the dark road.
“Yea, I guess you’re right. But still, I want to just enjoy you right now, and not have to worry about anything else.” I responded, as the mall came into sight.
“There is just so much that I want to do in life, and I just feel like I don’t have enough time.” She stressed as we approached the large empty parking lot.
“Kate, we have plenty of time.” I restated.
I pulled into the parking lot and drove to the very end, corner space, before putting the car in park and turning to Kate.
“Well, I know what I’m going to do with the time that I do have.” She hinted as she grabbed my shirt and pulled me close to her.
“I think I do too.” I spoke softly before we lunged into a long kiss, stroking each other’s faces and sending our hands through each other’s hair.”
We continued on like this for another minute or so before Kate drew back from my mouth, and stared out into the parking lot.
“What is it?” I asked, turning around to see what she was looking at.
“I think someone’s out there.” She said quietly, squinting to see in the distance.
I turned around, and looked hard out into the darkness, and sure enough, two bodies were outlined by the dull shine of the moon.
“I’m sure they are just coming to tell us to get off the property or something.” I suggested, mainly to calm myself down.
“John, this place has been abandoned for years. I don’t think they would sit people in the parking lot to make sure nobody parks here.” She stated, her voice starting to shake.
I slowly reached my hand under the driver’s seat and removed my nine-millimeter hand gun just in case.
“John! You have a gun?” Kate asked, momentarily distracted from the two men walking towards the car.
“Yea, just to be on the safe side.” I remarked quickly, as the two men began jogging straight at us. “Oh my god, this can’t be happening.” I murmured under my breath as I opened the car door and pointed my weapon at the men.
“DO NOT TAKE ANOTHER STEP, OR I WILL SHOOT!” I screamed at them.
It didn’t work. Right after I stopped screaming, a purple flash of light shoot from one to the two men, and struck me in the chest. When the light connected with me, I felt as if I were going to vomit up my intestines. The pain was so great, that I barely heard the sound of Kate’s voice screaming my name behind me. I had been tazed, and I now lay crumpled up and helpless on the pavement of the parking lot.
The two men came into view as they approached me. They were both dressed in all black, and were clearly armed. One was a tall, black man, that I didn’t recognize, and the other, was Samuel.
I would recognize his face anywhere. It was my testimony against his brother, which got him sentenced to death by the state. His brother, Joseph, had been executed three years ago, and despite the death threat letter that I had received from Samuel on the day of the execution, I had thought that he wasn’t going to come after me after all, but apparently, that wasn’t the case.
“Hi there, John.” Samuel spoke in his cold, raspy voice, that would give anyone nightmares. “It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I bet you thought I wasn’t going to try and kill you after all, am I right? After all these years, you would think that my hate for you would have lessened, but alas, it hasn’t.” The man spoke as if he had been preparing this speech his whole life. “You took something from me, that has left me half dead inside for the past three years, and know, I am here to see that justice is truly done.”
“Please….” I struggled to speak. “Please, just… just don’t hurt…. her.”
“But don’t you know? That’s exactly what I plan to do! You had my brother KILLED you son of a…..”
“Let me go!” Kate screamed in the distance, cutting Samuel off. “Get your hands off me!”
While Samuel was talking to me, the black man must have slipped away and taken Kate.
“NO!!!” I screamed. “LET HER GO….PLEASE!” I begged.
“Bring her over here Mike.” The cold voice spoke to his partner.
Mike dragged Kate by her arm, and threw her down in front of me. I reached out for her, but Samuel came around and kicked me hard in my face to stop me. I looked around, dazed from the blow, and heard Samuel begin to speak again.
“Three years ago, I had to watch my brother die.” Samuel spoke softly. “I couldn’t do a thing about it. I was as helpless as I had ever been in my life, and now, I’m back to return the favor. Say your goodbyes to her John, this is your last chance.” He finished speaking, and grabbed a gun from his holster that was placed on his side. He looked at the gun for a moment and then pointed it directly at Kate’s head.
“Oh god, please, NO!” I cried to Samuel. “Kill me instead, PLEASE!”
“Oh your turn is coming, but first say good-bye to her!” He looked down at Kate, who was sobbing and staring straight as me.
“I love you, John.” She spoke through her sobs. “I will see you again someday though……I promise…”
“Kate, I love you so much. You are the only thing I truly love, Kate… Please….. Please….” I cried out and sobbed as I looked my Kate, with a gun pointed to her head.
“Okay, you have had your goodbyes Miss Kate, and you can just thank John for this, darling.” Samuel spoke with an icy edge, just before he pulled the trigger, and with one last scream, Kate was gone, lying in a puddle of blood before me, with a hole in the back of her head.
“OH, GOD!” I wailed as I looked at her body lying their on the pavement. “NO, PLEASE, GOD…. NO!”
“I must say, John, I handled my brother’s death a lot better than this. But I will have mercy on you. I will let you be with your Kate for eternity!” He finished the sentence screaming at me, and then, pulled the trigger a second time. And death came, as a cloud of darkness, over my soul. Forever gone, from this world.