Rest with the Angels Now, the Heavens Gains Your Laugh
It’s been around five minutes of waiting and we’re all very anxious to know where she is, and I’m quickly running out of time. I feel so fatigued, so tired. My head falls in and out of dizziness, and my vision is becoming a little blurry along with my hearing.
All my senses are deteriorating along with the amount of blood in my body. I don’t know how much longer I can stay like this before I bleed out.
I tighten my bandage and cut out a bit of my shirt and tie a second one, just to slow down the process a bit. If I don’t get to a hospital soon I might die… We need to finish this quick.
Just then I see the figure of a female appear in the hallway.
I whisper, “Psst!”
Axel and Lace look my way and I wave them over to see the sight of a frantic, scared girl pointing her gun every which way as she walks down the hallway cautiously.
I step out into the open and fire at her, but I miss!
She quickly fires back at me, the bullet coming right for my chest, but I’m not hit?
My vision goes a bit blurry for a second as I hear another shot ring out and then I realize why the bullet didn’t hit me.
Lace is standing in front of me, falling backwards into my arms just as the girl who shot her falls to the ground as a result of Axel shooting her.
The whole world seems to stop spinning and all I feel is an immense amount of pain. My whole world is crashing down as blood pours out of the wound in her stomach.
I feel my heart breaking inside of my chest! My heart is breaking! I’ve never felt pain like this in my entire life! This isn’t even comparable to the pain in my leg, or the pain of losing both Patricia and Turner.
I feel like my insides are being eaten away as my best friend’s body collapses into my arms and tears flow out of my eyes as the world spins in slow motion, magnifying every second of my pain.
All of our memories, everything floods back!
How we first met in kindergarten at the painting station because we worked together to draw a snowman named George.
How in third grade we had lockers right next to each other and hers would always get jammed, so I’d kick it for her to open it.
How in sixth grade her boyfriend broke up with her and I held her as she cried herself to sleep.
How every time I complained about being in love with Axel she’d provide optimism and comfort.
How one time when we was over we found where my parents kept the alcohol and watched The Bachelorette while playing drinking games.
“Every time they say ‘amazing’ we take a shot!” she joked.
The time we played truth or dare and I dared her to let me text anything from her phone and I texted her crush about her needing tampons. I’ve never seen anyone scream and laugh so loudly.
How she would scare me every time I walked out of the bathroom in her house and my parents were basically her parents, and her parents were basically mine too.
How we were the only ones allowed to make fun of each other and when a girl made fun of her for a few months in freshman year I got into a fight with her.
How when Kendrick Drake slapped my ass and she slapped his face as a result our junior year.
We were supposed to live together after college and move to New York together, we were going to get away from this town and build a fun new life in the city that never sleeps! It’s all gone…
Suddenly everything hits me like a tidal wave and tears are spilling from my eyes as I kneel down, Lace in my arms, and pull her head onto my lap.
I stroke her hair, “You’re going to be okay, Lace. It’ll be okay.”
She shakes her head and chuckles, “We don’t lie to each other, Margaery. You know that.”
I cry, “Lace… Why? Why did you do that?”
She coughs, “You would do the same for me.”
I nod, knowing that if I were in her position I’d jump in front of that bullet in a heartbeat. I whisper, “Lace… I-I… You’re gonna be okay, I promise.”
She shakes her head, tears spilling from her eyes, as she chokes out, “T-Tell my parents that I love them and I’m sorry for being a pain in the ass. Tell them that I’m sorry and that their little girl went down fighting. T-Tell my brother that I love him and he’s not annoying, please tell him. Tell my family that I saved people, please?”
I nod, accepting the reality as much as it hurts, “Okay… I will. Lace… I love you so much, I just… Thank you for saving me. I just…”
I choke on my sobs as she continues, “Finish this! Save all these people, Margaery. Save them.”
I sob and shake my head, “I can’t do this without you! I’ve lived my whole life with you, you can’t die!”
She whispers, “I’ll always be in your heart, and I’ll make sure ghost me haunts the shit out of you.”
I chuckle at my best friend’s joke as she slips away. Her breathing becomes quick and labored, “I-I… Fuck! I’m scared… Margaery, I’m scared.”
I take her hand in mine and soothe, “I’m so sorry, Lace. I’m… I’m sorry!”
She cries, “C-Can.... Can you tell me a joke?”
I nod, remembering back in middle school I’d tell her a corny joke almost every day. I think back and remember her favorite, “Why was six afraid of seven?”
She chuckles, a smile on her face, “Why?”
I giggle, “Because seven was a register six offender!”
She laughs at my terrible joke and sighs, “It doesn’t hurt anymore… I feel numb. I actually kind of feel high right now. Everything is a little brighter… I’m not scared anymore.”
I brush my fingers through her hair, “It’s okay, hun.”
She looks up at me and says wholeheartedly, “There’s no way I’d rather die.”
Tears flow down my cheeks as she stares up to the ceiling and exhales for the last time, the life flowing out of her eyes as she dies in my arms.
The world stops and I feel so much pressure on my entire body, like I’m being crushed by the world. I have yet another life on my hands, but this is one I never wanted to take.
This is all my fault… She jumped in front of the bullet to save me!
All of the memories of us flood back in my mind like a movie and all I can feel is pain! All I can feel is misery and missing her already. I wail as all of this pain overcomes me! I’ve lost my best friend! The one person who knows all of my secrets! The one person who has stayed by me my whole life, unwavering! The one person I’ve never lied too!
I’ve lost her and it’s my fault! She died saving me! She gave her life for mine! Guilt and pain washes over me and causes this immeasurable amount of pain that words simply cannot describe.
Anger fills my entire state of being and I slam my fist onto the ground and shriek in pain, “Fuck you! God dammit! Fuck!”
I scream, “I hope you fucking hear me Max I’m gonna fucking kill you!”
I bury my head into her chest and wail as I scream, “Fuck! Why? Why did you do that… Lace, honey! Wake up!”
I sit up and shake her, refusing to believe she’s dead, “C’mon, wake up! Please, wake up!”
I weep, “C’mon, please… Please! Please! Please! Wake up, Lace! C’mon! Wake up!”
My heart shatters and I watch as her lips turn blue and a pool of blood surrounds her body and I shake my head, “No!”
I kneel next to her and start to give her CPR, maybe I can bring her back? She’s not dead! She just… She’s just sleeping.
I shake my head, “C’mon, please! Wake up! You’re okay! Wake up!”
I wail in agony, a non humanlike sound coming from my mouth. I feel strong arms wrap around my waist and try to pull me away from her. I scream, “No! No! I’m not leaving her!”
Axel shouts, “We have to go! We have to go!”
He pulls me, but I wiggle, trying to free myself from his grip, desperately trying to get back to my friend so I can save her.
I scream, “No! I have to save her!”
He drags me away from her as I wail and reach for her body, I eventually squirm out of his grip and crawl back to her frantically hugging her body and wailing.
He yells, “She’s gone, Margaery and we’ll be too if we don’t go!”
I bawl, “No! No! Stop! I need to save her! She’s not gone! She can’t be gone!”
Axel runs back and takes me away, “We have to go, Margaery!”
I cry, “No! No! Please!”
Axel then prys me away from her again, but this time I don’t resist. I just watch as she slowly becomes smaller and smaller as I’m dragged down the hallway and into the same janitor’s closet we were all camped out in before.
Axel shuts the door behind us and I curl up into the fetal position, rocking back and forth while trying to calm myself down.
Axel rushes to my side and holds me close while he whispers, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”
I bury my head into his chest to muffle my sobs while I struggle to numb myself. I can’t feel if I’m going to get through this, I can’t feel at all.
I take a deep breath, shoving all my pain down and locking it up to be opened for another time. Now I have to focus, I have to numb myself.
I find that same bottle of whiskey and take a big gulp of it to calm myself, dulling all my feelings. I close my eyes and force out all those memories of us as kids and save them for another time, I’ll grieve once I get out of here alive.
I calm my breathing and wipe my tears off of my cheeks and look to Axel, “We need to get out. Now.”
He shakes his head, “We can’t, they’re going to start killing people! We need to stick to the original plan.”
I shake my head, “No, I lost Lace and I can’t lose you. We need to leave.”
He asks, “And let all of these people die?”
I reply coldly, “We can’t stay here or we’ll die! We need to run away and get to the police!”
He shakes his head, “Margaery! Lace died trying to save people and you’re just going to run away and let her die in vain?”
I clench my jaw… Shit, he’s right.
I sigh, “You’re right… What am I thinking? Fuck…”
He holds me close to him and whispers, “We’ve got to figure something out, but I don’t know what we’re going to do.”
I answer, “I guess we just do what you said, free the underclassmen, then the juniors, then the seniors.”
He nods and whispers, “This is so fucking insane… I can’t believe this is happening.”
I nod, and choke as I say, “I can’t believe that my best friend just died.”
He holds my hand and squeezes it tightly, “I’m so sorry, Margaery.”
I nod, leaning my head on his shoulder, “I can’t believe that this morning my biggest problem was liking you and not knowing if you liked me back.”
He wraps his arm around me and says, “Same, actually. Seems so childish and so distant now.”
I add, “Funny how just in a couple hours people can change their entire personalities.”
Axel is about to respond when he’s cut off by the intercom, “Hello ladies and gentlemen, pardon the interruption…” It’s Max’s voice.
I shudder at the sound of his deep, hair-raising speech, “We know you’re out there… You know who you are. Come turn yourselves in. Every minute you wait, we’re going to kill five people in each room. Do you really want that much blood on your hands, Margaery? The decision is yours.”
The intercom then goes silent and everything changes within a matter of seconds. Axel’s eyes widen when he locks gazes with me and I ask, “What do we do?”