I stood back, breathing quick, feeling numb and sick, waiting.
The medical officer that came with us pushed past me, running towards the box. The sirens wailing in the distance and the sound of my own heart drumming in my ears.
The ambulance finally made it up the hill, on the old dirt road, and the paramedics ran in.
Tom came over to me, standing between my stare and the box, “Paul, let’s go. Get out of here!”
He pulled me out the room, my body weak and unable to move. I stumbled out the cabin and when the fresh mountain air hit my lungs, my stomach heaved, and I threw up.
I felt Toms hand on my back but smacked it away and stumbled to the tree line. I leaned against a tree and let the contents of my stomach flow out.
I tried to think. To focus. To grasp where I was, and what was going on, but the pictures in my mind wouldn’t release. Wouldn’t stop. I shook my head, pushing off the tree and ran.
I pushed my body as hard as it would go, down the hill towards the highway below me. The branches of the trees snipping at the skin on my face, my legs burning, my lungs begging me to stop, but I pushed harder.
The pain felt good. The pain helped. It stopped the flashes in my mind.
I cleared the trees and stopped when my feet hit the hard asphalt of the highway. I gasped for breath, feeling faint, my legs weak and my muscles on fire.
More police cars came rushing towards me, turning up the dirt road towards the cabin.
The old man from the gas station came running over to me, his face pale and sweating, “Did you find them? Is Claire ok?” He asked.
I stuck my hand out to stop him, not wanting him to see the pain on my face. He continued to come towards me, and I turned my back to him, and ran down the side of the road.
When I couldn’t run anymore, I slowed to a walk, my mind fading in and out.
All of this is because of me.
All this pain.
All this death.
It’s all on me.
I placed my hand on my service gun, looking at the black grip in my palm, and pulled it out. I hung it at my side, stopping on the side of the road.
None of this would have happened if it wasn’t for me.
I lifted my hand, looking down at the 9mm Glock.
He will stop.
If I do this, he will stop.
He won’t have anyone to obsess over any more.
The pain will stop.
I dropped my hand to my side, and looked up at the sky, “I’m sorry Addison! I tried. Sarah, Lilly will be fine. Mom and dad have her and they know how to keep her safe. Henry, little buddy, Uncle Paul is coming to play with you again.” I said to the soft white clouds above me.
I dropped my head again and raised the gun to my temple. I squeezed my eyes tight, taking in one last long deep breath and a gun shot erupted.