Silent Tears, Loud Injustice.

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Chapter Seven.

"No! Stop!" I giggled, running as fast as I could on the snow covered playground. My little snow boots helped a bit, but they were old and worn and my feet was getting cold instead of the opposite. "I'll tell on you if you don't stop!" I giggled again, failing to dodge the snowballs aimed at me by a little hooligan called Jayden.

"Run to mommy, little Kheeana!" He mocked, blowing raspberries at me as another barrel of snowballs launched my way.

"Arrgh! You're so dead!" I screamed, gloved hands digging into the snow to form missiles for my own attack. But my little hands weren't fast enough and a particularly large bomb hit me square in the face, exploding in a fume of cold white powder as I fell back on the ground.

Jayden's laughter filled the air and I still couldn't stop smiling as I coughed ice block out of my mouth. My teeth chattered as I waited for him to stop laughing so I could threaten him with how mad our mom's would get when they caught us playing in the cold, but he continued laughing and I watched him, still sitting on the floor while my pants soaked away, threatening to freeze my butt into smithereens, then he suddenly stopped.

His laughter came to an abrupt end, caught off by the loud bang of a gunshot and I watched, little Jayden falling to the ground as the powder white snow surrounding him turned red.

A gripping cold hand tightened its hold around my throat and I gasped awake, lips trembling with a residue of tears sitting gracefully on my frozen cheeks.

I wondered if all the memories I had of Jayden would now be tainted with the alarming sound of gun-shot and the disgusting red of blood. The thought was highly likely and I shook my head, the urge to throw up suddenly filling me along with a wave of nausea.

My feet felt like lead, not moving fast enough and before I knew it, I was wobbling to the ground in a nauseous heap. But before I could hit the floor, a strong set of sure hands encircled my frame in a steady hold.

"I got you," it felt good to hear from someone who was true to those words and I offered my dad an helpless smile as he helped my stumbling self to the bathroom. He held my hair back, warm hands patting my back as I retched out vile green substances--a defiant evidence of the injustice the world served on a golden platter.

Minutes later, I was back in my bed, amidst the dozen blankets and pillows provided for my utmost comfort. Those were the last thing I needed though. I needed him. Him and him alone. And now, I would never have him.

"The cops are here, Khee. Will you speak to them?" My ears still had that low ringing sound in them, not fully recovered from the gunshot and dad's words floated past like the foam on the salty waters of an ocean.

I looked up at him, lips trembling as I ran his words over and over again. I didn't think I could face the world yet--ever again. "Do I have to?" My voice was small and shaky and I didn't even try to clear my throat. I didn't even want to speak.

"Well..." I watched dad struggle for words, something I'd never witnessed from him before and my heart broke even more because it was obvious he was struggling too. Dad loved Jayden, almost as much as he would love his own son and their fights were only a testimony to that. If dad didn't like something or someone, he'd rather not have anything to do with that thing or person at all, but he always made it a point to argue with Jayden, ever since we were little. And I looked at his red rimmed lids, eyes, sunken and baggy--a sign that he'd been crying.

"I mean, I will talk to them. But just not right now." I added in a bid to ease the air and give dad something to say and he shook his head, a little smile lifting his dry lips.

"I'll go tell them," he brought a hand up to push stray strands of hair behind my ears. "Hang in there, 'kay?"

I nodded, offering a trembling smile that I knew would fall into sobs immediately he was out my door.

I watched dad get up and leave, the door closing with a soft click behind him and a heavy sigh escaped my lips before the door opened again and a face I longed to see came bustling through.

"Oh my God!" Her hands were covering her mouth as she let her dark eyes rake over my trembling frame, her beautiful dark face bare of her usual buoyant makeup and a drag of baggy jeans and a tattered black top replacing her usual rock style. "Oh my God, Kheeana. Are you okay?" Tears were failing her now--failing us both--as she made it to my bed and got in beside me, arms wrapping around me in a tearful embrace.

"He killed him," I whispered into her hair, my voice shaking as my teeth chattered with a feverish flow of tears steadily running down my face. "H-he shot him, Kay. And I-I was just there, I didn't do anything. I-I tried to stop the blood, but my hands were slippery. The b-blood was too much. He was calling my name, Kayla. He was calling out to me to h-help him and I just left him to die. The cop ran away and I just--"

"Stop! Stop Kheeana! Just stop. Please," Kayla interrupted the random bullshit running through my mind that had been let out into words upon seeing her and I shut up, too hurt to argue with her for telling me what to do.

"It wasn't your fault. It wasn't anybody's fault, so stop blaming yourself, please." She held me at arms length, dark eyes boring into mine as her lips trembled with a fresh wave of tears.

"H-he killed him, Kay. Jayden didn't do anything and the officer just...he j-just shot him dead," I couldn't stop, my mouth wanting to let out the injustice my unprepared mind had to deal with on such short notice.

"I know!" Kayla yelled, warm hands leaving mine as they pushed into her hair angrily. "I fucking know!"

I watched her lose it and then I realized it wasn't just about me. I wasn't the only one who was hurt. Jayden, Kayla and I had always been together since we were kids. The three of us had always been an inseparable trio, but as we grew up, Kayla sorta found a new friendship circle with Shay, Kenzie and a group of other girls, while Jayden started moving with boys because he used to get bullied for being a ladies' man and always hanging out with girls only. So we all kinda fell apart and lost our childhood vibe but the connection was always there. That was one thing we could never lose and we were always there for one another, no matter what.

"I'm sorry, Khee. I'm so sorry you had to witness something like that," she looked at me now, her hands pulling out of her brilliant red hair to wrap me in a hug again.

I'm sorry too. I'm sorry for leaving him to die, just like I left mom.

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