I grip the knife in between my fingers as tightly as I can. My palms are so sweaty that I’m afraid the knife will slip through and clatter on the white marble floor. After every minute that passes by I rub my hands on my pants, trying to remove the moisture that’s gathered on my flesh. I inhale sharply but quietly making sure to not make any sound with my uneven breaths or with my tiptoeing.
He’s peacefully sleeping on the king-sized bed with the blue bedsheet. His chest is rising and falling as he loses himself in his slumber. I envy him for his tranquility. How can he be so calm when he’s caused a thunderstorm in my chest? Sleeping like that he looks like an angel who’s here to make the world a better place, but when he’s awake even the demons run away to hell. His brown hair is covering his forehead and parts of his eyelids, and his bulging muscles are ripping through his white t-shirt. His stubble has been growing for the past few days and he hasn’t put in the effort to shave.
Unlike our small prison-like-cages, his room is as big as a children’s playground. The walls are different shades of blue, each one changing its hue with the reflection of the sun. On the left there are sofas with a glass table in the middle and on the right there’s the bed where he’s lying. Ahead there’s a balcony from where you can see the city buildings tower on top of each other.
I inch closer to him until I’m standing by his bedside, hovering over his head. His eyelashes are so long, and his face looks so innocent that I’m convinced he’s not the monster I’ve seen in him.
Maybe he’s had his reasons. The voices in my head try to reason with me, but that part of my chest that’s bleeding in red says otherwise. I’m trying so hard to convince myself that he’s not a bad person, that maybe he still has a part of himself that cares.
But he kidnapped you. Tortured you. The thoughts swirl in my mind like a tornado. He killed Sammy and Nate and Anna. And what about all those other children… what about Kenny. What about Aly?
But he fed you, didn’t he? Another voice yells at me. He was just following orders. Katty said he’s incapable of feeling emotions. He’s mentally ill.
“Slit his throat.” Becky’s voice is cooing in my ears with such clarity that I’m convinced she’s standing by my side.
“No stab him in the heart.” Mickey is yelling at me.
I raise my hand and hold the grip of the knife, above his chest with so much force that my nails dig into my flesh.
I can’t do this. I don’t want to do this.
If I kill him, I’ll be the killer. What difference would there be between us? But he killed good people and I’m killing the bad people. Does that make me a good person, or does that make me a murderer like him?
I lower my hand a little to retreat, but all the memories pulse through my brain, reminding me of every ache he’s put me through. The time he burned my hands, the time he whipped me and Esha with his leather belt. The time he shot Nate in the chest. The time he…
Before the thought can erupt through my brain, my arm plunges straight down with such force I didn’t even know I had. I hear a crack, a moan and then wheezing. His eyes fling open and perplexed he stares at me like a stray cat. When his eyes process what’s happening, he tries to jump out of bed but fails miserably. I quickly pull the knife out of his chest and take a few steps back in fear. His shirt, the bedsheets, my hands everything is painted in red. Pressing onto his wound with both of his hands he slides off the bed and tries to make his way toward the side table. He opens the first drawer and rummages through it. He’s looking for his revolver. Hamani said she took it and hid it in the back garden beneath the mango tree. When he finds nothing, he tries to jump toward me, but I take a leap back and he falls on his stomach. Blood soaks the carpet beneath him.
“I will kill you,” He says through his clenched teeth, expanding every word. I watch him bleed for a while, and very slowly I take a few steps toward him. He’s breathing heavily now. In his eyes, for the first time, I see anger dressed in fear. A tear drips from his eye and cascades down his cheek.
Guilt takes hold of my body and I start shaking and crying like an infant. I drop to my knees and my grip on the knife loosens making it clatter on the floor. I don’t want him to die. I don’t want anyone to die.
“Go call Mike. Come on please.” He says pleading. “I’ll protect you. I promise.”
Part of me wants to believe him and unconsciously I rise to my feet. But as soon as I spin on my heels the door bangs open and Hamani comes rushing in, covered in blood. She has a slash on her cheek, and I see fire dancing in her grey eyes. She pulls me back like a lioness does to her cub and pulls out the revolver she hid in the garden.
Before I can open my mouth, she pulls the trigger and the bullet cuts through his head. Blood pools around his body like a small puddle formed after rain. The loud bang paralyzes my body and I start sobbing.
The last thing I remember before passing out is Hamani saying, “We have to leave before the other gang members come.”