He held the gun in two hands out in front of him, pointed directly at her. His jaw was set, and he looked completely serious about what he was going to do. But she saw it, only for a moment did he let his true self come though his eyes; a moment of weakness. Though she did not relax at this sight as he was still pointing a gun to her chest and was in the midst of mental instability. Of course she had an idea why he was brought to this decision, and she hoped there was a way to coax him out of this act.
“Eric-” was all she said before he pulled the trigger. The horrible noise created by the small object rang loudly in her ears, rendering her deaf for only a moment. She screamed and jumped back, tripping over her own feet and falling to the ground. But there was no pain, except for the pain radiating down her side from where she had just landed on the cold, wooden floor. He had missed her, purposely, aiming to his far right.
“SHUT UP!” he yelled. “Just shut up, ok?” There was a moment silence except for Eric’s heavy breathing as an endless train of thought passed though Maria’s mind. What had she gotten herself into?
“Please.” she begged, her voice just barely passing for a whisper. But in this cold night, not even the crickets sung their song, and all was heard by Eric.
“Why?” was all he could say. He let his arms hang effortlessly by his sides, the gun though still held firmly in one hand. She couldn’t look him in the eye, and looked down at the ground instead. She didn’t want to answer him. She didn’t want to admit that the only reason that she was here was because she was afraid. She didn’t want to admit that there was nothing that scared her more than love; a true relationship that really meant something and wasn’t just another high school fling. But she couldn’t admit that to him, not now, and not anytime in the future. But it was obvious that he wanted an answer and he was going to extremes to get it his way. But with his fragile condition she knew that there was no way for him to accept that without someone getting hurt.
He came to stand over her, but she still wouldn’t look at him. She flinched as he stretched out his arm to help her up. She paused before taking his hand and standing up. She was unsure why he suddenly changed, but she was grateful he wasn’t yelling and threatening her with the gun anymore. The gun, she was well aware of was still in his other hand. He held tightly onto her hand as he whispered in her ear.
“An eye for an eye has always been the best method, right?” he raised the gun to her stomach, this time he wouldn’t miss. She caught her breath, trying not to scream, and struggled to escape his grip. He caught on tightly to her arm, digging his nails into her skin and pinning her to the wall.
“Please, Eric, no!” she begged, tears streaming down her face, and her body shaking violently. The loud, shattering noise of the gun once again rung loudly in her ears. But this time her deafness wasn’t temporary, and immense pain radiated from her stomach. She didn’t want to look down, but she could feel the blood dripping to the floor.
Eric fell to the ground with her, never taking his eyes away from hers. He was astonished at what he had just done. But he had done it, and there was no going back. She was just barely hanging on to life, and her breath was slowing as the seconds passed. What had he done?
“I’m sorry.” he whispered as she finally left him, and he was alone in the world, with no one to help him no matter how much they tried. Maria was the only person who truly knew what he was going through, and some how she had pulled through her own painful past to live a perfectly happy life, even enough to come back to help him. But he wouldn’t let her. He didn’t want to move. He was too comfortable in his depressed state to ever fix things, and he knew that would ruin his life. And when she turned her back on him, realizing that there was no hope for him, did he really appreciate what she was trying to do. And now that was all gone.
He dropped the gun, and lifted her up, letting her head rest on his shoulder. Her blood had begun pooling around them, and as he carried her out of the room, rubies were scattered in a trail behind them, like foot prints. He took her outside and stood in front of the lake that had caused him so much pain. It was quite strange to think that all of his misdeeds of the past month and the misdeeds of many people before him were the fault of a lake; a body of water that moved and danced when the wind and the moon commanded it do so. He placed her down at the water’s edge on the soft sand, and lay beside her. The hours felt like seconds, and before he knew it, the tide had risen enough to finally sweep him under its grasp, taking him and Maria into its murky depths where they settled to it’s floor making their final resting place. And just before he let death take him from this world he opened his eyes one last time to see the treasures of the water; the price paid by all those before him. Into the eyes he stared of all those who sold the souls to the water demon.