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It's all wrong
That woman shouldn't be dead.
My finger should not have pulled that trigger.
I had panicked. I didn't know what to do. She was yelling and-
I took a deep breath, smoothing my skirt. Blood caked to the thin fabric, already dried. The pavement welcomed the woman.
No one saw me, I knew that. It was dawn, the sun barely peeking over the edge of the trees, casting everything-the woman's body included-in a warm, yellow glow. Dampness clung to the air.
The woman looked peaceful, her eyes closed, and her brown hair splayed across the ground. Blood circled her like a halo, angelic almost. My thoughts caused a smile to tug at my lips. She deserved to be a painting, immortalized in acrylic and canvas. I crouched down, tilting my head to be level with hers.
Oh, she was beautiful. Porcelain skin, shattered with tears. Lips pursed, horror etched into her beautiful features. It was truly a shame that the bullet hit her so quickly. Right in the chest. She barely had time to react. I stood, turning away. I didn't mean to kill her, honestly. She just...got in my way. If she had just minded her own goddamn business. I pulled my phone from my pocket, quickly dialing the number engrained in my head. I crossed my arms, listening for his familiar voice.
No answer. I cursed, turning my head back towards the woman, and slipping my phone back into my pocket. The sight I saw made my heart drop all the way to the bottom of my stomach. She was gone. A small, silver bracelet rested in the pool of blood. The pavement was otherwise empty, with no sign of the woman who had previously laid there. She was dead. She was supposed to be, at least. I shot her. In the heart. She collapsed. She bled out and her eyes flickered shut, her arms falling limp by her sides. I saw it with my own two eyes. Unease rose, shivering through my limbs, my heart pounding. I placed a hand on my chest, trying to calm the panic. There were no footprints, no trail of blood. It was as if a ghost had been there.
A scream was building in my chest, anger boiling in my lungs. I couldn't risk screaming, someone might hear me. They would see the blood. They would question. I clenched my fists at my sides, my fingernails leaving little half-moons in my palms. I punched the wall, slamming my fist into the bricks. Pain shot through my knuckles, blood welling to the surface. I had to handle this. That woman had seen my face. She would snitch. I laced my fingers together, placing them on top of my head, and began pacing. The blood was creeping across the alleyway, pooling around my shoes, lapping at the worn laces of my boots. I pulled my phone from my pocket once more, dialing a different number. He answered. His voice was thick, the Italian accent present in his words. I could not risk being heard. I could not risk being tracked. 'Meet me where we met' were the only words I said before promptly hanging up. He better remember. Bernie and I met when I was a teenager, drunk on empty promises of the future, high on adrenaline. He was twenty, just as lost as I was though. It was dusk and I was stumbling the streets, a bottle of whiskey in one hand, a cigarette in the other. He was slumped against the wall of this very alleyway, staring up at the moonlit sky.
The memory faded as quickly as it had come at the sound of tires rolling across the pavement. I looked up, pushing myself off the wall I had leaned against. A black Camero drove into my view, the windows tinted. That either played to my advantage or against it, depending on who was behind that wheel. I sucked in a shallow breath, watching as the door opened. I exhaled sharply as Bernie exited the vehicle, a loose button-up stretched over his shoulders. Stubble lined his chin, poorly shaved. A small smile tugged across my lips as we made eye contact until his eyes trailed to the puddle of blood in the middle of the alley. He cocked his head, silently asking who it was. I grimaced, a new wave of anger grasping my throat. I let her get away. Bernie didn't pry, he simply got to work, pulling Bleach and gloves from his car. He busied himself, cleaning the blood to the best of his ability, most of it was soaked into the ground. I slouched against the wall, letting my head fall forward against my knees. I just didn't understand it. How did she get away? How did I let her get away? I had turned around for two minutes, if that, and then...then she was gone. I twisted my hair, braiding it. A gentle clink drew my attention back to Bernie. He had a shiny object between his fingers, his mouth agape. I pushed myself up, eager to know what he was looking at. It was the bracelet, the chain dangling in his gloved hand. There was a small heart-shaped locket in the center of the chain and in it, a picture. I didn't understand why Bernie looked so shocked about a photo of a teenage girl. That was until he handed it to me. I inspected the photo closer until I could see it clearly. My heart jumped, pounding against my chest like a madman rattling the bars of his jail. It was no ordinary teenage girl. Her hair was pulled back into a low ponytail, her eyes shining with mischief. I recognized those eyes...that hair. My hand shook. It didn't make sense. This didn't make sense. This girl...it was me.