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Right Next To Hell (RNTH) – Tasted Like Agony

Tasted Like Agony

“Laye!” I heard someone call to me. I turned around but could not find anyone. I realised I was the only one in the room. So I decided to wave it off. Maybe I was just hearing things. But then again, I heard my name. Someone was calling unto me. And with each call, the voice became more and more clearer to me. I immediately jumped out of the bed when realisation dawned on me that it was only Michael that calls me Laye aside from Gina. So I rushed out of the bed making my way towards the door. Just as I was about to get close to the door, the lights suddenly went off. It got me scared. I hate staying in a dark room or any dark place, especially in a dark room.

r“Who is there?” I called with the hopes that someone will come help me. But no one replied. Not even Michael who I thought was calling me. Seeing that no one was answering, nor was anyone coming to help me, I shut my eyes and braced my heart, making my way to the door regardless. But my mind was filled with fearful scenarios. Thoughts of someone jumping out of nowhere and stabbing me multiple times, as well as thoughts of something scary getting a hold of me kept playing in my head. These thoughts ran through my head multiple times faster than the Flash. And then I felt something, as though someone had touched me. I jumped in fright as I tried to push away from whatever or whoever it was.

r“Laye!”

r“Mommy!” I screamed with half of my heart in my mouth when I heard my name being called. Just then, the lights suddenly came back on. I immediately ran out of the room without looking back. My fear was over my head, leading me where my eyes didn’t. I stumbled over something and fell down.

r“Agh!” I moaned. Then I checked my elbow to see if I had sustained any injuries. Luckily, there was none. It never occurred to me what I had stumbled over until I heard my name being called again. The voice was ever so close to me, it felt like he was right next to me. So I turned to the side to see Michael leaning against the wall.

r“Michael!” I sounded excited on seeing his face. I was going to hug him out of excitement, but then I stopped dead in my track when I realised that something was odd. Actually, it was Michael’s leg I had stumbled over, and the reason why he was slumped on the floor with his back against the wall lazily was because he was hurt, severely hurt. I covered my mouth before I could let out any scream, my eyes were already brewing hot tears.

r“Laye!” he called me. His eyes looked so weak, like they could barely stay open. His eyelids were fighting to roof over his eyeballs. I crawled to his side and held him forgetting all the anger I had against him. Maybe I never had any, not since the shooting and him having gone missing.

r“Michael!” I whispered, cuddling him in my arms. I was scared, and i was certain he could tell that too from my heart’s beat. But I still held him close not sure if I should be running to seek help or if I should just stay with him and maybe he would get better.

r“Laye…..” he called my name again. This time, it sounded like he had something to say.

r“Shhhhh! Don’t say anything, you’re hurt!” I spoke to him softly like a child that was being put to sleep.

r“I told you to stay away from Clara, didn’t I?”

rIt was funny and strange that he was badly hurt and all he cared about was telling me to stay away from Clara. And it did not even make sense that he was telling me to stay away from Clara when he was the one that brought me to the party and introduced me to Clara.

r“You should not be talking about that now Michael! You’re hurt and I’m scared!”

r“I am scared because you’re hurt and I don’t even know what to do!” I sobbed. Michael stretched his hand to wipe the tears off my face, and for a second it felt like we were lovers and we had known each other all our lives. And I suddenly started getting that urge to tell him how much I love him and how much he meant the world to me. But I knew it was not real. My brain has always been fond of doing that.

r“Laye, run! Run as fast and as far as you can!” he said. Then he started breathing fast. I swear, I had no idea how much blood Michael was losing and had already lost, not until that moment when it was as though his windpipe was being cut down and he was fighting to breathe.

r“Pl…please! Please‼ Please‼ Just calm down and steady your breath!”

r“Michael please!” I cried. I could not help but sob as the mucus threatened to run down my nose. I held Michael ever so tightly, hugging him to myself as he struggled to breathe. Then in that moment I knew what to do. I should call for help, so I thought. So I stood up leaving Michael while telling him that I was going to get help. Clara should not be far away. I would reach her or anyone in sight and get help. It was a good thing that Michael was just in the corridor, it would be easy to get Clara here and we would take him to the hospital.

r“La.. ye!” He struggled to breathe out my name, his hand holding unto my foot. I looked at him as the tears run down my cheek, his eyes were closed and he just stayed there still, his head bended to the side. I wanted to bend down and check on him, but then he slid, announcing to me that Michael could have lost consciousness. No! He was dead. Michael was dead. He was not moving. I squatted down and reached for him, placing my ears against his chest. There was not a single pulse. I shut my eyes and shook my head as if driving away bad thoughts. Then I repeated the same routine, placing my head on his chest to listen to his heartbeat, but there was no pulse at all. I caught his wrist and checked it like I was a pro at traditional medicine, but I could not catch a pulse either.

r“Mi.. Michael! Can you hear me?” I asked him hoping for an answer, but there was none. I pushed his arm, but he didn’t budge. It was beginning to feel too real. I kept shaking my head rigorously in denial of what seemed to be the reality before me. Then I let out a scream, one that I never thought I could produce. It all tasted like agony, my tears. I could not hold myself anymore as I let out loud cries.

r“Beatrice! Beatrice!” I heard Clara’s voice which was followed by what felt like a vibration, I could liken it to an earthquake. But it wasn’t.

r“Beatrice! Wake up!” this time her voice sounded too loud that I jumped. But I was only in bed, and then I knew I was crying, I was crying while asleep.

r“You have been crying in your sleep,” Clara said. Her hand was on my shoulder as she looked at me intensively. Then she asked me if it was because of what happened during the party. I just looked at her as if I had seen a ghost. But it wasn’t her, it was the thought of something bad having happened to Michael. I just dreamt of him dying in front of me and there’s nothing that could be more scarier than that.

r

Chapter end

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