You are currently reading from the Prompt #2 Series.

Not only was the ground beneath me cold, it was also wet with morning dew.  As I went to rub my eyes back into focus, I winced, recalling the blow that had brought me to the ground in the first place.

“Get up.” I heard Devin say through clenched teeth.

I rose up onto my elbows and immediately looked around for Steve – I saw him exactly where I remembered him to be, although he looked significantly more pale.  I couldn’t see a gunshot wound and wondered if Devin had done what I had failed to do.  It was at that point I almost wished I had been stronger – for now I was going to have to pay for my shortcomings.

“I said GET UP!” Devin screamed, grabbing my hair, uprooting me from the ground.  “We don’t have time for this shit, Lauren!”

Devin loosened his grip around my hair and dragged me by the arm over to where Steve was losing whatever blood was left in his system and placed Delilah in my hand.  Tears filled my eyes and as I turned to tell him I wouldn’t do it, I found myself not only facing Devin – but the barrel of his Beretta PX4…better known as Sampson.

“Lauren,” he breathed, flipping off the safety, “it’s time for you to decide.”
“Don’t do this to me.” I cried, looking back at Steve.

Devin pushed the corrosion free barrel into the back of my skull and screamed, “Either he dies or you both die…take your pick!”
“Devin please!” I screamed.

And just as Devin was about to finish the job himself, Steve began to move.

“Please,” he moaned, “please don’t…”  in the face of definite death, barely clinging to life, Steve used his last words to beg mercy.

He was alive.  It was at that moment I knew I couldn’t go through with this.  It was the moment I resigned to the fact that I too might die on the side of the Schuylkill Expressway.  And Devin saw it…

‘”Do it, Lauren!”
“I can’t!”
“Then you have to die!” Devin said, as he pushed the barrel deeper into my skin.

And then something happened – something I don’t think I’ll ever be able to explain for the rest of my days on this Earth to come.  The Lauren I am – the one who farts in public and goes to midnight showings of movies with her friends…the Lauren who would die before she lied and who picks up her phone at 3am to talk a girlfriend out of driving to her ex’s house – she went away.

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