The Quiet

I followed her gaze to the other side of the room, where there were two windows. One was closed tightly. But the other was opening slowly. I could see some kind of shadow come over the bottom.

Someone was coming inside.

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35. Rewind

I wanted to rewind this night, and my life. Part of me wished I never did what I did, that I never met Alec, so I never had to agree to any of this. But I guess it’s true what they say, about there being a price for everything you do.

My life was my price.

“Was the part about that man being your boyfriend true?” Cari asked.

I looked at her. I wanted to cry because of what I did to her. Instead, I just nodded. “He was my life. When he died, I didn’t know what to do with myself.”

“Alec found you,” Clay said softly. He nodded. “I understand now.”

“What is it?” Lena asked.

Despite the roaring blast of air around us, I began to sweat. My heart pounded so loud I could hear it in my ears. Then he said what I knew he would.

“You killed him.”

I flinched, like Clay physically slapped me, but nodded. Around me, the three let out slow, rattled breaths.

“Why?” Cari asked, staring at me. She didn’t sound horrified, just curious.

“It was an accident,” I said, willing my voice to stop shaking. “We had been fighting a lot and I got mad at him, really mad, one night. I pushed him. I didn’t mean to. There was so much blood.”

Then, for the first time in years, I cried.

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