The knife held within my hand had been sharpened up till the point where a light cut would still end up drawing a few drops of blood, as per the threatening request made by Kris. Of course, even if he hadn’t been so persistent about it first, another member of our group would’ve spoken up about it in the end anyway. None of us would be able to bear hearing his heart-aching scream of pain as the blade is driven through his chest, especially me, the one who volunteered to end his life.
“I’m really sorry, Tao.” I tried to apologize to him as I held the weapon with shaky hands. He said nothing in response, his head and eyes directed at the ground in silence. I bit my lip, wondering what I should say. “A-Any last words?” I finally asked, slowly holding the knife up to his chest, holding my breath at the same time. More silence. Guess he was too scared or guilty to say anything for fear of breaking down in tears and once again exposing to people a side he hated.
“…One request. Give this to Kris.” He held out a piece of paper rolled up with a green elastic band. I nodded and took it from him, though I noticed his hesitation in releasing it to me. I tucked it away in my jacket and was about to finally muster up my courage to commit the deed when Tao suddenly grabbed ahold of my arm. ‘Wha–!” In a second or so, he had retrieved the knife from my hand and had the blade aimed at his own chest, an unwavering look on his face.
I could only stare in horror as I saw the scene unfold before me, as he drove the knife through his heart, spurting his warm blood all over his hands and face. My face included. “N-never forgive…” He whispered with his dying breath as he slowly got to his knees and collapsed forwards onto the ground, his dirtied hands flailing around as if searching desperately for something out of sight. Once he stopped moving, I bent down and turned him over to close his glassy, lifeless eyes. It pained me to see him like this, despite his unforgivable actions. “Rest in peace, Tao.”
“So how did it go?” Suho asked as I wordlessly walked back to our base. Everyone crowded around me, although a certain somebody lingered towards the back with eyes on the ground. “He… Did it himself. Suicide.” I finally mumbled, close to tears from what I had just witnessed not too long ago. “I shouldn’t have volunteered…” The leader kindly patted me on the back, holding out a freshly steamed bun. “Here you go. Good job.” I slowly accepted it, slightly skeptical as to why he would praise me for such a thing, but I figured that he was only trying to act tough in order to seem like a true leader and role model for us all. At this point, I had already given up on holding my tears in and just allowed them to flow from my eyes like a waterfall as I bit into the heavenly bun.
“We’ll have him buried once we leave this place.” He added in, sighing in regret. We all nodded in earnest agreement. “But we can leave now, right? I mean, Tao… err… You know. Doesn’t that mean the so called game is now over?” Sehun spoke up. “Yeah, I’m getting sick of this place. What the hell are the police even doing?” Baekhyun mumbled in annoyance. Our leader held up his hands to signal everyone to calm down and let him speak. “Wait, wait. Let me talk.” We all immediately quieted down. “First, take a deep breath and calm down. I know you’re all eager to leave this place as soon as possible, but let’s not be rash. We can’t be completely sure that this is over yet–“
“Why would it not be over?!” Kris demanded, sighing heavily with furrowed eyebrows to emphasize his fury and irritation. Before the leader could say anything else in response, a loud crackle from the school speakers a few meters away made us all jump in surprise. We immediately shut up and hastily shuffled over to the nearest speaker in order to hear the announcement more clearly. If there was going to be one, which could either be a good or bad thing.
“Hello, hello!” A very familiar and unforgettable robotic voice shouted out, dripping with pure enthusiasm. “I see you’ve finally made a move! Too bad you selected an innocent sheep as your victim, and allowed the much hated wolf to escape harmlessly…!” We looked at each other wordlessly in confusion. “If you don’t want more people to die… You’d better hurry up and find the traitor before the five days are up!” There was yet another abrupt crackle as the microphone was turned off and we were left standing there in a shocked huddle.
Everyone suddenly began talking and panicking at once, some crowding around Suho to await his orders and others holding onto each other for emotional support. I saw Lay standing to the side from all the commotion on his own and was about to make my way over to him, when someone roughly grasped onto my shoulder, forcing me to turn around. I wasn’t surprised to find Kris staring at me with a look of extreme fury and hatred on his face. “You bastard! It’s all your fault!” He hissed venomously, shoving me backwards without even a single bit of remorse. I stumbled back and would’ve tripped over if not for Lay, who’d seen the encounter and come to my rescue.
“Back off.” Lay said in a calm but stern voice.” Kris however, stubbornly held his ground and tried to push him away from in front of me. “Move away.” He hissed again, clenching his fists. There was an anxious feeling within me; I was worried that he’d resort to using force on Lay in order to get to and… Kill me. This brought me to the realization that despite not being the one actually ending his life, I was still responsible for Tao’s death and it was all in vain. What had I done? Rather than making things better, I’d only made things worse, and now our members were turning against each other. “Stop it!” I yelled out at the both of them.
Kris turned his attention away from my ‘bodyguard’ for one brief moment to look at me, and suddenly whipped out a small butter knife, nicked from the canteen no doubt. “How about you try feeling what I felt?” He chuckled softly, and in less than a second, before I was able to even say or do anything, he had driven the knife directly through Lay’s chest.