4. I am more
~~One thing I had learned from my time on the run was never to leave anything behind. Evidence of where you have been, who you have been with; it can all come back to bite you. So we burned it, we burned the barn and the men with it. It was the only way. We left the smoke to alert the authorities and continued on our journey.
“We’re here,” my voice was ragged due to lack of use, we had been walking for days and spoke little.
“Are you ready?” Dannen joined me at the epitome of the hill as I looked down to our final destination.
“It’s been a long time coming Kasi, I hope you’re prepared.” The only response I deemed suitable for Dannen’s misplaced doubt was a short laugh. We made our way to my brother’s house and soon I was face to face with the familiar front door. It had been almost a year since I had been thrown out, left to rot on the streets of this city, and now I was back, to take my revenge. My knuckles collided with the heavy wood three times. Then, we waited.
The door opened. His eyes met with Dannen’s and then mine. Shock registered on his face.
“Katherine, what are you doing here?” His voice stung like a wasp’s sting to my neck. I hadn’t heard that name or voice in too long.
“Miss me?” I shoved my brother further into his own home. Then, it began. Dannen thankfully assisted me as I bound Peter, I searched the house for his wife and three children.
“Where are they Peter?” my voice was purposely low and menacing,
“They’re not here Katherine, please stop this! I am so sorry for everything please!”
“Where are they Peter?” My fist collided with his cheek sending blood and teeth scattering onto the floor in a mismatched dance to freedom.
“Lucy left me! She took the kids, please, please stop!” A tear ran down his stricken face and I couldn’t resist a last stab at the past,
“Don’t you remember? Don’t cry!” I screamed as I punched him into an almost unconscious state.
“Kathy, please! Don’t do this, think of Mum and Dad!”
“Think of them? I have done nothing but think of them for the past two years! It was never my fault Peter, you ruined everything! You made me this person!” Tears escaped their captivity within me, I could sense Dannen’s worry flowing from behind me as he returned from his search of the house. He didn’t think I could do this. He thought I was too involved.
“Did you find it?” I didn’t detach my attention from my wailing brother as Dannen pushed the familiar pistol into my palm.
“No, please no!”
“Didn’t you hear me? I said, don’t cry!” I loaded the gun as I had been taught and aimed it at my brother’s shameful head. My eyes didn’t leave his as my finger pulled the trigger back. Then, all at once I was free. Hands quickly pulled me backwards urging me to leave my past behind. I turned to Dannen, the one who had brought me so far, the one who symbolised what I had grown from.
“What are you doing Kasi? We have to burn it!” His voice did not register in my mind; the gun was raised to his head.
“You remember what you taught me?” Dannen was ferociously shaking his head, begging me not to go through with it, “You said, never leave anything behind, nothing from the past, I’m sorry Dan, but you have to go,” as he accepted his fate, his eyes grew stern. I would miss him, but not for long. The bullet flew from my past to my future as his body collapsed beneath me. I am no longer the child tormented by her past, no longer the girl searching for revenge, now I am free. Now, I am more.