As she lay on the floor bleeding profusely from the injury in her head and breathing with difficulty, she already looked ghostly even before she died.
‘I wish I could help you, Kamss’ I said sobbing.
‘You already have. Looking out for me,’ She gave a snort that seemed painful. ‘is enough.’ she gave a wry and weak smile.
‘I’m so sorry; I wish I knew better.’ She seemed to peer through a haze of pain, and my words appeared to take a long time to reach her. Her energy was visibly draining; her breathing was getting slower. Her eyebrows were beginning to travel further up her forehead.
‘Let me go, Kasie.’ She said. The words seemed wrenched from her against her will.
‘No, you can’t die’ I just couldn’t permit the idea to form. The blood from her head had crept into my clothes, but it was the least uncomfortable issue right now. I fled from the idea of her dying, albeit I knew that she was slowly gliding away from this world. From me. I remembered with nostalgia, the times I had with her. Our fights and our loves.
I heard a movement nearby. I looked up and saw a hooded figure who turned away from me quickly.
‘Please. Get help. Get a car. She is dying.’
He left without saying anything. I looked down at Kamsi and realised she had been talking. I couldn’t make any sense of what she was trying to say. Her voice was fainter. Her heartbeat must have slowed down.
‘Kamsi, I’ll always love you. I’m sorry things went this way. I wish I had a time turner or something.’
I pulled her close to me. She did not betray by as much as the flicker of an eyelid that she had heard what I said.
I pulled away her sopping hair that was plastered to her face from it. Her eyelids slowly came down over her eyes as she took her last breath. All I could do was watch her die. I brought my head down and kissed her forehead goodbye. The last goodbye. When I looked up again, the first thing that met my gaze was the stone that had inflicted her injury. I looked down at it like it was something unpleasant I found stuck to a lavatory seat.
Just then I heard the siren of police vans approaching, and I ran off, leaving her cadaver lying there for the police to find. I intended to run home but my brains failed to communicate my decisions to my legs, and I found myself at Paul’s.
I was crying when I finished talking. Carefully omitting certain parts. I looked up at Paul for support, but his face mirrored back my sadness and agony.
‘I’ll get you something to drink’ he said, stood up and left.
As I watched him go, I felt a pang of guilt for lying to him. How could I not have? This is the sort of thing I would have told Heybuka, my older brother, but he was away at school. His name is Ebuka, but I called him Heybuka as a nick. I longed to be in his arms at the moment. He would have known what to do with me.
I didn’t lie to Paul, at least, not in the crude sense of it. I just gave him what appeared to be valuable information while withholding the essentials from him. How could I tell him?
In what words would I express the fact that it was me who had cast the stone?
I had followed Kamsi stealthily. I lost her for a moment and then saw her again. Her stalker behind. Everything happened so quickly, and I don’t think I saw it all as things were darting before my eyes. What I remember was the stalker making a dart for her threateningly and without thinking of the implications, I picked up a heavy stone and attacked the stalker on the head and she slumped into my arms. I removed the hood of the cagoule and unwillingly let out a gasp. It was Kamsi. I didn’t know when they exchanged clothes. The other person turned, gave out a high-pitched scream that sounded insane and took to her heels.
‘K. Since when have you been following me?’ Kamsi asked.
‘Kamss, I’m so sorry, what’s going on?’
‘It’s an act. We were putting on a show for her boyfriend – Stella, my friend, of course, you remember her?’
I nodded even before I thought to remember. Then the face hit me. I had seen her with Kamss more than twice. I smiled ruefully at Kamss.
‘I’m not mad at you big sister. At least, you’ve been looking out for me. I’ll always remember that.’
‘I’m so sorry Kamss’. She replied with a groan. A groan that pierced my soul. I wanted to rip out my heart, my innards, all that was screaming inside me. I have never more regretted any action I took. I hated myself. I hated being the big sister that wanted her kid sister to be safe. It must have been easier being on the dying side. At least I wouldn’t have to live with the guilt of having killed my own blood. I had not realised I was crying until I tasted my tears.
‘What is this K?’ Kamss asked trying hard to smile, ‘I’m the one with the injury, and you’re the one shedding the tears’ she joked.
Poor girl, she must have guessed my thoughts and wanted to gloss over the sticky moment with a joke, so I wouldn’t have to live with the thought that her death was painful to her.
‘Does it hurt?’ I joked back, and we both laughed a little. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.