The first shot grazed his forehead. A trickle of blood emerged just
above his right eyebrow and traced a lazy path down his face. He was
stunned. She was stunned. They were stunned together. It was as if
someone outside their togetherness had fired that shot, as if someone
ELSE had stunned THEM.
He told her that if she walked into that death trap, she would die
alone. She walked in, ski-mask down over her smile, aggressive as all
hell, gun drawn. The guard slumped to the floor. A suit drew. It
would've been all over, but she knew it wasn't going to end that way,
not for her. He drew. The suit slumped to the floor. She walked up to
the counter. Her words had all been used up. She held out the duffel
bag, the clerk filled'er up, and all was well. Later he told her that
her barging in without his approval was a sign of how things stood
between them. "You have no respect for what's mine" (my opinion, he
meant). She had a different spin on what had happened. "I trust you
with all that's mine" (my life, she meant).
--back when it all started--
Farishta had always been different. Even when she hadn't been formed
yet. When the clay was wet and the scratches were still being put
in. Even then, he noticed the difference; it drew him to
her. Their first conversation was like walking into a warm room from
the cold. "At last, Civilization", he thought to himself. After a
while they stopped talking. They just stood by the fire.
Her pinky grazed the back of his hand.
--when things got bad--
One betrayal she could handle. Then a little voice inside her said
"forgive him". Two treacheries was too much.
Before she'd discovered his betrayal, she'd seen the Truth of his
devotion in his eyes. Even now she didn't doubt that what she had seen
was the Truth. She had too much pride, that was the problem. Too much
pride to accept the hand she'd been dealt, too much pride to face the
facts. It was staring her in the face, the whole unfairytaleness of
it. The phrases collided in her head, tumbled one after another,
confused her. The rage tried to get out, but ran into her broken
"He knows he has it in him, he knows what his eyes carry. He flaunts
it, thinks it'll save him. Not this time, mister".
--when things were good--
Everything about them worked. Their quirks sandpapered each other and no
one resented the dust that fell. She had a habit of smiling at him
when he didn't know she was looking. Since they'd been
together, he hadn't had a single dream. "My life is now the dream", is
how he explained it. What a sap.
--back to now--
"Snap out of it", Farishta said to herself. Her second shot killed