My feet pounded out a hollow rythym on the tiled floor. Every eye was trained on me. My blonde hair fluttered behind me like a golden banner, flashing beneath fluorescent lights.
To them, I was an unreal thing, a screaming banshee that was simply passing by.
To me, every moment, every drop of time that fell from the sky was mine to have and to hold and to keep safe.
I reached for her then, a slip of a girl, no older than fifteen summers. Fifteen brilliant warm times where I was free and hope was real, touchable. How many years would be taken if her life ended then? If there were no more summers, no more winters, and no more birthdays.
Her blue eyes shined like stars, the sound of her laughter imprinted in my memory forever. It would be the last time she ever laughed. I collided with this ghost of my past, shoving her out of my way. I whirled round to face my attacker, protecting the girl with my body.
The first bullet struck. It tore through the thin fabric of my shirt, piercing flesh and bone. The second dug deeper, a deep throbbing sound rushing in my ears. They exploded into a million fragments of shrapnel.
The girl rose in front of me, a vision of blonde hair and starlight. She was saying something, but I couldn't make it out. I focused on her rosebud lips, small delicate, like rose petals against her snow white skin.
Why... She said.
I shook my head wearily. My knees gave out, bending beneath me, and I collapsed in a pool of blood, slick, crimson, mine. The world grew dark, but quickly shattered into glittering fragments of light. There was a feeling of warmth, overwhelming joy which rose to a crescendo before the night.