Jake left the liquor store. He pried open the shattered door and let it slam behind him on the piles of broken glass, the pools of blood, and the two mangled bodies that lay in twisted heaps on the tile floor. He understood, finally, what it all meant, and he felt at peace.

His leg and shoulder ached with movement, and he could feel the burning bullet wound in his chest; could taste the blood rising to his lips as he coughed. It was a beautiful, clear spring morning, the air saturated with warmth and the twittering of birds. He grew weaker with every step forward, but he smiled.

He stopped on the bridge and leaned his arms over the railing, reaching down to the shimmering green water below. The unbroken wooden bars supported his weight easily, and he felt their mass echoing in his chest as he breathed. The thought came that he would like to die here, to let himself be carried away on a current beneath the river, but the thought passed and he turned away.

As he dragged his limp body towards the bar, he could see a lone figure hovering over a bench in the sunlight. He thought at first that it was an illusion; the way the a mass of golden yellow hung about her face, the way her pale, translucent skin shone white in the sun. But as he watched her rise and come towards him, he knew, deep inside, that she was real. That everything was real.

He reached for her, counting the seconds before their hands met, then their arms and their heads and their lips. He pressed against her and felt her body disappear inside of him, and felt her essence and her very being fill him up and merge with his. He couldn't see her, but he felt that she was there, living through his every breath, seeing through his eyes. He couldn't walk any further. His legs gave out and he fell to the ground, curling up against the window of the bar. Her name was on his lips as he drew a final, rugged breath.

"Mary Jane."

The End

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