Mika is a woman in the midst of a hail storm called love. Will she be able to make the right choice?
The emerald curtains began to glow from the early morning rays. Mika could feel the warmth of the sun on her shoulders, her arm supporting her head from underneath the pillow. Her obsidian arrowhead dangling from her neck as an extension of herself. The spot where Taylor once laid was now cold from hours away from the bed. He would not remember her name later on in the day, but she will remember his. Taylor Morrell, another wannabe music producer living on the dark dirty L.A. streets. She knew his type all to well, he was just looking for a good time before he had to hit reality again. Mika will remember him, just like she remembered Kevin, Justin, and Greg. All of them felt that they were so special and significant in the world. Like just breathing would get them the recognition that they so rightly deserved. She remembered how Taylor’s auburn hair enticed her at the bar. How his brown eyes pulled her even closer. How his hands picked her up and carried her into bed and how rough they were. How his fingers lingered on her lower waist and how much pressure he applied. Mika would remember not necessarily because she wanted to, but because she remembered everything and everyone and that was her curse.
Her eyes opened bloodshot from late night boozing. She watched Taylor’s shadow from underneath the bathroom door. Walking back and forth, water running and shutting off abruptly. Taylor never needed to tell her that he was a drug addict. His life story was written all over his arms when he took his shirt off. She knew exactly what he was doing in the bathroom. Getting an early morning hit, sterilizing his syringe and cleaning his poisonous instruments with years of experience.
Mika looked down at the television just as an infomercial blared about another male enhancement drug. She tuned it out as an anticipated snap rang out from behind the bathroom door. She slid from underneath the sheets revealing her slender waist and the soft curvature of her thighs. Mika began to pick up her clothes scattered on the floor. Sliding into her underwear and snapping on her bra. The motel they were in was disgustingly worn out. The horrid taffeta carpeting was permanently stained from service. The white wallpaper was rigid with small accents of pleasure from various guests of previous nights. Other than that it was set up like any other motel. The general Days Inn setting. A bed, a television and it’s stand usually made with drawers, a small dining table, and a bathroom. Unlike the Days Inn it was poorly managed and was in a neighborhood that she would have never dared to enter in fear of being sexually violated.
She tip-toed to the bathroom door and put her ear close enough to hear his breath. His back was up against it as he breathed heavily. She could feel his heart begin to race and then, a sigh that made her cringe. Just the thought of the syringe piercing his skin and inserting it’s venom directly into his bloodstream nauseated her. Her dark brown hair cascaded over her face like a waterfall as she lowered her head in disappointment. Mika inhaled deeply, wiped the tear from her cheek, and continued to dress. She grabbed her purse and took one last look at the motel room as she walked into the early morning dusk. Her body shivered a bit from the chill but she ventured to a place she knew even better than her own apartment. She walked across the balcony until she hit the very last motel room and knocked. A tall man with smooth brown skin and long black dreadlocks opened the door.
“Why hello there sweet thang. Where’ve you been?”
He said as he let her inside the room, filled with smoke and confusion. Mika placed her purse onto the table next to the bed and turned towards him. He looked at her with compassionate eyes which contrasted his strong exterior. His face was sculpted and body was chiseled, he clearly worked out on a regular basis taking good care of himself as best he could. His eyes reminded her of a child’s eyes. Full of wonder and amazement, waiting for the beautiful flashing lights of the L.A. night scene to wisp him away into a magical world he would not return from until dusk. Mika smiled,
She said with a weak smile and tired eyes. He embraced her and kissed her forehead.
“What happened foxy lady? Where’s that guy you partying with last night? Is he still around?”
Mika looked up at him as he pulled her down onto his lap and began to message her back.
“No wait don’t tell me. I got this, did he leave you at the motel with forty dollars underneath your pillow. What an asshole. If you want me to whoop his ass just let me know. I’ll find the fucker and make him into a woman right here right now.”
“He’s an addict.”
The room fell silent.
“Oh, I’m sorry baby.”
“It’s fine. I knew he wasn’t the one anyway.”
She said as she turned towards him kissing him on the lips. He pulled her down on the bed and she rolled over. Marshall frowned, then shrugged at the sight of her curling up into the covers of his bed.
“I’m going back to check on him. Make sure he’s okay.”
“Alright baby. Want me to tag along?”
Mika thought about it. The last time she had been with a drug addict he’d almost killed her in a fit of rage and confusion. But Taylor didn’t seem like he was that type, he was soft with her to say the least. That deserved some type of trust.
“You can tag along, but not too close. I want you to be some ways behind.”
“What’s the code word?”
“What’s the code word? You know like if he hurts you or if there’s any trouble.”
Mika gave him a blank stare.
“Um, I’ll scream...”
Marshall nodded convinced,
“Aiight, let‘s do it to it.”
Mika shook her head and walked out the door with Marshall following not too far behind. Once she got to the motel room she could tell that there was something wrong. She opened the door and saw that he was still in the bathroom. Nothing had moved since she left.
“Taylor, baby, you okay in there?”
There was no response,
She called one last time before checking to see if his back was still up against the door. Mika proceeded to open the door and step inside. Taylor was sweating profusely and rocking back and forth on the toilet. His auburn hair caught her nail as she ran her fingers through it.
“Taylor? Taylor? Are you okay? Do you need me to take you to the hospital? Answer me!”
Taylor began convulsing and Mika began to scream. Marshall rushed into the bathroom and caught Taylor from falling head-first onto the cold hard tile. His body shook violently as Marshall rushed him into his van in the parking lot below. Mika stayed in the back with him to keep his body from damaging itself or breaking any windows in the car. Once they got to the hospital the E.R. strapped him down onto a bed and wheeled him inside with Mika following close behind. Marshall drove around to park his car in the lot hoping that he’d made it in time to save him. After parking he ran inside and found where they’d taken Taylor. Mika sat in the hall shaken and traumatized from the look on Taylor’s face when they’d brought him in. He was a afraid, afraid to die and Mika couldn’t just leave him there to die alone. After all the procedures she was finally able to see him. She opened the door and walked into the room. Taylor was laying in his hospital bed unconscious, his body looked weaker and much more frail than before. It wasn’t for another couple of days that he would get well enough to be able to speak to her but when they came she was the happiest woman on earth. Mika was so worried about him, not because she loved him, but because she couldn’t let anyone be alone when they were in pain. Taylor eventually regained himself and took serious notice of her. No one ever cared about him the way she did while he was cooped up in the hospital and once he got out he wanted Mika to be his.
Taylor would never let her leave. She was amazing to him, the most mysterious and caring woman he’d ever met and he was convinced that they were meant to be together. She was the Nancy to his Sid. Taylor persuaded her into spending another night with him by promising a party for the release of his new album. Mika wasn’t convinced but stayed because she did enjoy his company and wanted to genuinely be with someone who cared. The night started out fine enough, he’d bought enough alcohol to kill a adolescent moose and mixed and poured to her hearts content. He’d take her out for a night on the town and they’d watch all of the flashing lights of the L.A. nightlife. The lights would hypnotize her like a symphonic addictive, the THC of the city. After their long drives he would bring her back to his place and proceed to strum her like the bass guitar apply framed on his wall. And Mika would eat it up, the glitz, the glam, the lights, the action, the sex, everything that came with this fantastic lifestyle that Taylor had now. She felt connected to him and the new world that he’d introduced her to. She could feel the natural high of stardom begin to settle in her veins. Everything was perfect.
Taylor grabbed onto Mika’s arm hard as she turned away from him. She shot him the dirtiest look she could and pulled her arm away from him.
“What the hell is your problem babe?”
“Who was that guy you were talking to last night? Another one of your friends? I know you must have millions of them.”
Mika looked confused, last night they went out to a restaurant and the only other man there was the obviously homosexual waiter that served them.
“What are you talking about? The only person I talked to last night was you.”
Taylor glared her down, Mika was beginning her own addiction; Just as bad as his, Mika was beginning to cut herself. She wouldn’t leave him, he was wonderful to her when he wasn’t high. When the rush of poison infested his brain and made him into a monster. But she loved him, or so she believed. Taylor continued to taunt her for hours about other men that she’d never even considered being with. With each word he personally and intentionally dug the razor deeper into her elegant outer wiring. Mika had never felt so alone in her entire life. Taylor isolated her from everything that is good and wholesome in the world. Any happiness that was secretly brought to her was taken away and disposed of immediately.
The phone rang as she sat there waiting impatiently for an answer, to hear the smooth deep voice that comforted her through-out the years. She needed to feel safe again. The phone clicked to what she thought was the answering machine and proceeded to hang up. A small hello could be heard from the speaker of her phone and lit a small fire in her heart. She tried to call back but ended up being interrupted by the thump of the door slamming in the distance. Taylor was upset again and she knew she would be to blame. Before he could storm into the bedroom Mika ran into the bathroom and locked it behind her. Taylor came in furiously intoxicated and sopping wet with the stench of another woman’s perfume.
“Get the fuck out here damn it! You think you run this bitch? This is my house, who the hell were you calling?”
Mika began to sob as she reached for the razor she kept in her cosmetic box. She laid her back against the wall opposite to the door and watched him repeatedly try to break into his own bathroom. She dug the razor into her skin and began to carve the letter N into her wrist followed by an E, V, E, and lastly R. She scripted the words she would say to him over and over again in her head, yet never said them. She was terrified of him and wanted to get away though she knew she never would. Mika waited for the blood to stop flowing and unlocked the bathroom door. Taylor looked down at her bloodstained arms and pulled her towards him.
“You’re mine, forever. Got that?”
A tear rolled down Mika’s cheek as she began to burst into tears.
Taylor pulled the cover over her shoulder as they laid in his bed. She could feel his harsh breath on the back of her neck as the dried tear stains crusted the corners of her eyes and the sides of her face. She didn’t care anymore, the pain was too great for her to carry and it enveloped her entirely. Her body felt hollow and damp like the deepest cave man could have ever discovered. Even just one breath that was too deep would bring up more weight upon her soul. For days she would lay with him motionless and with a false sense of happiness until the rain hit. This feeling was going to consume her and she knew it. Mika tried to call him one last time. The phone rang three times and then, there was a small click and a smooth rich voice poured into her ears.
Mika could hardly speak though she tried as hard as she could to muster up enough strength to at least call out his name. Her voice cracked into a whisper,
“Who is this?”
“This is Mimi…”
Marshall gave a large inhale in surprise.
“Mika is everything alright? I haven’t heard from you in months. Where are you?”
“I’m at Taylor’s place.”
“You sound like hell. Where does he live? I’m coming to get you.”
Mika hesitated to give him the information. Maybe she deserved to die in this shitty apartment with her crack-head boyfriend. She’s never really loved anyone or anything before and if it’s been this long then she highly doubted she ever would. Yet alone recover from this.
“I’m on the East side, near Cesar Chavez Avenue. You’ll know it when you see it.”
Mika hung up the phone right as Taylor walked into the room.
“Who was that?
Taylor picked her up from out of the bed and threw her onto the living room couch. He glared at her like a father figure while she laid there wearing nothing but her panties.
“Leave me alone Taylor.”
Mika said solemnly as she began to get up from the couch. Taylor pushed her hard onto the couch, missing it and knocking her head into the coffee table. Mika laid there on the floor unconscious as Taylor’s eyes widened. He was already on probation for drug peddling and now, he would surely go to jail for killing his girlfriend. Taylor picked up her legs and dragged her into the bedroom and placed her into the bed. He felt the back of her head for the blood that he expected would leave residue on his hands but if there was any, it wasn’t enough to see. He walked towards the bedroom door, shut and locked it.
Mika could feel the padding of the chair she was sitting in. It was soft yet firm. She opened her eyes and noticed that she was in fact on a plane. But she was all alone. The clouds she passed were beautiful as she looked down onto the city she thrived in. The windows began to crystallize as she felt the cold wind creep in from the rear exit. The clouds surrounded the plane engulfing it with this pressure she’d never felt before. The temperature dropped dramatically as tears streamed down her cheeks and froze almost instantly. Mika’s mind deadened as she watched her body freeze before her. Her nails grew brittle and her skin was almost translucent to the point where she watched the blood in her veins begin to freeze. She was dying but could not feel any pain. The plane flew at a steady pace through the thick clouds that seemed to cover her ankles and also be the source of her deterioration. Her face began to crack as all of the moister in her body turned to ice. Mika stared at the back of the blue cushioned seating in front of her as she readied herself for the end. Just then the plane finally broke through the clouds unto an open landscape, warm and subduing with mountainous ranges that warmed her from her inside out. The smoke subsided back onto where it belonged and Mika began to regain feeling all throughout. The very moment she could, Mika removed her seatbelt and ran to the front exit of the plane and whispered.
“I’m in here. Can anybody see me? Can anybody help?”
Taylor fell unto the hard tile of the bathroom floor as Marshall raised his fist again. Taylor tried to grab the axe from in the corner of the bathroom and swung it in Marshall’s direction. The two men brawled through-out Taylor’s apartment as Mika began to regain consciousness. She shivered as she lifted her body from the bath tub and slid onto the floor. The tub was filled with water and ice and the mirror in the bathroom crystallized just as her plane window had. She grabbed onto the towel rack for support as she stood. Grabbing a towel, she covered herself enough to provide some kind of warmth to her body. Mika could hear a scream come from the living room as Marshall ran towards her.
“We need to leave, now!”
He picked her up, making sure she was covered by the towel, carried her to his van, and sped down the road.
“You’re staying with me. I don’t want him anywhere near you ever again.”
Mika stared at the thin caramel satin hanging from the ceiling. It rippled and waved from the soft wind coming in from a nearby open window. A hint of blue distracted her from following Marshall through the crowded gallery. She wandered nearer to it’s source as it turned into two blue glowing orbs. They were pure, like the cleanest ocean water god could ever have created. The orbs turned into eyes and the eyes turned into a man. He was tall but not much more than she, his shoulders and back were strong and he wasn’t built like Marshall nor thin like Taylor, but a perfect in-between. His stature was not perfect but it still had a way about it that intrigued her. Mika crept her way up to his direction so she could see him in an even better light. Right as she stepped right up to him he turned to her. His smile was as infectious as his laugh and made Mika laugh as well. Then she stood there, silently staring into his eyes unable to speak.
His voice rang into her ears and made her stomach churn with nervousness.
“Hi.” She cleared her throat, “I’m…my name is Mika."
He smiled at her yet again, his eyes began to pull her in.
“I’m Niles. It’s very nice to meet you Mika.”
“It’s very nice to meet you as well.”
“That’s a very pretty name. Where is it from?”
Mika thought for a moment. Her name wasn’t from any language her parents spoke. Then she remembered.
“My name is a boys name, technically. I think it’s from a Slavic origin. What about yours? I’m sure I’ve never heard of a Niles before.”
“My name is Greek. I’m not Greek myself, but I suppose my parents thought that it was a nice name for me. It’s grown on me I suppose.”
Mika giggled like a school girl. They talked about everything from epic battles to deep concepts only the most seasoned intellectual would know. They spoke about each other and exchanged contact information. They spoke until the gallery closed for the night.
“It was wonderful meeting you Mika. You’re a really amazing girl.”
“You’re not too bad yourself there big boy.”
“Will I see you again sometime? Maybe at another gallery or something?"
“I would love to. Let me know when you’d want to and I’ll be sure to free up my oh so hectic schedule.”
They laughed one last time before parting ways. Mika felt so happy with him it was amazing. It was almost like friendship but with too much tension to be just friends. Either way she loved being with him and wanted to keep seeing him for as long as she could.
Mika liked talking to Niles and going out on what were what they purposed to be dates. Niles being the gentleman as always. Mika teasing him for being too polite.
“How can you be too polite? Please enlighten me.”
He would say sarcastically, teasing her in return for not being polite enough and in fact being “quite bitchy when she felt the need”. Their dates would proceed through the follow: Niles would comment Mika’s dress with a gesture or comment. Mika would blush telling him that “his dress was way cuter than hers”. Niles would retort with an extremely witty comeback and they would find a place for the rest of the date to proceed, usually casual. Niles and Mika were friends first and foremost, their relationship stronger because of it. Joking and laughing was a regular occasion that occurred during their dates, only until they would go their separate ways did it halt.
Mika laid her head on his shoulder, the bus was crowded but not enough for her to get upset about it. She was truly happy, doing nothing really. Nothing but spending real time with someone she cared about and them not asking anything more from her than maybe holding her hand here or there through-out the night. Niles was a sweet man, a real gentleman not just one that was looking to get into her pants but who genuinely liked her as much as she liked him. The smells and colors of the bus faded as Mika drifted off to sleep. She imagined them on a beach, the soft blue of the water faded into the same color of his eyes to the point where there was no end. His body was so warm, warmer than anything she’d ever felt before. They did nothing but lay there on the beach and watch the waves come in. An occasional kiss but mostly just laying there and that’s all they needed to do. They just wanted to be together. She awoke to the sound of his phone ringing and the moon beaming in her face. He looked down at the screen and clicked the hold button on top. Niles looked down at Mika and kissed her forehead as she inhaled him. He smelled sweet, like honey straight from the hive. His arm pulled her in and warmed her, making her fall back to sleep on his chest.
Niles walked Mika to her door, the first day she’d actually been home in weeks. She invited him in. He hesitated for a moment, then went inside. Mika’s apartment was warm and inviting. Filled with browns, mahoganies, yellows, tans, and reds. They sat down on her couch and began to watch T.V., Comedy Central mostly. Niles and Mika were snuggled up under a throw blanket when he made his move. Calm cool and collected he leaned in and kissed her softly on the lips.
Taylor got out of his new van and pulled out his lock-picking kit as he walked up to the door. Niles caressed her back as they finally got closer after a month of dating. A new and wonderful change for Mika. They parted momentarily to catch their breath. Mika stared into his eyes almost afraid to look at them for too long in fear that he could see into her soul, maybe figure her out and never want to see her again. His eyes amazed her and made her weak at the same time. A simple light blue, but deeper than she had ever seen anyone else’s before. Niles leaned in again.
“And boom goes the dynamite!”
Mika looked up at her front door as the man exclaimed his random quote. She slowly waked into the hall with intention to kill anything that jumped at her. Taylor walked in from the shadows L.A. cast on him. Niles walked up behind her and put his hand on her shoulder in concern.
“Who is this?”
Mika tightened her fist and bit her tongue as Taylor answered him in a sly tone.
“I’m Mimi’s boyfriend.”
“No you’re not. Mika‘s single.”
Taylor stared at him and then back at her,
“Is that what she told you?”
Niles looked at Mika as she stared at him in fear,
“Yes and I believe her. She has yet to lie about anything to me.”
Taylor frowned and stood close to Niles face. Taylor’s veins shooting up his throat made him look somewhat like an angry turtle. Niles smiled at Mika and kissed her softly on the lips in front of him. Taylor’s rage became overwhelming as he lashed out at him, trying to grab Niles by the collar.
“Leave Taylor! Now!”
“Don’t you ever tell me what to do again you little bitch!”
Niles grabbed Taylor hard by the arms and pushed him out of the door.
Mika couldn’t believe the shit that he pulled the night before. Taylor was an asshole that deserved exactly what she was about to do to him. Mika tightened her grip on the baseball bat as she smashed his window open. He wasn’t going anywhere after what he did to her. She wouldn’t allow it to ever happen again, she didn’t need Marshall to handle her conflicts and Taylor wasn’t going to fuck her over this time just because he felt like he wanted her back. She had too many feelings for Niles to just let him get away. Taylor was going to pay for making her look less than satisfactory.
“Taylor? Come out to play!”
Mika’s ruffled skirt blew in the wind. Los Angeles was a cruel unforgiving dark blue, her streets were filled with anticipation. Taylor waltzed out of his front door with a smirk on his face. He thought he’d won the war, but it was no where near over. In fact, it had just started.
The sand molded underneath her toes, her hair whipped in her face like a million tiny needles. She waited for him, praying that he would come to rescue her. The air was thick from precipitation though the rain had already passed merely an hour ago. Mika was beginning to give up on her knight when he came running through the parking lot towards her. Niles picked her up by the waist and kissed her deeply. Mika inhaled him as he placed her back onto the damp earth. Their bodies intertwined amidst the dreary landscape as a van pulled into the parking lot. Mika pulled her head up from his chest just enough to peek at the commotion. It was Taylor, he wouldn’t have her be with anyone but him. He consumed the beach like a tsunami as he stormed out of his van and towards Niles. Mika pushed Niles away and screamed at Taylor to leave. Taylor laughed and raised his hand to her face.
“You want to feel it again? Next time I’ll chop your bitch ass up and feed you to alley cats if youeverleave me again.”
Mika squirmed as Taylor grabbed onto her face hard. Squeezing her cheeks inward and kissing her. Niles pulled him away from her and punched him in the face, ready and waiting for Taylor to retaliate and punch him. Niles grabbed Mika and ran to Taylor’s van which still had the keys in the ignition. Before being able to make it anywhere near the van Taylor got up, pulled out his gun and shot him in the stomach. Niles dropped onto the ground, his hand still holding onto Mika’s as she shrieked in terror and dropped down to her knees to catch him.
“What the fuck?! Why?! Why can’t you just leave us alone?! You don’t want me to be happy?!”
Mika cried out as she pulled off her hoodie to help stop the bleeding. She stared into Niles’ eyes and saw the soft blue begin to fade away.
“You only get to be happy with me god damn it! Me and you! Sid and Nancy together forever. You fucking hear that? Forever together! The only happiness you’ll have is knowing that I’m here and no other big dicked fuck-face can fill my place! I’m going to marry you and then you can’t leave me you bitch!”
Mika glared at him with a hatred she had never felt before in her entire life. Taylor was intent on ruing her life and would never go away. No manner of beating, punching, shooting, stabbing, or over-doing was going to get rid of him, he was here to stay.
“I should have let you die back at that shitty motel! I hate you! I fucking hate you, you fucking monster! If he dies then you’ll have to kill me too because I promise to make your life a living fucking hell!”
Taylor began to walk slowly over to Mika as she pulled out her knife in defense. He stepped back a bit not wanting to alarm her. Taylor watched Niles bleed in Mika’s arms, he watched his blue eyes melt away, his hair lose color, his life slip away. Mika pulled out Niles cellphone and began to dial 9-1-1. Taylor tried to grab the phone away from her but only ended up getting stabbed in the side.
“I’m your man, let’s get this straight…”
“Fuck off and die! Don’t you dare fucking touch him.”
A man’s voice came in on Niles cell, Mika picked up frantically.
“Hello? Can you hear me? Please help! My boyfriend’s been shot in the stomach by this crazy asshole!”
Taylor squinted his eyes. Crazy? He could show her what crazy really was if she thought he was crazy now, he was about to go insane.
“Please we’re at the beach! Send an ambulance and lots of police. I don’t want to die again…”
Taylor grabbed Mika by her hair as she dropped the phone, he dragged her to the water and held her down at the tide. His eyes were filled with rage as he began to tear off her clothing with her own knife. His eyes scanned her body covered in bruises and scars from her former nights spent on his bathroom floor. Taylor began to unbuckle his belt and unzip his pants in preparation.
Mika’s screams reached Niles ears and it pained him to hear her every have to make that noise. He tried to get up, only being able to sit up and watch her violation in process. Her shrieks and cries pained him down to his very core and by the third cry for help he couldn’t stand it anymore. He tied the hoodie to the blood ridden hole in his stomach and began to stand, walking over to him. Niles picked up the bloodstained knife Taylor used to strip Mika of her integrity and rammed it deep into his back and backed away. Taylor screamed in agony and slumped over Mika in pain as she threw him off of her, more bruises and cuts covered her frail shivering body. Soft sobs still curved her mouth as she began to breath lighter than before. Niles held onto her and limped to the van one last time before collapsing in the passenger seat. Mika picked up Niles from off the beach and looked up at Taylor trying to pull out the knife from his back. She walked over to him right as he pulled it out and pushed it into her lower stomach and into her barren ovaries. Mika gasped for air as the pain struck her an instant. She looked down at him in pity as the blood poured out of his mouth, down his chin, and onto the damp sand.
“It’s safe to say that I’ll never have to see you again. I’m leaving you right here. Goodbye Taylor.”
Mika slowly walked back to the van, strapped Niles in, closed the doors and drove off onto the highway. Taylor laid on the sand and watched his only love leave with someone that he despised more than anything on this earth, but before he could get up the Police sped into the parking lot.
Mika kept driving until she couldn’t anymore. She looked over at Niles, his eyes blue and frosted where the color met the eye. He was dying, and so was she. The floor of the van was covered in their blood. Mika pulled over and turned the car off.
“Are you still with me?”
Her hand shook as she reached for Niles face. His eyes fluttered open again. As he groaned a yes.
“We’re going to die out here aren’t we?”
Niles looked up at her, his eyes tired from fighting the cold. Mika kissed him on the lips and undid their seatbelts. Her hands began to freeze as she touched his face, her chest began to still, cold blood spilling into her lungs slowly and painfully. Mika never wanted it to end this way, though she knew this was longer than she’d originally intended to live, she didn’t want to drag Niles along with her. This was all her fault, she thought, if only she hadn’t cared if Taylor had died in the motel. If only she’d turned down Niles date proposal. If only she believed in love before her death, instead of dying alone and cold. But thinking it wasn’t going to change anything, she stared up at the sun and then back at Niles. He was still alive, but barely, no hospital could have saved them.
Mika awoke on the plane again. She stared out the window knowing that she was alone. A hand touched her shoulder and leaned in to kiss her cheek and all she could smell was the sweet taste of honey.