“No, no, please……” I stared up at Vanessa’s achingly familiar face, my cheeks wet with tears, rolling down in streaks and dripping off my chin like a tap not tightened enough. I could feel the warm droplets falling onto my clothes, making them wet with salty liquid and cooling my hot skin. Bringing my hands up to my face, I wiped at the tears, probably smearing the dirt on my fingers on it, but I didn’t care. Instead, I tried for my failing voice again. “why?” it sounded even worse now. Barely more than a choked whisper.
Vanessa’s face was impassive. Her eyes were like black holes when she looked at me.
“I have to.” Her voice was heavy with shame and sadness.
“No, no, you don’t Vanessa. You were my best friend…why?” the tears started coming again and I didn’t bother trying to stop them.
“They said to bring the one you loved most. Alive. I had no choice. I listened.”
“That-that’s not like you. You don’t listen to anyone! Why to them?” my voice sounded foreign, even to me. Crackling like dry paper and shaking furiously with the effort of not sobbing.
“I had to.” She repeated.
“So you bought Tessa. My half-sister who I never knew I had, who’s only twelve years old?”
“She’s your sister. You would love her. That’s who I bought.”
“Yes, I do love her, but not the most.”
There was a pause as Vanessa’s eyes widened with shock and fear. “Yes-you do-you have to-“
“No, Vanessa. I loved you. I loved my best friend more than I loved my half-sister. Of course I would have.
The knife in Vanessa’s hand fell to the floor, making a clattering sound as it came to a rest. “But then…then they tricked me. They said to then kill the person that I had bought. They forced me to, said they would kill me…I had to.” Her control snapped. The placid expression on her face that I had so hated cracked. “They thought of everything. I couldn’t refuse.”
“Remember all those nights in the orphanage? Remember how since we were little, they always said that we were like twins? Inseparable?”
“I-I thought you had forgotten. That was such a long time ago.”
“Some things,” I said, my voice quiet “you never forget.”
“No, no, you don’t do you? If they’re etched deeply enough.”
“So come with me, let’s be like that again.”
“No, I can’t. I have to finish.”
“What? No, you can’t kill yourself!”
Vanessa gave me a tired, sad sort of smile. I could see no fear in her eyes, only longing and determination. In that moment, I decided that never again will I have a friend this close to me. Never. I wouldn’t live to see another smile like that.
“I can and I will, because they told me that if I kill that person, you would live.”
There was more nothing I could do.
She slid the blade deep into her heart.