I didn’t check who it was I immediately turned to go to Mayas room and to find Jayna but then my foot hit something solid. I looked down to see another body without a head.
What the hell happened here. My heart was beating so rapidly I heard it in my ears. I stepped over the body to find two more bodies slumped on the ground near the hallway. One in the same clothes as the others but the other….I dropped to my knees and turned the only women I ever loved over on her back. Her hazel eyes were calm like she knew her fate and those perfect lips agape like she was saying something mid sentence. I knew from the feel and look of her body that she was gone but I still felt for a pulse, because my mind couldn’t wrap around what I was seeing.
Blood stained my favorite dress. She knew I loved to see her in it and probably put it on expecting me to show up last night. I got up and got a cloth from the kitchen and immediately applied it to her chest where most of the blood seemed to be. I pulled her in my lap and whispered in her brown tight curls “its going to be ok, Im here now, were going to be ok, just hold on for me, I can s7op the bleeding I said. Just hold this. I grabbed her hand and put it on the cloth over her chest, but her hand kept sliding back to the floor.
Baby you have to work with me I said. Just hold this, Im going to call for help. After finally giving up on her hand holding the cloth, I spoke into my radio and called for backup. I rambled off the address by heart and looked back down into the eyes I never could get enough of staring into. Something snapped. I then realized how cold her hand was. How her eyes never moved and her chest never went up or down to take in air. I slowly let her body slide to the floor now accepting she was dead before I even entered the house.
I couldn’t keep my eyes from looking at her beautiful face and having flashes of memories when she smiled and laughed. I’d give anything to just hear her laugh again. God when we made love. I didn’t even hear one of my deputies grab my hand and ask which must have been quite a few times...Are you alright? I didn’t answer her or take my eyes away from Maya.
The deputy sensed my despair and went on to ask where is Jayna Darwin? Is Jayna…. She didn’t finish the rest of the sentence. I turned that time and looked at her. Jayna I said Jayna I didn’t find her. I shook my head to clear the memories. It’s my fault. I should have been there ..i whisper to myself as i hang my head low.
I was supposed to protect you i say as the wind carries my whispers through the air to nowhere at all. I put my hand in my pocket to touch the box that never left my pocket since that day. It held what was to be my future in it and now my past. I pulled it out and opened it and just stared at it like it could give me the answers to my haunting questions or better yet ease my guilt. Sparkling diamonds forming a heart. I let myself think about the expression that would have graced her face when I pulled it out and got on one knee.
Her lips would have trembled and her hands would nervously twist together, from years of paying attention to every detail I knew that meant she was excited and nervous. I shut the lid and shoved it in my pocket. None of that will happen now. You failed her I breathe out and it was as if my chest caved in with the pain of that truth. Darwin! called Jayna. Coming I called out. I had to be strong for Jayna she is all I have left of Maya now.
I know that bastard thinks he won but I wont let him take anything else from me. I told Jayna I didn’t know who and why her mother was killed, but I knew. Deep down I knew. Through my old connections I knew he was looking for her but he never came close to where we were. I thought I had you tucked away and safe my love. I furiously wipe away the tears that I didn’t realize fell down my face. I wont fail you this time Maya. I turned around and went into our new home.
The days seem to run into each other and I don’t care to keep track of which day it is. I just got out of school for the summer when my mom died. We had so much planned. Darwin was going to take us on a family trip. It was a surprise because of how good I did in school the past year. I feel my eyes start to moisten as I think of all the things me and mom had planned. I wipe my face and shake my head. Like that will clear those memories. I couldn’t stop thinking of my mom.
Everyday was harder than the last. Everyone says it will get easier but its not. I’m alone and my life will never be the same. Well not completely alone because theres Darwin, but I think he hurts as much as me. Somedays it hurts to be around him. He reminds me of mom. Im sure its the same for him, because everyone use to tell me I looked like my moms twin. I don’t look into the mirror because of that. I don’t want to see dark brown curls on my head, even though mine were finer then my moms. Or her hazel eyes and smooth brown skin. Even our teeth looked the same.
Ugghh no I don’t want to see myself because then I have to see what I lost. God everything reminds me of mom. I get out of bed shaking my head and hoping to shake my horrible thoughts. I get dress and washed up and head into the living room. I was sleep most of the time getting here, but Colorado is good as anywhere I guess. I don’t care where we are really. As I walk towards the kitchen I hear another voice I don’t recognize.
The voice sounds calm and steady. Im used to it being so quiet since Darwin hasn’t been a big talker since mom passed. He always says the normal stuff like morning, or hungry?, or goodnight, but other than that,we're kind of just here. Which I don’t mind, just having him near makes me feel ok. He’s not mom but no one is.
There is never a good time. Says the stranger. She is so young says Darwin. I don’t know if I want to be away from her that long. I have to take care of her, she’s my responsibility now. The stranger turns towards me and I immediately feel nervous. Like he is giving me a math test just by looking at me and expecting the answers. It makes me turn my head to Darwin instead. He doesn't even realize im in the kitchen yet. Darwin is looking directly at the stranger as if he caught a man trying to steal something from him.
Darwins hands are clenched by his side. His eyebrows are drawn together and he looks like he will pass out from how hard he is staring at this man. I don’t know why but I feel like I have to go stand by Darwin. As soon as I do my nerves settle a little. I don’t feel so nervous. Darwin finally notices I’m in the kitchen because the stranger's eyes never left me and follow me to Darwins side.
His face immediately relaxes and his hands are no longer making fists. He looks down at me and nods and somehow I know that means hes got me. It makes me relax a little more but not completely because this man is still staring at me like I should be spitting answers to an important question. It’s weird his face has no emotion. Darwin who is this man? I ask. My name is Krag. Are you ready to go? He asks.
This is the man who is supposed to train me. I think to myself. I remember every word of that letter. Im supposed to spend the summer with him, but why? Before I get a chance to ask. Darwin says its too soon. His head is down and his hands are on the kitchen counter. Too soon Darwin repeats. I can’t lose her too. He whispers.
Krag moves by Darwins side. More like glides it seems because I don’t hear his footsteps. Weird I think to myself. His shoulders are aligned with Darwins and he faces the opposite direction me and Darwin are. He is shorten than Darwin but doesnt try to get closer to Darwins ear to whispers something that only Darwin could hear. Since their whispering I really take a look at Krag. He has on what looks like a brown sheet. Its wrapped around him and looks a little worn.
I think I saw a movie on tv once where these monks were wearing something like that. Is Krag a monk? I stop worrying about Krags dress and focus on Darwin again. Dress..I smirk to myself, thats what I use to call them when I saw it on tv. Mom would give me the “thats not funny look” but I would always keep laughing. Here I go again thinking about my mom. I try to refocus on Darwin before I get to wrapped up in my thoughts. By the look of Darwins eyes and the way his body goes stiff, it must be important. The next thing I know Darwin grabs my hand and all but drags me to my room.
He closes my door once we are in the room. Darwin I say hesitantly. I’ve never seen him look this serious before. He kind of has the same expression as Krag now. Emotionless, but somehow I would still trust Darwin over Krag. I still feel safer with Darwin. He turns towards me and says pack a bag with as much clothes as you can. So Im going I say? With Krag for the summer.
Jayna I promise that he won’t hurt you. Says Darwin. He knew your mom and I trust him. I wanted to argue that it didn’t seem that way in the kitchen but Darwin seems to have made up his mind. So I hold my tongue like mom taught me to do and just say Ok.
He looks at me and seems to sense my resistance. He grabs my hands and says Jayna, its just you and me now. I failed your mom but I won’t fail you. I promise I won’t leave you and will always come back for you. Do you understand Jayna? I shake my head yes. No Jayna I need to hear you say it. says Darwin. Yes Darwin I believe you. He gives me a tight hug and leaves the room for me to finish packing.