And then she let go of my hand. The warmth from her paw left mine as she did.
"Do me a favor Leo.." The cat said, still holding me close.
I turned my head to face her on the grassy hill.
"Wake up." She said, in a trance like state.
There was a long pause before I registered what she had said.
"What the hell are yo-"
I couldn't believe it, I was having the best time of my life and she starts spewing shit out of her mouth.
"But I'm not as-"
"LEO JUST DO AS I SAY...Wake. Up." Tears started to form in her eyes as she finished her last words.
I stood up to object but I couldn't say anything. It was as if my mouth had been screwed shut.
She grabbed me by the shoulders and pushed me before she cocked her fist back.
"I'm so sorry Leo..."
Aeris swung her fist towards me as hard as she could and I closed my eyes in instinct.
There was no hit, there was no pain. There was absolutely nothing.
I reopened my eyes, and I was in my room. A dull place, mostly filled with blue items including the walls and carpet.
Cursing myself, I got up from my bed and began to walk out of the room.
It had been yet another dream. A dream I could never forget, but always got lost in. A dream about a friend whom I could never forget.
Slowly, I came to a stop at my restroom. I hadn't looked at myself, let alone nourished myself in a week, so I had no idea what to expect, but I knew I had to see what I had done to myself.
Right foot, left foot. I thought to myself with my head hanging low.
I adjusted my body to face the mirror, keeping my head down to the tile floor.
I took five deep breaths, holding each inhale and exhale as long as I could before repeating the pattern two times.
Finally, I braced myself and forced my head to move up.
I didn't flinch, I didn't react as much as I expected to.
It was me, Leo Leonardo III, staring back at me.
At the same time, though, it wasn't me. The mirror represented me as a dirty, unclean, depressed gray cat. There was lots of dirt and grime under my fur, and clear dark bags under my eyes.
My fur was fluffed and twisted all over my visible body. My stomach was aching from my lack of food since last week, but I ignored it as best as I could. Then there was that scar. Slightly above my eyebrow, the scar started and ran diagonal down my eye until it ended near the end of my nose.
That scar.. All it symbolized was bad memories. I traced it slowly with my hand, taking in all the little details and bumps before I snapped my hand back down to my side. It made my stomach ache with butterflies and I couldn't help but choke a little bit.
After hesitating a few times, I adjusted the waist of my pants and left the bathroom, making my way to Aeris's room.
I moved my hand up to knock on the door, but I remembered that I no longer needed to. Swiftly, I arched my hand towards the knob. I chuckled a little bit, as I jokingly tried to convince myself that, that was my original action.
The door opened with a creek. A rather unpleasant creek, but it was there. I poked my head inside to take a look in the dark room. It felt dusty and moist in the room for some odd reason.
I fully opened the door and stepped in, flicking the light switch without thinking. The room had been vacant for a long time now, not even I entered it, but for some reason I was compelled to step inside.
I studied the room with great awe, I never could get a good look at Aeris's room, and now it was just here. I saw her bed, still undone and messy, and the large shelves around it with neatly placed games and books. On her desk was her laptop she had given me a concussion with, and the memory made me snicker. Her laptop was still charging, and the brilliant blue light still shone unbothered. I promised myself I wouldn't look around her laptop and that my curiosity wouldn't get the better of me.
Turning to the left, I saw Aeris's 42 inch plasma (And that all together is another story, let's just say it wasn't legally acquired) and the little setup she had with her Xbox, complete with a surround system and subwoofers.
It was a small room but impressive, even the walls she painted herself were elegant. Most of the items in her room were purple or pink for some reason. I'm still not sure what her obsession was with those colors were, probably because she was pink herself.
I stepped forward to her bed to see if her figure was still embedded into it, and sure enough, the bed was still sunken in from her always lying on it. I slowly traced the line of her figure, and it brought me to tears knowing that she could never come back again.
I fell onto Aeris's bed and I started replaying the events on the day I lost her. It was all my fault, and I can never forgive those bastards.
It was dark and raining pretty hard out, about 3 am in the morning, Aeris and I were coming back from a party. (The music still blaring close behind us)
We both had our hoodies over our heads, pulled tightly, so our fields of view were limited, we stayed shoulder to shoulder most of the time as to not get lost. Eventually the rain got so bad, we had to hold onto each other. Aeris made it clear that it was only a precaution, but that didn't stop me from being an idiot the entire way.
About 30 minutes later, we were but half a mile away from our apartment when Aeris slipped on a puddle, almost hitting her head. I should've paid more attention to my surroundings..
Due to the loudness of the unrelenting rain and my panic, I couldn't hear anything while I helped Aeris up from the ground. The rain crescendoed, and drowned out the sound of an engine.
When Aeris and I got up, somebody grabbed me by my neck and pulled me towards them. I turned around slowly to see a big black and white striped cat with huge muscles and a bunch of bruises and cuts.
"Is that woman Aeris?" He asked sternly, a vein popping out of his arm. I glanced at Aeris and she looked afraid, something she never did.
"Y-yes..?" I started to shiver from the cold and from my stress
"Grab her.." He threw me down to the ground and motioned towards the van.
Aeris's ears went down as he shoved me to the ground and started to walk towards her.
Men began piling out of the black van with menacing looks and they all began to crowd around Aeris.
"GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM HER!" I screamed, my heart pounding against my chest. As quickly as I could, I launched myself off the ground and into one of the thugs, bringing him down. I had taken a self-defense class that year and I never thought I would need to use it. Aeris always made fun of me for taking it, but I don't think she's laughing now.
Stepping back, I assumed the stance I was shown in class. I was just about ready to throw my life away to save my friend.
The thug on the ground angrily got up from the ground and pulled, along with his little friends, expensive looking knives with weird engravings and designs out of his pocket. I had never seen anything like it before, and I was extremely interested in knives and other such weapons.
The scrawny cat I brought down earlier stepped forward, about my age and height, swinging his knife lazily around. "Make a move tough guy." he taunted.
A minute later the poor bastard was on the floor, ass up, with a broken leg. I cracked various parts of my body to show ease. The thugs crowded tighter around Aeris, their obvious leader holding her by the neck.
"Who's next?!" I yelled in rage. My face was burning with anger and I had an extreme rush of adrenaline come through as I yelled at all of them.
Other than the sound of rain hitting the concrete, it was completely silent. Everybody was eyeing me with hatred. Aeris's eyes started to show even more concern than they had previously, and it caused my heart to fall into an abyss.
"Well?" I said while picking up a knife from the wet ground.
"AHAHAHAAHAHAAHAHA." Everybody moved so there was a clear view to their apparent leader.
"What do you plan on doing little man, we already have what we need." The cat sneered while he brought his knife up to Aeris's neck.
"No, what do you want with her?!" I cried out.
"It's none of your business, just wrong place wrong time." He said, in the most annoying fucking tone I've ever heard.
"This little lady knows what she's done, she had time to fix it and she didn't. Now, Aeris has to pay the pr- FUCK"
Aeris took full advantage of the cats speech and punched him in the balls in an attempt to escape. She quickly scrambled away from him and the other thugs flinched.
They only did things when their leader told them to apparently, and I assumed they were too scared to do anything without his say.
I made up my mind and decided to take advantage and lunged forward with my knife gripped, ready to stab the leader.
"HE'S AFTER JESSY!" Somebody yelled just loud enough for everybody to hear against the pouring rain.
I snickered as I got closer and closer to 'Jessy', bringing my knife up slowly while I tried to decide whether or not I should kill him or just injure him.
Jessy finally got his composure back, but it was too late and my knife punctured his stomach.
He groaned in pain for quite a while, and then actually started to laugh maniacally. It scared me so much, I never forgot how that laugh sounded and lasted.
"Perfect..." He whispered in a tone that frightened me beyond what I already had been.
"You're a fool you know that?"
"W-what are you talking about?" I managed to get out as I drove the knife deeper into his stomach.
Just then, Aeris yelped loud enough to make my ears twitch in discomfort. I turned to see what had happened, and what I found made my heart sink farther into the ground.
Who I'm guessing were the drivers of the van, two men who were even bigger and more muscular than Jessy was, where pinning Aeris to the ground, face first.
"All of us here know EXACTLY how aggressive Aeris is, so we had a back up plan just in case she got a little loose." He spat at me, blood trickling down his nose. "I'm not sure why she decided to play nice today, but it makes it easier for us."
"It's over little man, let me go now and I'll make sure you're left alone. Oh, and I'll forgive this little incident." He said while wiggling his finger towards the knife in his stomach.
"NO, YOU CAN'T DO THIS!" I furiously yelled, trying to hold back my tears.
My legs went limp from stress, landing me on the ground with a slight splash.
"It'll be over quick, don't worry kitty." He taunted towards me.
"Any last words to your little boyfriend, Aeris?" Jessy snarled as he walked towards the van. I let him pass by untouched. There was absolutely nothing I could do without both of us getting killed.
I looked into Aeris's eyes as her head was forced up, brought to rest on a sharp knife.
"Leo, get out of Canada, start a new life. I should've told you about this a long time ago, but it's too late now." She choked with tears glistening down her pink cheek. Or was it rain? I'll never know.
"Don't worry about me Leo, everything's going to b-be alright" Her voice got lighter and lighter as she spoke. "Just remember I'll always be in your heart, and I love you..."
She loves me? She loves me, and she's going to be killed right in front of me. She's...She's GOING TO BE KILLED RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME.
"If you're done, then good bye, Aries Cole."
"NO, WAIT DON'T DO IT!" I cried out in anger and emotional distress.
"Finish her, leave the body to the poor boy." He said, walking away without looking back.
"Thanks for everything you did, Le-" Aeris stopped mid-sentence and started coughing violently.
"NO!" I exclaimed as loudly as I could, using every ounce of breath I had.
"Let's go hurry up!" Jessy yelled.
The two drivers let Aeris's body hit the ground, and all the thugs piled into the van.
"AERIS! NO!" I yelled loudly once more as I ran up to her. The van was already off in the distance, I couldn't get the license plate number in time.
Picking up Aeris, I yelled and screamed into her body, pleading for her to get up and say this was just a sick prank. The only thing Aeris did was dart her eyes wildly around as she coughed and spurted blood out of her mouth and nose, along with her rapid breaths.
"Aeris... please...no" My grip loosened as Aeris's actions slowed down to a stop. I eventually dropped her on the concrete and started to cry on her bloody chest, the rain still pouring down as hard as it could.
"Those fucking BASTARDS!" I got up from Aeris's bed and stormed out of her room.
"They made a mistake keeping me alive for all of these years. It'll bite them in the ass." I yelled out to myself.
Quickly, I ran into my room and got dressed in dark brown khakis, a brown duster that Aeris had given me when we went to Comic-con, and an old 1800's era sheriff hat that went with the costume.
Afterwards, I ran towards the kitchen and opened the bottom left drawer to reveal a S&W 460 V Revolver with accompanying rounds and slipped it into the inside pocket of my duster.
I chuckled and began to walk out of my apartment door, adjusting my hat along the way.
"Should've killed me while you had the chance, Jess." I said with a toothy grin.