In case you missed Part 1 of this short story, read it here:
Otherwise, here is how the story ends ;).
Tentatively I lifted up my left leg.
The tightness of my pencil skirt ruined my intention.
I laughed at the ridiculousness of the situation.
I didn’t really mean it.
I must not have meant it otherwise I would have already done it.
So what other choice did I have then to keep going?
Once I put my leg back down, I put the skirt back in place and straightened up.
My eyes searched for the stairway which I knew had to be somewhere around here. Once I found it, my body walked towards it willingly, without flinching even once while my mind screamed in protest.
I took each step one at a time, carefully balancing every single one on my high heels.
Tak. Tak. Tak.
It sounded throughout the fourth level of the garage.
I didn’t like the noise.
I felt as if it drew attention to me and I didn’t like to draw unwanted attention.
When I saw the signs for an elevator, I followed it almost immediately.
While walking by the first row of cars I got a good look at the rest of the garage. It was not even full. In fact, half of the spaces were still empty.
Why do I keep going? Why don’t I stop?
Because I had long ago admitted to myself that I hadn’t wanted to. Not really. Deep down I wanted to experience the excruciating pain of moving on.
The elevators were now to my right. I tugged my purse even tighter underneath my shoulder and proceeded.
My fingers were shivering lightly when I pushed the button that would lead me further towards my final destination. While waiting for the elevator, I watched the hand of my wristwatch progressing.
One second went by. Then another.
A total of forty-six seconds until I heard the bling of the elevator arriving. The doors opened up and I lifted my head. I froze and my heart started racing.
The man that stood inside the elevator only looked at me for a second before lowering his gaze. He too wore business clothing.
Like the leather couch in her room. I inhaled the thin air that engulfed us.
When the bling resounded for the second time, the doors closed.
Though before they closed completely, he lifted his head and I was staring straight into his emerald eyes. Eyes so similar to hers. I swallowed down the spit in my mouth and when I heard another bling after he seemingly pushed a button, the doors opened again.
It was then that I accepted my fate and stepped inside.
I breathed hard. I felt close to fainting but I knew I couldn’t escape, otherwise I would have done it a long time ago.
The bling resounded for the last time before the doors closed. With every passing second the elevator felt more and more like a cave to me.
At one point, I had the illusion that it pushed in on us, trapped us. I gasped and pushed one hand onto the ice cold metal wall.
“You can’t.” I heard his familiar voice say.
“What?” I barely whispered.
“You can’t escape.” Tears burnt like chili paste behind my eyes but I couldn’t let them flow. I wouldn’t.
“You never could,” he added. “Not now. Not ever anymore. Just like she couldn’t.”
My head felt like it was going to burst. Like a machine that had gotten out of control and cold sweat started running down my spine.
“I didn’t know.”
“You knew. People always do.” He turned towards me but I avoided his gaze. I just had to. “They just pretend not to.”
“You can’t…can’t say that.”
“And why is that?”
“I…I loved her too.”
I still didn’t lift my gaze. “I…I do.”
He let out a desperate laugh, so hollow that it cut my soul in half. “And what does that count for now?”
‘Nothing,’ I thought but didn’t say anything.
Suddenly he lifted his hand. The hand came closer and closer. When he lifted his other hand, I knew what he intended. But I didn’t fight anymore.
He let out another one of those soulless laughters. “You wish. That would be too easy of a way to go for someone like you.”
I didn’t lift my hand to brush away one single tear that made its way down my face. My breathing had long changed from normal to barely there. It almost sounded like I was hyperventilating.
“Love is something that only shows itself in actions. Words are meaningless to love. The same way you had been too meaningless to save her.”
“I…I didn’t know.” I barely stumbled out loud.
“People always know. They just pretend not to.” He said it in a trance like state when his hands finally reached my throat. He started to strangle me.
Maybe things would have been different when the bird hadn’t pooped on me and I had been on time.
But the thing is, it didn’t matter anymore.
Somehow – now – with his hands so tightly around my throat, for the first time in months, I felt relief.
I finally felt resurrected. That someone like me could be saved.
And when I gave up my inner struggle with every further breath I was still able to draw, I accepted it.
And accepting, I drew my last breath.