Chapter 8

Written by: AzadehN

I could feel their presence. The sound of gunshots faded. It was time to finally confront them, no more hiding.

I quickly picked up the rifle and stood next to the door, listening carefully, guessing how many they were.  I was almost sure that those gunmen who had escorted me earlier that day were shot. Footsteps got closer. I heard a soft whisper behind the door and the voice was uncannily familiar. How could it be possible?

Her hands pushed the door and I nearly froze. A gust of cold wind blew as she crept into the room.

‘Asphalt Angel’ stood in front of me with a sly smile. There was no sign of the gunmen or Ralph. In her white jacket, she looked more like a  ghost than human being.

‘It has been a long time, Ned.’

I aimed my rifle at her but she put down her small revolver and sat down. She looked just a bit older since I saw her last time, about twenty years ago.

‘We don’t have much time, they are looking for you.’

‘Let’s finish the hide and seek.’

I thought to contact Ralph to find out what was going on but she stopped me.

‘We’d better head off now, if you still want to see Emily.’

I was speechless, shivering with joy and fear at the same time. I wondered if Tom knew that too.

The motel looked strangely deserted when we came out. Angel couldn’t have killed the gunmen but where were they?

Angel took the rifle and led me to her car. In a few minutes we were far away from the motel.

‘Why didn’t you tell the truth about the accident?’  I asked.

Angel kept looking at the road in silence.

‘She had to fake her death to protect you and I had to do it to protect her, can you understand? You selfish asshole!’ she shouted suddenly.

My mobile phone was vibrating in my pocket and she noticed it even before me. I looked at her before picking up the phone. Ralph was trying to call me.

‘Not now, turn it off.’

For a second I thought to grab my rifle from the back seat and run away but I badly wanted to see Emily.

‘You know I always loved you more than her but you never cared,’ she almost whispered.

‘Stop playing games, Angel.’ I was shaking with anger.

The screech of brakes smashed the silence. She pulled over and pointed at a little bar along the road.

‘We are meeting over there, let’s go,’ she said softly.

The barman and those who were playing billiards welcomed us. While Angel was talking on her phone, I looked at mine. There were ten messages from Ralph saying that he had found Emily’s body.

The last customer came in quickly before the barman closed the door. The room started to spin as Tom kissed Angel and approached me.