Shannon rushed in. His heart stopped at the scene, his head spun. He stood frozen in the doorway, unable to get himself working, unable to think of something to do.
“Shannon please come here!” Hannah cried out to him.
Jared was cradled in Hannah’s arms, his eyes struggling to remain open. How long he had been there was a guess but from what they could see it had definitely been awhile. The knife was laying stranded on the ground and Jared’s wrists were gashed open. Hannah pressed her hand tightly against the wounds, blood seeped between her fingers. Gently she cupped his paling face as tears flooded from her eyes.
“Jared you said it was going to be okay…you said it could be forgotten.” She whispered, her words pained, her tears heavy and slipping off her face.
His eyes fluttered and for a moment Hannah felt hope fill her but he remained still and unconscious.
“Move out of the way!” Shannon ordered, pushing into the room and taking Jared from her. “Call the ambulance.”
Hannah looked down at Jared, his pale face fading away. His wrists were still bleeding. His life was slipping. Everything inside of her dropped. The weight of the world emptied onto her shoulders. Pain coursed through her, ripping inside of her. She wanted to die with him, wanted to fall numb beside him and make everything else just disappear. Guilt was all she could feel, the darkness of it tearing her apart.
“Hannah call the ambulance!” Shannon shouted as he removed his coat and shirt and went about wrapping Jared’s wrists.
She nodded hurriedly. Her panic piercing through her, hurting her and every fallen piece of her heart.
“What’s happening?” Emma called out as she came to the doorway.
Hannah stopped in front of her, her eyes full of tears and her hands shaking. Emma stared into the studio, her heart breaking at the sight. She looked back to Hannah, her brows knitting together as realization came full circle.
“He did that to himself?” She questioned although she knew that answer.
“Hannah the ambulance!” Shannon yelled, not able to hear anything else over the heavy heave of his breath. Jared’s face was becoming cold, his body was trembling but there was still a pulse and Shannon was hoping that meant something.
Hannah pushed past Emma out into the living room. Emma came left the doorway and made her way after her.
“You did this!” She called out once she found Hannah looking for the phone in the kitchen after the search of the living room turned up nothing.
“Where’s the phone?” She wrung her hands, her eyes blurring with the tears glazing over them.
“You did this to him!” Again Emma called out, the anger in her voice thick and tears falling from her own eyes.
Hannah didn’t bother to answer Emma’s yells. She tried to move past her back into the living room. She thought of rushing up the stairs where she kept her cell phone but she was stopped. Something heavy struck the side of her head causing her to fall back, her mind disappearing into tiny fragments. She let out a dry scream as another blow fell on her head, crashing down on her back as well. Emma tried to move for her, trying to catch a hold of her but Hannah managed to scramble away. She clawed her way towards the studio. Her body was on fire, the blur in her head making it unbearable to even think. She could feel the warmth of blood dripping down the side of her head, clotting in her hair. Her hands trembled as she pulled herself across the floor. She could hear Emma’s footsteps but she made it to the studio before she got to her.
“Help me Shannon!” She cried out, her eyes incoherent.
Shannon looked up from Jared’s body and his eyes widened in horror at what he saw. Hannah was trying her hardest to crawl towards him, her hair bloodied, a gash open on the side of her head. Her face was scarred with panic, tears staining her skin. He set Jared down and made his way to Hannah with careful steps.
“Shannon let her go!” Emma cried walking towards the doorway. Blood had splattered up on her shirt and smeared on her arms. Her eyes were wild with a million different emotions as she looked to him.
“What the hell is going on?!” He demanded, anger mixed with panic.
“I’ll call the ambulance! You…you finish her!”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“This was all her and you know it! Everything that’s happened is because of her! We can end this now if you just help!”
Shannon shook his head and made to reach down for her but Emma grabbed a hold of his arm.
“Please Shannon, if she tells someone, if this gets out….everything, including Jared, will be ruined. You know that.” Emma’s eyes had softened, they pleaded with him. She needed him, somebody needed him.
“I can’t….Em, I can’t.” He shook his head.
Hannah had reached Shannon, her weak hands trying to grasp onto the pants he was wearing.
“Shannon please…and then we will call the ambulance. Everything will be okay if you just end this. Please.” Tears fell from her eyes. “If you don’t everything is over. We’ll lose it all. We can’t let that happen because of her! She’s already done enough.”
Shannon looked down at Hannah, her fading eyes meeting his with a plea. She was dying, her body shook as more blood poured from her wound. He looked back up at Emma, taking in a haggard breath and nodded. She seemed to sigh with relief as she stepped out of his way. He disappeared for a moment and Emma knelt down beside Hannah. She flinched away with a struggled cry.
“You can’t do anything anymore. You’ve torn us all apart long enough.” Emma whispered into her ear, a smile gracing the corners of her lips.
Jared’s eyes fluttered open, a pain striking through him as his surroundings came to light. He let out a moan and tried to sit up but a numb crawled through him, paralyzing him where he laid near the vocal booth. He saw the leather of boots as they entered the studio again, the sound of them echoing in his nearly unconscious mind. He knew it was Shannon from the deep voice that spoke. He couldn’t make out what anyone was saying and who the softer voice belonged to.
“Hannah?...” He whispered, his voice hoarse and barely audible.
Shannon had come in with a knife, his eyes glazed over monotonously. He glanced to Emma who stood by, her heart clenching in her chest.
“Jared!” Hannah managed to scream despite the tightness in her throat once she saw the glint of the knife that Shannon held. She tried to crawl towards Jared but the pain slowed her down, made her weaker than she had ever been. It tied up in the pit of her entire being, shutting down everything but the desperate will to just live.
“Get her away from him!” Emma ordered.
Shannon reached down and easily took hold of Hannah’s hair. He pulled her back not caring about how it worsened the pain she was feeling. He dragged her away from Jared, laying her on the ground next to Emma. Shannon hesitated, trying so hard to shut down every part of himself that held a conscience. He gripped tightly onto the knife and almost too quickly dug it into her back. Hannah let out a wrenching scream, her hands shaking in front of her before they fell flat onto the ground in front of her. She gasped out, the blood warm as it pooled beneath her. So much warmth brought such cold as it froze her veins. It tore out her breath, her strength disappearing, ripping her apart. She managed a look up into Shannon’s glazed eyes before her head dropped and her heart stopped.
Emma moved to Shannon’s side as they both looked down at Hannah. She laid there as if frozen. As fragile as she had always been. Her beauty hadn’t diminished even with the violence that had taken her life. Shannon looked to Emma as tears pearled on his lashes. She silently touched her hand to his back and let out a long held breath.
“We have to get rid of her.” Shannon whispered, his voice blunt and bland.
Emma nodded, moving away from him, taking the knife from his hand as she did.
Jared laid there, immobile, paralyzed and in ripping pain. It echoed through him, leaving him without peace. He couldn’t see anything except the dimming lights, or was that the dimming of his gaze? He heard Hannah scream out his name but he couldn’t move to stop her. He knew what he had done to himself, what had paralyzed him there and he wished he could just take it back. He wished that he could open his eyes, pretend it had never happened and make everything right again.
Why had Hannah screamed? Why couldn’t he help her?
His mind went dark, words left him. The will to think disappeared and all he felt was a thick darkness that ate him up and left him with nothingness. He was silent again, bleeding out every ounce of pain he had carried. Life left him, silence left him. He was numb, he was gone. He didn’t want to live, he just wanted to let go. But why the hell had Hannah screamed?