It took him sixty-one seconds to die. I counted.
The beach was only a walk away from there, and the sun was beating down on our heads and our hats. We hid under the trees and laughed. We were in love, if that's what love meant. We hugged each other, as we walked down the burning pavement in loud flip-flops and ripped shorts.
We were so close. I didn't know that that would be the last time I'd ever see him alive.
I was nervous when I told him, that if we were really in love, we would be together forever. He giggled softly, and told me forever was a long time. I knew that of course. It was too good to be true, I thought. He told me not to think about forever, and we sat on the park bench, overlooking the beach. I leaned my head on his shoulder and I felt his smile light up above me, and I smiled too and closed my eyes. Everything was perfect, that moment there, it felt like forever, a good kind of forever.
We didn't notice the shouting. We were too in love.
Love can do that. Love is blinding, it's distracting. We stood up, for that split second when we saw the people running and things did become loud. Louder, and louder, but we didn't feel scared, we were too confused. I didn't see it, I only turned around in time to shout his name. I couldn't explain the emptiness in his eyes when it happened, the confusion and horror that made up his face. He fell backwards and I caught him in time, but it didn't help him.
He was in pain, I had no way of helping him. It was horrible.
The red gushed out of his chest, I could see it, and I was afraid. I was horrified. Where was our forever? There was something silver, glinting and gleaming deep within his chest; where the bullet had hit him. It was stained with red and purple. I didn't know what to do. He breathed heavily, and I tried to comfort him, and I started counting in my head.
He was barely breathing now. I didn't know what to do.
The people did not care for me, they rushed past me and ran away, and the moment died away as they ran, the sun set lower and lower. It happened very quickly. I held him to my heart, I told him not to leave me. Not to go. That we truly were in love, and that I didn't know how things could've gotten so, so wrong. I was not ashamed of screaming. He didn't mind. He said he loved me, I loved him. It had gone a deep gray, a dark black, it had turned to nothingness.
How would my life continue? How would I continue?
He said nothing else. He just smiled, and he closed his eyes and leaned back. The red stained my shirt, and I didn't care. He didn't answer me. He was gone. I screamed and I stopped counting in my head.
It took him sixty-one seconds to die.
This wasn't what we meant by