* * *
The first time I watched Adam die, I thought my world had ended. Intellectually, I knew this wasn’t his end, but seeing his body on the floor of the convenience store in a rapidly expanding pool of blood really threw me for a loop. This time… This time his remains were no more discernable than the rest of his crew. I’ve tried to kill him so many times.
The number and ways were so varied. But each time, he managed to kill himself before I could. I could hear the sirens in the distance. Before too long, the police would be here. I couldn’t explain my presence in terms they’d understand. I took the gleaming sphere out of my handbag. I marveled briefly at its compact design. People gathered to help the survivors. I had only moments to act…
I gripped the sphere; I could see my reflection before a tear splashed on the metal. I leaned over and picked up a metal shard from the rubble. I took a deep breath and ran the shard across my throat. A fountain of blood ensued and I almost dropped the sphere. I felt brief jubilation. Then I felt nothing.
* * *
“Adam, I think I’m pregnant.”
He put down the knife next to the cutting board. “That’s wonderful, sweets.”
“We’ve been hiding our relationship from everybody,” he said. Adam walked around the island and took my hand. “This isn’t something we can hide.”
“Yeah, but we’ve both worked so hard to get to where we are,” I replied. “We neglected to advise them of our relationship. They’ll transfer one of us. I don’t want either of our careers to suffer a setback.” I squeezed his hand. “I’ll see a doctor the day after tomorrow.”
“You don’t mean…”
I interrupted. “We’re both young. We could try again in a few years.”
He looked into my eyes. I suspect he wanted to plead his case. We weren’t married, not that a marriage would’ve given him any rights over my body. In the end, he went back to chopping vegetables. He wiped his eyes a few times. He claimed it was from the onions, but I knew otherwise.
* * *
I watched the crew for a few days. I knew when the robbery would take place. I knew the ending to it as well. I had hoped I could get to him before it went down. I stayed in the bank for as long as I could before attracting attention. The security guard’s eyes seemed to find me in the crowd no matter how I tried to blend in.
I started spending time in the coffee shop across the street. I had a clear vantage point of the sight lines. I had trained for years in the art of surveillance. That was always a boring task, but I’d hoped since I was waiting for Adam, it would be different.
I drank too much coffee. It seemed everyone was keeping an eye on me. I drank cup after cup. The coffee was past cold when the barista would start staring at me. I’d order another cup and pretend to enjoy it. Little did she know I was anything but.
I came out of the coffee shop’s bathroom as the white van pulled up to the bank. I watched the man Adam became. It was in the vestibule; he was kicking some other patron and then the transformation happened. I saw Adam look at the shotgun. He felt his face and discovered the mask.
I couldn’t hear what was going on, but Adam told me this tale. I knew what was going to happen. I sat down and drank my cold coffee until the explosion.
The wall of the bank seemed to ripple before stone, rock and glass blew out all over the street. Cars lining the street instantly wore dents as if fists of glass pummeled them. I rushed across the street to see if I could find my Adam.