Do it, please.
Ingrained in his memory like a tattoo were those three words. No matter how hard Marcus tried to forget the past, those words kept resurfacing. Questions plagued him ever since that dreadful day he went to friend’s house. Even worse, his heart ached at the answers he received.
A shiver went down his spine. In spite of the suffocating heat, he closed the bedroom window. The tree leaves caught his attention. They danced in the breeze from side to side almost mockingly. Even a part of nature had the power to remind him of the day his world came crashing down, crushing him with its weight.
Stepping out for the first time in nearly a month, Marcus realized he missed the outdoors. His eyes immediately fixed upon a patch of grass near the oak tree. To an average person, the slight discrepancy in the grass was unnoticeable. However, Marcus—of all people—noticed the difference. After all, he disturbed the tiny area.
Like Marcus had three weeks before, he knelt down and dug. Dirt and grass coated his fingernails when he finished. That was the least of his worries. Inside the hole, a few feet in the ground, was an unloaded gun.
The phone call made him drop the gaming controller and bolt outside. After driving eight miles, he parked his dad’s truck on her driveway. Normally Megan came out to greet him.
She hadn’t locked the front door, giving him an open invitation to step inside.
“Meg?” he called out. “Where are you?”
The house remained silent for so long that Marcus had a sinking feeling in his stomach. Just as he was about to turn around to go back the way he came from, she finally spoke.
Taking the steps two at a time, Marcus reached her bedroom in record timing.
Once again, he didn’t knock.
“Hey, are you OK?”
Megan shook her head. She bowed her head as if to collect her thoughts. “Mark, I want you to do something for me.”
Crossing the room in two quick strides, he stood within arm’s reach of his best friend.
Her right arm twitched. Until now, Marcus hadn’t noticed her hands were behind her back. He stepped forward with his arms stretched out like he wanted to embrace her.
Swiftly, she brandished the object from behind her.
He froze in place. “Why are you holding a gun?” He hated that his voice seemed to have gone up an octave.
“It’s my dad’s.” She offered a slight smile, which looked more like a smirk. “He’s a gun enthusiast.”
“Right. You told me that once. But you haven’t answered my question. I asked why you have a gun, not who it belongs to or where you got it from.”
“My dad doesn’t know.”
His eyebrows knitted together. “Doesn’t know what?”
“Many things.” She tossed the gun in the air as if testing its weight. “That I stole the gun from his cabinet downstairs. That I hate him. That I want to die.”
For once, Marcus was rendered speechless.
“It’s okay Mark.” Meg lowered her head, her brown hair falling to cover part of her face. “I only want you to help me.”
She raised her left arm, brushing his cheek with a finger. “I’ll miss looking into your green eyes.” Meg extended her right arm, the one holding the gun. “Do it. Help kill me.”
Mark shook his head. “Are you crazy? I’m not going to kill you, Meg. This is stupid.”
She closed her eyes. “If you’re my friend, you would do this. For me.”
He snorted. “Some friend you are. Do you want to send me to prison for—”
“No one will find out,” she interjected, opening her eyes. “Tell the police I killed myself.”
“Then why don’t you?” He nearly screamed the last word.
Judging by her reaction, Marcus realized he hit a nerve.
“I’m too scared,” she muttered. “I’m a coward. I’ve been waiting for six years to find the courage to end my life. To kill myself. But I’ve never been able to.”
Meg fell to her knees, just as the tears started trickling down her face. “Do it. Put me out of my misery.”
He knelt down, grabbing her free hand and squeezing it. “Meg, you can get help. Things will get better, I promise.”
Before he could blink, she pointed the muzzle of the gun at his forehead. “If you don’t kill me, I’ll kill you. And then I’ll kill myself.” Pausing, she added, “I have nothing to lose.”
Biting down on his bottom lip, he drew blood. “You wouldn’t do it. You wouldn’t kill me. I’m your best friend.” Marcus desperately wanted to believe his own words even though they sounded forced.
“Try me.” There were no more tears in her eyes. The tears were replaced by a cold, blank emptiness. He felt like he was staring into a black abyss.
“I’m going to count to five. If you don’t take the gun out of my hand, point it at me, and press the trigger before I finish, I’ll pull the trigger.”
His whole body trembled at the thought of taking somebody’s life. Worse, this somebody wasn’t a stranger but his best friend.
“I love you.”
He grabbed the gun out of her hand, pointed it at Meg’s head, and slowly stood up.
She remained on the ground, kneeling in front of him.
His arm visibly shook. “Do you have any final words?”
Her dark eyes met his. “Do it, please.”
He pressed the trigger. The shot vibrated against the walls of her bedroom. Marcus couldn’t bear to watch the life leave Meg’s body. Marcus turned to face the wall and pointed the pistol at himself. Without hesitating, he pressed the trigger again. But this time nothing happened. He dismantled the gun and found she had only loaded it with one bullet.