“Baby?” Erica screamed from the bottom of the stairs. “Are you ok up there?”
When Karen didn’t answer and Erica still hadn’t found a good reason for the muddy footprints, she raced up the stairs.
Erica reached her room in no time and stopped at the edge of her bed. She found Karen just sitting up in the same spot she left her in. Her eyes were wide and glossy. She looked frightened.
“Baby? What’s wrong?” Erica asked, kneeling onto the bed to get closer to Karen. “I saw these footprints downstairs and…I was so worried. Silly huh?”
Karen just continued to stare and held her knees to her chest. It seemed like she was in shock. Just then, Erica realized Karen had not been staring at her when she ran in. She was already looking in that direction, behind her. Before Erica could turn around, she heard her room door slam.
Erica jumped off the bed as she spun around to face her door. Standing there, dripping wet, muddy boots and a gun in her hand, was Kim. She looked like she had been crying. There was mascara running down her face. Her usually straight, but naturally curly hair was wet and stringy.
“Kim!” Erica responded quickly. “What are you doing? Are you crazy?”
Kim didn’t respond. Her hands shook as she pointed the gun at Erica and the only sound she made was her heavy breathing.
Erica took a step towards Kim and Kim took a step back.
“Kim this is ridiculous!” Erica screamed as she held her hands toward the gun.
“Ridiculous?!” Kim finally screamed in response. “This is love Erica. Life isn’t worth living if you’re not in my life. I gave you everything. I have nothing left!”
“Kim…hun…that’s not true. There’s so much more to you. Please don’t do this.” Erica pleaded.
“Why can’t you see that we belong together?” Kim spoke as she walked towards Erica. “Erica, she will never love you like I do.” Kim turned the gun towards Karen.
Erica jumped onto the bed, in front of Karen and threw her hands in front of her. “Kim…please…Karen has nothing to do with this. You and I can talk this out.”
“You’re willing to take a bullet for her? I can’t believe you! You’re crazy Erica! Your loyalty lies with the wrong woman.”
Karen’s body was shaking behind Erica’s, but it was starting to register that Erica was also in danger. She rose to her knees and wrapped her arms around Erica.
“Please Kim.” Karen spoke in a whisper. “Please, let me love her. I’m sorry she hurt you. I’m sorry for my role in this. Just don’t hurt her. If you love her…please, don’t hurt her. And if you won’t let me love her…I’m the one you should shoot.” Karen slid from behind Erica and stepped off the bed.
Silence filled the room. Erica was in shock. Karen just asked Kim to take her life in place of Erica’s. Erica would have responded, but she noticed Kim lowering the gun. When she looked into her eyes, she noticed her gaze was lowering too.
Kim’s eyes fell to the ring on Karen’s hand as the flickering candle light bounced off the diamonds.
“You asked her to marry you?” Kim asked for the first time with pain in her voice instead of anger. The tears streaming down her face confirmed her sadness.
Erica finally stood and once again, blocked Karen’s body with her own.
“Yes Kim. I did.” Erica answered.
“What does she have that I don’t?” Kim asked, finally letting the gun rest at her side.
“Kim…” Erica began. “That’s not important. Just let us help you. We’ll get you some help.”
Kim began to cry uncontrollably. “I love you Erica…I still do…I can’t believe this.” Kim’s arms were swinging as she spoke and so was the gun. “All I ever wanted to do was love you…be mine Erica…please…be mine…”
“Kim, be careful…calm down…put the gun down…let’s talk.” Erica reached for Kim’s hands.
Mr Johnson ran across the street to catch his runaway pitbull. As he picked Scrappy up off the pavement he heard the loud blast from a gun. The flash from Erica’s bedroom caught his eye and the loud scream sent him running back across the street.
ONLY FIVE MORE CHAPTERS LEFT, BEFORE Falling Out In Love ENDS…
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