[I don’t normally put trigger warnings but this is all I can think about lately so if fictional stories about mass shootings are triggering, please don’t read this.]
“Put it down,” Sara whispered. She was calm. Something about her voice made the rest of us calm, too. There was silence, for a moment, before the girl next to me hitched a sob and broke the stillness.
“Look, I don’t know what’s going through your head, but you’re just going to end up dead. Or are you willing to face a lifetime in prison?”
“You’re right. I’m not going to prison,” he smirked.
I don’t know what Sara had meant to do. But from his eyes, I knew she wasn’t going to survive. Before the others could realize what was happening, I grabbed the girl next to me and started bolting for the exit. Sara threw a stapler as soon as she saw we were trying to make a break for it. We heard screaming, and I felt shoes fly past my head as we made it to the exit. Distractions. I could feel my heart beat through my ears. Flames licked through my veins. Bullet hits ricocheted off the walls. I don’t know how many he got.
I pushed the girl ahead of me and waited by the door as the others rushed by, knowing I should just keep running, but knowing if I stayed I could catch one last glimpse of her. There would be no time to save her if she was shot. There would be no time to help her at all, even if she wasn’t – if I came back there would be two deaths instead of one, one more notch in his twisted, fucked up belt. If Sara was still alive, she must have been behind the desk.
His gun had gotten stuck or something and it delayed him for a moment. I ran.