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There is a strange sensation that creeps through you once a bullet enters your body. At first, it is simple and understandable. You feel fear, a burning sensation on entry and the pulse of pain that fills your core. However, I felt a shock through my body, almost electrical in nature. I was going to die, but what mattered was what I did in the next few minutes.
I gave myself enough credit, it was my fault I got shot. However, it was also my job to take a bullet for him. I hated that and I hated him. Even as the pain surged through me, I saw only the back of his white suit and the bottom of his formal shoes. There was no pity, no care. The only feeling he had in that moment was the selfish desire to live, while I had the foolish idea to save.
I was grateful he didn’t get far, but I was not so grateful that the shooters decided to pursue me.
With a pain grunt, I charged the door and bashed it inwards. The weight I had was enough shatter the wood, but not the lock. Luckily, destroying the area around the lock was enough. Stepping over the wooden shards, I ascended the apartment building. I heard the shouts of my pursuers. No doubt it would be better to off me as well as their target.
However, I am not one to give in so easily.
Upon reaching the second floor, I opened a window and climbed through onto the fire escape. Lifting my legs and angling myself through the window was agony, but it bought me some time. I descended the ladder, hearing the clatter of formal shoes climb the steps of the building and saw a flash of bloodied shirts pass the window.
My feet hit the ground and I began to stumble down the alley. I had planned such an escape route long before the event. After all, it was my job to protect the client and an event like this was perfect. However, the client was lost, but not the escape route. I had a chance where he didn’t, despite all I gave him.
Upon reaching a corner of the alley I turned down a darker path that led towards the street where people were running away from the scene. If I joined their mix, I would be safe. Impossible to spot and impossible to shoot with all those bodies blocking the second bullet’s path.
However, I wasn’t as lucky as I thought. The next few minutes I had left were running out. Of course, I didn’t know this. I figured at the time that my body would hold, that my blood would clot the wound, but no such thing happened.
It began with my eyes.
The light at the end of the alley grew brighter as everything blurred. The faint reds, browns and greens of the alley mingled with the shadow and soon there was a black tunnel that seemed to melt into the light as I bobbed on my feet. I made another mistake by thinking it would leave if I shook it off.
When I twisted my neck, shaking it back-and-forth, I only sent another bolt of pain through me. It was parakyzing, causing me to gasp one of my last breaths as I fell forward. There was a wetness in the darkness, I had landed in a puddle I could not see. I felt the cold drops run down my face with the same bothersome feeling of a fly crawling across the skin.
I lay there for what seemed like an hour, listening to the pounding of my ear drums until I finally blinked. The light disappeared and I was lost in this horrible darkness. I didn’t think, I didn’t feel anything.
I was in that moment, a sensory void that I had no comment on. I became truly blind, deaf and numb soon after. Anything that would happen to me from there would have no effect of my being. I was lost and all that was left was for me to slowly wake up.
Sitting up in the darkness, no longer in an alley, I was greeted with another flash of white light. A light that my hands and eyelids could not block. I heard the deafening silence, the blood in my veins. I felt the extreme heat and extreme cold ravaging my being. I went from nothing to everything, feeling the worst and best of all the senses. The agony and the ecstacy of death.
From there, I cannot say what happened. I can tell you that I was in a new world, but I wasn’t. I can tell you I went to hell, but I didn’t. I could tell you what happens after, but I won’t. I realize how pointless that would be. It would be like me describing a phase of life, because what comes after is exactly that.
There are answers to questions that have been asked since the dawn of deeper thought, but they are shallow in understanding. I leave them be as these questions, when the time comes, will be insignificant for you.
However, I can still discuss the life I led up to that moment. It was not the happiest one, but it certainly was better than most. The people I met along my way, my blood family and my closest family, my friends and my enemies. My emotions, my feelings for them are only memories, memories I choose not to forget because emotions are memories I should not forget.
These people, the ones who raised me, the ones who trained me, did so well. In the end, I could not express this to them, the appreciation I feel for there support or hindrance. However, in the last moments of life, I lacked any thoughts, not to mention thoughts of love.
The light at the end was not the welcome I expected, but it is the welcome I received as I collapsed, to be remembered for decades, but forgotten before the end of the century. Unlike most men, I truly lived.
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