• When you really think about (and I mean really think about), you can come to the realization that human beings are pretty fragile things.
    Our skin is nothing more than paper mache, our hearts are like tight rubber bands, easy to snap, our bones like brittle plastic pipes.
    A person bleeds easier than you'd think.
    We're like a little kid's kindergarten project, a really ******** up looking pinata, sitting next to rows and rows of other retarded little paper people, the glue holding us together (inside and out) melting slowly as we sit in the classroom window, the sun beating down. Withering and warping our skin, making our streamer hair wilt, our buttons eyes slide slowly down our toilet paper tube faces.
    We're all falling apart, I've discovered. In some way or another, we're all falling apart at our seams, stretched and tired of trying to keep our stitches from fraying.
    There are two people in this world, I've also found:
    There is the kind of person who accepts that we're all breakable, like glass. The person who looks both ways when they cross the street, always double checks their work on math tests, the person who double knots their sneaker laces.
    I'm that person, or at least, I think I am.
    We, the cautious ones, we're the ones who live to die of natural causes. We're the ones who've never broken a bone, egged a house or fired a gun. We like to live life on the sidelines, watching carefully (even observing is done with caution), wallflowers staring at the television show that is other people's lives.
    Then there's the other kind of person, and this person is, in simple terms, an idiot.
    The daredevil who thinks they're invincible, unaware of their cardboard bodies, under the illusion that they cannot be smashed up, crumpled or torn into pieces.
    Living their lives with complete disregard for the rule of the world, full of live and a vicious sense of adventure. Excitement is in their blood, running through their veins like an electric current.
    Evangeline was one of those people, the cardboard project that thought it was something more, something beautiful and amazing and fantastic.
    The kind of teenager who thinks they can change the world, not knowing their muscles are only little crumpled pieces of tissue paper put clumsily together by a small child, so weak and feeble.
    Like a small child who thinks he can fly if he wears his Superman pajamas, sprinting off the balcony of his four story apartment building, arms flailing through the air for a brief second, suspended before beginning to fall, believing for an instant that he is truly made of steel like his hero.


    I say Evangeline was one of those people because as of this instant, Evangeline can be defined very easily as a "was", past tense.
    Holding the pistol in my hand is a strange sensation, even though I'm used to carrying a gun by now.
    In front of me, she's bleeding from a wound in her shoulder, a wound I'm responsible for, and she's bruised and beaten and practically dead. Almost a past tense, almost labeled as a "was". Her eyes are this clear, crystal blue, even now, and as I level the gun, my eyes staring into hers, I suddenly remember when I was eight, and my hippy commune mom took me to Hawaii so she could smoke pot with her boyfriend and let me loose on a strange Hawaiian beach.
    The water was this amazing blue, clearer and darker than the sky above, the gorgeous color that mesmerized me. Evangeline's eyes at their best remind me of the Hawaiian sea, rocking and rolling, waves crashing with white foam, an endless, limitless blue.
    Right now, though, her eyes are this dead color, lifeless and full of disappointment.
    I had been hoping that she'd get mad at me. I had expected her to hate me, cuss me out and punch me. But the instant my fist swung into her jaw, she stopped smiling, frowning or speaking. Silently, she let me shuffle her back and forth under my kicks and punches.
    But right now, as my finger tightens on the trigger, she smiles and shakes her head.
    "You have no idea what you're about to do, Jess. Don't do it. I'll forgive you right now if you put the gun down and walk away. You don't want to kill me."
    I shake my head too. "Zoe told me you'd say that. I can't believe you, Evie."
    "Suit yourself," she whispers, and then, she straightens. "Kill me now, then."
    Zoe sits off to the side, eyes flashing angry, a sort of yes yes yes being whispered under her breath. I hesitate. What if it is all a lie? What if I'm killing my best friend for no reason at all?
    "Do it!" Zoe yells, hoarse and furious. I think of Zoe and always think fury. It's the perfect word to describe her.
    I breathe, and squeeze the trigger.
    A blast goes off, and rocks through my arm.
    Blood explodes in Evie's stomach and chest, an amazing thing, like fireworks. I almost didn't believe she could bleed. Like school children trampling over the outcast child's project, she buckles and collapses. Proven to be breakable.
    Zoe gives a triumphant cheer, clapping me on the back, and leaning down to spit on the body at our sneaker-clad feet.
    I drop the gun.
    It's almost impossible, but she's on her feet, hair matted and dirty from being kicked about in the dust of the train tracks. We're on a tressle bridge, the kind of bridge where cargo trains come rattling across daily. The rive below us, the night sky above, but who can tell the difference?
    Evangeline coughs blood instead of saying some significant parting words, but a smile comes to her lips, so I know that they were important.
    Stumbling, she clutches her torso with one hand and pulls herself onto the railing with her other.
    Zoe turns to me.
    "Shoot her again, Jess. Now."
    I can't find it in me to bend down and pick up the gun. I'm transfixed by her eyes, alive again as she shuffles her feet and plummets backwards into the water below.
    Zoe is screaming, fury fury fury once again, and I lean over the railing to see the ringed splash below, my companion's obscenities fading into the background. Evangeline's body, in my mind, is already a rotting corpse like the ones they find on TV shows, pale and pretty, but tragically disgusting.
    Disappeared, the papers will say. Traces of blood, the police will say. Likely to have been murdered, the mothers will whisper.
    Somehow, I know that this can't be good for me.