I’m done, I thought to myself as I sat on my sofa. A super expensive sofa made of high quality materials that no way I could buy if I was working my job as a lawyer normally. That means no evidence forging, no blackmailing the witnesses, and no bribing the judge. That means doing an honest job as a lawyer.
A lawyer for the mobs, yeah, that was me. My job was making sure nobody from the familia get caught. I could do whatever I want as long as I could keep them outside the prison. Of course, by doing all those foul things, I got filthy rich. The Don really believed me and everybody on the familia looked up to me as I was some kind of hero.
But everything changed this afternoon. The trial that changed everything as I didn’t do anything to ensure my client’s safety. Yeah, I didn’t do those dirty deeds so some of the familia’s bigwigs had to stay behind the bars. I became a traitor, and I had to be punished.
No no, it’s not because I was careless or missed anything. I did everything on purpose. Two years as the familia’s lawyer, I twisted justice many, many times. I spent days and nights in fear. I started losing myself. I started to lose my heart. I was becoming a demon.
That night before the trial, I decided to stop. I couldn’t carry all the burden. All the tears and blood from people whose treated unfairly by me, I couldn’t carry them. I had to stop immediately. So I wasn’t thinking straight when taking this case and basically did nothing. I did not expect the aftermath of it, even though it’s clear what would happen.
The Don’s letter that was slipped under my door told me a brief message, “You’re being naughty, little boy, so you’re getting punished. I will give you a week to say goodbye to everyone you love.”
I looked at the letter on the table again, and immediately my heart started beating really fast, as if It was going to burst out. I definitely would get killed by them. Running away would not amount to anything. I was stuck and just waiting for death to come.
I remember the most used punishment method in the famila—the burial on the sea. In a week somebody from the familia would pick me up and bring me to the famous cliff near the sea, shoot me then throw me to the sea to be fish food. I never saw that happened to someone personally, but the story was told to me several times I could imagine the feeling, especially that I might experience that soon.
My head was hurting, and I felt nauseous. I wanted to do something. But if I eat anything it would come back out. I couldn’t watch any TV or film in this condition either. So then I stood and decided to ride around my car for fresh air. With my shaking hand, I opened the door of my apartment room and got out.
My car was an expensive one. It’s not one of those sport cars, but it definitely would cost an arm and a leg. With an honest salary, no way I could buy this. I entered it and immediately started the engine. That’s when I looked at the front mirror and realized that I look like a mess—I didn’t tidy my hair and I didn’t wear my suit, just a wrinkled white shirt and tie. Not to mention I haven’t shaved. I looked terrible, and thought it was perfect for this ride.
I headed towards the big bridge. It was almost evening and sky started to darken. As I passed many cars, my mind was blank. I couldn’t enjoy the ride at all. My head was full, but at the same time it was empty. I drove so recklessly I kept hearing horn noises directed at me. At the peak of my frustration, my vision went black. The moment my consciousness came back, I could see a young girl in front of my car—if I was late just for a second, I would smash her into pieces. I hit the brake and turned left, right into the lake.
As I regained my focus, I could see the situation was not good—the water was already around my chest when I realized I was heading towards the bottom of the lake. It was a deep lake, and while I’m not exactly a good swimmer, reaching the surface wouldn’t be a hard task. But as the water kept rising, a thought flashes into my mind.
What if I just stay here and give up?
It didn’t matter if I die here or later on the sea. Nothing much would change, in fact I just accelerated things and made everything easier.
So I did nothing. I just sat there as the water submerged the interior of my car. I did not hold my breath at all. I could feel the stinging water entering through my mouth and nostrils. Bubbles coming out slowly and I saw them disappeared. Soon, I will be gone from this world, and—
Suddenly a knock could be heard from beside me. A figure could be seen outside, knocking my window. I couldn’t see it clearly. It seemed like that person wanted to rescue me. Yep, he definitely wasted his time, as even I didn’t try to help myself at all.
Buzz off, as I thought to myself…
Creak, the sound of the door of my car opening. The person that tried to rescue me broke the locked car door… Was it The Incredible Hulk? Weakly, I raised my head and looked at that person.
It was a girl—a beautiful girl with long black hair. I could see her white skin clearly as she wasn’t wearing clothes, only a light blue colored bra and panties. Her red eyes looked at me with gentleness, as she realized I was still alive. Her smile was so pure and sincere, and magically it gave me hope—it gave me an urge to live.
Way too late, but in the end I started struggling. I started yearning for air. I didn’t want to die there. I was like a kid thrown into a deep pool for the first time, just panicking. The girl calmed me down as she put her hands on my shoulders. Calmly she released my safety belt and freed me from my watery grave. She grabbed my hand and started pointing up with her other hand. She looked really comfortable under the water at this depth, it was almost like seeing a mermaid. Her movements were precise, she definitely did not waste any excess energy or air. Not to mention her super strength to open my car’s door… Something smelled fishy, no pun intended.
But as I was deep into my thoughts—again, no pun intended—my lungs reminded me that I need air, immediately. By that time, I think I was pretty much drowned. I didn’t have any energy to swim back to the surface anymore, and I just floated there with an empty head and lungs full of water. The only thing that kept me awake was the girl’s warm hand, locked onto mine.
Glub glub glub…
Her kind smile gave me an additional energy. With her pulling me up, I slowly started kicking. I knew I was kicking, but without the girl’s help, I definitely won’t go up. I kept going and going until my vision went really blurry—I thought I was done for real this time. The girl unexpectedly pulled me a little bit stronger until I was right in front of her and hugged me. Then we together headed for the surface, leaving this flooded nightmare.
As I surfaced, I couldn’t feel anything. I couldn’t feel the evening sun. I wasn’t even breathing—stuck in this boundary between life and death. Again it was the girl that slapped my face several times. It started weak, then it got stronger over time.
“...-athe! …-athe, please!”
“Breathe! You have to breathe! Please!”
Suddenly my chest felt like it was hit by a train—an impact so strong that made me coughed really hard several times. Water came out, tons of it. Then finally I could breathe. It’s amazing—air never felt this good before. I took deep breaths, as deep as I could. I was enjoying the sensation of being alive.
“Ah, you’re awake?”
“Huh? I… You are…”
I woke up. My body was lying on a park bench. I could see a bit further, on the riverbank there were a crowd. Slowly I regained my memory of what just happened—my car, me almost drowned, and being saved by the girl who at that moment was squatting in front of the bench.
Slowly I raise my body and sat. My mind was still a mess, but I was pretty much conscious. It seemed after I broke the surface and managed to avoid drowning, I passed out. She probably carried me here. I glanced at her, and the girl was already fully clothed with a blue shirt with floral pattern and a darker blue skirt. Somewhere in the corner of my heart was a small bit of disappointment.
“Umm, you’re okay?”
“Ah? Ah, yes, yes. Thank you for saving me… You are a really great swimmer.”
As I mentioned that, the girl looked uncomfortable. Her mouth was half open, like she’s going to say something, but eventually didn’t. Then an uncomfortable silence ensued. I wanted to ask more about her, but it felt like she had built a wall to keep me away.
“Oh, you’re already awake!”
Another voice came from behind. It was a dark-skinned woman with a big build. She patted my back few times and said that it was a really close one. I just laughed dryly at her. Meanwhile, as if she was given a chance, the black haired girl said her goodbye and ran away in haste.
“Wait! Uh… Who is she?”
“Oh, you didn’t know? You almost hit her with your car—she wasn’t looking at the traffic lights as she was daydreaming… Luckily you managed to avoid her. Anyway, as your car was sinking, everybody that was watching was petrified except that girl! She suddenly started taking off her clothes and jumped into the river to save you. She was like a superheroine or something!”
I see, so it wasn’t only me… She’s also daydreaming. That didn’t tell me anything about her though. Frankly, I had this weird feeling about that girl… I want to know more about her. But what could I do? I didn’t even have her name.
“Wait, she dropped something,” The lady behind me pointed at something on the ground. Looks like a nametag. I immediately snatched it from the ground. It’s really a nametag, for a nurse from Barrett Medical Center. Her name was Audrey Hauck.
Without realizing it, my lips formed a grin. The name was all I need.