School of Redemption
Laverna cupped her head in her hands. Mictian sat quietly beside her. They hadn’t dared move from the bench as they waited for the police to arrive. The joy they had felt just a few minutes ago had vanished in the blink of an eye. Much like the previous day, her nerves were on end, and she felt scared. This time, however, she also felt burned out and angry. Things had happened too quickly, and she just wanted it to be over with. As the sound of police sirens came into earshot, Laverna let out a long, aggravated sigh and stood up. Mictian looked up at her with concern.
“You alright?” he asked, leg bouncing up and down. He seemed to be scared as well, but it seemed he didn’t quite share the same anger that Laverna had.
“I’m fine,” she scowled. “I’ve just…I’ve had enough of this!”
Suddenly, pounding footsteps approached them. The police sirens were still a way’s away, so it was unlikely it was them. Mictian bolted to his feet, and they pointed their flashlights in the direction of the noise. Muscles tense, Laverna prepared herself for anything as the footsteps got ever closer.
“Help!” The person running towards them yelled. A couple seconds later, they could clearly see Asami sprinting towards them dripping scarlet. Laverna’s mind flashed back to the night before. She could hear Mictian’s breaths become rapid as he remembered the same thing. She was about to bolt again, but something stopped her. Asami seemed… almost scared. Her eyes were wide, and she was gasping for breath even as she rapidly approached them.
“Stop!” Laverna yelled, and Asami slowed down slightly, looking behind her.
“You have to help me!” she managed, placing her hand on her arm. She was now close enough for Laverna to be able to make her out a little more clearly. Her hand covered a large gash along the upper part of her arm. Red dripped down to her elbow and soaked into her shirt. It was a wonder she hadn’t passed out from blood loss yet. Asami finally came to a stop a few feet away and bent over, struggling to stay on her feet.
“It was her,” Asami gasped. “She jumped me.” She staggered, but Laverna was able to catch her before she fell.
“Who?” she asked. “Who was it?” Her voice shook, either from fear or from the amount of adrenaline running through her veins. She couldn’t be sure. Asami only smiled in response to her question.
“I guess it’s only fitting,” she chuckled, then her body went limp. Laverna struggled to support her weight, so Mictian came over and helped lay her on the ground.
“Put pressure on the wound,” she commanded, standing up. The police were close enough that they could see the lights flashing blue and red. She took off in their direction, holding her flashlight high so that they could see her coming. As she approached, the cars screeched to a stop. A cop got out of the car and pulled his gun on her. She stopped dead in her tracks.
“Stop!” he yelled. “Hands up!” It was only at this moment that Laverna realized how sticky she felt. Looking down at her clothes, she saw a large red stain spread across her t-shirt. Not wanting to do anything reckless, she threw her hands up to the sky.
“Please help!” she yelled back, still holding her hands up. “There’s someone injured back there!” More cops cautiously got out of their cars. Laverna could only watch as several of them sprinted towards the small light still given off by Mictian’s phone. As she turned to look back at the blue and red lights, she thought she could make out a quick flash of silver in the distance, barely illuminated by the cars.
Laverna and Mictian sat in a room in the campus police station. The room was made out of white cinderblocks and had a giant one-way mirror on one wall. It reminded her of a television show she had seen once. The two had been in rooms similar to this one a few times, but only for when they had gotten caught stealing or trespassing in the past. Mictian sat next to her snoring softly. He was leaned over, and he had his arms crossed on the table cushioning his head. Laverna didn’t blame him for sleeping. It had been an exhausting day for more reasons than one, and she wanted to check out like he had. Unfortunately, she had too much on her mind. Before she had time to mull it over much, the door to the room opened. A cop walked into the room carrying two cups of coffee. She set the cups down, one in front of Laverna and one in front of Mictian. He sat up, rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
“I just want to let you know that you aren’t in any sort of trouble,” the cop said, taking a seat across from them. “We just want to understand what happened.”
“We don’t know anything,” Mictian replied instinctively. It was their usual routine, and Laverna would have been all aboard in normal circumstances. In this case, though, she was done with everything. She just wanted it over.
“We do know some stuff…” she started. Mictian looked at her and nudged her leg with his foot as if to ask ‘What are you doing?’ She ignored his prompt.
“If you’ll tell me, please continue.” Laverna took a deep, breath.
“And that’s when we saw Asami,” Laverna explained. She had relayed everything she had experienced in full truth. “She was already cut up pretty badly, so I ran over to get your attention. You should know the rest.” The cop nodded. She had been taking notes in a notepad the whole time, but she stopped to look up as Laverna finished speaking.
“Either you two are the unluckiest people I’ve ever met, or something else is going on here,” she said.
“I’ve never been one for casinos,” Mictian joked. Now that the police knew everything, the two felt a small sense of relief. There was no pressure to find the killer themselves. There was no more burden. Laverna closed her eyes and cupped her head in her hands. It wasn’t over yet, but the end was in sight.
After their discussion, Laverna and Mictian were brought back to their dorms. It was the first time in a while that they were separated, and Laverna wasn’t sure how to feel about it. The obvious feeling was some level of disappointment or sadness, which she did feel, but she also felt a sense of release like a load had been taken off of her shoulders. Every moment something wasn’t happening, she had been focused on Mictian and how to support him. She hadn’t given herself the time to focus on her emotions and how she felt, and it had taken a toll on her.
Laverna lay on her bed staring up at the ceiling of her dark room. It was silent, save for the sound of her own breathing. Under normal circumstances, anyone would have felt relaxed, but she didn’t feel that. Instead, she felt…empty. It was almost as if she was in a daze. Maybe it was because she had suppressed her emotions for the past couple days, or maybe she had burnt herself out. Now that everything was out of her hands, she wasn’t on edge anymore. She sighed deeply. She felt she probably should take a shower or just do something, but she couldn’t bring herself to move. A bird flew by the window, chirping in alarm, but Laverna barely heard it.
Bored with the ceiling, she rolled over onto her side and stared at the door as if expecting someone to barge through any moment. The change in scenery did not change her level of emotion. Content to just lay there, she closed her eyes and let sleep take her.