Julia? By: Chloe Riggs

My eyes focused their attention on the waves, tracing the outline of the bodies in the water. My toes sunk further into the sand as more water rushed towards me, and instilled the hope of the sea taking me with it. 

I watched the sunset, a new layer of color slowly appearing. My mind whirled with the continuous thoughts of today’s events. It didn’t even give me a sliver of something good. Instead, it ripped the chance I had to free myself. I ripped the rug out from underneath me.

“Julia?” a delicate voice whispered in my ear, but I didn’t turn my attention towards it. She placed a gentle hand on my shoulder, but it felt more life-threatening than that, “You did good today, sis.” 

I ignored her false words of encouragement, feeling numb from the crime I committed. 

“Julia? I know you can hear me,” she continued. 

“Why?” I mumbled, so low it didn’t even sound real. 

“Why what?”

I clenched my fists, the numbness coming to an end and anger taking its place. “Why did you do this!?” I spoke up. 

She removed her hand from my shoulder to turn me to face her, but my head stayed down. “Julia, look at me.” 

When I didn’t budge, she took matters into her own hands and lifted my head up. My eyes met hers. The same blue eyes with golden specs I see every time I look in the mirror. 

We did this to take our life back,” she stated in a threatening manner, trying to hypnotize me into thinking this is a good thing. 

I didn’t give in to the temptation, instead, I yelled at her, beginning a familiar fight. “No, you did this. This is only going to make our lives worse.”

She chuckles, somehow finding my defense hilarious. “Run, Julia. If we run now, we can still have time to escape.”

“They weren’t bad,” I refer to the nearly disappeared figures in the ocean, changing the subject. Their blood mixed, creating a streak of red through the water. It made me believe that sharks would soon take care of them. It made me sick. “They were good people.”

“What did they ever do for you? For us?” She paces the beach.

“They were trying to help me!” I exclaimed, waving my arm to point to them. 

“They locked us up!” she yelled within a second of me finishing my previous sentence. “They put you in an entirely blank room and separated us. They got rid of me. Do you really want to live another life without me?” 

“Yes! I wish they wouldn’t have forgotten about my medicine.”

“Are you telling me that you wanted to stay locked up in that prison? Are you saying that you don’t enjoy freeing yourself? Did you not enjoy the feeling of taking your life back when you ended theirs? Tell me, did you not feel a thrill?”

I swallowed the lump in my throat, vivid memories of what happened beginning to flood. “No!” I finally answer. “This will only dig me deeper, not free me.”

“You truly believe that?” 

“Yes.”

“Then why did we kill them?” she points a thumb in the direction of the barely noticeable bodies. 

We didn’t; you did. and I want no part of it.”

She chuckled once more, “You really think you can go back on this now. It’s a little late, don’t you think?” she pointed down the beach, turning my attention to the group of policemen running towards us.

“Good, they can lock you up and get you out of my life for good.”

“Oh, poor Julia,” her laughing fit continued. “I’m just a figment of your imagination. Tell me, who is the one with blood on their hands?” 

My eyes dropped to my hands, noticing the blood-stained skin. I flipped my hands continuously, hoping that this was all just a nightmare. 

“Put your hands up!” a man shouts, making my head jerked up. 

There was a line of policemen, some still running to catch up, others already stationed in front of me. One particular officer, probably the one in charge, stood facing me head-on with a gun pointed in my direction. 

He repeated his previous instruction again, waiting for me to follow his orders. I put my hands up, scared of what might happen if I don’t. A cop comes behind and cuffs my hands behind my back.

“I told you to run,” I heard a mocking voice, but I couldn’t see her anywhere. 

I yelled, screamed, at the top of my lungs, trying to gain their attention, but nobody seemed to listen. Tears began to prick my eyes when I finally noticed her, a figment of my imagination,’ or at least that’s what I was told. 

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