Love is a promise... a souvenir, once given never forgotten, never let it disappear. John Lennon

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Slow Sacrifice

I thought it was time for a new excerpt! Here's a new one I am working on that is at the moment titled Slow Sacrifice.

Macy grunted and wiggled her hips to the beat of her favorite band on the radio, while vigorously drying her hair with a towel. She paused in front of her full length mirror, forgetting her wild mane at the sight of the full blown pimple on her chin. “Damn it! Not tonight of all nights!”

A sudden pounding on her front door startled her, she squeezed too hard, and the pimple burst. For crying out loud! Slipping into her robe and slippers, she headed toward the door to find out who dared to interfere with the first date she’d had in three years. The incessant knocking continued as she approached, grumbling all the way.

“Who is it?” she shouted, seeing no one in the peephole.

“Macy . . . sis . . . I need your help . . .”

She gasped as she flung open the door and saw her brother slumped against the wall, his face swollen and a deep gash splitting his lip.

“What happened to you?” she asked, rushing forward to help him inside. Macy grunted when all his weight fell on her shoulders. She muttered a curse as she half dragged him inside, kicking the door shut behind them.

It was no small effort to get him to the couch, but she finally did. Straightening, she let his body fall like lead onto the black suede. “What the hell is going on, Makai?” Macy asked her brother.

“I . . . need . . . help.” His words were slurred his voice weak. Seeing the blood spreading over the fabric of his shirt, she realized his injury was more serious than she’d originally believed. Anger dissipating, she fell to her knees before her beloved brother. Her hands pulled at the t-shirt until she exposed the ugly wound in his stomach. A sob escaped her as she scrambled for the phone. Hastily she punched in nine-eleven and waited for someone to pick up the phone.

“I need help!” She shouted at the bored voice.

“What’s your emergency?” The woman asked.

“My brother’s been hurt. Please! He’s dying.”

“What is your address?”

“Fourteen South Fifty-First Street, apartment number three. Please hurry!” Macy screamed her gaze traveling to her brother who lay breathing heavily on her sofa.

“What’s the nature of the injury?” The woman’s calm question broke through her tension.

“I don’t know! He’s bleeding badly. Please help.” Macy cried.
“Ma’m, you must stay calm. An ambulance is on its way. Please calm down. Stay on the phone with me until they arrive.”

A few minutes passed and Macy heard the sirens drawing closer. The flashing lights brightened behind the blinds covering her windows. “They’re here,” she cried before she slammed the phone down and ran to open her front door.

Paramedics rushed up the stairs and she shrank back against the wall as they moved toward her brother. Makai was all she had. He just had to be okay. If anything happened to him she’d be lost.

“Ma’m, I need to ask you some questions.” A short stocky police officer stood in front of her, watching her expectantly. Macy nodded, allowing her gaze to flicker back to her brother.

“Did you see who assaulted him?”

She took a deep breath. “No. He just showed up at my door like this.” Her hand swept out, motioning toward her increasingly lifeless brother.

“How do you know this man?” The officer asked in a calm, reassuring voice.

“He’s my brother,” she whispered.

“Does he have any enemies?”

Macy met the officer’s gaze. “None. Makai is the nicest person I know. There is no one who’d want to hurt him.” The words hung in the air as a low moan escaped her brother when the paramedics lifted him onto the gurney. The officer patted her hand, his unspoken words cutting deep. Someone had hurt her brother. But why?

“When was the last time you saw him?”

“Two days ago.” Macy answered absently.

“And he didn’t say anything. Tell you about any problems? Any arguments?”

“No. Nothing.”

The paramedics wheeled Makai to the door. Macy moved toward him, grasping his hand when she reached his side.

“Macy . . . I . . . love. . . you.” Macy swallowed her tears. She could tell it was hard for him to speak.

“I love you too. Makai. You’re going to be okay. Do you hear me? You’re going to be okay.” Macy said adamantly, squeezing his hand.

“Devon . . . Kelley,” Makai gasped for a breath of air. His eyes drifted closed and his breathing slowed so much that Macy thought perhaps he wasn’t breathing at all anymore. A sob tore from her chest.

“Makai!” she screamed, but he was gone. The paramedics had wheeled him past her and rushed out the door. The silence hurt her ears as she waited for the wail of the siren she knew would soon come.

“Ma’m, can I do anything for you? Take you to the hospital?”

“Thank you, no. I have a car.” Macy said quietly.

“Can I have a number where you can be reached if I have any further questions?”

“Five, six, one, eight, four, one, nine.” Macy said wanting only for him to leave.

“Okay, thank you. I’m sorry Ma’m, I hope your brother will recover.”

Macy nodded. “Thanks.” She said absently as he made his way out the door.

* * * *
A cold rain fell as the mourners gathered for the graveside service. Macy was grateful for the dismal weather—it hid her tears. Only one person had seen her cry since her parents had abandoned her twelve years ago and that was Makai. The thought of her parents made her cringe. She wondered if she should try to find them, tell them of her brother’s passing. Would they care? She doubted it. They left her on her brother’s doorstep as soon as he was old enough to be on his own and never looked back. Only the yearly Christmas and Birthday card she tossed in the trash unopened reminded her that they were still alive. Suddenly, she fiercely wished it was her parents being lowered into the ground—not her precious Makai.

Macy looked around at the crowd of people. She hadn’t known that Makai had been acquainted with so many people. The unfamiliar faces disconcerted her, never before had she felt more unsafe. Allowing her eyes to rest on the faces of each of the mourners, she searched for some sign of guilt—but she saw none.

The minister finished the ceremony and invited the mourners to step forward and place a rose on Makai’s coffin. Macy’s hand tightened on the stem of the red rose she held. Another tear rolled down her cheek as she noticed that she was the only one there with a red rose. Everyone else held a bright white version of the flower. The minister had told her it was traditional for the family to have a different color rose, but for Macy it was only a reminder that she was now pitifully alone.

Macy stepped forward and lovingly placed the flower on the casket. Raising her hand to her mouth, she pressed a kiss to the tip of her fingers and then lowered them to the smooth surface that contained her brother’s body. “How will I live without you, Makai?” She whispered.

Macy felt the world begin to spin and her legs go weak. Her breathing became labored and she felt as if the earth had opened her up and was prepared to swallow her whole. Within seconds, her brother’s best friend, Rusty, was at her side. “It’s okay, Macy. Lean on me for support.” Rusty slipped an arm around her and she leaned into him, praying that he’d hold her up if she fell. In a daze, she stood there, tucked against his side, watching the other mourners say their last goodbye’s through eyes blurred with tears.

When it was over, Rusty led her to the limousine that waited to carry her back to her apartment where a small gathering would take place to celebrate Makai’s life.

“Do you want to ride alone?” Rusty asked once she was safely ensconsed in the dry warmth of the limo.

Macy met his warm whiskey colored eyes. He pushed thick hair, the color of the finest dark chocolate, away from his eyes. A sad smile turned up the corners of his lips. “You shouldn’t be alone—Makai wouldn’t want you to be alone.”

Macy swallowed the lump in her throat and nodded. “Thanks, Rusty.”

Staring out the window, watching the dismal scenery pass her by, a fierce anger overtook her sorrow. The only person in the world she trusted was gone and it pissed her off. Somehow she would find a way to avenge her brother death. Devon Kelley would pay for what he had done. The officer that had responded to her call had heard Makai gasp the man’s name. Surely he would help her. Tomorrow she was going to the police station to find out what she could about the spawn of Satan that had killed her brother.

“Macy, I know it won’t be easy, but you will get through this. I will be there for you no matter what. I know I can’t replace Makai, but I will be here for you, just like he was.”

“No one can even come close to Makai. He was my rock!” Macy choked on the last word.

“You think I don’t know that? I was his best friend for a lot of years. He wouldn’t want you to be sad, or angry, or bitter. He’d want you to go on and be happy.”

Macy snorted, “I know what Makai would want. I will make sure that he didn’t die in vain.”

“What do you mean?” Rusty asked gently.

The car pulled up in front of her apartment and Macy was spared having to answer Rusty’s question. Without waiting for the driver to open the door, she pulled the handle and stepped out onto the sidewalk. Friends were immediately at her side, wrapping their arms around her waist and leading her up to her apartment. The well-meant chatter momentarily took her mind off her grief and she was grateful for it.

Do not Judge me until you've walked a mile in my shoes