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Lakewood Times

“Loss: The Complete Story” Three Perspectives


Lilliey Amara

I was scared at first.  I felt myself falling, blinding light taking my vision as whatever I was leaning against fell away.  But all that fear disappeared the moment he caught me.  I couldn’t see, but I knew it was him immediately.  The shape of his arms, the torn fabric of his hoodie, the way he was just barely strong enough to hold me.  I felt his hands come over my eyes, and I opened them slowly.  His hand blocked out the sun, giving me a moment to adjust to the light.  It had been so dark in there. . .

“Lilliey? A-are you ok?”  I laughed.  I couldn’t stop myself.  The pure, unbridled joy that filled my body when I heard his voice, my husband’s gorgeous voice after all this time, it lept from my lips in the happiest giggle I think I’ve ever given.  He moved his hand away from my eyes, and I could finally see him.  He looked worried, his brow creased as he frowned.  It did nothing to hide how handsome he was.  His eyes, they gave it all away.  They glittered a light green, sparkling brighter than the sun overhead but not blindingly, no, just a gentle warmth that radiated through my entire body.  

“I’m ok, baby, I’m ok!” I let out another excited laugh, and reached up for him.  In the split second I saw his face, I watched the concern disappear into joy, letting out a little laugh himself.  Then his face disappeared behind me as I wrapped my arms around him so tightly.  He was so warm.  I didn’t want to ever let him go.  My voice trembled lightly, and I felt tears starting to well.  “I knew you’d come Alto, I knew you would come for me. . .”

As I closed my eyes, I felt him hold me tighter, his hand gripping the back of my shirt, clinging to it.  “Of course, Lilliey, I would never, I-I COULD never leave you, not like this. . . I told, I told you I’d always protect you, didn’t I?”  I gave him a soft squeeze, and repeated once more,

“I knew you’d come for me. . .”  I opened my eyes, and started to let out another relieved laugh, but it was stifled when I saw an officer, gun drawn, peek around the corner. Everything seemed to go in slow motion.  And at the moment, everything becomes clear to me.  Alto couldn’t have found me, not here, not on his own.  I didn’t even know where we were.  If he gave those people what they wanted in exchange for freeing me, then. . . Oh god.  The thought made me sick to my stomach.  I know Alto would never hurt anyone, I know he wouldn’t, not my Alto. . .

But the officer didn’t know all that.  I have no idea what my love had to do to find me, but whatever it was it couldn’t have been legal.  And now the law had come for him.  Come to take my Alto away from me. . .  again. . .

A wave of emotions washed over me as I realized what I had to do.  The wave was ice cold, and I felt myself shiver against Alto’s warmth.  I gripped him tightly, so tightly, and murmured softly to him.

“Goodbye, Alto.  I love you.”

Before he could react, I spun us around so that my back was facing where I had seen the cop.  Alto yelped, startled, but before he could ask what I was doing, the sound of a gunshot filled the alleyway and everything went black.  


Officer Foley

My back was to the wall, gun cocked.  I don’t deal with criminals like this.  I was never trained for this, this is only my third week on the job.  I give out speeding tickets, I check parking meters, trainee stuff.  Not this.  I didn’t even know why he was here.  Wasn’t he supposed to be somewhere on the East Coast?  I was sure they said something on the news about that.  Chief had given us a brief rundown, mentioned that he was armed and dangerous.  But he said not to worry about it, and said he wouldn’t get anywhere near our jurisdiction.  And yet he’s right there.  

Maybe I should just, walk away.  He hasn’t seen me.  When I took this job I promised Sharon that I’d be safe.  We joked about her breaking up with me if I left her a widow.  Death doesn’t feel so funny when your twenty feet from a terrorist.  This guy, this criminal had worked up quite the reputation over the past few months.  Blowing up buildings, destroying bridges, even taking out a military base.  And yet no one could seem to catch him.

I peeked around the corner for only a split second, and saw him holding a young woman.  He was clinging to her shirt, and I could see her tears falling to the ground.  Her dress was in tatters, and she was unnaturally thin. My heart skipped a beat. What was he doing to her?  She was clearly hurt.  Did he kidnap her?  That poor woman, the horrible things he must be doing, someone needed to help her.

And that’s when I realized; I had to stop him.  All those people he must have hurt, I can’t just walk away and do nothing.  It’s an honor to wear this badge, an honor I need to earn.  His back was to me, he’d never see it coming.  This is my chance, my chance to be worthy of my uniform.  To be a real hero.  I took a deep breath, steadied my gun arm.

I turned the corner and pulled the trigger.


Alto Amara

I flung open the rusty metal locker.  Why was this thing at the back of an alley instead of, like, a decrepit old high school?  Couldn’t tell ya.  But this is where they said she was.  They almost didn’t tell me, even after I did all their dirty work.  The thought made me shiver.  I did some. . .   Not great things, at their orders.  No one got hurt, I made sure every building and bridge and base was empty before I went in, but still.  Mucked up a lot of people’s lives, I’m sure.  And if after all that, they still didn’t tell me just because she put up a good fight, and from what they had told me, she fought HARD, when they tried to take her?   I swear, I would have-

I stumble backwards as she falls into my arms.  Crap, got caught up in my thoughts again.  I quickly look down, looking her over, making sure she’s ok.  Her dress, the same robin-egg blue dress she wore the last time I saw her, is torn and dirty.  She’s got quite a few bruises, and she looks unnaturally thin and pale.  I’m not sure whether that makes me want to cry or makes me wanna bust heads.  But none of that matters, my feelings can come later.  Right now I need to make sure she’s ok.  She’s squinting up at me, at the sun, and I gently place my hand over her eyes.  It must be blinding to her. 

My voice crept out soft, and slow.  I didn’t want to startle her, or wake her if she wasn’t really conscious.  “Lilliey? A-are you ok?”  I felt her start to shake in my arms, and moved my hand away so that I could see what was wrong.  Was she, laughing?

“I’m ok baby, I’m ok!”  She laughed again, and wrapped her arms around me, pulling me tightly to her chest as she stood.  All my concern and worry and doubt melted the moment I heard her voice.  Her laughter has always been so delightfully contagious, I can’t help but start to laugh myself.  Just a small, surprised chuckle, as she held me close.  “I knew you’d come Alto, I knew you would come for me. . .”  Her voice was soft, almost fragile.  I put my arms around her, gripping the back of her shirt, trying to hide the tremors in my hands.  

“Of course, Lilliey, I would never, I-I COULD never leave you, not like this. . . I told, I told you I’d always protect you, didn’t I?”  My voice came out weaker than I would have liked, tears starting to well in my eyes.  I struggled to blink them away.  I can’t cry, not now.  I need to be strong for her.  She gave me a soft squeeze, and I couldn’t help but smile.  I was finally home.

“I knew you’d come for me. . .” She shook like she was gonna laugh again, but then froze.  Stiff as a board.  I opened my mouth to say something, but she interrupted me.

“Goodbye, Alto.  I love you.”

Goodbye?  Goodbye?  What did she mean, “Goodbye”? I just got her back, what was sh-

She once again shook me from my thoughts, spinning me around quickly so that we swapped places.  I yelped, I couldn’t stop myself, it was so out of nowhere.  What was she thinking?  Before I could put my thoughts into words, a loud noise like a firework filled my ears.  Something red and wet splattered against my cheek, and Lilliey fell limp in my arms. 

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