This wasn’t what she wanted. She was just trying to help. She just needed him to stop and listen for a second.
Now he was gone. Dead and buried.
Do you need to stay a little longer? her Dad asked her five minutes ago, rubbing her back gently. She couldn’t respond. There wasn’t enough strength in her body for that.
She was responsible. She was the one who slipped up, who accidentally hurt him in a way that could not heal. She just needed him to stop for a second and maybe he would’ve realized that what he was doing was going to hurt hundreds of people. But now he was gone.
All of the people that had gathered that day to mourn his loss were there because of her.
If they knew what she did, would they hate her?
Would they understand?
She needed to save them. That was her job. She was a superhero too and he was out of control. People were about to die because of him.
But maybe…a whack on the side of his head with the sword. Chain him up. Inject a sleep toxin into his blood.
He could have been saved. But she panicked and killed him.
It happened all the time, right? You don’t have enough time to think something over and you commit the irreversible. It’s part of the job. And maybe he deserved it.
But that wasn’t true. He was a legend. School children would dress up like him and watch him on television.
She did what she did to save people from not just villains and crooks, but from themselves. The man she used to know was still in there, screaming for someone to listen to him. Like her, he just wanted to help. He did what he thought was right.
She remembered dancing between his punches, the shock-waves that tore through the city square as he moved about, the sheer power rippling around his body. She remembered bleeding all over, desperate to find a way to end this.
Her screams teared her body apart yet they still weren’t enough to reach him. He couldn’t hear her, nor could he see that he was going to kill everyone in the plaza. Then she saw an opening. And she knew that she didn’t have time to think it over so she took it.
She saw fear in his eyes that she didn’t know was possible.
We don’t kill, she had said on the battlefield while grabbing the arms of new recruits with an iron grip. It was her job as the leader of the team to teach them the values of compassion and humanity.
Even when the people they were against were rotten. Even when all they wanted was to hurt people. There was still hope.
Yet look at her now.
Rain pattered against her jacket, dripping down her hair and onto her face.
She had made plans to defeat, possibly kill, all of her team mates if they ever went rogue and gave into the darkness within them.
What was so surprising to her that she did this then? She always knew that she was going to screw it up all one day.
Everyone knew that, right? Wasn’t it so obvious when they looked into her eyes that something was wrong with her? Isn’t that why her Dad grabbed her so gently a few minutes ago? He was scared of her.
Is this the person that she really was? Is this what she had been carrying inside her the whole time?
Stupid. Everyone knew she was going to lose it one day. Everyone except her.
Cocky. Arrogant. Weak.
Her knees fell into the mud, her eyes staring into the grass blowing in the harsh wind.
Maybe she should stay here. Hope that lightning strikes and takes her off this planet. Or maybe while her dad was at the car, she could run away. Leave this city and pray that everyone forgets about her.
Then she hated herself for thinking that. They would hate her too if they knew it had crossed her mind.
Hands in the mud now. Sinking.
This was it. She was going to stay here until she died.
A warm voice from behind her. Her father. He touched her shoulder.
“Please come home with me.”
She let him take her hand. He pulled her up to her feet and held her for a long time. But the pain didn’t go away.
Even when her father finally took Katrina home, she stayed behind, lying beside the man she killed in the cold dead earth.