The frigid breeze whipped across his face. He ran up the city blocks, wiping melted snowflakes from his eyelids so he could see where he was going. By the time he reached 49th Street, he was out of breath and had to stop. He leaned against the steel pole that held both the street signs and traffic lights. After a few deep breaths, he wiped the liquified flurries off his cheeks and walked as quickly as he could until he reached 50th.He made a right off Park and because the office was so close to the corner, he could see a glow of light coming from the window.
Breathing a sigh of relief, he went through the building's glass front door and made a quick left. He didn't stop long enough to ring the bell to let anyone know he was about to enter. Trying to catch his breath, he opened the office door.The first thing he saw was a man holding a gun up to his own temple.He yelled, a and before he could say a coherent word, he watched the man turn toward him and heard a loud bang.
And then another.His legs wobbled, then his head had banged on the wooden floor.He brought his hand up to his throat and felt warm liquid oozing from a hole in his neck. He was surprised at the lack of pain and how rapidly numbness was spreading throughout his body. His throat felt like it was swelling up, closing his airway. He fought out a gasp and heard a soft gurgle. Did he just make that noise? Was blood filling his throat?
He tried to take another breath and heard the same sloshing liquid. His mind went void of thought, his body, frozen.
Suddenly there was muffled yelling, unintelligible screams. Something that felt like a hand cupped the back of his head and soft skin brushed his cheek. As time passed, seconds... minutes.. hours... he couldn't be sure, everything faded except a weightlessness enshrouding him, a gentle sense of calm. He closed his eyes and listened to the blood pump, with each heartbeat, through the opening in his neck.From some obscure corner of his mind, reality edged its way back in and he struggled to open his eyes one last time.
Through the haze of his dissolving vision, he saw a familiar face. Anguish twisted it, and as if from a long distance away, he heard the cries and moans falling from the man's mouth.He wanted to cry, grieve for them both, but once again his heavy eyelids closed. The weeping and mumbling became a fading hum and then ultimately silence.His final thought was not about this man who sobbed above him, his killer or the "why" behind what just happened. It was the hope that he'd see the loved one he'd lost a hope that made him smile inside as a comfort enveloped his body like the most snug of blankets warmed by the sun itself.