The pounding wasn’t just in my head. It was in the walls. The vents. The ground beneath us. My chest, as the air poured out of it.
“Shh, it’ll be okay,” I stroked his forehead.
He let out a low wheeze as he laid in my arms. His skin paled. The blue of his veins began to outshine the blue in his eyes. His chest rose and fell with the pulse of his veins. The teeth marks on his neck were as jagged and bloody as the gravel beneath us. I’d bandaged them up, but they bled right through. I couldn’t even bear to look at him. I stared into the pale blue sky. How clear it was.
I’d already looked down. Beyond the ledge. Jumping was no escape. The fall was too low to be instantaneous. And balcony beneath was no use either, even with the rope in my bag. The building was surrounded with a sea of corpses. Every direction consumed.
Behind me, the pounding became deafening. I sealed the door to the roof with the fire axe, but it was only a matter of time. Still no helicopter in sight, I took out the pocket knife he gave me. On it our initials were carved. He taught me once where the heart was, guided my fingers over his chest. I stuck the knife deep. Sideways to avoid the ribs, like he taught me.
“I love you.”
Before the doors burst open, I did the same for myself.