“You’ll always be my best friend.” Vinny closed his eyes and pressed his forehead against Shane’s, feeling him go lifeless in his arms. He began sobbing harder, his whole body aching, crying out for Shane to come back. He couldn’t comprehend the fact his best friend was gone, never to smile, laugh or breath again. Someone must have heard his crying from outside as he could feel himself being prised away from Shane, people fussing over the boy lying dead on the floor, someone holding Vinny back as he struggled to hold his best friend. They were both taken to the hospital, separately, and people kept pestering with questioning him, but Vinny didn’t have the answers. He didn’t say a word. He just remained quiet, speechless, tearing himself up inside.
“Shane.. Please let me.” Vinny’s voice was no louder than a whisper, begging the boy in his arms. “You c-can’t leave me. You’re all I have! You’re my best friend, the one I tell everything to!” He began sobbing, his words tumbling out quickly. “I need you. Dylan needs you. Everyone needs you! They want you safe, but you won’t let me save you. I always save you!”
His eyelids started to flutter, barely able to keep his eyes open at this point. He released the grip he had on his chest and moved it onto Vinny, holding onto for dear life. “No, don’t. I can feel it…” His voice was shaky and he knew that it was coming, he was just waiting for it to happen. “As long as you’re alive, that’s all I… I… I care about…” He stuttered a little, feeling his body completely shut down. “Is it weird that I want this?” Shane realized there wasn’t much time left, at all. “I’m sorry for everything I’ve done these past few weeks, I completely left you. I’ll always love you and you’ll always be my best friend. Dead or alive.” Were the last words he spoke softly before he took is final breath and loosened his grip on Vinny, laying completely still in his arms. His head hanging over his arm.
Vinny couldn’t help but let out a slight laugh, sniffing and blinking to keep himself under control. “We ignored each other the whole day, it wasn’t until I have you my chocolate milk that we started talking again.” Vinny pulled out his phone and called 911, trying not to break down, not in front of Shane. He needed Vinny to be strong.
His smile widened a bit, “That chocolate milk was the best sorry gift I’ve ever gotten.” He watched as Vinny pulled out his phone and quickly knocked the phone out of his hand. “Don’t. Don’t bring me to the hospital again.” His head started to spin and his vision became blurry. “Vinny, you have so much to live for. I’m serious. You finally just got with the girl you’ve been yearning years for, your 18th birthday is about to come up and you’ve got that brother out there somewhere. Everyone loves you and needs you. I know for sure my sister will need you after this.” He choked a bit more and tried to push himself up, but his body was feeling increasingly weak. “I have nothing and I can accept that. Maybe it’s a good thing…” He mumbled as he yanked at his necklace a bit, the one that used to be his mother’s before she passed. “I’ll finally get to be with my mom again.” Tears ran down his cheeks at the mention of her.
Vinny clung to Shane like it was the end of the world, it felt like it was the end of the world. His eyes were pouring tears, his body shaking as he held Shane tightly. “You shouldn’t have done that!” His voice was breaking with emotion, fear and guilt replacing the searing pain from his wounds. “You should’ve let him shoot me!”
“You’re my best friend, Vinny… all those times I told you I’d take a bullet for you, I meant it. I would never let him shoot you, why would I? You have so much to live for, you always have.” He choked a bit, feeling his throat fill up with what felt like liquid. He coughed into his free hand and saw he was coughing up his own blood. He tried to light up the mood, giving him a weak smile and a faint laugh. “Remember back when we first met in Kindergarten? You made that stupid paper airplane and flew it right at me. I threw it back and got ourselves both in time out.” His mind flashed back to that memory, replaying it and living in that one humorous moment, taking his focus off of what was happening.
As soon as the gun shot sounded, everything slowed down. It was like a movie, where everything is in slow motion, making every moment clearer. Vinny was frozen to the spot, unable to move, think or even breath. Shane fell to the floor, blood soaking his shirt. No, this wasn’t happening. It was a dream. A sick dream. Vinny’s eyes slid slowly back up to Mr Hunt, who looked almost as shocked as he did. His knees buckled under him and he dropped beside Shane, pulling the boy up into his arms. “Shane? It’s just a scratch. You’re g-gonna be fine.”
Suddenly, he felt a severe pain in his chest. It felt as though the wind was just knocked out of him, and his whole body ran cold. He looked up at his best friend, who looked so beaten up and bruised. He couldn’t help but feel anything but overwhelming guilt. His hand shot up over the entrance of the bullet hole. He wasn’t sure if this was really happening or not, his mind in a complete state of shock. He removed his hand from his chest and looked at it, covered in red. He looked up at Vinny again, “At least he’ll go to jail and everyone will be safe.” He whispered weakly, beginning to shake a bit and feeling his eyes start to burn from the tears that were flooding them.
Everything was hurting. His Hea was pounding, blood pouring his nose, temple and reopened lip. His ribs felt shattered and he couldn’t breath, but he managed to rise to his feet and stumbled back. Shane had begun another heated fist-fight with Mr Hunt, but he was thrown off after only a few punches had landed. That’s when Vinny saw it. Mr Hunt had reached into his pocket and pulled out a 9mm caliber. “Shane..”
After trying his best to fight him off, his strength was too great and was tossed aside once more, flying in the direction Vinny was standing. He heard Vinny mutter his name and he turned around, seeing a gun pointed directly at his best friend. “Are you fucking crazy?!” He yelled at Mr. Hunt. “It’s self defense.” The man shouted back, and Shane could tell he was serious. His finger sitting on the trigger, ready to be pulled at any minute. He wasn’t gonna let his best friend get shot, no way. He jumped in front of Vinny right as the bullet was shot out and hit him directly in the chest.
“Yeah, I’m fine, just stings like a mother fu-” Vinny was stopped as Shane was shoved hard out of the way. He took a step towards the boy slumped against the wall but was stopped, grabbed and shoved against the wall opposite. Mr Hunt had pure anger and hatred in his eyes, his voice filled with venom as he spoke. “Stupid fucking kid, just another pansy.” That was all he muttered before Vinny squeezed his eyes shut, taking every punch the man threw at him.
Falling to the ground, he hit his head against the coffee table that rested in the middle of the room. Instinctively holding it and groaning out in pain, he heard the loud beating that was going on right behind him. Ignoring the pain, he shot back up and charged at the guy, making sure to throw him off of Vinny. “Go Vinny!” He yelled over to the now bloody boy as he tried his best to stall, using his cast as his most damaging weapon.
“Holy Jesus!” Vinny’s eyes widened as Shane sucker-punched the man. He stumbled back and seems off balance, but he quickly decomposed himself, looking even angrier than before. He glanced at Shane who was still clutching his hand them back at the man in the hallway. “Oh crap.” Choosing not to think further, Vinny took a few steps forwards and threw his clenched fist at him, connecting his knuckles with Troy’s father’s jaw. Hard.
These two were the craziest pair, taking on a grown man who was probably thirty times stronger than the two of them combined. He watched as Vinny took a swing at Troy’s father, in shock that he even hit someone. “Vinny!” He shouted at him, pulling him away from Troy’s dad. “I can’t believe you just did that.” He looked down at his friend’s knuckles which were bleeding at this point. “Are you ok?” He asked, concerned for his friend’s hand. He wasn’t paying attention to the raging giant behind him and before he knew it, he was thrown out of the way.
Vinny clenched his hands into fists and bounced on the spot, trying to hide his nerves. Troy’s dad was a vicious man, anything could happen, something could go wrong. The door opened and he practically collapsed on the spot due to fear. The man stood there, staring down the pair of boys on his doorstep. He instantly recognised Vinny and clenched his jaw. “M-Mr Hint?”
The sight of the large man sent chills down Shane’s spine, but that fear quickly turned into rage. The adrenaline started to pump through his body and without even speaking a word he forcibly shoved the man back and then quickly swung his arm up to punch him and attempt to break his nose. Shane’s hand was still broken, so he knew that it would hurt even more with a hard cast to his face. “You know what that was for.” He shouted at Mr. Hunt.
Watching the house carefully, Vinny tried to focus on the figure in the living room. His dad. Sat on the sofa, probably watching tv. He suddenly snapped his head to Shane, his eye wide, mouth hanging open slightly. “Youre not going in there alone!” Was he crazy? He’d get battered if he attempted this by himself.
He appreciated Vinny’s loyalty, that even facing someone like Troy’s father, he’d still stick by Shane. He leaned over in his seat and gave Vinny a hug, holding him tight. He let go and hopped out of the car, waiting for his friend to come out with him. They walked up to the door together, and Shane froze for a minute. He knew this was it, there was no going back from this. Troy’s dad was a cop, god knows what he could do to him. He looked over at Vinny one last time reassuringly before clenching his hand into a fist and knocking on the hard wood door.