Gone.

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It was a cold winter night. Leaves brushed on the ground, moving with the wind. The streets were well lit, but deserted. There was a night curfew you see. The country was in a state of unrest, with the new regime things had changed. In a struggle to state their authority, and with citizens resisting it, there had been many deaths, and stories, terrible stories of rebels who called themselves the government. Rebels who hijacked people in the streets at night, and others from their homes. They took them to places, and did things to them, terrible things…then in the morning, their bodies were left in the streets for the town people to collect and mourn. They served as an example, and so far, resistance to the new government had subsided.

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A figure was seen hovering near the dark. It was a girl, moving briskly. She had a scarf covering her head and a long jacket hiding her from the cold. She looked from side to side before crossing the road to a dark corner. One could tell she was young, no older than seventeen. From her attire, she was from a well off family. Probably raised well enough to know she should not be out this late.

But she did not care. She knew the risks she was taking on, but there was no other way of seeing him. She had feigned a headache and asked to go to bed early, then, under her parent’s watchful eyes, snuck out the window to go see Michael.

Her heart raced. she could feel the blood in her teeth, and the beating of her heart was louder than her surroundings. In her head, this no longer seemed like a good idea. She should have just stayed home….

“Psst, Julie, I’m here,” whispered a voice from the dark corner. She felt relieved! He was not late at all.

She walked towards him happily and embraced him happily. It had been two weeks since they saw each other. Two weeks since schools were no longer safe, two weeks since she had been out of the house. Luckily their help knew Michael, so when he passed on the letter, she had received it without her parents knowledge.

In his arms she told him how much she had missed him, how the political unrest scared her; how her father was planning to escape from the country, with all of them. And how, sadly, he would know. How they would all know what they had done in the dark. She told him it was time for them to be adults and accept responsibility for what they had done. She told him that father would be angry at first but he would accept him, them, their baby. And he would go with them; It was his chance to start afresh, away from a regime that oppressed and tortured the innocent. It would be hard, but it was a fresh start.

Michael held her, all the while listening to her. He smiled at her, nodded at everything she said, but in his heart, he disagreed with her wholly. He wondered what she would do if she knew. Knew that he was with her for a reason greater than love. You see, she was the daughter of a very powerful man, a man who knew what the government planned and said before it was done. And he always carried his work home, talked about work with his family. And his daughter, young, naive, and not knowing the power in the knowledge she had, always spoke about him, and what the government said.

The rebellion knew that she was fond of him. They knew it would be a matter of time before they overthrew the government, but they needed to know what was brewing. And so they used Michael. And he, with the promise of a good life for his family when they took power, bought the flowers, chocolate and said what needed to be said to earn her trust, love and words.

Now that the rebellion was in power, they no longer needed her. And her she was, in his arms, telling him that a baby was on the way. And she wanted him to leave everything he had worked so hard for. Leave his mother, his family, the rebellion…for a baby borne out of lies. A child that carried half the blood of the oppressing government.

Julie felt the grip on her neck tighten. She was afraid now. She knew what was happening, but she did not understand why. He was her life and soul,she did not understand what went wrong. She could not understand why he, of all people would want her dead. As she took her last breathe, all she could see was his face, filled with hate. His eye, focused on her, did not blink. They had hate in them. She heard him whisper a good bye before she shut her eyes completely, never to open them again.

Michael stood up, still looking at her body. She was dead. A loss for the government meant a victory for the rebellion. He had done the right thing.

He peered out the streets to confirm there was no patrol car passing by. He then went back, picked up the girl’s body and dragged it onto the road.

By dawn, there would be more bodies lined up next to hers. Nobody would ever question why she was dead.

And he, walking away smiling, would be a free man.

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