Chapter One

One, two, three, four, five, blood seeped through my fingers as I pumped as hard as I could on his heart. Kneeling beside him, covered in his blood, I stopped long enough to blow air into his lungs. Where was that ambulance? His eyes were closed. Long dark lashes fanned out against his cheeks. When I found him lying in the cold wet grass, in the shadow of the bushes next to my front door, he was still breathing, ragged gurgling breaths.

 How many minutes had passed since I’d heard him breathe on his own? My arms ached.

“Don’t die,” I told him again. “Damn you, don’t you dare die.” How could this happen? Why?

As I counted again, I strained to hear the scream of a siren. The open cell phone lay next to me on the grass where I dropped it after calling 911.

“Where’s that ambulance? Tell them to hurry,” I screamed, hoping the operator could hear me. If she answered, I didn’t hear. I was too busy trying to keep him alive. They always tell you to stay on the line. How you’re supposed to hold the phone, and do CPR at the same time was beyond me.

One, two, three, four, five. How long had he been here before I found him? It seemed like ages since I came home from work, turned into the driveway, and hit the garage door opener. My headlights illuminated the lawn, revealing a body lying next to my porch. I slammed on the brakes, threw the car into park, grabbed my cell phone off the seat, and bolted from the car. He was still alive. Blood gushed from the wounds in his back. I called 911and then dropped the phone. I slipped out of my jacket and laid it on the ground next to him, and then rolled him over and wrapped the sleeves around him, tying them together in front as tight as I dared, in an effort to create a kind of a pressure bandage to stop the bleeding.

One, two, three, four, five. I wasn’t even sure I was doing it correctly. I’d only had one class in CPR over two years ago. What if this made it worse? What else could I do? He didn’t have a pulse and now he wasn’t breathing. Finally, sirens and flashing lights turned onto my street. I didn’t look up. There’s no way they could miss us spotlighted in the headlights of my still running car.

“We’ll take over now.” Hands pulled me away. I stepped back and sank down on the porch, watching. Everyone moved so slowly. They seemed to be taking their time. Was he dead? Did I kill him? I looked down at the blood, all over my hands and my clothes. This felt wrong. “Those shots were meant for me,” I whispered.

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