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If you had to choose between your love and justice, what would you do?

It was an ordinary morning. We were preparing for a picnic at the beach. The whole family was going so it would’ve been a time well worth remembering. Only, I was wrong, I hadn’t expected it to turn out the way it did…
We set of for the beach at 8:00 sharp and, due to the morning rush it was quite a while later when we reached our destination. By the time we arrived and had settled down, the sun was well above our head, making the water below glisten. A scene that seemed right out of a fairy tale. Had I not seen it, I wouldn’t be able to understand nor imagine its beauty.
The party had now dispursed into three groups: the adults had settled down for mindless chitchat while the children played in the water and us, young-adults and teenagers were in our own world of gossip and high-pitched laughter. In the evening the sky was aglow with the most beautiful orange you could ever see. It had been quite some time since any of us saw a scene this magnificent, what with our busy schedule none of really had time to spare for such things. The adults obviously had their jobs, while the rest had their school/universities and/or part-time jobs. No one really had time to even meet anymore, unless we did something like this every now and then. Though whenever we did meet, it had always been fun. A time well spent is what I call it. This was no different, even with the “groupings”, we were all having fun regardless of whether we did any extraordinary activity. And the view of the setting sun was something we were glad to be able to share with each other.
As the night came on, we decided to retire to the hut for some dinner. My mom called to us all, “come on in guys. Time for dinner.” We answered, in unison, “coming!” Some went ahead the others who were dragging the little ones along with them. I was the furthest behind them all. I was taking my time with the scenery trying to imprint it in my memory so that I could recall it if I ever thought of writing again. I watched my cousins and siblings run towards the hut, and the one furthest ahead yelled,”hey!! Hurry up! Or the food will run out.” It was supposed to be a taunt but wasn’t really far from the truth either, especially with all of us starving. “Yeah yeah! I’m coming.”, I replied. As I took a step forward, I noticed something moving in the shadow behind the hut. It looked like a figure of a man. He looked suspicious, with all his sneaking around. Curiosity taking the better of me, I inched closer, slowly, trying not to spook him and at the same time get a better look at what he was doing.
By now everyone was inside and the beach was almost empty except for a few couples taking a stroll near the shore. Which meant I was the only one who saw the man. As I got closer I could see the man clearly. He was tall, with broad shoulders, wearing a pair of flip-flops with a suitpant and a T-shirt. Sort of an odd combo, isn’t it? And the closer I got I could see that he was hovering over something with his fists clenched around an object in his hand.
I inched closer and stepped on a twig, which snapped under the pressure. The noise startled the man and as he turned around, I saw he looked young, maybe in his late twenties or early thirties. His brown hair disheveled with a mixture of sweat and humidity. Under the clouded moonlight, I could see the panic in his eyes as he saw me and when he stared at me I lost myself in those deep brown eyes that seemed to stretch for eternity. The chocolate brown depthness of his eyes seemed to engulf me whole. His ruggedly handsome face, though masked with fright was still beautiful as if carved from marble. He bolted, frightened, away from me, dropping the object he was gripping, and towards the road. I kept looking at his back as he ran away. When he disappeared, I looked back to where he was standing. With the moon now out from behind the clouds, everything became clear and I froze in my step as I saw the unveiling scene. I was still frozen when my childhood friend, Harris, came out saying,”Hey! What are you doing? Everybody has been looking for you.” When I didn’t answer, he came to my side, saying, “he-“, and stopped mid-sentence as he saw the fear on my face. He turned in the direction I was looking, to see what had scared me. There was blood sprayed on the wall in front of us and the body of the man laying beneath was covered with it, enough to hide the entry sight of the wound. As it flowed toward us, in the sand, Harris jolted me back to reality, saying, “get a hold of yourself, Emma.” He supported me with his arms as I got myself together, and as he dialled 911 my eyes drifted to the “object” I had seen the man holding. I left Harris and went towards it. It was a knife covered in the victim’s blood. Seeing the knife, realisation hit me and I knew the man I saw before did this. He was a murderer.
As the whole situation sank in, I had a bigger problem than the dead man lying in the sand. The problem of the heart. I realised that in the brief moment our eyes met, I had fallen in love with him.

                                                To be continued…


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