As she walked softly, Carolina's bare feet thumped lightly against the rough wooden floors. They began to creak loudly despite the fact she was wearing no shoes. I could almost imagine her bare feet—soft, white, thin. Her light pink colored nails are a complete contrast to the auburn wooden planks. She was fragile and helpless, a complete enigma in this very lost, ordinary world. I closed my eyes, feeling the intensity of the situation.

One step.


A pause. Two more steps.


My stomach begins to churn—Carolina follows my every move, and yet, she proves to be louder and less cautious than I am. Even without her white sneakers on, she still managed to make too much noise. I stopped dead in my tracks. With the endless looking hallway before me, I parted my lips only slightly, feeling the nerves tie a knot in my throat. I turned my head around slowly, and then, I saw her.


Her large eyes stared directly into mine. The mesmerizing green of her eyes—so passionate, so vibrant. In those amazing lime green gems, I saw something untamable and unknown. They seemed even brighter in the pale moonlight coming from the window behind her. Carolina's soft, full lips began to curl slightly upwards at the edges.

"Don't be afraid…" She whispered. "I'm right behind you!"

Snapping back into reality, I quickly stared back down the pitch black hallway. The master bedroom was at the end of it, and all we had to do was walk in and steal some jewelry. Sounded simple, to say the very least. And it was simple. But Carolina—God, it was always about Carolina. My whole world centered on this girl. Why did I ever think it was a bright idea to save her in the first place?

Carolina—her clumsy feet, awkward demeanor, sensitive personality, unlucky tendency, easily bruising body, and nervous breakdowns tend to be in conflict with everything. Carolina is her own worst enemy. So, here we are, in the center of everything she wants and needs. We stand in the middle of a never ending hallway in a behemoth sized mansion looking for stuff to steal and pawn.

I take two light steps forward as I begin to count down each minute in my head. Approximately, it would be only five more steps and two more minutes to reach the door of the master bedroom.


I pause. What is she doing?


Carolina's soft voice starts to rise with intensity.


I jump immediately—who knew that such a small girl could produce such a large sneeze? I quickly turn around and see her wide, emerald eyes stare back at me with complete and utter shock.

"Oh—oh, gosh! I didn't mean to—" She stutters as tears begin to form. Her cheeks flush out of frustration causing an almost ethereal glow. "I—I think they heard us!"

… And she was right. Whoever "they" were, I could hear them whispering in the master bedroom. Suddenly, a light turns on, and I am able to see it from under the door. A new-found fear causes me to take two steps back.

"Oh, gosh, Niko! What are we going to—"

"Shut up!" I say through clenched teeth.

"But—" I could hear the desperation in her cracking voice.

"They can hear us!"

She whimpers. I sigh. She sniffles. I close my eyes.

Now what?

A shadow starts to near the door, causing the light to fade slowly away. Whoever was on the other side of it, they were approaching us with extreme caution. I sighed harshly, no longer fearing that I was going to get caught. It was finally over.

I closed my eyes once more, getting ready to die the moment the door would open.

"Ever hear that saying, Niko?"

I still remember that day two months ago. The day I was at the hospital with Carolina and her dying sister. Carolina's soft words had held me like a dog on a leash, and they still had the same effect. Since that fateful day, we have done countless robberies. At first, it was simple things: pickpocketing, hijacking cars, or stealing from stores. But now, we stand here in a mansion of a well-known politician.

We are about to possibly die for our carelessness. The old me—the old Niko—would have taken this task without a problem. But I wasn't that same Niko. I was different. Kate's death had changed me.

"A tree that grows crooked will never straighten its trunk."

I slowly move my hand to the pistol hiding beneath my jacket.

"What do you think you're doing?" Carolina whispered, already knowing of my motives.

"Saving us …"

Carolina sniffled. "If we kill the politician, it'll be worse for us!"

She was right. I slowly stepped backwards, bumping into her. It was time to make our escape.