As Bobby pulls me towards the main entrance I drag my feet. I know that I don't have a choice, he has a gun to my head and I have to make sure he won't hurt Maura of Frankie. Oh God Frankie! Maura said he would be okay, but he's in pain. I need to help him! That doesn't me I have to cooperate thought. My boots make scuff marks on the shiny floor. Everything is eerily quiet, the calm before the storm. We reach the doors, and Bobby pulls me against him tightly, his arm around my throat. His hot breath mixes with the cold sweat clinging to the back of my neck, making me shiver.
We are through the doors and struggling down the steps. I'm getting a dizzy and I try to loosen his grip on my throat. Korsak shouts at us from across the street, telling Bobby that it's over. But he won't listen. Why is everyone so calm? Don't they understand that Frankie could be dying? There's no time for negotiations. Frankie needs help now! I try to tell them, to make them understand, but Bobby's grip is so tight I can't speak properly. No one moves. Why is no one moving!
Bobby pushes his lips up to my ear. "He's probably already dead."
"NO!" Adrenaline floods my system, giving me the strength I had been looking for. I am no longer thinking, there is no time for thought. I reach up and tug his arm and the gun away from my head and down. There is no way I will be able to wrestle it away from him, but he definitely won't be prepared for this. A fraction of a second before I pull the trigger he understands but it is too late. The gun is pressed into my abdomen, my finger on the trigger.
My body connects with the sidewalk. All thoughts of Bobby have been pushed out of my head. It hurts. Oh God it hurts. That doesn't matter right now. I can't give in yet, not until I make them understand how much Frankie needs help. But it hurts so bad! I think my organs might be on fire. Each breath brings another wave of pain crashing down. I know I should be trying to stop the flow of blood that has begun to stain the cement but I can't bear the thought of moving.
Then Maura is beside me. She presses her hands against my stomach. I gasp and my eyes close, trying to shut everything out. Maura shifts, pulling my head into her lap. I can hear her voice in the distance trying to get my attention. She sounds scared.
Then another pair of hands grabs my shoulders. I wrench myself away from the comforting darkness and open my eyes. When I can focus, I see Korsak looking down at me. Frankie! My brain commands. "Frankie? Help him! Go-" but I can't finish. I start coughing; each violent release of air feels as though it is tearing me in half. Something wet drips out of the corner of my mouth and back towards my hairline.
I can't catch my breath and I can't get rid of the wetness inside my lungs. I can feel panic begin to rise up and I cough harder. "You're okay. Just breathe Janie. Please!" Maura's voices cuts through the panic. I grasp at it, use it to pull me back into reality. Finally I can breathe. It still hurts but it's better than coughing.
I am shivering now as a sudden bone-deep cold seizes me. There is no way that I will be able to fight off the temptation to let go for much longer. I have to get them to help Frankie before then. "You have to save him. Frankie…" but the coughing takes over again. This time it won't stop and it hurts.
"No. nononononono Jane. JANE! Jane you can't do this. Please Jane!" This time Maura's voice barley cuts through the haze that has descended upon my brain. The pain has finally won. My eyes have closed and the sounds around me have faded to almost nothing. My last thought before I let go is Jesus. Ma will never let me here the end of this one!