Sam

    I sigh and toss the coat I’m wearing to the side. It’s almost 1 A.M., and I'm  
exhausted. I have to be up in three hours. I should sleep, but I’m starving, and I know
it’s going to be another sleepless night. The dreams about Ash have gotten more
persistent, and I never want to see my sister again.
                                                                 ***
    It’s September 17. I hear distant noises, and roll over to look at the clock. 7:43.
Ugh. Ash, for some reason, likes to wake up early in the summer and play video
games. This isn’t the first time I’ve woken up to find her replaying Undertale or
something. It’s too early to hear Megalovania. I groan and push off the covers. I
stumble out of bed, grabbing my phone off my bedside table, when it starts ringing. I
stare at the number. It isn’t one I recognize. I press the green answer button. “Hello?” I
ask, my voice groggy. “Hello, Noelle. I’m here to speak to you on behalf of Ashley,” A
smooth, unfamiliar voice answers. “Do-” My voice is barely a whisper. I clear my
throat. “Do I know you?”
The person on the other end of the line drawls,   
"Unfortunately, we haven't had the pleasure of meeting yet. Before you ask, I'm a
friend of your sister's. She's asked me to tell you not to worry yourself with what's
happening." Um, what? I put my head in my hands. It's early, and I'm so confused.
"Hi, can you please clarify a few things for me? First of all, who are you? And second,
what the actual fuck are you talking about?"
    The voice chuckles. "Oh, my dear Noelle, don't worry. Everything will be cleared up
soon enough. My condolences." The line goes dead. I take my phone away from my
ear and stare at the screen.
                                                                  ***
   It’s been months, and I still don’t understand why Ash did it. Our dads were good
people. They often worked late, but they always made time for us. They were told by
the adoption center that they could only adopt one of us, but they refused to leave
without both of us the day they took us home. Ever since the police arrived at my
house, I’ve hated Ash.
   I guess I’m kind of a hypocrite. Saying that someone can’t kill another person even
though I’m an assassin is a little unfair. But Ash didn’t just kill our parents, she killed
the people who saved our lives. No one else wanted to adopt the gay kid.
I’m startled out of my thoughts when my phone starts ringing. I pull it out of my back
pocket and check the caller I.D. Sam? Why the fuck would she be calling me at 1 A.M.
when I haven’t seen her in months.
    I stare at the screen as it rings twice more before I decide to answer it. I lift the
phone to my ear.
    “Hello?” I say, before she starts screaming. “Where the fuck have you been? You
can’t leave, ghost me, then kill someone! Not without me, at least!” Oh shit. After my
dads died, I dropped out of school. Which sucked, by the way. I got a few letters of
acceptance, one of them from my top college.
    I had to leave the city for a few months, which also sucked, but I needed to wait
until I was eighteen to get the money in my dads’ wills. I got the entire house. It’s weird
though, they didn’t mention Ash at all.
    After I came back to the house, I realized that I needed something to do for money.
After all, I still needed to do things like paying bills and buying food. I was lucky to get
the job I did.
                                                                     ***
    I’m sitting on the couch, watching cartoons. They’re made for kids, but hey, they’re
good. Like, a non-binary shapeshifting lizard is pretty progressive.
    A ding sounds from my phone, and I pause the episode. It’s a text from an unknown
number.
    Hey Noelle.
    You know me, but I’m keeping my identity secret for security reasons.
    I’ve heard here and there that you’re looking for a job, and I have the perfect one
for you.
    How would you like to become an assassin?
                                                                      ***
    Like, if someone asked you that and you needed some money, would you really
say no?
    “Noelle!” A voice shrieked. Right. I’m still on the phone with Sam. “Did you or did
you not kill someone?”
    “No, of course not. I don’t know where you heard that, but why would I?” I lie
quickly.
    “Um, because you’re ON THE FUCKING NEWS BECAUSE YOU KILLED
SOMEONE!” Oh no.
    “Dude, what? Why would I kill someone? Who would I even kill?” Oh god, I’m
fucked. How did anyone find out?
    “I don’t know who it was, like some random person in Brooklyn.” What? All of my
targets live close enough to drive, or they’re visiting here or something. Unless…
    “Sam, what? I haven’t been to New York since, like, 10th grade. And why would
that be on the news here?”
    “Your dads were famous, you and your sister are famous, it’s not that far away, the
murder was so cool…”
    I definitely didn’t do that. But nobody’s really seen me since I dyed my hair, so
maybe… “Sam, are you sure it was me? Cause I think you forgot that I have an
identical twin who killed our dads and maybe left the country.”
    “Oh. I was really hoping you killed someone. But I guess if it was just Ash, then I
gotta call her. Later!”
    “No, Sam, don’t--” the line went dead. “Call her.”

    I have a new target for you.
    My job. Right.
    who is it?
    Samantha Holt. 18 years old. Lives in D.C.
    [3 Images attached]
    It can’t be the same Sam, right? Like, the Sam I was on the phone with a couple    
hours ago? I click on the first image. Fuck. It is her.
    no  
    What?
    i won’t do it
    It’s your job. You do it or someone else will.
    but i know her
    she’s my friend
    Is your friendship with one person really more important
    than your job, Noelle?
    yes
    because i’m in love with her
    Fine. Do what you want. I’ll kill her if I have to.
    
    I have to find Sam.

    I lift the mug to my face and inhale deeply. I’m about to take a sip of the freshly
made coffee when I hear the door open. I look outside; it’s pouring rain. Maybe I left
the door ajar and the wind blew it open. I put down my coffee and go to the front hall.
Sure enough, the wind is blowing like crazy.
    I start to close the door when something pushes it back. I stare, frozen, as Ash
stands on the other side of the open door.
    “Hey sister,” she says as she walks in. “Wow, you’re still living here. I guess I’m not
surprised, they always liked you better. Heard they left me out of their wills. Also
unsurprising, why would they want a murderer to get their money? They did give you
stuff, though. Hey, get in here.” She directs the last sentence to the open door. I gasp
as Sam walks in, her eyes wide with fear. She’s wearing a light green sweater with a
yellow stripe in the middle, black ripped jeans, and black Converse with rainbow
laces. She looks amazing.
    I turn back to Ash, confused. “Oh, what? You didn’t realize I was behind this whole
thing? No, I did almost everything. A friend called you, but I did basically everything
else. Yeah, those targets were just random people I knew would be easy to kill. I had
to give Sam a reason to call you, so you’d remember her, so I took a little trip to New
York. And now, since you’ve refused to do things the easy way, I’m going to follow
through with my promise and kill your girlfriend here,” she gestured to Sam.
    “Why did you kill our parents? Why did you do such a horrible thing?” My eyes are
burning, and I know I’m going to start crying soon.
    “Oh god, don’t tell me you actually miss them,” she groans. “They were fucking
horrible to me and you were too blinded by the idea of a happy family to notice. They
liked you, but not me, and we’re a package deal,” or we were, “and so they were
stuck with me. You were the smart, happy kid. They didn’t care you were gay. But
me? No, I wasn’t good enough for them. I’m so fucking glad I’ll never have to see them
again.”
    She unzips her jacket, wet from the rain, and pulls out a long, sharp knife. “You.
Come here.” She looks at Sam, then points to a spot beside her. “We can do this the
easy way or the hard way, but with my dear sister here already devastated, I’ll spare
her by going with the easy way.”
    She turns to Sam, who walks toward the spot she indicated. Oh god. I should do
something, but I’m frozen in place. Sam turns to me, eyes pleading for me to stop her.
She opens her mouth, and that’s when Ash drives the blade through her heart.
                                                                    ***
    I remember the first time I ever saw her. It’s freshman year of high school. She’s
sitting across the room in the cafeteria with her friends. Her long black hair flows down
her back. The ends are dyed a deep purple that match her nails. “Stop staring,
stalker,” Ash says, shaking me out of my thoughts. “Her name is Sam, but like, you
could go ask her that yourself.” Sam.
                                                                    ***
    “N-Noelle…” Her voice sends me crashing back to reality. I rush over to her,
catching her right before she falls onto the floor. I know she won’t make it. The knife is
too deep in her chest.
    “Sam!” I cry. There’s blood staining her sweater, and I can feel tears streaming
down my face. “Noelle…” she says again before she sits up and kisses me.
    The kiss is over as soon as it started, and she falls back onto my lap. “I had to do
that before I died. You had me worried, you know, when you dropped out. I thought I
might never see you again.” Her breathing is slowing and she’s crying now too.
    “I’ve loved you since freshman year. I love you every single second. I love you so
fucking much, Noelle.”
    I take both her hands and hold them tightly. “Sam. Sam. Sam. I...I love you more
than even I can comprehend. The moment I first saw you, I knew I would be falling for
you. And I was right. You’re so amazing. You’re the only person I’ve ever been in love
with. I love you so much.”
    She’s still breathing, but barely. I hold her, talking, whispering to her until she takes
her last breath, clutching onto my hands. Her grip loosens, and I lower her to the floor.
    I shakily stand, sobbing. I whisper one last thing to her, “I love you,” before I turn
away. I only know one thing. I’m going to kill Ash if it’s the last thing I do.

~end~
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