FIFTY-SEVEN

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I sat at Jack's bedside with tear-stained cheeks, waiting for him to wake up.

The doctors said he's fine, he just got shot in his right calf. But, if you ask me, it doesn't sound "fine"

They said they could ask the store he was by to look through security footage to find the shooter. They just don't know which store he was by so we have to wait until he wakes up.

I let out a small sigh and leaned back in my seat.

"I fucking hate Hayes so much," I muttered to myself while looking at Jack. "I wish he'd hurry up and just kill me already instead of hurting whoever's around me," I went on.

I noticed Jack start to move and stir awake from the corner of my eye and looked over at him. He had a confused look on his face as he slightly opened his eyes.

"Fuck," His groggy voice muttered as he slightly moved his leg "What the fuck happened?" He started to look alarmed "Where's Gabby?" He started to sit up.

"Jack, Jack, calm down! I'm right here." I gently placed my hand on his chest so he wouldn't sit up anymore.

He looked over at me and his shoulders relaxed, showing that he was relieved.

"What the hell happened?" He asked.

"You went out to the store in the middle of the night, apparently got shot, and when I woke up, I got a call that you were here."

"Are you ok?" He asked.

"Am I ok? Jack, you got shot, I'm fine."

"I got shot? Where the fuck was I?" He asked and I tilted my head, surprised that he didn't remember anything.

"The store. I'm not sure what happened, but they need to know what store you were near when it happened. Do you know?"

"No. I think I just went to the corner store less than two blocks down the street." He shrugged.

"Well, are you feeling ok besides your leg?" I asked

"Yeah, I guess I feel fine." He shrugged. I let out a sigh and grabbed onto his hand again.

"I think I might just go back home tonight."

"What? Why?" He sounded alarmed.

"Because you got hurt."

"So you're just gonna leave me?"

"No, I mean with everything that's going on. It's whoever I'm around that gets hurt and I'm sick of it, Jack," My eyes started to tear up "I really, really do love you, and I feel like you're all that I have at this point. If anything else happened to you, I think I'd just give up. I know who did this and I know why."

"Gabby, if anything happened to you, I don't know what I'd do with myself. I've been in love with you longer than I'm even willing to admit, and this one person will never keep me from loving you whether I'm dead or alive," He chuckled "But I also don't want you alone. I made a promise to protect you, and I'm keeping it."

"Jack, you can't even defend yourself right now." I looked down at my lap.

"Ok, but I don't want you to go somewhere where you're alone."

"That's the only way everyone will be safe."

"Except for you."

"I'll be ok, I promise." I still refused to make eye contact with him because I know that if I did, I'd cry.

"Have you filed a police report?" He asked.

"What's the point? I have no actual proof of harassment by him."

"What about his texts?"

"They were all sent by different numbers so they couldn't trace one that leads to him. Plus, when Mackenzie died, I told the police about Hayes, but they just thought my way of mourning was to blame it on anyone but her."

He let out a sigh in frustration "Well, when we see the security footage, we'll have proof." He caressed the back of my hand wth his thumb.

"Yeah, but.. What if one day he does actually do it." I muttered

"Do what?"

"If he could murder my best friend, 'contemplate' on showing up to her funeral, and act like he sympathized her death, I wonder what he'd do to you."

"Well, let's not think about that right now. I just want to be with you right now. We can cherish the time we have together right now and that's all that matters, ok?" He squeezed my hand.

"Ok." I muttered while nodding my head.

-

I was sitting in the airport, waiting for my flight. As I was searching my bag for my charger, I found Mackenzie's phone.

I sat it down on my lap and continued to search for my charger.

When I found it, I hooked Mackenzie's phone up to it and plugged it into the wall, waiting for it to charge up.

It took about three minutes until I heard a light buzz and saw "6%" on the top right corner of her screen. I thought about more codes to unlock the phone and one hit me.

Her brother's birthday.

I remember the date because before he died, we always used to brag about how we were both Capricorns and Mackenzie was a Pisces.

I slowly typed in the birthdate and prayed to the Lord that it would unlock.

171992

The phone went straight to the home screen and I almost screamed.

I let out a sigh in relief, trying to contain my happiness. I don't know how, but I think this may be the beginning of something new.

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