“It’s done, Malik,” I murmured. “The cops will be here any minute.”

He glowered at me— crying? Pissed. “What are you going to do?” He bellowed. “What the hell are you gonna do without me?”

I looked at him and felt an overwhelming sense of pity. This was the boy I had looked up to for so long. I noticed now how his face was contorted as he screamed obscenities at me; saw that he had never been as good looking as I’d thought.

Tears were running down his face and he was sniffling like a puppy. A memory flashed before me; wet tears, sore cheek. “Boys don’t cry, kiddo.” Just look at him now.

Malik was still there, sobbing now, nose bloody; the picture of incredulous defeat. “What are you gonna do,” he continued to sputter, mostly for his benefit, I guessed.

I felt the heavy weight of the gun in my hand and turned to face him as the sirens drew nearer.

“I’m going to turn this place upside down,” I said gently.

Then I shot him.

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