I can't tell you my real name, but you can call me Lauren. If you're reading this, know that you'll never hear of me; you'll never know my complete story. But I don't want to die without... some evidence left behind that I existed. Because I am real. There are those who are trying to convince the world that I am fiction, but I assure you... I am real. Please believe this.
I'm almost 40 and I've been in love only twice in my life. The first man I fell in love with is the reason I'm on the run. I've been running for 12 years. I used to think the world was a big place, but now I know that it's extremely small, with only so many corners to hide in and only for so long. They're always right behind me. I'm afraid to say too much, but let me offer this advice: don't attempt to uncover the secrets of secretive men.
The second man I fell in love with I only knew for a day, if that. He knew me, but I didn't know him. He knew my real name, but I only heard him called "Angel 7," and that was only from a transmission I overheard on his hidden surveillance radio. Of course I didn't trust him at first - he did just seem to randomly appear out of nowhere, after all - but it wasn't long after he offered to help that he proved his sincerity. It took his death to do so, but he proved it.
He was, shall I say, tall, dark, and handsome, though that memory is probably affected by what he did for me. In reality he was probably just short of 5'10" and a bit plain. But his voice was both stern and calming. A matter of fact attitude. My very own Terminator hero informing me that I should come with him if I wanted to live. Alone, tired, and already willing to give up, I went. And I lived.
He gave me money and a handgun made mostly of plastic, including the bullets. He told me that people were trying to help me, not because they had to, but because they wanted to. Although I had my suspicions, he never mentioned wanting anything in return. He was, quite simply, helping me.
I remember his eyes. Dark, intense, and always shifting. I could tell that he believed that a man who stops to take in the scenery is a man who will be buried in that scenery. My first lover used to say that all the time. Secretly I wondered if the two knew each other. I believe they did, but I guess I'll never know.
It was those eyes - haunting, engaging, and lovely - that noticed movement in the shadows. And it was his hands that pulled me out of the way of the gunfire undoubtedly aimed at my head. I was in a third world country and Angel 7 mused that they were trying to make it look like a robbery to avoid an in-depth investigation. He mused this as he was bleeding to death in my arms. The blood he left on my shoulders was from when he returned fire into the shadows. Whatever he fired at, he must have hit, for the alley went quiet for a moment. A brief silence quickly replaced by the groaning of two men.
He told me to leave him there; that his job was finished. I was alive and, at the time, that seemed more important to him than it did to me. I couldn't remember the last time anyone held that point of view. That was when I fell in love.
I'm still running, but at least now I'm an extra step ahead. I'm real and I'm alive. Please believe this. And help me.
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