The Salton Sea, CA
The first thing that flashed before SHANE SAMUEL DIAMOND’S eyes other than the shock of DiamonD’s presumable death was his life in the form of pain, anguish, depression; sheer psychosis accompanied by drugs, alcohol, prescription pills, slashed wrists, shrinks and suicide, and he couldn’t take it. . .not living without her. But there was so much blood that for a minute there he couldn’t distinguish whose blood was whose only that he knew that they had both been shot. He had felt her bullet go through him then escape him and that was when DiamonD’s breathing became short and labored while the beating of her heart – so dangerously close to his – was just seconds away from flatlining.
“Please,” Shane then pleaded to the God responsible for shaping both he and DiamonD’s paths as he rocked DiamonD in his arms beneath a state of desperation. “Please,” he then agonized, slapping DiamonD around her face and cheeks trying to get her to wake up. “Please, baby, please, wake up. Wake up! Wake up, DiamonD!”
“Brother,” JAE-JOON stressed, kneeling to one knee and squeezing Shane’s arm gently. “Please, brother.” He then shook his head as if to say ‘let her go’.
“No!” Shane argued with angered tears clouding his eyes. “NO!” he then cried out, shifting his anguish back onto DiamonD who continued to remain unresponsive in his arms. “Baby, please wake up! Wake up! Wake up, DiamonD! Now! Now!” he yelled.
“Shane, man, please,” ANGELO SYNTINO also stressed, as he, too, knelt to one knee and squeezed Shane’s arm only it wasn’t as gentle, it was stern and in agreement with Jae who continued to press Shane into accepting the fact that DiamonD was gone.
“I can’t, Angelo,” Shane sobbed pulling DiamonD possessively to him, at the same time, staring at Angelo as if he were crazy for even suggesting such a callous thing when DiamonD was the one who had forged all their lives up to this critical moment, and to just let her go like that. . .with God felt like an insult. And despite how Angelo and Jae felt, Shane vowed to continue on fighting for DiamonD even if it would take fighting for her all the way to his grave.
“It’s okay, baby, it’s. . .okay,” Shane said sniffling back tears and kissing DiamonD on her forehead as he continued to rock her listless body in his arms. “We’re gonna get through this once you wake up,” he then assured as he nodded into nothing and sniffed back more tears. “You’ll see,” he whispered tirelessly, “you’ll see. . .” Shane’s voice then trailed off into the thinnest of air.
“Shane, c’mon, you can’t – ” Angelo started to say but then stopped as his own voice had abruptly trailed off once he realized that there would be no amount of words to sway and sympathize and encourage Shane to understand the situation at hand; a situation Angelo felt – if Shane weren’t careful – would be the death of him. And instead of continuing to stress over Shane, Angelo instead shook his head and sighed out in a heady state of frustration. He then shifted his gaze from Shane to Jae to grasp his thoughts on the matter but Jae just lowered his gaze and continued to comfort Shane’s arm.
Angelo slowly rose to his stance just as the whir of sand and salt had breezed past him – like tumbleweeds rolling across long stretches of highways and onto the barren lands that created them – and cast his gaze across a broken sea of abandoned buildings and dust coated roads and the fossil of the fishes that once thrived in the Salton in search of the caravan of pimped SUV’s, five-figure suits, and customize Glocks just like the one he was holding now but found nothing except for the prides that first brought he and Shane here after they both had come to the conclusion that their prides had to be dealt with for personal reasons and the intent of finishing what DiamonD had started with Sonny before it had trickled down to him, trickled down to Shane then to both him and Shane. And never for once did Angelo think that pulling the trigger would end the life of the woman they all loved.