The pavement glitters as he steps lightly from one stretch of cracked sidewalk to the next, dull walls turning to gold under his fingertips.
Your eyes follow him hungrily, enchanted by his movements and intoxicated by the air around him.
You want him.
God damn it, you want him more than anything in this world.
If only he would turn around and look at you just once... just once, and you would know you had a chance.
The gunshot is what brings you back to reality. A jarring, dreadful noise that sends your heart pounding and your mind racing.
For the first time, you look away from him and turn back to your home.
Your home. With its chain-link fences, weed-infested sidewalks and crumbling gas stations, it's a stark contrast to the glittering world you so desperately want to escape to.
A door slams loudly next to you and you jump, finding yourself face to face with a startling young woman.
Her hair frames her dark face in gorgeous black curls but, you can't seem to see beyond the anguish in her eyes. Although the soft skin of her cheeks are dry, you can tell she is crying.
"You deserve better," she says.
When you blink, she is gone.
You are left staring at an abandoned house, the bright red of the FORECLOSURE sign shining mockingly against the gray backdrop of your neighborhood,
reminding you once again that things are better on the other side.
You remember the man you had been following and turn back in his direction. Surprised that when you do, you find an open hand waiting expectantly in front of you.
You look up at the man, a question on the tip of your tongue that disappears the second your gaze reaches his hypnotic blue eyes.
"I'll take care of you." He says.
You want to believe him.
With oppression behind you and opportunity in front of you, all you want to do is grab his hand and never let go.
And so you do.
This man with the magical fingers and sparkly shoes is going to take care of you.
When you love, you love with your entire heart.
With no inhibitions you dedicated your life to this man who has promised to care for you and bring you into his glittering, golden world.
For years, you give him everything.
You trust him with your life's aspirations, invite him to explore the most intimate parts of your body and when he comes home crying, you hug him till the tears dry.
You see God in him.
When the gunshots come again, you are confused at first.
How did they manage to find you?
He said he would take care of you.
You run to the kitchen, heart pounding and mind racing once again.
Another gunshot rings through your ears as you stumble up the stairs and into his bedroom, tears streaking down your dark cheeks.
With the simple sound of a gun firing, they have destroyed your reality.
You can hear people wailing just outside.
You feel their pain as if it were your own and suddenly, you are crippled,
clutching at your throat as you struggle to breath and falling to the ground as the pain of a bullet spreads through the back of your head.
Your back begins to bleed from the agony of hundreds of years worth of suffering at the hands of a white man with a whip and you can taste the blood as it travels over your tongue,
coming out in burning chunks as you gag violently in an effort to get just an ounce of oxygen to your heart.
The voices in your head are louder now.
The wailing is joined by screams of frustration and and chants for freedom and equality only to be drowned out by more gunshots.
The silence that follows is more agonizing than the suffering that came before it.
How can the abhorrent, horrid crimes against your people be met with silence?
You look up, finally able to breath again.
As oxygen floods your body, so does relief
for he is standing over you.
Blue eyes as hypnotic as ever, magical fingertips pressed to his sides and shoes still sparkling despite the blood he stands in.
He had promised to protect you.
You have no reason to doubt him.
Despite the ache in your heart and your body you force yourself to smile.
Your love for him is greater than any pain afflicted upon you.
He looks down at you, cocking his head to the side in confusion.
"You're still alive?" He asks.
That's when it hits you.
For the first time since meeting him, you see the gun he holds in his hand.
His magical fingertips hover dangerously over the trigger and the barrel of the gun is pointed directly at your heart.
Looking up at the man you loved, all you can do is scream as his beautiful fingers pull the trigger of the gun, those gorgeous blue eyes staring straight at you but somehow, not seeing you.
And so, you scream.
It's a tortured sound.
So filled with despair that anyone who hears it finds themselves sharing your tears of betrayal and heart-break.
With that final release of your suffering you close your eyes.
You find yourself lying on the cracked, weed-infested sidewalk.
The red FORECLOSURE sign glaring down upon you.
It's as if you had never left at all.
A beautiful woman is standing above you.
Her skin is as dark as yours and her gorgeous black curls glow in the light of the setting sun.
This time, there is no pain in her eyes.
Only an uninhibited, raging fury.
As your vision begins to go dark, she speaks to you one last time.
"You deserved better."