Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)(11)

She is a walking weapon in society, is what the teachers said. We’ve never seen anything like it, is what the doctors said. She should be removed from your home, is what the police officers said.

No problem at all, is what my parents said. I was 14 years old when they finally got rid of me. When they stood back and watched as I was dragged away for a murder I didn’t know I could commit.

Maybe the world is safer with me locked in a cell. Maybe Adam is safer if he hates me. He’s sitting in the corner with his fists in his face.

I never wanted to hurt him.

I never wanted to hurt the only person who never wanted to hurt me.

The door crashes open and 5 people swarm into the room, rifles pointed at our chests.

Adam is on his feet and I’m made of stone. I’ve forgotten to inhale. I haven’t seen so many people in so long I’m momentarily stupefied. I should be screaming.


I’m still frozen in place. I should move, I should lift my arms, I should spread my feet, I should remember to breathe. Someone is cutting off my neck.

The one barking orders slams the butt of his gun into my back and my knees crack as they hit the floor. I finally taste oxygen and a side of blood. I think Adam is yelling but there is an acute agony ripping through my body unlike anything I’ve experienced before. I’m utterly immobilized.

“What don’t you understand about keeping your mouth SHUT?” I squint sideways to see the barrel of the gun 2 inches away from Adam’s face.

“GET UP.” A steel-toed boot kicks me in the ribs, fast, hard, hollow. I’m swallowing nothing but the strangled gasps choking my body. “I said GET UP.” Harder, faster, stronger, another boot in my gut. I can’t even cry out.

Get up, Juliette. Get up. If you don’t, they’ll shoot Adam.

I heave myself up to my knees and fall back on the wall behind me, stumbling forward to catch my balance. Lifting my hands is more torture than I knew I could endure. My organs are dead, my bones are cracked, my skin is a sieve, punctured by pins and needles of pain. They’ve finally come to kill me.

That’s why they put Adam in my cell.

Because I’m leaving. Adam is here because I’m leaving, because they forgot to kill me on time, because my moments are over, because my 17 years were too many for this world. They’re going to kill me.

I always wondered how it would happen. I wonder if this will make my parents happy.

Someone is laughing. “Well aren’t you a little shit?”

I don’t even know if they’re talking to me. I can hardly focus on keeping my arms upright.

“She’s not even crying,” someone adds. “The girls are usually begging for mercy by now.”

The walls are beginning to bleed into the ceiling. I wonder how long I can hold my breath. I can’t distinguish words I can’t understand the sounds I’m hearing the blood is rushing through my head and my lips are 2 blocks of concrete I can’t crack open. There’s a gun in my back and I’m tripping forward. The floors are falling up. My feet are dragging in a direction I can’t decipher.

I hope they kill me soon.


It takes me 2 days to open my eyes.

There’s a tin of water and a tin of food set off to the side and I inhale the cold contents with trembling hands, a dull ache creaking through my bones, a desperate drought suffocating my throat. Nothing seems to be broken, but one glance under my shirt proves the pain was real. The bruises are discolored blossoms of blue and yellow, torture to touch and slow to heal.

Adam is nowhere.

I am alone in a block of solitude, 4 walls no more than 10 feet in every direction, the only air creeping in through a small slot in the door. I’ve just begun to terrorize myself with my imagination when the heavy metal door slams open. A guard with 2 rifles strung across his chest looks me up and down.

“Get up.”

This time I don’t hesitate.

I hope Adam, at least, is safe. I hope he doesn’t come to the same end I do.

“Follow me.” The guard’s voice is thick and deep, his gray eyes unreadable. He looks about 25 years old, blond hair cropped close to the crown, shirtsleeves rolled up to his shoulders, military tattoos snaking up his forearms just like Adam’s.




Adam steps into the doorway beside the blond and gestures with his weapon toward a narrow hallway. “Move.”

Adam is pointing a gun at my chest.

Adam is pointing a gun at my chest.

Adam is pointing a gun at my chest.

His eyes are foreign to me, glassy and distant, far, far away.

I am nothing but novocaine. I am numb, a world of nothing, all feeling and emotion gone forever.

I am a whisper that never was.

Adam is a soldier. Adam wants me to die.

I stare at him openly now, every sensation amputated, my pain a distant scream disconnected from my body. My feet move forward of their own accord; my lips remain shut because there will never be words for this moment.

Death would be a welcome release from these earthly joys I’ve known.

I don’t know how long I’ve been walking before another blow to my back cripples me. I blink against the brightness of light I haven’t seen in so long. My eyes begin to tear and I’m squinting against the fluorescent bulbs illuminating the large space. I can hardly see anything.

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