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He did not know how to live without her. He did not know how to breathe without her. He did not know how to smile without her. He did not know how to exist without her.

Marina had been the sunshine on his darkest day, and the laugh in the quietest room. She was the smile when the sun rose and when it set, and the glimmer of hope when the situation seemed impossible. She was the forever optimistic angel who never once let her condition bring her down, with fiery dark-red hair and the kindest of eyes that reflected her beautiful soul and her big heart. No one had a heart as big as her, so full of love and compassion and understanding.

Compared to her, Guzmán was the darkest of demons that, upon his death, would reside in the worst part of Hell, while she enjoyed the beauty of Heaven.

The man brought the bottle of vodka up to his lips, taking a large chug. He wondered what she would have said now, upon seeing him like this; wasted, unkempt and in despair.

Marina would have never scolded him, that is something he knew for sure. She would have sat down next to him and gently forced him into laying his troubles onto her, to make the weight on his shoulders a little less heavy. She would have taken away his bottle, cleaned him up and tucked him in. She would have taken care of him, just like she always did.

He was the reason she was dead. He had the power in him to help her, to talk her out of running away with that imbecile when Samuel had warned him. Maybe, if he had pulled her away from the poolside to talk, she would not be dead now, because that asshole would have never found her.

Guzmán was the murderer in this case, even if he had not been the one to hold the murder weapon and whack Marina with it. Guzmán was the reason Marina was dead because he had been too ignorant to heed Samu’s warning.

He screamed, throwing the half-full bottle of vodka all the way across the kitchen.

The sound brought the attention of both his parents and they appeared through the door of the kitchen in a moment. His mother looked distraught, just like she usually did, and his father just looked done with everything, also a usual look.

“What happened?” His mother asks, looking at the shards of class and the small dent the impact made in the wall, bleeding vodka. Funny that the wall survived the hit. Guess his father didn’t waste any money on their house… at least.

Guzmán groaned, “nothing.”

It wasn’t nothing. It was everything.

He was drowning in sorrow and guilt, drowning in the different scenarios where he listened to Samu and where she was still here. He was drowning in his uselessness and in his emptiness, now that she was gone. Before that, he breathed for her, but now, there was no one left to breathe for.

Lucrecia should have let him die that day. Life would be so much easier now.

He felt his mother rest a hand on his shoulder and he shrugged it off.

This woman wasn’t even his mother, and this man wasn’t his father, even if he shared his biological dad’s vices for drugs.

They had graciously taken him in and given him everything, but he wondered why exactly they had decided to adopt when his mother had been pregnant with Marina as it was. Maybe they had messed up his real family, too, and this was the only thing they could do to smooth over their guilt.

Marina had hated them and all of their corruption money. She had known what the fuck was going on in this family, and she had tried her best to do something about it; anything. She was entirely too good for this world.

His mother had taken a step back, “Guzmán, I know that it hurts you… having had lost your sister but--”

“Maybe, if you two hadn’t been on her ass all of the time, she would not have tried to run away with that idiot and maybe, just maybe, she would still be alive.”

The words left his lips before he could stop himself, but maybe it was for the best. The thoughts had been clouding his judgment for weeks now, since her death, and saying them out loud felt like he was taking a weight off of his shoulders. Yes, he blamed himself for her death, but he also blamed their parents.

Ever since the incident with Pablo, they had not let her breathe. To him, she was innocent in all that had happened, but to their parents, things weren’t as black and white. Ever since she caught HIV, they had locked her up in their home and only really allowed her out to school or with him, to make sure that he could keep an eye on her at all times. Of course, he did that, and she hated him for it.

Marina was a free spirit, too free to let anyone handle her, so the fact that he was the person that their parents entrusted with keeping her out of trouble really did a number on her. She wanted to be free to do what her soul desired, but because of his obligations, Guzmán never really allowed it.

They were all the reason for the fact that Marina was not breathing the sweet summer air. They were all the reason for the fact that Marina was not enjoying the warm sun, allowing it to kiss over her pale flesh. They were all the reason for that fact that no one would ever be able to listen to her beautiful singing ever again.

They were the reason she was dead. They were the reason that she was with the angels and they were the reason Guzmán would never get to tell her how sorry he was and how much he loved and needed her.

Marina was dead. She was really dead.