When we stepped out into the space, I looked towards the
vending machine where Aaron had once stood. I saw the large
window from which the sick-sounding thud had reverbated.
The glass was smeared now, with blood and dirt and--sweat,
probably. There were some indistinguishable remnants of filth
that I couldn't quite make out.
Driblets of blood were sprinkled across the carpet, the
tile, and the wall. And, blood was smeared across the exit door
in the distance--Aaron's blood, surely. And now, he was gone--out
"See?" Jessica said in a faint whisper. "That's where he
"Oh wow, how obvious! As if we didn't already see that," I
I rolled my eyes and caught sight of James. His facial
expression was one of disapproval. And once again, I felt
ashamed. Okay. I could be better… I don't have to sink to her
level. So, here goes. Mission Impossible: Don't
respond to Jessica's cynicism.
* * *
James pulled me over the first two sets of steps, and I
almost fell. The steps were higher than average. And, he was tall
enough to take two steps in one stride if he felt like doing so.
Jessica was tall enough to do it too… Soon, I was stuck in the
back, trailing the two of them.
I grimaced, and prepared to climb the second set of stairs,
which rose up beside a set of large windows that overlooked the
city. Minutely, I acknowledged the windows then quickly looked
back down at my feet to make sure I didn't trip whilst being
At the top of the staircase, there was an aisle--accompanied
by railing--that continued in both directions. To the left, the
aisle continued for a short distance and ended in front of a set
of large windows.
Opposite of it, an aisle continued to the right towards a
set of doors and branched off into two directions. I tightly held
onto James' hand and veered right.
There was a widely open door a short distance away. Inside,
the lights flickered ominously and shelves upon shelves of books
towered over the debris of knocked over tables, broken chairs,
and torn up pieces of paper.
The dog ran right past us. I was wondering where he had been
all this time… He strolled up between me and James and eyed me
curiously. I cringed again; I couldn't hold it much longer. I
would kill to be a dog right now. At least then I could "go"
anywhere I wanted to.
I pulled away from James and staggered down the aisle and
over to a door. I opened it, and to my dismay, it wasn't a
bathroom. It was just another room with more magazines and books.
I left the door open and tried my luck with the room next to
it, but it wasn't a bathroom either.
There was room sitting at the far end of the aisle, but it
was still covered in shadow. I refused to go that far, but I had
to do something quick.
I staggered back over to the first room and shut the door.
And when I was done, I pulled up my pants whilst staring blankly
at the dark spot in the carpet that I had just created. I forced
myself to turn away. What an embarrassment… I had been reduced to
pissing on carpets and dabbing with--not tissue, but magazine
After that sickening dose of reality, I came out of the room
and pulled the door shut. I looked around for Jessica and James,
and I found them.
They were standing next to each other now; their backs were
turned to me. They were looking out of the window at the sun
slowly creeping over the dismal, distorted skyline. Her curly
hair just barely touched her broad shoulders.
The sun peeked over the buildings in the distance, and the
first-few, dull rays of morning eclipsed their bodies; their
figures turned into shadows; her hair was now a bed of unmoving
snakes. And James was a statue shrouded in obscurity--he was
"Oh, Cayleigh, you're done?" Jessica said, whipping her
James looked too.
"No… I just decided to come over and take a piss right here
in the middle of the floor," I replied derisively.
Mission Impossible: Failed.
James' eyes were upon me now; I could feel them. And, I just
knew that he was frowning… But by now, I was satisfied. And
instead of pleading my case, I averted my eyes and said nothing.
* * *