Well, I'm happy to say I finished this post bright and early today! Roughly at 09.15. As always, I hope it's a good read.
It's actually a lot shorter than what I was intending it, due to the fact that I wasn't expecting this scene to pan out quite as long as what it has done. But, it's no problem, it just means that we'll find out what exactly the narrator and Kristian have to do next week, or whenever the next post is finished.
I'm going back tomorrow for enrolment at university and then have my first official day of year 3 on the Tuesday. Am I nervous? Slightly. I've ordered all my books, and there will indeed be lots of reading, lots of writing, lots and lots of work in general. I hope that I'll be able to keep this up!
But, that's not worthy of worrying about. So, back to this: I hope you enjoy this instalment, and the next one will be coming in the not too distant future. Tara!
I woke with a start. Cold sweat saturated my face, trickled down my neck. I wiped at it with the back of my hand and suddenly found myself staring at it, as if I was expecting the salty clear liquid to be something else: But what?
It was then that my dream came back to me, slowly. I pieced all the fragmented memories together until they formed a solid unit, until I could recall each feeling, each occurrence and each drop of blood. I waited until it was perfect, until everything worthy of remembrance was brought to life. And then I got up.
I was still dressed in the same clothes. I had fallen asleep pretty much instantaneously. And, I had wasted a reasonable amount of time. It was 9 p.m. Not one for waiting and gathering nerves, I grabbed my keys and went out into the night in search of entertainment.
I found it, unsurprisingly, in a nearby bar, though I use the word ‘entertainment’ loosely. Its outside decor was precursor to just how uninspired the inside was. Neon pink bulbs, love heart seats, flamingos...I have no idea why there were plastic flamingos. It wasn’t something I thought worthy of inquiring after. Instead, I asked after their best ale, and after getting a reply of:
‘Best one in the house, this. Made with top class ingredients and that’ I didn’t feel in any way enlightened. Although, it is true to say I was enlightened as to just how low society had sunk. And yes, I am using this one example to classify the whole of society as low and degenerate.
In order to try and keep sufficient distance from everyone and everything around me, I awkwardly stood a little away from the bar with my back turned to it. I kept this up for a short while only, as the sights on display were enough to make my stomach turn. This place was for the forty-somethings, the forty-somethings who when young and fresh would have been so discerning about who they were going to bring back to bed, to allow to plunge and wallow in their naked flesh. And after the deed, for a fleeting moment, to see their soul laid bare open to them and them alone. But now, now none of this matters. After too many marriages ending in fist fights and tears, too many abortions and too many fears, these women welcome those they would have turned away with open arms and open legs. Anything for a bit of attention, someone to show them that their saggy and aging body is worthy of loving.
It’s sad, but it’s not the most pleasurable of viewing. I had no choice. I turned back to the bar and sat on a stool. I shook off every attempt at conversation with a noncommittal smile and a shrug of the shoulders. The time crawled by.
After finishing the majority of my third ‘top class’ excuse of an ale, I glanced down at my watch. 11.10 p.m. I was late. I checked my glass, drank the dregs, and walked briskly through the night.
I made it back within three minutes. Kristian’s car was indeed out back. I casually walked up to it but on closer inspection there was no one inside to greet or berate me.
I did a full circle. No one and nothing of note. I tried the passenger door: It wasn’t locked. I lifted the handle and pulled it open; ready to clamber inside, when a hand grabbed my shoulder and pulled me back while another grasped the back of my head and slammed it into the side of the car. Then the sound of a gun being cocked. I stood still. Pain crept into my awareness. What I could only assume was blood was trickling from the top of my head downwards to the ground. I grimaced. It was about all I could do.
‘Didn’t I tell ya that you gotta do right by me, huh? Didn’t I tell ya that you’d be sorry if not, didn’t I?’
The gun was pressed to the back of my head so hard I could have swore I heard my veins crack. He was jolting as he was speaking, making the pressure of the gun that bit harder to bear.
‘What the hell do ya think ya were playin’ at? 11 p.m. sharp, those were my words. Those were my words exactly. Don’t you realise, you may just have compromised everything?’
I began to laugh. Well, it probably didn’t sound like a laugh, with my face compressed against a car door. But, I was laughing, and Kristian knew it.
‘Here, put your hands behind ya back, yeah, like this. Right, good.’
He placed his gun out of the way, pulled my arms tightly together, then lifted my head back and slammed it into the side again. An almighty crack. It was no wonder no one came out to see what all the noise was about. Or maybe no one cared to get involved, it wasn’t any of their business.
This time there definitely was blood. He pulled my head back once more and stared into my eyes, leering. I stared back.
‘So, what’s so funny, huh? You gonna explain yourself, or do I have to make you?’
I grinned mechanically in response to this. His eyebrows lowered, he bore his teeth.
‘Fair enough, I’ve compromised everything, I can see why you’re so angry. But, don’t you realise your actions are compromising everything just that little bit more. Time’s getting on, Kristian, and you’re stood over the one person who can help, bashing their head into a car door to show them just how in the wrong they are. I know I’m in the wrong, Kristian. But ultimately, time can’t be recovered, and it is getting on.’
With a roar of anger, he pulled my head back even further, but instead of slamming me again he threw me to the floor. I lay there, waiting to recover my composure. I slowly dragged myself up to see Kristian looking somehow shrunken, with his head bowed. I walked over, placed a hand on his shoulder, and said,
‘Remember Krisitian, I’m here for a reason. It’s your reason, not mine. I’m just the one that can do this.’
He looked up at me then. Gratitude flickered in his eyes, or maybe that was just my imagination. Either way, we got into the car, and without another word we were on our way to the reason why I was here.