Into the Dark
Author's note: I like music A LOT. When I listen to songs, I mainly enjoy listening to their lyrics, trying to... Show full author's note »
24 HOURS BEFORE THE END, December 21, 2012, midnight“Well, the world’s ending,” Bixby says, squirming in the plastic chair next to Cath’s bed. She presses the thick remote incessantly, the bed creaking up and down.
She smiles, touching his heavy beard. “We should break out.”
“I thought you could use some company. That’s the only reason I came.”
“Well, I don’t need company,” she snarls. “I need to get out of this place.
His face pales. “We shouldn’t.” Her eyes, so large in that pale face,
“Do you love me at all anymore?” She asks, and his stomach twists. Silently he nods, and takes another sip of the rancid hospital coffee. They say nothing as she picks at her blanket. “Can we please leave?” she begs. He notices a pack of mint gum at her side.
“You still chew that crap? It smells awful.”
“I know you don’t owe me anything.” She grins. “But I don’t want to like, die in here,” she jokes, but knowing her, he watches for the telling flash of fear in those eyes. Once he sees it, his face flushes and he looks at the floor. The slump in his shoulders announces that he is going to give in. He swallows the rest of the rancid coffee, gives her a half-hearted sneering look, and then drags himself into an upright position. Her grin overtakes her face as he reaches down and pulls her to her feet. He supports her as she dresses in some extra clothes he brought to sleep over. He gives her his corduroy jacket, and pulls on his own ripped red sweatshirt. “You couldn’t have made more of an effort?” Cath asks, allowing a chuckle to emerge from her pink lips as she shoves her arm through the jacket’s sleeve.
They push their way to freedom, their warm hands making outlines on the glass door. “So, what are you going to do after I die?” She questions as they walk away from the hospital building, her voice muffled by the jacket she has just pulled up to her nose. He feels his head grow warm, furious at the fact she keeps joking. Suddenly, her voice becomes serious. “I’m really scared, Bixby.”
“I know,” Bixby murmurs, wrapping his arm around her shoulders. They walk for a couple moments in silence, her enjoying the smell of the oily city, and he reveling in her minty scent. She nervously giggles, the sound like popcorn bouncing off the surrounding buildings. She picks at a spot on her face and shoves a stick of mint gum into her mouth, then offers him one. He refuses as usual.
“Will you come with me?” She asks, like it’s a retirement plan or something less important than his life. He bites his lips. “I don’t want to be alone.” She glances at him, watching for a change in his expression, but finding none. An awkward silence falls between them. She coughs, her breath causing the air in front of her to fog.
“Cath…” he says after a moment. She gulps, nodding but he can see the rejection piercing her eyes.
“I know, Bixby, it is so ridiculous, but I’m just—”
“I always planned to follow you,” he whispers, stroking her hair. “I’ll follow you anywhere.” She grins, harshly pressing her lips against his. He notices that her kiss is strong, stronger than she has been since they first met. He taps his fingers on his jeans. Cath pulls his large gloves on, and takes his hand in hers.
“OK, Bixby, come with me,” she whispers, excitement lacing her strengthened voice. He can’t help but follow her, even if it’s into the dark.