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27. Kiss the Sky

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Marriage should be a crime or something. Every so often, I forget that it’s there. And children are another story. Oh man. No. I’ll explain when I have the strength.

I got up, went to work, spoke to no one. I did my job as expected. Cassidy was there, as was Pandora. They belonged there. I didn’t deal with them unless absolutely necessary, and even then, I was quiet and reserved. There was just too much to make up for. Vagrant’s return was unsettling in my mind – we were trading one complication for another. And Doyle’s killer still hadn’t been explained to me. I was lacking. I was always the child, still sheltered. This proved that they would never be forthright with me. Did I truly want them to be?

It’s hard to consider what’s better…if I would rather live in my sheltered lifestyle, free from the burden of truth and the oppression of morality. And yet…here I am. I couldn’t be sure whether I wanted the truth…they were being protective, perhaps with good reason. They’re older, more mature, more…experienced. I should trust them. The question is – do I?

I’m 18 years old. I should be able to make these decisions for myself. Grey is my age – they don’t treat him like a child. Serkis, Layne, Cassidy, Requiem…they all fell into the same age bracket, Pandora too…21 or so I’d say. Doyle was older. By a good amount. And Vagrant’s age was impossible to determine, he came and went as he pleased. He was probably close to Doyle but who could really be certain. The numbers really aren’t that important if you think about it. The point is simple – we were young. In my opinion perhaps too young for this. Perhaps. I could be mistaken. I could be wrong. Could be.

The shift was winding down; I was just wiping the tables down, edging the last few people out. I could feel Cassidy watching me. He was reclining in a chair, feet up on a table, smoking silently. I wiped around him and kept going. He turned his head to follow me.

“Hey, you’re up tonight.”

“They’ll deal without me.”

He brought the chair back down on all four legs. “You won’t go?”

“No. I won’t.”

“You can’t not go, you’re the head. They need you.”

I looked at him wickedly. “If they need me, they’ll come claim me. Until then, I won’t go to them. And you can tell them just that for me.”

“What’s wrong with you, kid?” His voice sounded sincere, though there was a tone of…mockery hidden beneath the words. He was part of the inner circle, the circle that they were all a part of. I threw down my rag and walked to the door. Cassidy jumped out of the chair and grabbed my arm.

“What do you want? I told you I’m not going.”

“I heard you, I wanted to give you a little something that might make you feel better though, change your mind.” And he slipped a little bag into my pocket carefully, pulling his hand back apprehensively. I wasn’t his and he wasn’t mine; we were too close. I pushed him away, taking my arm back protectively. Cassidy thought about it and let me go. I trudged up to my apartment quickly.

I wouldn’t be their fool. I wouldn’t play the part. They could have someone else lead the show. It wasn’t the biggest tragedy – anybody else could play my part. I sat around and got comfortable, strumming on my guitar idly. When all else failed, I attempted to write songs. My attempts were never successful. But I could try. If anyone asked, it was just bad poetry.

Work was…uneventful. I was just sick and tired of this…stupidity. I was sick of the usual games, the usual avoidance. I would never be equal – I would never be as they were. I reached into my pocket, slowly pulling out what Cassidy had given me. The tools, everything I’d need to send myself away from here, away from this. He was a clever fellow. How he got away with what he did without someone kicking the shit out of him…I’m not sure. Or maybe they just didn’t care. My mind sided with the latter conclusion.

I sat on the floor, my back against the couch, thinking about my options. I had the easy answer right here. But it would only be temporary. But to hell with them – their morals and their values. I need them and they give me stories and lies. I deserve the truth. For what I do, how hard I try…I deserve answers. I’ll never get them though. So what does it matter? What does a temporary solution matter at all then? What matters is here, now. This. And this will make it go away. This will make the feeling stop. I got up and paced around, considering my options. I found a letter left on the table somewhere. In plain sight, and yet, I’d missed it. A letter. A formal note. There were two.

Conversation was reduced to a few simple letters here and there. The first was from Serkis explaining that I would have to work more. Pandora’s last night was tonight, she would be staying out awhile and we’d take care of her. If I could put two and two together, I’d understand – which I did. She was pregnant. And her child’s father was dead. Her own blood family gone…she was breaking down. This information I put into the back of my mind. It would matter months from now.

The second note was scratchy, in the same hand as the one I’d gotten when I got home. It was simple. It said: “Figure out the riddle yet? Don’t hurt yourself mulling it over. I’ll help you out. After all, marriage is such a blessed thing. A Requiem reborn Ransom. Understand yet, kid? I’ll be seeing you. Soon.”

I dropped both pieces of paper, collapsed, and cried. I shot myself up, without feeling or caring, just to get away from the lack of sanity. Nothing as it seemed. Nothing of importance remained anymore and I was just a screaming spectator. My shoulder was healing fine, the pain only coming back in times of extreme stress. My madness went unnoticed, my pain unheard…but did I really want the attention? Or was it just that I wanted someone to care enough about me as to take a step out of their own lives for me? Either way…I didn’t get what I wanted. Call me a spoiled brat, in my mind, well…in my mind it was something more, something deeper. I felt neglected, ignored. I felt…used.

I sent myself to a cloud because I wanted to not know. I purposely made that decision, I wanted to deny this pain, this madness, this…reality. I wanted it to go away and to fade into something more. Or something less. I couldn’t command the numb that I felt normally, I couldn’t mold or control it. It ran rampant and it took control whenever it saw fit. I was merely a silent spectator. I was the victim of myself. Silently or otherwise, I was always screaming. And I was always watching. I was always at fault and always here.

So here’s to being somewhere else.

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