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“Are you out of your fuckin mind Rain? You can’t really be thinking about listening to this freak!” Marla’s forked tongue was visible when she screamed.
Rain was already on her way to the door. “Marla, listen I know he sounds like a freak, and I know he is strange but he saved my… he has been right before and well I need to get out of town anyway.” Rain had made up her mind.
“You should leave too.” I gestured towards Marla. It was hard to speak; my jaw had seized up like a rusty gear.
“Quentin, knows things.” Rain was making an awkward attempt to defend me. It made me feel strange.
“Oh really, like how to freak out and start screaming on my couch? Things like that?” Marla was dubious, dubious at best.
“Marla, you know I love you, we have a great time together,” a knowing smile appeared on Marla’s face, “but I am going to do this, and I think you should seriously consider taking a trip west, if only for a couple of days, what could it hurt?” She shrugged and continued to smile at Marla.
Marla smiled back, “Well listen, just take care of yourself, ok.” The look in her eye spoke of lust and love.
Rain already had her bag on her back, pausing briefly to make sure the small package was inside. Thinking of Rain and Marla tangled in a heap of naked tattooed limbs made me blush, I quickly thought of something else.
“You coming?” Rain was at the door.
I stood up and started to walk. I was almost to the door when I felt a hand on my shoulder.
“If you hurt her, I will find you and I will cut off your balls and shove them up your ass.” The calm way Marla described the violence left no doubt that she was serious. Marla was the kind of girl that didn’t lie about this sort of thing.
We were several blocks away before I realized that we were walking back towards the T station. I paused momentarily.
Rain seemed to notice my apprehension, “We have to go back to my place, we have to get my bike, and then we have to get you one too.”
“Are you sure? I mean can’t we like steal a bike or something?”
“You don’t steal bikes, it is Karmically impure to even speak of such things.” Rain took bicycle ownership seriously.
“Listen Quentin, you said we need to walk or ride, we sure as shit ain’t walking to Ohio, so we get my wheels.” She looked at me, waiting for an answer.
Did I have a better plan? Not really.
Once again to the T, once again through the sweaty hot underground, more horrible noise, this time up an endless flight of stairs. I surprised myself by making it the whole way back without having to stop. Was I getting stronger, or was it the adrenaline. Were we really going to go back to the place that just this morning had been ransacked by a bunch of angry mobsters?
When we got a couple of blocks away from Rains place she stopped walking.
“Ok listen, not to be mean Quentin, but you’re not exactly in top physical shape right now.” She wasn’t being cruel, zombies had better constitution.
“So here is what we are going to do, you are going to go over to that office building and go up to the top floor.” She pointed several blocks down the road towards a tall glass building.
“I am going to go back to my place, get my bike and some stuff.”
A simple enough plan
“You wait for me on the very top floor. Trust me.”
The strange thing is I did trust her. I don’t know when it had happened but I was starting to think of Rain as my friend.
Rain walked with me towards the tall glass building, going so far as to lead me inside to a bank of elevators. The brass plate that held the floor numbers above the doors had tiny scroll work leaves and vines. The air was cool inside. The carpet felt strange under my feet, like it was made of tiny bits of moss stacked up just right, like you might sink in at any moment.
“Be right back.” She grinned and pressed the button for the top floor in the elevator. The doors shut with a silent motion.
The elevator shot swiftly upwards, producing an uncomfortable feeling in my spine. The increased gravity too much for my fragile bones. The doors opened with a gentle ding and I walked out into a large empty space. The top floor of this building was still under construction. Several saw horses and sheets of drywall sat near one corner, white dust clung to the floor where a recent sheet had been sawed in half. The air smelled like saw dust, and the pungent smell of industrial cleaners.
I walked to the windowed wall and realized that I could see straight down towards Rains apartment. Far below a miniature Rain was walking cautiously towards the back of her place. I could just make out her black skirt pushing out around her body. From this height she looked like a moving doll.
I watched her until she turned the corner and was gone from my view. The time dragged on for what seemed like forever. My arm pits started to get moist with nervous sweat, what was taking her so long?
I was just about to turn and head back for the elevator when I saw a miniature Rain this time on bicycle shoot out from the parking lot behind her building. She went right over the curb like it wasn’t their. She was followed closely by two men in dark clothing. She was already standing up on her bike, pumping her legs, swinging the bike out sideways, sacrificing stability for speed.
The men seemed to realize in unison the futility of chasing her on foot and ran back the way they had came, moments later a large dark car, came rocketing out of the parking lot. It was the kind of car you saw in old movies, wide enough to take up most of the lane, and with little fins on the back. That kind of car that had recently become very expensive to fuel.
They quickly made up the distance Rain had put between them. Her legs pumped like pistons, pushing her tiny bike forward keeping a short distance on the whale of a car coming up behind her. Ahead was a group of cars waiting at a red light.
She didn’t even slow down. She melted through the intersection like water through a sieve. It was dark messenger voodoo, the cars didn’t exist to her she was pure movement. The giant caddie behind her swerved to one side and put two wheels up on the curb, firing both hub caps off like cannons.
The mobsters made it through the intersection into the empty lane ahead. With nothing in their way they would soon overtake their prey. Rain looked behind her and I imagined she smiled when she saw the large car so close behind her. I imagine she smiled because of what she did next.