Chapter 5:

I have nothing

The Sequence of Kai

I need someone to look after Trish, make sure she stays at home tomorrow. I can’t trust Paul to do that, so reluctantly I find myself outside Aaron’s door. Bookmark here

I knock twice. He’s a light sleeper, it ought to get his attention.Bookmark here

“Trish? Is that you? Gimmie a second.”Bookmark here

I hear the sound of him rolling out from under his covers and starting to get dressed.Bookmark here

“It’s me.”Bookmark here

The rustling sounds stop abruptly. A couple of seconds later the door is cracked open, Aaron’s left eye peering through the gap.Bookmark here

“What are you up to?”Bookmark here

“We need to talk, get dressed properly.”Bookmark here

I push the door open easily; he tries his hardest to not let me, but he’s not exactly strong. Bookmark here

He falls flat on his ass and covers himself so I can’t see his dick, seems he had only gotten his shirt on by the time he heard my voice.Bookmark here

“What the fuck are you doing barging into my room when I’m not dressed?!”Bookmark here

“What the fuck are you doing opening the door with your dick out?”Bookmark here

“I was planning on you not coming in.”Bookmark here

‘And that plan couldn’t have involved pants?’Bookmark here

I grab a random pair of his out of the open wardrobe and throw them at his head. He goes to catch them but then remembers what he’s covering and instinctively moves his hands back, letting them hit him square in the face. He sits there doing nothing for a while, pants hanging down and covering his eyes.Bookmark here

“Want my help getting dressed?”Bookmark here

“Can you at least turn around?”Bookmark here

“I guess.”Bookmark here

I face away from the self-conscious boy and, finally, he starts getting dressed.Bookmark here

“What do you want anyway?”Bookmark here

“Do you have any plans tomorrow?”Bookmark here

‘No, I don’t.’Bookmark here

I hear him sitting down on his bed, that’s my sign that I can turn back around. He was never going to tell me; he’d gladly let me stay facing away from him with my eyes closed if he could.Bookmark here

“Then I need you to stay home and make sure Trish doesn’t go anywhere.”Bookmark here

“And why do you need me to do that?”Bookmark here

‘She’s got herself caught up in something dangerous.’Bookmark here

“Then wouldn’t you be better off staying and protecting her?”Bookmark here

His face is tense. He wants to protect Trish if there is any danger but he’s wary of anything that comes out of my mouth.Bookmark here

“I need to get rid of that something dangerous.”Bookmark here

“I won’t do it then.”Bookmark here

“Why not? You really going to leave Trish in danger?”Bookmark here

“Oh come on, don’t try me like that, we’re not all as gullible as you think.”Bookmark here

I don’t think they’re all gullible, I just trusted more in his empathetic side than I should have.Bookmark here

“Why won’t you do it? What do I have to give you in exchange?”Bookmark here

‘It’s not some sort of bargain Kai, I just don’t trust you, especially when you won’t tell me anything.’Bookmark here

“It is a bargain, you just want information.”Bookmark here

“Alright, fuck off then.”Bookmark here

This is always how our conversations go, we’re just too different to ever get along. But today I can’t afford to leave it here, I need his help, as much as I wish I didn’t.Bookmark here

“Look, just stay home tomorrow, make sure Trish doesn’t go to work and I’ll make sure to tell you all about it when I get back.”Bookmark here

“Why can’t you just tell me now? I can help.”Bookmark here

“I don’t want your help.”Bookmark here

“We’re meant to be a team, aren’t we? The three of us?”Bookmark here

“Me and you both know we’re not a team, I was never cut out to be part of one.”Bookmark here

“That’s because you refuse to fit into one.”Bookmark here

I grab him by the collar of his shirt, I’m wasting my time here.Bookmark here

“I don’t have the patience for your bullshit right now Aaron. Stay at home, make sure Trish doesn’t go anywhere or she might get hurt. In fact, make sure you don’t go anywhere because you definitely will.”Bookmark here

I drop him back on his bed.Bookmark here

“You got that?”Bookmark here

He nods weakly without looking up. Bookmark here

That’s Aaron for you, all the ideas and ideals without the balls to act on any of it. I leave him alone to sulk and head back to my apartment.Bookmark here

***Bookmark here

I spend the early morning hours strolling around the coast trying to cool off. Bookmark here

I got done what I needed to at Paul’s but just barely, there’s no way I’d be able to come up with a rational plan with my head like that, so I don’t even bother trying. Bookmark here

I like the beach at night. The air is cool and refreshing, you can taste the salt on the breeze. No one is around when it’s late enough either, it’s a perfect place to just walk.Bookmark here

I could never come here during the day, I don’t like crowds, especially ones where I can’t hide my face.Bookmark here

The last time I came here during the day must’ve been years ago, back when I was still in school. Bookmark here

I remember me and the girls I think I was friends with got all worked up about buying new swimsuits. They all had some boy in class they wanted to impress, I probably did too. Bookmark here

We all decided to buy different colours so that we wouldn’t be competing. A silly little lie since we all knew we were anyway. I wonder what colour I picked out? I probably still own it; it would have to be my only swimwear.Bookmark here

Eventually, I work my way back to my apartment, as calm as I could be given the circumstances. By this stage the sun is already rising, the early workers are already bringing the cities background hum up to speed. I shut all the blinds so I can think.Bookmark here

Paul was right about one thing, killing Elm would be a bad decision. Not on a moral level, just strategically. Bookmark here

When someone involved in the game loses their seat at the table, their cards are redistributed somewhere across the world randomly. Bookmark here

Elm doesn’t pose much of an actual threat, so if I were being rational, it would be better to leave him with the power as opposed to opening it up to someone more dangerous. Bookmark here

We’ll see just how rational I can be when I see his face again though.Bookmark here

In an ideal world, I remain calm, I corner him, threaten him, make sure he gets far far away from me. Bookmark here

I should find out where he’s keeping those copies of his gospel too. If I can get rid of his stockpile it might take him years to write the same number of them again. This is all in an ideal world of course.Bookmark here

I look over at my clock at some stage after spacing out for a while. Bookmark here

Three O’Clock. He’s probably going to tell me to wear something nice, do up my makeup, so I might as well do that ahead of time. I’d like this to be over with sooner rather than later. Bookmark here

I do my hair and makeup, pick out one of my old uniforms and throw a pair of jeans and a jacket over it. I’m a sorry state in the mirror, the only time my makeup has ever looked good is when someone else has done it. Not that I haven’t tried getting good at it. Bookmark here

Well, I haven’t tried in a while I guess.Bookmark here

It’s four now, I suppose I should get this over with. I take out my phone and dial Elm.
Bookmark here

“Hello, Kai.”Bookmark here

He picks up very quickly. The filter on his voice through the phone makes him sound a bit more palatable than in person.Bookmark here

“Where should I meet you?”Bookmark here

“I’ll text you the address now, have a look.”Bookmark here

I check my phone and sure enough, he’s texted me a maps link to his address. It’s only a 15-minute walk. Bookmark here

“Got it.”Bookmark here

“Are you far away?”Bookmark here

“Not very. I could be there in 25 minutes.”Bookmark here

I want some time to scout out his place if I can.Bookmark here

“Good, I expect to see you no later than half past then. Make sure you’re wearing something nice.”Bookmark here

He hangs up and the clock starts ticking.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.