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.

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

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

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

“It’s me.”

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

“What are you up to?”

“We need to talk, get dressed properly.”

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

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.

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

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

“I was planning on you not coming in.”

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

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.

“Want my help getting dressed?”

“Can you at least turn around?”

“I guess.”

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

“What do you want anyway?”

“Do you have any plans tomorrow?”

‘No, I don’t.’

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.

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

“And why do you need me to do that?”

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

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

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.

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

“I won’t do it then.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Alright, fuck off then.”

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.

“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.”

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

“I don’t want your help.”

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

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

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

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

I drop him back on his bed.

“You got that?”

He nods weakly without looking up.

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.


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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

“Hello, Kai.”

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

“Where should I meet you?”

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

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

“Got it.”

“Are you far away?”

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

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

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

He hangs up and the clock starts ticking.

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