Angie let out a short, harsh bark of laughter. Derisive and bitter. I’d forgotten who I was talking to for a moment there. She’d opened up to me in the last 30 minutes more than she had in our entire 20 years of friendship and I had kind of gotten a bit ahead of myself.
I apologised quietly. She shrugged and turned her gaze back to the window.
I could see the flashing neon sign reflected in the windows of the dilapidated building across the way. The rain made it difficult to see much else out there. Angie had good eyes.
My head ached and I gingerly touched my forehead, feeling the warmth of blood through the bandage.
Sometimes I thought I was more awesome, and way smarter than I really was. This time it had gotten me into major trouble and the most unlikely of my friends had stepped up to help me.
Angie. She’d remained the same since the first day I met her in middle school. She was a goth before goth was even a trend. All natural, of course – big violet eyes, thick black eyelashes, long, straight, raven black hair and skin so pale she was genuinely as white as snow. Now of course, she had tattoos and piercings and wore black clothing and listened to dark music: pretty much how she’d been through high school, sans the piercings and tattoos. Angie didn’t change for anyone – I was always surprised that we remained friends all through school and then when we went out into the world. I can’t recall now what brought us, such an unlikely pair, together. My other friends in school had drifted away and we’d lost contact, but never Angie. She was always there when I needed her, and I made sure I was there if she needed me. It was not very often that she ever asked me for help, of course.
I had changed a great deal since school – I was a trend whore. I admit it. Whatever was in was what I was in to.
I sighed and shook my head. I felt it throb in time to my pulse. Ow.
Angie glanced briefly at me, her face without emotion, then she continued to peer out the corner of the window. She swapped the pistol from her left hand to her right, clenched and unclenched the fingers on her left hand for a few moments before swapping the pistol back.
I knew she was tense, frightened, by the look on her face. She brought up her walls (and they were mighty walls) when she felt threatened in any way, and while she was definitely all in for me, right now, she was also huddling down in her mental bunker. I knew her so well. She knew me even better though.
I saw her sit up slightly, back straight and my heart began to pound. She looked at me, this time her eyes were wide with fear, and she jerked her chin sharply toward the door across the empty room. I leapt up and scrambled over dusty, broken furniture and decaying cloth, to the door. I checked my gun. Switched the safety off.
It was time. They were coming.