I stumble out into the hallway, dry mouthed and dizzy. Good morning hangover. Through the squint of my blurry eyes I can see the blood, finger painted across the hallway walls. Smeared and dragged across the floor, spattered above, decorating the ceiling tiles. Dry, hoarse coughs escaping my throat as I swerve towards the bathroom for some cold water. I’m trying to forget the red messy scene out there as I lower my mouth to the tap, and gulp. Washing away the night’s film from my dreary eyes. Anywhere but here, please. I lower my head as I shuffle back to my room, close the door with a tight lock and hide under my blankets, praying for a long escape of sleep. Where is Tyler when I need him.
I wake up sometime in the evening. Happy to be concealed from the suns spotlight. Tyler’s back and he’s frantic. Pacing back and forth, his face hard and angry. Something’s happened. He tells me he has three days to pack his shit and leave. He’s getting evicted. My stomach ties up into tight coils. I can’t breathe. The panic rising, my heart racing. Faster, faster. I can’t breathe. I can’t stay here, can’t live here without him. I won’t do it. I CAN’T DO IT. I start to cry.
He sits down in front of me. Tells me not to be afraid. Tells me I don’t have to be alone, that I can come with him and I eat it up like a starving dog. We sit there, quietly together, staring at the floor. Digesting the hopeless truth of our situation. Three days. Three days until the darkest dark of my life. Three days…
He holds my hand in his. Looking into my eyes.
“Angie. I’m here with you. Don’t be afraid. We’ll figure it all out. It’s us babe, okay? It’s us.”
I’m doing my best to let him mess with my head. I want to be manipulated. I need to believe him. I need to believe, that I have no other choice. The thought of staying here alone is a threat I cannot fathom. It impregnates me with a sense of dread I cannot contain, or fight against. Eating away at me like a vultcher on a fresh carcass. My options melting away, into one big bullshit lie. I have to stay with Tyler.
The fact that she will be showing up here in a matter of hours, makes my decision carry even more weight, and my fear morphs into displaced abandon. Wilful ignorance. Wilful blindness. A veil of denial creeping over my naive eyes. She gives me the excuse I need. The hand to hold, the look of trust, which fuels the step we’ll be taking next. Three days, until we hit the streets. Three days until I cross over, into the bottom feeders of society, into the black depths of fear and survival, and commit my first violent crime.