Days of sweat and dirt drew hard lines in his face. His brow was furrowed and his breathing heavy. He looked like he’d been to hell and back.
‘So’, I said, dragging on a cigarette, ‘how did it happen?’
He lifted his head up and looked me straight in the eye.
‘It was an accident… I never expected it to come to this.’
I got up and poured him a glass of vodka. It was cheap shit, but it was all I had, and he needed a drink. I handed it to him and his hands shook as he reached out. As he raised it to his lips I noticed how parched and cracked they were, forming a million little paths from the outside in. I thought about what it would be like to kiss them. They’d probably feel like sandpaper. He lifted his fingers to his mouth nervously, his fingernails dark with dirt. I thought about where they might have been.
‘Jesus Christ’, he cried. ‘What the fuck do I do now?’
‘How long do you reckon you have?’, I asked.
‘Three days, four tops.’
‘Better get out of this place, then, baby.’
He looked away. He always does that when he’s thinking, as though he doesn’t want me to read the expressions on his face in case I guess what’s coming next.
He raised his eyebrows as though he was imagining something dangerous. Far away. Yes! I didn’t care how vague it was - that was part of the allure. Far away could be a million places and a million lives. Far away. Far away from here, far away from our problems, far away from our demons, far away from this shitstorm of a life.
‘You know it, babe.’