I lean my back against the dead end of the street, trying to catch my breath. I cough into my fist, trying to calm myself.
I'm such an idiot.
Why the heck did I run away from school like that?
What the hell is wrong with me?
No one probably noticed me before but they sure as well will now.
I groan in exasperation, pulling my knees closer to myself, wrapping my arms around them.
Because the way I said it. The way I threated Will. It reminded so much of Mr. Miller to me. And I hate myself for that. That moment I hated my guts, everything about myself. I sounded exactly like him. Ugh. I disgust even myself.
And William didn't deserve it either. I just took out my anger at him. No matter how big of a moron he is, I'm still at fault.
There's a clattering noise as a stray cat jumps out of a trash can next to me, scaring me. The ginger-furred animal stares at me with its yellow eyes, probably wondering what to think of me. And, just like I'm one of those empty and useless cans, it decides to ignore me altogether, going away. I would have given it some food to eat if I had it, but by the looks of it, the creature seemed more well off alone, in compared to me.
It lays down, under the sun, curling up to sleep.
I keep watching it until I can't.
Because even though I don't want to, all I can think about is, what will happen to me if he finds out?
What will he do?
More importantly, What will I do?
Will he let it go? Or kill me just like the others?
I mean, those people are innocent. So they didn't deserve to die. But what about me?
A shudder runs down my spine.
"Stop thinking like that." I hiss.
But a part of me, the part that knows that what I'm doing is wrong, keeps wondering,
I heard that you can't outrun karma. No one can escape it, or hide from it.
You can't survive the consequences, Joey. You can't even if you try to run away.
And with all the things you've done, do you really think you'll be forgiven by the people you killed?
"I didn't kill anyone..." I say, resting my head on my knees, wanting to disappear inside a black void of nothing. Where no one will ever remember me.
But I technically killed them. I led them towards their end. Isn't that murder?
"Stop it." I moan. "Just bloody stop."
If karma will hit me, it's bound to come back at Mr. Miller, right? It's bound to.
He's the one who made me do this.
He's the one to start this whole mess.
These words reassured me, lifting a burden from my chest. It almost shames me to be relying on assumptions.
"You've been hiding here for quite a while."
These words aren't me own, making me stand up in one jolt.
It's a man.
At least I think it is.
I narrow my eyes, the face of the figure is hidden because of the shadows lurking everywhere.
I try to step a way, wanting to maintain a safe distance but my back hits the wall.
Whoever this guy is, he doesn't sound or look friendly.
"Won't you answer me?" The man says.
I gather some courage, asking, "Who-who are you?"
That sets him off in a low yet hysterical laugh.
"Weird. You didn't answer my question. I don't like people who don't listen to me."
He steps little closer, but it's still hard to reveal his face. I can see gleaming green eyes staring at me with amusement.
My eyes are darting in every direction, trying to find something to defend myself with. I stop when I see a broken stick lying on the ground. But the problem is, that it's much closer to the stranger than to me. Even if I make a run towards it, he'll easily be able to grab it before me.
I try to buy time, wanting to revert his attention from it.
One thing about this man is for sure. He's one of those people who keep a watch on me.
"You work for my...my father." I still hesitate to call him something respectable as 'father'. He doesn't deserve it.
"Not as dumb as I expected." He chuckles, "Does Miller know that his boy is getting smarter?"
I clench my fists.
Why does everything I do have to depend on what John thinks?
"And, I don't work 'for' him." He corrects, firmly, "I work with him."
"If you work 'with' him." I glare, "Then why would you follow me in this dark alley? Surely, You have better things to do? Or am I wrong?"
"You're brave, I can see that." I can feel his grin, "Of course you are. One is only ever brave when he's oblivious to the threat standing in front of him."
"And how big of a threat are you?" I muster. "I don't see anything scary about someone who hides in the dark."
Do I really mean what I'm saying?
But maybe I went too far with it. Because as soon as I say that, the man reveals himself. Walking forward, away from the darkness that covered his face.
I know him.
He's the leader of one of those secret societies of the town. He's a thug, thief, former-murderer and all those bad things you can think of.
But even when the biggest threat of the town stands in front of me, he doesn't scare me. I only feel fear for the shadow I live with.
He looks at me, disappointedly, "Still not scared?"
I shake my head, then say, "What do you want?"
He smirks, "Miller told me you're an unusual one. But just how unusual can you get?"
"So I was right." I snap, "You're stalking me aren't you?"
He frowns, "I'm not stalking you. I have much better things to do than to follow around a pathetic boy." There's a change of expression as he smiles, "But many of my men are."
I'm not surprised.
"I want to talk to you about something, Joey."
"What is it?"
"Can't we talk somewhere private?" He blinks.
I scowl, "No one's here except the two of us. you can't get more 'private' than this."
"Fine then." He runs his hand through his hair, "I'll tell you what I want to.
"You know, your dad and I are very close. He does some things for me and to return the favor, My group keeps a good eye on you." He sighs, "But he isn't really being fair lately. Nope. Not fair at all. A few months ago, he borrowed cash from me, and didn't even tell me what for. So He owes us money and yet, he refuses to give it back to me."
I realize that something isn't right, "What's it got to do with me?"
A shark-grin, "Everything, dear boy."
I need that stick. I need something in case this goes wrong. But I'm defenseless.
"You see, today," His dangerously emerald gleam, "One of my boys reported about that small mishap that happened in your school, which apparently involves you."
That mere second, I forget to breath.
He'll tell him, won't he?
If he tells him than I'm as good as dead.
Gillian laughs, "Now you look like you've seen a ghost."
"What do you want from me?" I ask trying my best to gain my composure but fail.
His beaming smile, I really want to scratch off his face, "You do realize that Miller will flip over when he hears that you actually WON a fight. He's too much of a psychopath, as we all know, and this small thing will make him loose his mind on you."
I want to run away from here. But he's blocking the only exit.
If Mr. Miller finds out. I'm dead. He'll kill me. Or if there's anything worse than death, than that can happen to me too.
"Relax." He raises his hands, "I'm not going to tell."
That pulls me back to the world. I stare at him. He's up to something. He wants something.
"If you return the money your pa owes us, then this information will vanish!" He grins, waving his fingers in the air, weirdly. "And Miller will never find out about this."
I look at him. I can't help him for two reasons.
First, He wants me to give him money. He wants me to steal. But I can't steal money from Mr.Miller. He'll find out. He won't spear me that easy.
And second, I don't want to trust him.
I don't want to trust anyone, anymore.
"No." I hiss.
"Excuse me?" He raises his eyebrows.
"I said, No!" I yell. "I won't do it! So you better back off because-"
He draws in a long breath, reaching out in his pants pocket, taking out a small pistol, cocking it.
"I didn't come all the way here to take no for an answer." He points it at me. "Of course, you don't want to help me, then you're no use to me."
He won't kill me. I can tell from the look on his face. But he won't leave me completely unharmed. He just wants me to say yes.
"Think about it, Joey." He says, not lowering down the weapon, "Who knows? I can even help you escape this hell-hole."
That perks up my ears with interest.
I've always dreamt about going far from here.
Should I really help him?
What if he's lying?
Before I could think further, words spill our from me.
"Fine." I say, "Give time till the end of this month."
He smiles, ear to ear, "Of course."
And with that, he walks away.
Probably wondering that his job is done.
The problem with being watched all the time.
You get familiar by its feeling.
So, even though Gillian left.
I can sense a dozen eyes of his men looking at me form hidden places which Gillian left, in case I do something against him.
That's the problem with the feeling of being watched.