"I could spend my life in this sweet surrender.
Where every moment spent with you is a moment I treasure."
Sedgwick was kind enough to give me some new clothes to wear: a black, button down shirt, jeans, and a black overcoat. I would've been fine wearing my own clothes but they had blood all over them, and Sedgwick insisted I change. He also lent me a pair of glasses, and had saved my wig from last night so I didn't have to go out looking like the infamous criminal everyone knew me as.
Sedgwick's had gripped around my shoulder as he led me out the door and into the alleyway where I'd been left to die last night. The narrow passage was damp, muddy, and smelled of garbage, like a lot of alleyways in NYC. "So where will this Paulina be?" Sedgwick asked. He tightened his grip as I swayed back and fourth. "She told me to meet her on Crows Avenue," I mustered, clutching my stomach.
We hurried out of the alleyway and into the hustle and bustle of NYC. "This way!' Sedgwick shouted over the loud roaring of cars passing by. I looked over the crowd of people and saw a beat up sign labeled Crows Avenue. "Great, let's go," I said, pushing through the sea of moving pedestrians.
It seemed like all commotion had stopped once we were turned the corner onto the avenue. It was quiet, only a few people here and there. They were all in clusters, mumbling about different things. "Is it usually this quiet?" Sedgwick asked, eying a strange, cloaked man. "It was quieter yesterday," I whispered.
I looked around for the building Paulina and I had met at yesterday. 'Okay, so I know it's made of brick,' I thought. 'God Calvin, all the buildings here are made of brick. You're such an idiot.' My eyes frantically darted around the foggy street in a helpless attempt to locate the building.
"No-no, I don't want any guns," Sedgwick said to a man trying to show him the pistols tucked inside his cloak. "Cal--er...can you help me out here?" I spun around on my heal, frustrated that I couldn't even remember a simple building. "Listen old man," I hissed, grabbing him by his shirt collar, "we don't want any of your fucking guns." I let go of the terrified man and watched him scurry away into an alley. "Phew, th--" "I don't have time for a thank you right now," I growled. I need to find this building. Paulina could be dead for all I know and--" I put a hand to my face, covering up my watery eyes. The pain was coming back now. I could feel my heartbeat getting louder and louder, blackness filling up my view of the avenue. Sedgwick swung his arm around me. "You okay?" He asked.The darkness had vanished, and my view of the depressing street had returned. "Yeah," I choked, "we've got to hurry find this place though."
"Jack!" Someone called, "Jack is that you?" My eyes shot up, searching for the voice. "Oh my God," I signed in relief. There was Paulina, standing on the sidewalk in a pair of Jeans and a plad, button down shirt. "Oh God," I cried. I ran to her, ignoring the racking pain in my ribs, and swept her up into a hug. "Well hello to you too," she chuckled, "uhh...can you put me down now?" I lowered Paulina to the ground and took her gentle hands in mine. "You're okay," I repeated over and over again. I couldn't help but stare forever into her big, helpless brown eyes. She tilted her head to the side in confusion. "What do you mean 'okay'?"
I glared at her for a moment, realizing what I'd just said. I couldn't tell her about the mobsters trying to kill her, or me being a convict. What could I do? Luckily,the silent moment between us was cut short by Sedgwick, who came up panting behind me. "You're going to--" He paused, his eyes focusing on Paulina. I looked back at her to see she was doing the same thing. Her eyes were dead locked on Sedgwick. "So this is Paulina?" Sedgwick grumbled. "I don't think you had to worry about coming all this way," he said sternly, not taking his eyes off her. Paulina looked down at the ground, holding my hand tighter than before. "Did anyone in particular visit you last night Paulina?" Sedgwick asked, anger in his voice. "Maybe a group of people who were m--" "Sedgwick," I barked. Paulina tensed and moved away from me. "I think I'll be heading off now if you don't need my assistance anymore Jack," he said, and with that he stormed off down the street.
I looked back at Paulina, who was standing, frozen on the sidewalk. "Sorry about that," I said, scratching the back of my neck. "I don't know--" Paulina took my hands and I stopped speaking. "J-jack," she said, her face becoming pale, "I don't think we should do this." I shook my head in confusion. "What?" I asked, "look, don't worry about Sedgwick he's just weird that's all." Paulina grinned, a tear rolling down her cheek. I couldn't stand to see her like this. "Paulina," I whispered, wiping the drop from her soft skin. "Jack," she stammered, "I've got problems, problems you don't understand. I thought it'd be okay now that--" She shook her head, "never mind. I just don't think it's a good idea Jack."
We stood there for a long time as she cried into my overcoat. I didn't want to see her like this. How could Sedgwick do this to her? What was he thinking? "Paulina," I said, lifting her chin up. "Why are you doing this?" she sniffed, "why don't you just leave?" I smiled softly and stroked the back of her hand with my thumb. "Paulina, you're the most extraordinary girl I've ever had the pleasure to crash into before. You have this bubbly, happy personality I can't describe. It's confusing to me, how someone could have this happiness in their life. Maybe--maybe this confusion I'm feeling is just my way of caring. I don't want to see you're personality vanish just because of one person. I--I need you in my life Paulina."
We stood there in silence, just like the many times before. She was looking up at me, her brown eyes glittering with tears. I leaned in and pressed my lips against hers. They were soft, like she'd never kissed anyone else. I felt horrible then, knowing mine had graced the lips of other women. She was different from everyone else in the world and held a beauty I'd never took the time to notice in other people.
Our lips parted and we gazed into each others eyes for a long time. I sighed and placed my head on her shoulder. I would find someway to be with her, even if I was a criminal. We could run away together. We could start a new life, and have a family.
There had to be a way.