I thought he would, so I'd scrambled it twenty different ways. It just sounded like garble.
"What is this?" He asked.
I gave a helpless shrug, but it came from Silvia's (Titanic)phone. It's the only lead I've got."
"She's still missing." Rick said listening to the message again. "This doesn't sound good for her...wait, it's scrambled."
"I could try unscrambling in it for you." He offered.
"I already tried. It's impossible. But you can still trace it right?" I asked.
"Yeah." He said pocketing the phone.
"Thanks." I said gathering my crutch to leave.
"Wait, Millie. Let me buy you a drink." Rick said motioning for a waiter. "we can talk, I haven't seen you in forever."
"Okay." I said, settling back in my seat.
The waiter came over and I ordered a mint cappuccino. We talked for awhile about all the things that had happened in our lives lately, me more or less censoring most of the details pertaining to being hunted by demons. However, both our lives still managed to sound like someone's sick idea of an entertaining, dark, and twisted demon novel.
"Well, you can't say your life's been boring." I offered, taking a sip of my drink.
"Nope, something to tell you grandchildren. I lived in the apocalypse and let me tell you it sucked."
"Isn't the apocalypse supposed to be the end." I reminded.
"You don't actually buy into that?" He asked.
"No." I said sarcastically. "I don't believe in the apocalypse or demons, this is just bad weather!"
"No, I mean that this is the end for us?"
"Well, do you see a way out?"
"Actually, I do." He said, opening up his portfolio and pulling out a thin piece of paper. "Here, I have something for you."
He handed it across the table. I accepted it and scanned it over. Once I finished reading it I read it over again. Just to make sure I hadn't miss read it but it was as I'd first thought.
"Are you gathering troops?" I asked.
I frowned handing back the paper.
"Don't be naive Millie. I'm starting a revolution."
He rolled his eyes. "The demons."
"Oh." I paused. "how is that going to work?"
Rick sighed, glancing over his 'calling all troops' flyer.
"I just feel like this isn't the end. that if we don't do anything about it things will get worse." He said. "I mean first, there were just ghosts, then the demons came. What if there is something worse in line to come next? We have to fight while we still have a chance to win."
I looked sadly across the table at Rick.
Remember what I said about ledges? Everyone's got one, it calls to them, it speaks of their death. Normally we ignore it but when we're cornered when we're broken that ledge starts to sound so enchanting and the drop so freeing. It seems like the only choice left the only way we can still be in controll.
Rick's ledge was his war against the demons and he'd just jumped. He'd already accepted his death, he was just waiting for it to pass now. His next words only confirming my assumption.
"Millie, don't look at me like that. You know everyone dies eventually. And quite frankly if we do nothing no one will survive the apocalypse. So we can sit in protected cafes sipping mocha lattes cowering inside, waiting for some big mean demon to slit our throats. Or we can die for something that means the world to us. We can fight for our liberty, for our world, our future. We can die showing those demons what it means to be human!"
"You mean vulnerable?!"
"I mean brave, valiant, fearless! We can't let them break our souls. We have to show them that is the one thing they can never do."
I sighed. It was hard to hear his words, when all I could think of was 'you're going to die'. 'they'll kill you'. Maybe I was just a coward and he had it right. The only point left to living was choosing how to die...however, he'd never mentioned dying. His revolution was to kill the demons not die himself.
"So, um you have an army yet?" I asked.
"You thinking of joining?" he asked.
I laughed. "I'm too delicate for that."
"Delicate, you kidding. You're tough! you're the Cafe Daily chick. Nah, but what you do is pretty damn important. That must take guts. To keep that magazine going when you know every demon in the world has dibs on your vital organs."
"When you say it like that, it hardly sounds glamorous."
Rick glanced out the window and we were silent for awhile then he spoke at least.
"I think Silvia will be fine. She was always so tough and capable. She's been on her own before she knows what it takes."
I sighed. Trying not tear up. I hardly understood why but whenever someone offered a kind word or helping hand it always made me cry. I could deflect a world of nasty remarks but one compassionate gesture and I was speechless and teary.
"Thanks." I said glancing down quickly at my drink.
I just wished I didn't feel so guilty about her disappearance.
"Are you gonna be okay? You can stay at my place. I've got the latest in demon protection, I've even got a tabooed line." Rick offered.
"Quite the pad." I laughed. "But I'll be fine, I've got Keith."
"Is he like...your boyfriend?" Rick asked.
"What? No! He's my guar--bodyguard." I said. "And that's it."
"You do realize there were a hundred different occupations you could've given him to be more convincing."
I rolled my eyes exasperatedly.
"Just a bodyguard."
Rick gave me an'yeah right' look.
Why did he even care?!
....wait, don't answer that.