Asheyna could feel the tears building as she stumbled blindly through the passenger cars. Mercifully the last car was deserted, with all tourist attractions branded as "too creative" to be legal people didn't travel much.
She collapsed onto the floor between two rows of seats and for a long time she did nothing but sob.
Every time she fell. Every. Single. Time. Always fake, always a lie, she could never just be happy. Why did he kiss her?
She should have known when he didn't say anything after. In the moment he must have felt something, the way he touched her was so gentle. She'd just saved him, so he kissed her.
Damn her intuition! Ash slammed her fist into the back of the seat, now at least she had a real reason to cry.
Carefully favoring her probably broken hand she slowly sat up. She considered the bench for a moment; no, she wanted to be as miserable as she felt. instead she sat on the floor, her back pressed against the cold metal side of the train.
Wrapping her arms around herself she tried to hold it all in. She remembered when she used to write in order to stop the pain. When the emotions would crush her, she couldn't breathe until she got it out somehow. She had no paper, no pens, nothing to defend herself. This time she had to face the pain empty handed.
It washed over her in waves, like something trying to crush her one inch at a time. She struggled to breathe.
He just let her go. Didn't deny it, her heart stopped when she recalled the look in his eyes.
And apparently Afro had done this before. She remembered seeing pictures of the musician girl. He'd gotten kind of sketchy when she asked him about her. She should have known, but as always she made excuses for him.
His apparent defeat had been enough for her. When Afro slumped into his seat she looked over his tattoos with a sneer and then walked back to her car. He had no where to go.
Reeza nibbled on Afro's ear as soon as the woman disappeared. She climbed down and started hopping around, weaving in and out as he tried to grab her.
"Reeza! Stop that! She's gone ok? We didn't deserve her anyways... at least I didn't." His voice broke a little. He didn't know why she reminded him of the musician girl. They weren't really anything alike.
Except they'd both trusted him, seen past the outside and reached the person he could have been. They cared for him and he'd hurt them.
Reeza looked at him one last time and then took off down the car after Asheyna.
Now even his best friend gave up on him. Afro sighed, his life always turned out this way.
He watched the boring buildings rush by and he remembered the look on Ash's face when she'd come back in those clothes. She looked, triumphant... as though she'd finally conquered something. He wished he could be like that. Wasn't that why he'd gotten the tattoos? They almost seemed to mock him as he sat there, waiting for LitPol to determine his fate.
He might as well have still been that code monkey who was recruited into their ranks to help them shut down prohibited websites.
Maybe his life always went this way because he let it?
He took one look back at the car door and saw no sign of Jessica. Moving through the cars he looked for signs of Asheyna or Reeza. Finally he opened the door to the last car and heard a voice.
"I don't get it Reeza. Why did he kiss me? Why pretend to care?"
Her voice cut through him. She would be so much better off without him, Reeza probably would too. Afro sighed quietly and turned to leave. She'd get over it.
"Why didn't he come after me?" the words trailed off into silence. He could hear her fighting to breathe.
"Asheyna?" She looked up at him, the look in her eyes was worse than a million curses and insults.
"What, the hell, could you possibly want?"