The city was as any city should be a harmony of chaos and order. People where everywhere nothing seemed clear at first but soon filtered into focus. If one focused hard enough they could see through it all as if time slowed. As if in all chaos stood an island of serenity surrounded by a sea of ignorance. Or maybe that's was ones view as Lee leaned against the railing on the Mezzanine looking below into the cascading causeways that filled the main subway station. Lee always felt out of place during these times. Everyone around him seemed happily unaware of the real state of how things are. What was kept secret from them. He knew that island of serenity that he saw was an illusion, that they had all been put to sleep, and they did not want to be awakened. If he said anything he would be called paranoid , delusional, a radical, a terrorist, or an extremist. They would make him disappear and would do worse upon discovering his true identity. He glanced behind his shoulder reading the digital clock surrounded by flashy advertising. 3:30 ; his train would be arriving soon. Putting his hand through his dark black hair, he sighed, his face looked tired and ragged yet his bright blue eyes betrayed him. Showing signs of alertness, and sharpened senses.
"Another 12 hour shift?" He mumbled grabbing his slightly tattered dark green travel jacket.
As he parted ways with railing a storm of desperate footsteps sounded towards him. Quick to act he sidestepped partially allowing the assailant to hit him. To make it to seem as he tripped the assailant, and that it was their fault. His instincts trained him for an attack but instead.
"I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to run into you there. Are you okay?" A green eyed boy no older than seventeen said, his face filled with exasperation.
" I should be the one asking you that. I'm fine. You caught me off guard." Lee said loosening the defensive stance and giving the boy a hand up.
"Thanks, and I'm okay, and so sorry again." The boy said readying himself to take off again as he took Lee's hand.
"No worries." Lee said offering a cold smile as feeling of static ran up his arm. They both Immediately looked at each other in surprise, "shh." Lee motioned with his head the camera's all hungrily watching on the pillar.
The boy closed his mouth before saying, " thank you." before taking off again melting in with the ground.
"Be careful you idiot." Lee said under his breath shaking and wiping his hand off on his jacket.
He walked in slow pace in the same direction the boy went in hoping that would be the last that he would see of the boy.
the time was now rounding towards midnight Lee stood in the aisles of a Grimy corner store tucked away in an old paved part of the city. The floors irreparably dirty, cracked. The potential customers looking no more friendlier than cornered beasts. He leaned upon a hopelessly dirty mop. One hear plugged into an mp3 player the other carefully waiting for any noises of life. His red uniform shone in the grunginess of the store he shuffled along as if taking longer would pass the time of his long night.
"Dead tonight huh Lee?" A pink haired girl said leaning over the counter obnoxiously chewing gum.
"Yeah. but that's okay." Lee said quietly making another lazy swipe at the floor.
"You always say that. but that's okay." She said annoyed now standing up straight.
"Yeah, I like it simple."
" You say that but your eyes don't. You're always watching , waiting for something."
"Your reading too much into this Elisa." Lee said offering another detached smile as he finished another aisle.
"Says the man who hides everything." She huffed tapping her finger nails on the counter.
"What do you mean by that?" Lee said.
"You always act hella laid back like it's okay to be 25 working minimum wage at some shitty corner store in shittown no one wants to be here. Yet you never tell any of your coworkers anything about yourself, and never join us for drinks either. and you always change the subject when the conversation enters your life."
" Huh. I would say you're infatuated with me but since there is usually nothing to do I'll let it get away with that. You caught me. I'm more than what I seem. whatever." Lee responded lamely throwing the mop over his shoulder; avoiding eye contact with Elisa now.
"Creep. I'm nineteen, why would I be interested in you?" She said somewhat angered by Lee who didn't reply and put the cleaning supplies away, " Come on Lee talk to me there is nothing to do, I've told you all about myself. Let's see you. what made you start working here nine months ago. "
Lee quietly sighed again remembering many nights where he heard every melodramatic thing in this young woman's life. Fully settling his initial analysis of her blissful ignorance of the world around her.
"fine." He submitted," I came here to get away from everywhere and disappear."
"Because I like it simple." Lee said
"aahhhh. You're so frustrating. Come on now you got me interested. Are you running from something?"
"If I was. It would be prudent of me not to say anything." Lee countered this time a playful real smile spread across his face.
"I'm on to you! You're trying to make me believe you some sort of big hot shot trying to lay low because he got in too deep or some cliché shit like that. I bet you just owe some debt collectors big and your hiding all the way out here in the outskirts of the city, like a coward."
"Sure." Lee said, " I owe some loan sharks, and I don't want to drag any of my coworkers in with me." she laughed a little bit.
" seriously though. what is it that brought you here, your clothes may not say it but I can see it in your face, your , eyes, and how you talk you don't belong ...."
The door violently opened as the boy wit the green eyes tumbled in. A look fear covering his face.
"You!" Lee said his body dropping into defensive posture.
The boy turned looking at him in confusion then recognition.
"You got to help me! Please." He pleaded half running half stumbling towards Lee.
Lee stepped back, " No. stop. Please don't come any closer." He said feigning fear but readying to defending himself.
"What's going on do you know him?" Elisa asked.
"No." Lee said shakily.
"Yes, come on. You have to help me!" The boy pleaded, breathing heavely holding his right arm." they'll be here any minute!"
Lee looked saw in the boys eyes desperation, terror, and fear, begging to be saved as if his life was hanging but on a thread. He wanted to help , he wanted to bring out his hand again to aid him, but knew that his own survival would be brought into question if he did.
"No please get out of here. We don't want any trouble" Lee said desperately wanting the boy to leave.
"Lee tell me what's going on?" Elisa asked frantically.
" I don't know!" Lee said interrupted by the shattering of the glass, and the arrival of several armed men wearing dark black armour with reflective strips and Small black rifles.
"Please for the safety of yourselves, and others put your hands in the air and surrender yourselves.
"Never." The boy said bringing his hand against the ground causing the ground to shake and ridge of earthy spines to level the store and the men, " You coward." The boy said pushing past Lee into the emergency exit only to be greeted by more men who quickly subdued him.