Sometimes he would show up with bruises or cuts, playing them off even though he knew I knew that he was up to no good. “You kill people, don’t you?” I asked cautiously as I spread ointment on one of the cuts he would actually let me touch.
“Maybe I do. You used to work in an office building, didn’t you?” he inquired.
“Maybe I did.”
“Does it bother you? That I kill men, then come and visit you?”
“As long as you’re getting the bad ones I don’t give a fuck what you do.” He hummed in response, like he was thinking of the right thing to say but wasn’t quite able to grasp it. “Why do you keep coming back?” I whispered. He turned his head to give me a small smile before he reached behind to clasp my hand.
“That night, I know you saw me.” My hands stopped their movements as I listened to him speak. “At first I wasn’t quite sure what to do about it but once I started talking to you I came to realize that we’re kind of similar in some ways. Both isolated and detached from the rest of the world but in very different ways of course. You letting me in was a big step back outside for you, you know that right?” He said. I was frozen, I didn’t know how to respond to his words, I didn’t know how to feel. His grip on my hand however told me everything that I wanted to know.
There was one week when he didn’t come at all. I didn’t want to admit it to myself but on the third day of no visits I began to get worried. I hadn’t realized how much of what I did during the day relied on his coming to lunch. By the end of the week I was restless, I hadn’t slept well for the past few nights but I couldn’t sit still long enough to take a nap. I flipped on the television but would walk away from it a few seconds later because I couldn’t focus on it. I started multiple books but wouldn’t get passed page ten before I put them down in frustration. By Saturday I was so exhausted that all I wanted to do was lay on the couch and sleep but my nerves were completely electrified with unease. Something had happened to him. The thought had started lurking at the back of my mind after a few days but as the week had dragged on the notion began creeping farther and farther forward. I wanted to hear his voice, get some confirmation that he was okay, still breathing. I had to stop myself from jumping up and running to the door when I finally heard that light but familiar knock. Despite the bandages around his arm the same reassuring smile was still plastered on his face.