Eventually, Eliza gets bored of walking at my pace and offers to carry me while she runs. Tired, hungry and thirsty, I don't think twice before accepting. My only condition is that she takes me somewhere that I can rectify those problems, preferably somewhere with a twenty four hour shop and a car dealer.
Amazingly, she does as I ask, and I'm too tired to give her even a questioning look, making a beeline for the shop she puts me down outside of. I end up buying a stupid amount of food, picking things up as my stomach demands, even if I can't cook it because, I reason with myself, I'll have a pretty, new car to put it in to be able to take it back to a place where I can cook it.
When I get out of the shop, I realize my mistake and offer her some of what I bought. She accepts a bag of strawberry laces with a slight smile as I plonk myself down on a nearby bench, tucking into the first thing I pull out of the bag. She sits on the back of the bench at the other end, tying the laces into knots or patterns before eating them.
I finish my meal with a cigarette, ignoring her wrinkling her nose at the smell.
"Those things smell so strong. I've never got used to it," she grumbles, "you should have gotten those nicotine patches instead."
"Probably," I say through a contented sigh of smoke, "but at least I won't be a bitch now."
"You weren't a bitch the whole way here."
"No, I'm too tired to be a bitch," I mutter, determined to enjoy my lung cancer. She nods and says nothing more about it, letting me finish the smoke in silence.
"Where now?" she asks as I flick the butt into the road, watching as a car runs over it.
"Somewhere with a bed," I say, trying not to yawn.
I have nearly no recollection of finding my way to a bed, but I don't complain as I sink into the mattress , doing my best to ignore the fact that these sheets are more than well used and smell a bit off. It's a bed, and that's all that matters.
"Car tomorrow, home after that," I say through another yawn, "and back to work after that. If I haven't been fired."
"Just tell them something private came up," Eliza sighs, tentatively perching on the edge of the other single bed less than a meter away.
"I was planning to. It's not really something I would want to talk about anyway, regardless of how private it is or isn't," I mumble, wondering if I'm making any sense still before closing my eyes. What had started as a blink, turns into sleep.
And what starts as sleep, turns into something of a nightmare. You don't need the details, but it's basically along the lines of Alex dying a horrible death, brought upon him by my absence.
When I wake up, all thoughts of my shiny new car are gone, my head now filled with worry at the thought that that dream might have been prophetic in some way.
Oh, Alex, I groan inwardly as I sit up, why did you have to go to that apartment when I told you not to?