It didn’t take her long to take him up on his offer, in fact only a matter of hours passed by before he heard a hesitant knock on his door. Its close to 3am, and the night feels heavy, warm and silent. The air itself is wet and the whole world feels covered with a thin film of sticky perspiration that no amount of climate control could mask. Even the crickets seem subdued by the relentless, unending weight of the night, that sat low upon the world covering it up with its bulk. Link, loved the night. It is the time where mysteries, laughter, and connections happen. It is a time where people slow down and start to realize what it is that they are doing and how they could be doing it better. It is a time for love. Night can sweep up the world in a feaver causing people to abandon reason and foresit for just long enough to create a river of beautiful new memories and experiences before biology catches up to them and they are laid low by the sudden, inevitable, urge for sleep which wraps them up and promises that somewhere down the line a new day will dawn. Unless you are Link. In this case you will be the last one standing, squinting at the dawn, trying to puzzle the diffrence between one day and the next. Link loves the night it is his last chance at life before he has to risk it all. Tonight though? Tonight is made impossible thanks to the weather.
Book long ago tossed aside in frustration, Link answers the door knowing full well who it is, “How could you possibly want to go do anything on a night like this. It feels as if the whole world has some sort of feaver”
The hippy, accepting his invitation in looks around the room smiling, her eyes lock onto the terrible porn and she snickers a bit, “Oh I bet you and your room mate get along just wonderfully”
Shrugging while flopping back down into the chair, Link streaches mightly, “Oh I don’t know. He doesn’t seem all that bad. I mean he stays out all night with his frat buddies and so we don’t really see to much of each other. He could be oh so much worse”.
“Hrmmm you know Link at some point we are going to have to take you poster shopping. I mean really your walls are just positively barren, don’t you find it all to be rather, I don’t know oppressive?”
Chuckling a bit he stands up next to her, “Yeah, it’s ironic really, I had meant to cover my walls with all sorts of posters when I first got here. My parents never let me put up anything on my walls. They were afraid of marring the paint job. I hated every minut of it. It is strange though, now that I am here I don’t really have that same sort of desire anymore. I don’t really get it myself. It is something I keep meaning to do but I never really manage to go get around to it”.
“We’ll go tomarrow then when we wake up. The mall opens at 11 so we can be in and out of there before if becomes so busy that you’ll hate me for wanting to leave campus. Besides it saves me the trouble of having to ask you for a ride”
Link narrowing his eyes looked over at her, “What do you mean? What could you possibly need at the mall?”
She waves her hand dismissively, “Wow you don’t really have anything up here do you? Just a few old journals, some school supplies, it almost looks like you just grabbed a duffle bag, shoved a few things in it and headed out the door”. She took one look at him and saw her words had hit a little o close to the mark to be comfortable.
“You don’t want to go to the mall, and coming to my room at 3am is an odd time to be asking to do so. Is there something on your mind”
She can tell he’s angry. Something about the way his body moves. Normally his motions are completely fluid, Like liquid helium he passes through one form to the next with noticeable transitions. Now though his movements hiccupped ever so slightly, like there is a hitch in his line of thinking, “Sorry, I don’t know what is wrong with me. There is something in the air. It almost feels like it is squashing out my ability to think rationally. Also this is just a, well, I’m just not as ready to be alone this time of year as I thought I would be. Is it okay if I stay here?”
Briefly he considers pushing her further to gather more information. Yet he can’t really see that getting him anywhere useful when it is all said and done. Silently he nods yes. The room has a tv, and a dvd player. Once she is situated in the bed Link goes through and picks out a quiet movie from one of his still unpacked duffle bags, “I did bring quite a few movies with me, which is strange considering what I came up here to do”. He thinks to himself, “Maybe I knew that I wasn’t going to go through with it all along. Strange.” Wordlessly he puts on a movie and turns around to watch her trying to find a place in his bed.
“Jesus Link you have more pillows and blankets than any other person I have ever met in my entire life! For someone who claims to never sleep, you sure do have a lot of stuff for it.”
“Well I used to have to spend a lot of time in my room. Out of site out of mind for the most part. That’s how that worked. So I might as well have a comfortable bed”. He then hopped up next to her sliding between two blankets that she isn’t between. Lots of blankets have another benefit. They help keep visitors apart when sharing a bed. The credits has barely started before she passes out into a deep dreamless sleep that hopefully will take her away from whatever aweful place she is currently occupying. It was around 6 before Link finally follows her.
The next day the two of them assaulted the mall with gusto. Link wasn’t sure how serious he was about buying posters and such found his feelings to become massively irrelevant as all the sudden he found himself swept up in a hurricane of kinetic energy. They then ended up in cloths stores, and for some ridiculous reason she insists that they dress up in a wide variety of horrible outfits before lunch forces them to scurry off. As a result of her infuriating dietary restrictions, lunch produced a meal that he overpayed for, didn’t enjoy, and left still hungry. Still their running around didn’t abate and while he was tempted to grumble each and every step of the way for some reason she seemed to be having the time of her life. The hippy girl who he had met a few weeks ago seemed to of regained her old footing, and whatever had her thrown off last night seems to have vacated her soul with the dawn. Upon Link’s insistance they stopped to eat again.
Once they finnish he looks over at her smiling, “You seem in much higher spir…hey look it is the lady in white”
She stands there staring at the two of them. Hesitently, Link tries waving but as his hand goes up she abruptly stalks off muttering curses under her breath. “Hmm something seems to be troubling her, I hope it all works itself out”
The Hippy over come with a full body shudder shakes her head, “Man I don’t know. There is something about her that creeps me out. I mean what was with he that other day”
“Well maybe she is just as disturbed by me wearing all black as I am her wearing all white. I mean after all, crazy people think everything is logical”. Finnishing his meal he gets up to throw away his trash and he sees that the lady in white had been drawing something on the ground. “The Last Regret”, wondering if it means anything he asks Hippy about it.
“I don’t know Link, as far as I know it is the name of some dive bar out on the edge of town. Nothing special about it really, that I know of”.
Link looks at it some more, “Seems strange though, almost like she wants us to go there or something. I mean she stood there and started at us until we saw her. Maybe it means more than you think?”
She shrugs absentmindly, “I don’t really know, I haven’t lived her for that long, and well lets face it, dive bars aren’t really my thing. I don’t even drink. I don’t like things that cloud my mind”
“Well a pitty on you, falling in love will be most distressful for you some day”. He meant it as a joke. It isn’t often he feels good enough to tell them, because most of the time when people come up to him they are wearing the face hippy has on right now, as a direct result of said joke. Eyes scrunched up displaying a sadness that is profound yet new, the sort of sadness that gnaws away at you until you are knocking on doors at three am needing the comfort only a human being can provide but instead settling for a broken down tired shell of a person. He didn’t have to look at that face long. A combonation of a gasp, sniffle, sigh, and sob escape her lips and she dashes off into the woman’s restroom.
“Well fuck” Link thinks to himself, “And people wonder why I don’t joke around more with people. Assholes”. Quietly he wishes the creepy christian girl would show up, he could try and catch her and make her go get the hippy. “Ugh you know things have gone to hell in a hand basket when I need the mysterious christian girl’s help”.
Minuts pass, then hours, it is a damn good thing they went by the book store so that he could have something to read while he is stalking the god damned bathroom. There were to many people around to attempt a clandestine entry so he would just have to wait until A) Hippy came out of the damn bathroom, B) The mall cleared out enough so that he could go get her without being arrested, or C) the mall closes. It better not be C, this bench is in no way comfortable enough. It occurs to Link that this is the first time in a very long time that he didn’t go through any of his exercise routine what so ever. As a result his body is positibly crackling with energy is normally expended before the day even begins. Two more hours tick by, and just as Link is about to get up and storm the fortress of doom itself, she emerges from the bathroom. Eyes red and puffy, she looks more than a little embarrassed as she walks up to him, “My god you’ve waited for me?”
“Well yeah sure, I mean I am your ride. How would you of gotten home?”
“Umm look Link I-”
He cuts her off with a wave of his hand, “Look we both have secrets, we are both emotional land mines. I waited for you. I upset you. I didn’t mean to. Hopefully someday you can do the same for me or something like that. Come on I’ll buy you a slushie everyone gets cheered up by a slushie.
On their way over to the food court she stops suddenly, “Hey Link, tonight, you wanna go to that dive bar?”
“The Last Regret? Erm no not particularly why?”
Hestiently, she shruggs, “I don’t really know. There were some things written on the bathroom walls about it, and I thought I heard some girls talking. It seems like it is more than just a dive bar…”
“That it is, something, wrong?”
She shakes her head, “I don’t know. I just get this feeling about it. Like there is something drawing us there”
He nods while looking around, “Alright. I’ve learned long ago to never ignore the mutterings of people, I was going to go there tonight myself. There could be something dangerous there you sure you want to come?”
“Well you’ll protect me right?”
“Yeah well look, I don’t think you are going to like my particular brand of protection. But yes of course I will. Never you worry about that.”