I knew he wasn’t home because as I sat in front of my window pretending to read about how to make friends, I saw him walking towards the subway. It was late and I wondered what he did at night. Was he a male prostitute? I don’t know what male prostitutes look like, but I didn’t think he looked like one. Maybe he's a thief or a dealer or a murderer.
So I broke into his apartment.
I knew which apartment on the seventh floor was his because that’s the sort of thing I’ve been trained to notice. He’d never know I was there. I thought I might wait for him to come back and talk to him.
I've talked to people these last few weeks. Several people. Just no one I want to talk to again. Earlier, I left Oleander to his own devices and went wandering again. I was out front of the bookstore when I turned to see a man in the window staring at me. I was suddenly gripped by fear. He knew.
I'd left the CZ at home, but I’m fairly capable with a knife. I pulled the blade out and lunged into the store to demand who he worked for, prepared to gut him like a fish if he tried anything. But when I burst in, the man smiled so joyfully, I faltered. He began blabbering about signing something before he noticed the knife in my hand. “What’s a pretty girl like you doing with a scary thing like that?” he asked without a hint of fear.
“I was planning to slaughter you,” I said.
He laughed. When he asked for my name I gave it to him, watching as he wrote in big swooping letters,
Thanks for reading! I know you’ll make great friends!
I’d had enough of being out for the day, but I guess what little I understood from the book inspired me to talk to someone else. After going through the stranger’s medicine cabinet, receipts, and music selection, I decided he’s a perfectly decent fellow.
Something in my shoes had been irritating me for hours. I pulled them off and poured an impossible amount of silver glitter onto his floor. Something else shiny caught my attention. I dropped the flats and ran to the window. I opened it, pushed out the screen and carefully maneuvered until I was on the roof.
Stars rained from the sky. It was beautiful, but I wondered, were they afraid to be so out of control, heading for certain disaster, and how long can I keep wandering before I become one of them?