His breath was heavy and loud. His steps slowed down as he closed up on destination. He looked around him: dumpsters were filled to the brim, moonlights reflected on the plastic bags lying around against walls creating a path through the darkness of the night. A can rolled behind him. The young man, startled, turned around, his heart ceased to beat. He froze, analyzed the origin of the noise and waited. Suddenly, a furry tailed creature ran out from behind a cardboard box. The young man exhaled of relief, then proceed with his plan. He looked at the fire escape above him, still out of breath. Why did i run? He judged the distance between the first ladder to the ground, took few steps back and ran. His feet left the gound and his hand reached for the stairs. At his apex, his fingers barely brushed past them. ‘Oh, dude!’, he whispered as he stumbled. ‘Shouldn’t have run’. He warmed up his ankle and went again. This time, he had a strong grasp on the ladder. He pulled himself to the first floor where he took a second to get his breath back. ‘Man…I’m heavy.’ He climbed to the second floor and looked through the window facing him. A shy light allowed him to see the empty bedroom. Untouched for days. No one’s home. The young man sighed as he looked down. ‘Damn it! Where are you?’, he whispered to himself before going back to the ground.
‘John!’ The latter froze at the sight of a silhouette at the end of the street. The voice was deep and strangely calm. The two men approached each other with caution. John squinted his eyes to make sense of lights and shadows on the man’s face. In a second, his eyes widened. Oh shit… John realized he just had an anime reaction: swallowing loudly his saliva. ‘What are you doing here?’
‘I, i was just…’ His sentence was left in suspension. The man in front of him waited. John raised his shoulders, stared at the man, looked behind him then back to the man. He sighed. ‘He’s still not there.’
‘Stop searching for him.’ John looked away. ‘You know, i start to find it annoying repeating myself.’ They shared another look. ‘I really do enjoy this bromance that you have with him. What? I can’t use the word bromance?’
‘How do you know the word? That’s the real question.’
‘Saw it on the internet. Do we say ‘the’ internet or just internet?’
‘Noted.’ A ghost went by. ‘Garner is back. If they see you lurking around here, they’ll get to you. And that’s not something either one of us want. Miles didn’t just take his son and run away. He left to lead them away from us. To protect us.’ He paused. ‘But if you keep on looking, it will all be for nothing. Now, let’s go home.’
Spring came around. Winter slowly left the city to invade the other hemisphere of the planet. John kept on walking by Chris’ house at random hours, in hope of finding signs of change, but everything remained still. On a sunny afternoon, John knocked at a wooden door endlessly for the last five minutes. Out of no where, the door widely opened. John stepped back then froze, his heart pounding against his chest, his eyes widened. There he was, standing, a pair of jeans on, shirtless, leaving his scar in plain view, his face closed and his eyes yelling: WHAT?
‘Hé! It’s been a long time.’ John paused with a huge smile on his face. ‘Where have you been?’
To be continued