I drove to where I was to go.
It was cold.
It had a chill to it that bit at my fingers and toes.
I was told I had to kill someone named Lucas, one of the ones who "followed" me.
He and Joel were on the rooftop of an abandoned house in New York City.
I got to the door and watched them on the roof.
Lucas and I, we emailed, talked so much the past two weeks or so.
He told me about his life.
About Joel, and Wolf, and Scarves.
Apparently a young woman had knitted Joel and Lucas a pair of scarves.
Purple and Blue.
There was a taller man there,
teeth sharpened to points.
He was flanked by two in black hoods.
Lucas took one out with surprising ease.
Joel shot the other.
There was a second gunshot from a second gun.
And then a reply.
Wolf was born.
Joel turned on Lucas.
Lucas fought with him.
Joel fell down.
Lucas stayed there for an hour.
Then he sat up.
Hands covered in blood.
Smearing it over his face as he rubbed his eyes.
He reached into Joel's front pocket.
He started to type on his phone.
I put on my mask
I walked toward him slowly.
I sat in front of him.
My handgun rested upon my lap.
He looked at me for a moment.
Then back at the phone.
"Are you here to kill me, Ember?"
English accent, it reminded me of something I cannot remember.
I resisted the urge to think about my dreams.
"Yes I am, Lucas."
"Best birthday ever." He smiled bitterly at me.
"Just give me a chance to get affairs in order,
"let people know what happened to me. To us.
"I don't care now.
"I don't. It was just a big. Fucking. Joke to him."
I looked at Joel,
one shot in the chest.
He died shortly after.
Lucas started crying again.
The occasional sob, as he typed.
I asked him.
"Why do you want to die?"
He looked up at me.
"I don't, but if I try and run, or if I fight you. You will win and I'll die."
I fell silent.
"Even if Josh hadn't died and Joel had still betrayed me... I'd have kept going for him. But I have nothing."
He finally stopped typing on the phone, standing up and throwing it off the building.
"Goodbye cruel world." A weak chuckle.
"Kitsch I know, but I always wanted them to be my last words.
"Just... Make it fast. Ok?"
I took off my mask.
He straightened out Joel's hair and coat,
the tail of his scarf covering the bullet wound.
and then did the same to himself.
He moved to lay against his lover.
Taking his hand
and closing his eyes.
It is clear now why I was to kill him.
I liked him.
He listened to me.
We were... Friends.
"Ember... Do you see him?" Lucas asked softly.
"See who, Lucas?"
"Nevermind." His voice was weak, cracking again.
I touched his cheek.
I reassured him.
I told him it was going to be okay.
He was so scared of dying but he tried so hard to hide it.
I do not hate him.
Even when I placed two rounds into his back, I did not.
I could not bring myself to shoot him in the head.
I soothed him as he fell asleep.
I fell back, sitting there.
Staring at what I had done.
Salome sat next to me.
She had been following me.
We stood up and we left.
I used a pay phone to report the shootings.
I did not want them to be left there unfound.
I am not Salome.
Salome told me I was stupid for doing that.
But I wanted them to be discovered.
Now she is taking me somewhere else tomorrow.
She says I am ready.
I hate myself.
How does that make me ready?
I just cannot get Lucas' acceptance of his fate out of my head.
Rest in peace Lucas, Joel, Josh and Wolf.
Maybe I will see you in whatever comes after.