“You’ve had your fun, now leave! Do you hear me?! Johnny angrily shouted out into the not so empty space.
He always lived in the room next to me. Our complex is a dump. Roaches, rats, paper-thin walls. And it smelled… it smelled like Autumn. Like rot, decay and shedding. I never did take the time to investigate that.
Let’s talk about Johnny. He does little of importance. He doesn’t go outside. He has no hobbies. He’s unwittingly lonely. The only thing this guy enjoys is the screaming. There’s no silence. There’s no respite. He white knuckles that last marble as if losing it would be the only sure-fire way the tenants would be able to claim him certifiable.
The truth is…well, we’ve all known he was for quite some time.
I no longer sleep– I just stare out the window. There’s little of importance there. Just varying shades of black and brown as far as the eye can see. It stays cold all year long. The day the boom happened, I also walked into the bleak.
I’m not sure how I got there, but I haven’t been able to warm up since.
I watched him as his hands flailed about, predictably piercing my eardrums in the form of screams anew. He found a pot this time… the fool, he was trying to light a fire with dried out Autumn leaves inside it. Two matches left. He already wasted four. He was being too gentle. He needed to apply more pressure. He needed help. Even though I knew I owed him nothing.
He always behaved as if he didn’t realize I was standing right in front of him…
Together we lit the match.
He threw it in the pot with trembling hands.
“I-I-I thought I told you to leave!” Screaming again. But this time it was fear. It was unadulterated consternation.
He wasn’t the looney one after all…
“God, why did you do this to us?!” I now soberly scream. Johnny, he can’t hear me. He can’t even see me. And yet I’m still so damnably cold.