Leaving the coffeeshop
Draft 1.1 - by DC & JCP

So I'm sitting there, staring across the table at her.
It's been like this for hours.
Eyes locked together and lips pressed shut.
We have nothing to say.
I don't even think I like her anymore. Maybe I never did.
Maybe, I thought, I did this to punish myself.
It was like pottery class, only without the paints and accusing glares.

The coffee shop is almost empty, only a few others scattered around us.
Everything is so shiny, even the spoons are clean.
They've only been open an hour but her and I have been here forever.
Staring at her face, I can't help but notice that she hasn't aged at all since we've been together.
I must be right; she is sucking out my energy to sustain her own.

So what can be said that hasn't been said a million times already?
Every time I open my mouth to speak, she sighs.
I'm fed up with even trying.
She could be faking it, like she faked everything else.
She's filled with twisted games and lies.
I doubt even those eyes are her own;
she probably stole them from some poor sap just to confuse me today.
To show everyone that she's still in control of the situation.
It wasn't always like this, was it? It couldn't have been.

She's spoken to me.
This must mean that it's my turn to say something.
I have nothing to say.
She is expecting a reply.
I don't feel like saying anything, especially here.
She has spoken again, louder this time.
Glancing around, the eyes of strangers quickly look away from mine.
Everyone is now waiting for me to speak.
Their eyes, crawling on my skin.
My heartbeat has become a pounding in my ears.
A response that will please her refuses to form on my lips.
I've got to get out of here.
"You've been a thorn in my side for too long."
The words just came out of my mouth.
Get out now. Just go. Say goodbye.
Of course she was confused.
This had been where I was supposed to tell her what she wanted to hear.
Her wide eyes filled with shock and surprise stare up at me as I stand up.
"Ladies and gentlemen, there has been a change.
The role of the obedient toy will no longer be played by me.
Instead, I give you all, an empty chair."
The audience in my head gasps at this turn of events, and I leave them and her to think about it.

Once I'm out in the street, I feel the sun pounding down on my head.
Wasn't it winter when I went in there?
It appeared to now be summer, as everyone was now in shorts and sweating.
I looked down, wondering if perhaps I had had a 'black out' of sorts.
I was still in my same clothing, my jeans and t-shirt.
I had memories of a sweater, but due to the glare from the sun outside, turned my thoughts to sunglasses.
Luckily enough, there were some in my hand.
Funny how things do that.
It's convenient sometimes though, so who am I to argue?

Noise, noise, it's everywhere.
The buses are too loud, the cars, the whole scene.
People around me are wandering around aimlessly.
They're pretending to have their own lives.
Pretending they aren't just pretending for my sake.
There is too much pavement for me to comprehend.
Locating a tree, I cling to it briefly.
I tell it some day I will return for it, that I will bring it to a forest where it will be free to roam.
However, I must be going though, and it understands.

I have to make sure she hasn't followed me. She's done it before and I'm no fool.
The first step in defeating a trap is knowing there is one.
If only I had cleverly painted decoys.
A quick glance around doesn't reveal her presence to me, but she may be hiding in one of the buildings, staring down at me from there. I've been in that one building, and I know that its glass windows go from the floor to the ceiling. She's probably up there, thinking she's one up on me. She is wrong, and that's a point for me.

They're starting to slip.
They can't help but give me strange darting looks.
As they walk by, they can't help it.
I've been walking up this street for about 10 minutes now, and one out of every 3 or 5 are doing it.
They are not very convincing anymore.
Did they honestly think they could convince me that they were here for their own purposes?
Did they think I'd question my place in the center of their universe?
A laughable thought.
I'll let them think their little games are working, for just a bit longer.

There is a creature in front of me.
What does it want?
It makes a noise at me, most certainly not in any language I know.
Ah, I see. A dog. Ugly little thing.
I step over it and cross the street.
I don't want to be associated with a creature such as that.
Balls of scraggly fur that bark at me are not on my list of things that amuse me.
Badly drawn clowns are on that list, but not dogs.

So now I'm in a car.
It seems nice enough, but don't remember where it's from.
Can't waste time thinking of such things though, it's better just to accept and move on.
There are people talking to me though.
I glance around the empty car.
I shut off the radio, hoping that maybe this will silence them.
Luckily enough, it does.
I can turn it back on now, comforted by the thought that the voices are not just in my head again.
I don't have time for invisible people at the moment.
There are better things to do.

It's night, and I can tell by the black sky. Sometimes clocks try to convince me it's other times of the day, but you can't fake that sky baby. It's never lied to me yet, at least not that I could tell. As for the clock, it has an extensive history of lies, deceit and deceptions. It may control the others, but not me. They can't fool me into believing.

Leaving the city thins out the traffic on the road. I can now stay at a consistent speed instead of stopping and going sporadically. The car behind me has been following for the last five minutes. Probably to keep an eye on me, but I don't care about that. They can follow all they want, but they can't read my mind. I still have a few surprises for them.

This music is driving me crazy. I frantically hit buttons until better noise comes on. Its just degrees of bad when it comes to the radio; there is no such thing as good anymore. I notice there are many buttons everywhere in this car. I locate the cruise control and press it. That should make things easier.

I'm at the side of the road now. My head is a bit sore, but the bleeding has stopped. Other then that, I appear to be ok, though the same can't be said for that defective car. Apparently this cruise controlled car neglected to have the auto-steer feature installed, or it was deliberately removed to try to kill me. They'll have to try harder then that if they want me to end this.

It's a nice night though, the air not too cold or too warm. Cars drive by, surveying their botched attempt at eliminating me. Heading into the nearby forest, I figure that maybe this is an opportunity to discuss transplanting my city tree friend with the trees here. They are open to the suggestion and they provide me with the necessary paperwork for the move. I thank them, and leave.

"The green umbrella laid at the end of the dock."
I spun around. A crazy old man stood there, smiling at me. He nodded.
"That's nice dear." He said, then turned and wandered off. I stood there for about 10 minutes, debating if that were a clue, or perhaps just a way to confuse me. Either way, I now had something else to think about. How long had it been since I had been to the bathroom? My body was informing me that it had been far too long, and that if I didn't address this issue immediately, it would have some serious penalties to inflict upon me. After briefly discussing the possible solutions for this, the body headed towards the nearest bar. Once in there, it was my job to ask if the body could use the bathroom.

The bathroom was a tiny cube designed by some disturbed individual. I marveled in its pure dedication to being unclean. You can't just pull this sort of disgustingness out of thin air; it has be cultivated and properly thought out. Touching anything could result in death. I navigated carefully to appease the body, and afterwards, snapped a few pictures of the room. This would be a great addition to my collection. Putting the camera back in my backpack, it was now safe for me to leave.

They all looked surprised when I emerged from the bathroom. They hadn't expected me to live through it, I suppose. Either way, I bid them good day and departed the place. I'd let them ask the room what had happened, they weren't getting anything from me.

"Excuse me, do you have the time?"
I turn. There is a guy standing before me. He seems honest enough, but I have the feeling that he has some hidden agenda.
"Yes, it's night."
"Uh, no I mean the exact time. Do you have a watch?" He puts on a face of an almost scowl. He is pretending to be agitated.
"Oh I see what's going on here. Nice try but you can't make me. You just go peddle your clock supporting nonsense somewhere else." I snap at him. They'll try anything you know, but you've got to outwit them. Before he can utter another word of stupidity at me, I leave the scene.

Coffee is good. Say what you will about it, but I have a special place for it in my heart. Sure, that one time it tried to kill me, but that was my own fault. I had gotten greedy. The coffee I had now was perfect; the flunkie behind the counter had finally gotten it right. If I could clone coffee, this would be a cup I'd clone a few hundred times. After snapping a few pictures of it in the moonlight, I enjoyed it immensely. Afterwards I wrote a few poems about it in my journal. Times such as these don't come around often.

Evil plots don't just make themselves you know. If they grew on trees, then things would be different. They'd be very different indeed. Good thing I had always found mine detailed out in my journals. The most impressive parts were always the maps and drawings. They were spectacular. Enough of that though, and the journal goes back into the backpack.

Salad forks. This isn't the first time they've come to mind today. I'm not sure what they are trying to tell me but I did get the message. Salad forks. I search my backpack for them, finding none. I search around me for some, and find none. I wonder if perhaps this is the work of some evil being with whom I share a mental bond with. Salad forks? The last time I saw one it was at the coffee shop. Suddenly it makes sense; it is her causing this. I glance around. She must be here somewhere.

I figure it's time to stop this game. I must get her off my trail so I can do what I need to do. Her supervision is causing stray thoughts to distract my mind, and in times as important as these, I cannot be distracted. I must find a way to disguise myself and flee from her sight. I'd certainly have to find a busy area so she has trouble tracking me. Unfortunately it's late, and the streets are becoming empty.

Hiding as Mr. Halogan in this hotel, I feel the urge to do some thinking. Why was she trying to implant salad forks into my mind? Where is she hiding now? Is that her next door making the fucking noises? Probably. She's like that. If she thinks it's bothersome, she is mistaken. I prove her wrong by ignoring it and falling asleep.

I wake up to music. If they're rolling the credits on me already, I'll be pissed. Who are they to decide when my role is over? I sit up and slowly realize that it's coming from next door. That tricky bitch, she's messing with my head again. I'll have to have a quick shower and then escape before she comes over to confront me again.

"I thought you were here to die.," the man said.
I stare at him. "What?"
"Oh, never mind. That was someone else. Sorry about that." He hands me the bill for the room. "That will be twenty dollars please."
I look at the sign that says $50 a night. He looks at it too, and then looks back at me. I hand him twenty dollars. He thanks me and I leave. I was going to ask him about the bitch next door to me, but he'd probably pretend he didn't know what I was talking about.

I stand there in the sunlight. It feels good. Today may be a good day. I open my eyes and glance around to see if she has come out of the room. Maybe she isn't so bad. Maybe she meant what she said about being there for me. There are a lot of maybes in this world though. Maybe it's all lies. Maybe I should go back.

The bus is almost empty. There is an older man there with a suitcase, much like mine. I feel compelled to speak to him. He smiles at me, and looks happy to have someone to talk to.
"Good morning! Nice day isn't it?" he says with a big smile on his face. He looks familiar.
"Yes. Where are you off to?" I ask him.
"I'm going to go live with my wife. I haven't seen her in years. How do I look?" he says. He straightens up a bit. His eyes search mine. Something very odd is going on here. He thinks he's tricking me. Does he? There is only one way to find out.

I snatch his suitcase and flip it open. Razor blades and pills spill out. He continues talking, as if nothing happened. He is still smiling. "She'll be so happy to see me again. I've been waiting so long.""
I can't help but smile back. Somehow I find this comforting. I think I've dreamt about this man before, but it's hard to tell. Dreams are like that. I put some of the pills in my pocket, and close his suitcase. I put it back in his hands. He is still smiling away, looking out the window. We sit in silence until I can't take it any longer.

I step off the bus and vow to never use public transportation again. Nothing but weirdos, freaks and dead people on busses these days. I get enough of that without riding the bus. I make a note in my journal to never again succumb to the lure of the public transportation.
Buses = No.
Public transportation = No.

I put my journal back in my backpack. It is then that I realize where I am. I am in the middle of a large city. The noise suddenly becomes a roar in my ears. I look around, confused by the amount of concrete spilling out around me. They had snuck me in here when I wasn't looking. That man must have been a distraction, strategically placed there to confuse me by that bitch. Only she would do such a thing.

There is nowhere to flee to. I can feel everyone's eyes on me as they pretend they're not staring. She has trapped me again, proving that I am just her toy. I can hear her laughter ringing in my ears. I can hear them all laughing at me silently. What do I do now? Everything I do just further amuses her, plays into her plans. I collapse in the street, my body refusing to even try anymore. No one seems surprised. I lay there on a tiny slab of concrete and stare unblinking at nothing.

She is standing above me, telling me to get up. I cannot. This will not continue. She is promising to leave me alone, to let me be. She is lying. She is worried her toy has stopped playing. Finally I know that this can have an end. All these years I had tried to force it, to try to control it. I reached up and put my hand on the button. Her eyes went wide. She didn't know I had found my self-destruct button. I smile as I hit it.

Mushroom cloud.
All life dies.
The End.