The Hardest Thing - VIISeven
Conrad said he'd only be a bit to pick up a pair of pants I had left at the apartment across town. But nearly an hour had passed now. I was torn between calling him and simply waiting.
My curiosity and perhaps even worry got the best of me, and I picked up the phone and dialed the number Conrad had left on the fridge. He picked up on the fifth ring. "Hey." He sounded exhausted. What could possibly have happened?
"Um, I really hate to bother you, but you did say within twenty minutes, and it's been nearly an hour."
"Look, the hospital's only a few blocks away; can you meet us here?" he asked.
"I'm I'm sorry?"
"Toni, Veser, me, Ples--- we're here. Can you meet us?"
"Why?" I felt my stomach drop; I prayed that what I was thinking did not happen.
"Hanna cut himself. Badly."
I was already out the door.
The Hardest Thing - VISix
Hanna sat back against the wall. His arm was throbbing.
Veser had promised to be back in just an hour. But an hour alone, as it turns out, was enough for his thoughts to turn back to past mistakes. Blood slid down into his palm.
He couldn't do this. He couldn't be alone any longer. Alone was now synonymous with darkness, and both were to be avoided at all costs. His fingers twitched, and he leaned his head back against the cool tile of his bathroom wall.
"Hanna!" His ears perked up to what he had come to realize was a now-panicked knocking at his front door. "Hanna, open this door or I'm breaking it down!" It was Conrad. No, no, no. That meant his plan was ruined. Conrad knew, without even opening the door, what was happening.
"No," Hanna managed weakly, too quiet for Conrad to hear. "Go away." His left hand finally fell, t
The Hardest Thing - VFive
"I promise you'll like it, okay?" Toni insisted, tugging on my hand. I managed a slight smile and followed her down the corridor in the mall. "I saw this absolutely gorgeous tie on sale, and I really think it's your style."
Conrad trudged along behind us, texting someone (I guessed a coworker or client). He muttered something along the lines of, "I'll see about that."
And that's when it happened.
"No, dude, I'm saying it's like... Godzilla would only win if Batman didn't have his utility belt," Hanna insisted, jostling Veser. "You know Batman would win otherwise."
Hanna brushed past me, his shoulder just reaching my upper arm. Time slowed, sound faded. He didn't see me, and I'm not even sure I saw him. Despite temptation, I kept my eyes forward. Did Conrad and Toni see him? Was I just imagining him? That red hair, the glasses.... Then
The Hardest Thing - IVFour
Gentle fingers combed through his hair. Hanna curled up with a slight smile. No warmth was offered, but he didn't particularly mind. He let himself linger in the half-sleep state he was in, enjoying the simple pleasure of touch.
It took a moment for Hanna to realize it, but the fingers had stopped. He tried to open his eyes, but boy was he tired.
"Why did you let me leave?"
That didn't make sense. He didn't leave. He was here. "I you didn't."
"I'm gone, Hanna, and it's because of you."
"No. It's " A hand was now on Hanna's cheek, but instead of comfort, it brought panic. "You're right here. I'm right here."
"Because then you wouldn't be guilty." The hand slid down to his jaw, and his neck.
"No, no. I'm not, I didn't " A finger was pressed against his windpipe enough to make panic constrict
The Hardest Thing - IIIThree
"So yeah." Conrad rubbed the back of his neck as we stood at his door, looking over the neat, tidy apartment. "This is well, this is it."
"It's nice," I commented. My only memory of the place was when Adelaide had torn it apart. Or rather, Conrad had torn it apart in pursuit of the other vampire, I supposed. I doubt a little bat could have caused all the damage I recall.
Conrad managed a half-shrug, half-nod. "Well um. Do you sleep? I mean do you have to? Need to? Um, want to?"
"No." One of the ups of being dead. "So don't worry about an extra bed or anything like that."
"Ah." I could see the obvious relief on his face. Clearly that had been something he had worried over when he suggested I stay at his place until I found a place of my own. "Well! Um, I guess just make yourself at home.