It's dark and you're alone. Alone in your apartment, with all the lights off, and the only thing stopping you from jumping off the roof right then and there is that smidgen of hope that is burning inside you. The thought ‘he will come back’ is running through your head, over and over, like a broken record, because it is the only thing you can hold on to. Those four words are the most important thing to you right now.
You're slipping away; the depths of unconscious are gripping you, trying to pull you in. You fight them off. How can you sleep? Why would you sleep? Why should you sleep? He's still out there somewhere. Somewhere, but not here. Not with you. But he will be with you again, you know that much. Even if no one else does. You know. Youknowyouknowyouknow.
You start to pace. Light footsteps tapping on lose floorboards that hide weapons. ‘Just in case,’ he told you. You’ve never even shot a gun properly, but he would rather know that you were not defenceless. He wanted to make sure you could protect yourself if he wasn't there. At the time you had brushed it off; it would be nearly impossible for anyone to be able to get through your various security systems. But he didn't want to take the chance. ‘Accidents happen,' he grunted, before guiding you to the bedroom.
You think about that night a lot, because it was proof of just how much he cared for you. He cared. He cared. He cares. He's still alive.
Agents are pronounced dead after 48 hours if they cannot be located or contacted. It has been 47 hours, 11 minutes and 19 seconds. 20. 21. He hasn't called, but you didn't expect him to. He never calls. You're waiting and waiting and waiting. The call will never come. After the 24 hour mark they had pulled you aside, desperately trying to hide their disappointment and sympathy. So much sympathy. They told you to leave; ‘go home,’ they said, ‘go home and wait there. We'll contact you if we hear anything.’ You had protested at first, but they had insisted. They could replace him, but you're the best. They need you alive. They gave you a ride to the apartment, telling you to get some sleep, knowing you wouldn't. ‘Home is what is best for you right now,’ they insisted gently. Little do they understand that home is a person, and not a living space. You can't go home because home is hiding. Not dead. Notdeadnotdeadnotdead.
47 hours, 11 minutes, 44 seconds. 45. 46. 47. 48.
You think you could count forever, if it came to it. You'd carry on counting until you saw him again. You'd see him again. He doesn't die. He never dies.
Your phone rings. You don't register the noise at first, but when you do, you leap towards the source. You know it's not him. He never calls. The voice tells you they found his phone, his tracker, his guns. You say nothing, and the voice asks if you're still there. You whisper, ‘he will come back’, and the voice is silent, contemplating. You can't bear it so you end the call and turn your phone off. You know he won't call anyway. The weight of your grief has you collapsing onto your knees on the unforgiving ground. You’re sure there will be bruises in the morning judging by how loud the resulting thump was, but you can’t bring yourself to care. What are a few mild bruises on your body compared to the damage that could be on his?
Minutes pass and you still haven't moved. Twenty minutes, thirty. There is no noise; he was always the noisy one. You wait and wait and wait. You've been waiting your whole life. He doesn't come. You don't expect him to, not really. But that doesn't mean you're giving up. He will show up, eventually. He will show up, even if you are gone.
47 hours, 43 minutes, 8 seconds. 9. 10. 11. 12.
A part of you wishes he was in your position. A part of you wants him to feel the way you feel; the helplessness, the agony, the trepidation. Although that part of you is in no way the dominant, because if he ever felt like you do then you would willingly kill yourself for putting him through this, and you are not the vindictive type. You know wishing will merely bring you more despair. You’re only allowing yourself to think such thoughts because imagining that your suffering is worse means that you don’t have to think about how bad his situation is.
Tick tock tick tock. The clock won't shut up. Shutupshutupshutup. He will come back.