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Seven hours. Four hundred and twenty minutes. Twenty five thousand and two hundred second. That’s how long I’ve been dreadfully waiting for Noah to call me. Seven hours. I’m still in Chase’s apartment, I couldn’t find the strength to move, and my phone is laying in front of me on the table. I’ve been staring at it for seven hours, hoping that the screen will light up with Noah’s caller ID. But it never does. I’m starting to loose hope, thinking that he might leave me hanging, forever wondering what happened to the guy I fell for. I’m beating myself up, blaming me for Chase’s fate. If it wasn’t for me, Chase would still be here in his apartment. If it wasn’t for me, Jason would still be alive. I’m only causing trouble.
“Hey.” Tamara slips into the seat next to me and place a steaming cup of tea in front of me. “Drink up.”
I smile weakly at her, but nonetheless, I wrap my cold hand against the warm cup. The storm has finally arrived, and the wind is howling outside, the raindrops falling down the sky like millions of small needles. Even the trees are fighting to stand upright, just as I’m fighting to not give up.
“He’ll call”, Tamara reassures me with a smile although I know that she dreads the moment as much as she wishes for it to happen.
I unlock my phone, checking the battery percentage. Thirty-five.
“I’m gonna go and look for a charger”, I say meekly as I slowly rise up from my chair, “shout if he calls.”
She nods and continues staring at the wild storm outside. I vaguely remember that Chase got the same phone as I, and I find a charger beside his bed.
Tamara hasn’t moved from her spot, and I sigh as I put the charger in.
“You don’t have to wait with me, you know”, I tell her for probably the thousandth time.”
She shakes her head like all the other times before. “I won’t let you go through this alone.”
I thank her yet again and goes back to staring at the wall. I’ve tried watching some tv a few hours ago, but it only made me feel even more fidgety, and I turned it off within minutes. I’m too nervous to concentrate on anything else than the phone in front of me.
I slowly sip on my tea, and make some small conversation with Tamara. It’s really tiring to wait, and I’d expected Noah to call within an hour, or maybe two at top, but it turns out he was really serious about making me wait. I get it now, how it feels to not know. It’s excruciatingly painful. It tears at your soul, gnaws at your inside and strips you bare naked. The worry is eating me up alive, and I’ve never felt so vulnerable in my whole life. Everything lies in the hands of Noah. There’s nothing I can do, except to wait for him to grant me some answers.
Two more hours pass and Tamara’s dozes off in the living room. I force myself to stay awake, and it pays off.
I’m fully focused at the raging storm outside when a familiar melody rings through the air, and I nearly jump out of my skin at the sudden sound. I’d grown used to the silence. Nevertheless, I throw myself at the phone, my heart starting to race as Noah’s name is displayed on the screen.
I answer in the speed of light. “Hello?”
“Meet me at the pier in one hour”, the familiar voice says curtly, “and if I see even one cop, he won't live to see another day. Got it?”
I gulp and force my lips apart. “Y-yes.”
Noah hangs up, and I drop the phone onto the table, causing Tamara to stir in her sleep and eventually flutter her eyelids open.
She rubs the sleep out of her eyes as she sits up and looks at me. “Did he call?”
“Yeah”, I breathe out.
“Well, what did he say?” she comes up to me and leans against the fridge in front of me.
“He told me to meet him at the pier in an hour”, I mumble, “but no cops.”
I add the last part because during those seven hours Tamara and I were left to wait for the call, we went through all different possibilities we could come up with, the cops being one of them. I won’t risk Chase’s life, though, no matter how much I’d like to rely on the police in a situation like this. The truth is that they’d probably do more harm than good, and I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure that Chase’s walks out of this messed up situation alive.
“Alright”, Tamara nods, “no cops.”
I stand up from my seat. “We should get going soon.”
Figuring that my blonde hair will only be in the way as soon as we step outside, I pick at the hair tie around my wrist and put my hair up in a high ponytail. Tamara gasps in shock as I stretch my neck in order to fix the tie, and I realize she saw some of the bruises.
“I told you he wasn’t who you thought”, I state sadly before moving into Chase’s bedroom to search through his closet for some warmer clothes. I found two hoodies, but only one raincoat. I slip on one of the hoodies, and hand the rest of the clothes to Tamara before heading to the hallway where I find a bomber jacket. It’s a little bit too big on my frame, but it works surprisingly well atop of the thick hoodie.
“You ready?” I ask as I’m fully clothed and ready to throw myself into the storm. Tamara turns to me with a determined look on her face. “I’m ready.”
We make our way downstairs, and when we enter the street, it’s eerily empty.
“This way”, I shout through the wind as I pick up the GPS on my phone.