The subway car rattles around the corner. I hold tight to the railing, flexing my core, trying my best not to smack into the plethora of bodies around me. I keep my eyes up at the ads lining the roof and try to focus on my music. The beat runs through my head causing a compulsory bobbing. Twenty more minutes until I can get off.
Shuffling through the crowd, I make my way out of the station and onto the street. Faces pass without even registering in my vision. I keep my mind blank. Stepping to the music, I make my way to the tall building I call work. Two guys in the elevator discuss their project a little too loudly for the small room. Reaching into my pocket, I click the volume up button to drown them out. Two more minutes before I can leave them behind.
“‘Scuse me,” I pop out of the metal box and make my way to my desk. I give a two finger salute to Connor as I walk by. Reaching my workspace, I toss my backpack to the floor and pull of my jacket. Throwing it over the back of my chair, I give a friendly smile to Marissa beside me and fall back into my seat. I pull out my laptop and smack the space bar until the screen lights up and I can log in. It’s 9:03. “Seven hours and fifty seven minutes.”
“We just got here and you’re already counting the minutes until we leave?” Marissa looks at me with a questioning smile.
I turn to her in surprise. “Oh! Haha, was that out loud? Sorry, I just tend to kind of count the time when I look at a clock. Makes the boring stuff seem not so bad when you know exactly how long you have left.” I shrug at my odd quirk.
“Well, sure. But knowing we have seven hours and fifty five minutes or whatever still feels like a really long time. I’d rather not know until it’s an hour.” She places an elbow on her arm rest and her chin in her hands.
“Yeah, but time is always moving forwards. Sure, it’s seven hours and fifty five minutes, but that’s better than eight hours.” I turn my chair to face her.
“Barely…” She furrows her brow with humor in her eyes.
“But that barely will become fifteen minutes, then half an hour, an hour, two, and so on.”
She shrugs and turns back to her computer. “Whatever you say, Kris.” I let out a short sigh and look back at my screen. Seven hours and fifty three minutes.
The day flows by. I sit through meetings that have me half asleep, eat a lunch that’s bland, and work on projects that make me want to slam my head through my desk. I put my headphones back on and try blast the boredom out of my head. Two hours and four minutes.
A deafening pop makes me look up and pull off my headphones. Screaming comes from the far side of the floor and people begin running my way. Standing up, more loud pops ring from the sources of the screaming and a man with a pistol comes walking after them. It’s Jack. “What the fuck is happening?!” Marissa is panicking next to me. I grab her arm and pull her away. “Come on! We gotta go! Now!” She turns and nods, starting to run past me.
We were too late. Jack has already caught up to us. He aims at Marissa. Suddenly, it’s like time stops for a moment. My mind races. My legs move themselves and I position myself in front of him and reach my hands out for his gun. There’s three loud pops.
My whole body screams in pain but my voice is silent. Collapsing onto the ground, I hear a scream of “no” with a pair of hands grabbing my arm. Why aren’t you running? I’ve got a few seconds at best. My body starts to get cold as a pool of warmth forms underneath me. There’s a crashing sound. My vision starts to blur. I watch in confusion as Jack’s legs suddenly fly away from me and he crashes into the back wall.
Someone comes into view… Orange… And blue… Dying sucks…