By the time we stumble down the stairs to my basement room, the haze has worn off. I am dizzy with the effort of supporting his weight, yet instinct screams don’t let go while my mind says to drop him and run… Even in my more lucid state, my mind seems more muddled than ever. Every now and then he tries to talk, muttering about finding Jenna and getting help. Finally, I get him back to my place. While I choose to live here, the apartment is not much by any standards. It has three rooms: a bedroom, a den/kitchen and a bathroom. With the areas so small and cramped, it feels more like a cave than an apartment. But I love this place and I lived here before Weldon even bought the building. I can work with a mini-fridge, a sink, and a microwave for a kitchen. If I really need good food, I go to the deli on the first floor or the coffee shop down the street. This apartment has the one commodity I value above all else; complete and total privacy. Even Weldon doesn't have the keys to my locks.
Carefully, I lower the man onto my little couch and hurry across the threadbare carpet to get a blanket and a bottle of water. There is nothing much else I can really do for him tonight. Sighing, I turn out the lamp and turn to the bed room, as a quiet voice behind me whisper.
"Thank you…Jennavive," he murmurs in his sleep. I shudder at the use of my full name-- the one nobody but my Grandmother has ever called me-- and lock the bedroom door.
In the middle of the night, I wake to the feeling that I am being watched. Slowly, I open my eyes and turn on the lamp. The room remains empty. I open the door cautiously and shine a flashlight on the man. He appears to be asleep on the couch, though the pillows have migrated to the floor and the blankets tangled around him. He looks almost sweet, all wrapped up in yards of purple with a lock of his dark hair hanging in his face. I resist the urge to brush the wayward lock of hair out of his face as I would do with the children I used to baby-sit—(really? Am I turning into some romance-novel idiot?). Out of nowhere, the eerie feeling returns and I scurry back to the bedroom.