Clark is leaning against the back of the warehouse, scanning his surroundings. In the last half an hour not a thing has moved from its place and no stranger has come within half a mile of the building. But he still looks. Because that's what guilt will do to you.
His eyes first move along the horizon, watching the endless rows of corn. He doesn't have to see them to know they're there though-the smell is everywhere in the air. His head turns as he checks and double checks for any signs of change. Still seeing nothing, he looks up at the sky, as if he needs to make sure there is no one there either. Little does he know I'm already there.
* * *
On the other side of the warehouse, I stand and wait. Clark doesn't know I'm there and I intend to keep it that way. At least for now. The truth is, I've started to have second thoughts about why I'm there. And until I'm sure of what I'm doing, I don't want to move.
So far it’s been almost ten minutes. I've tried to reach at Clark's thoughts, to solidify in my head the justifications for what I'm doing, but his paranoia has taken up all the spots in his brain.
Where is that idiot?
Wait. What was that?
This waiting is going to drive me crazy!
Right now all I can do is wait, hoping that his thoughts change. I desperately want to hear him talk like he did earlier, when he brought me into this. That oh-so-charming way of talking that could almost convince you that anything was reasonable. What happened to that talk? Why couldn't he just think, "Hey, everything's going to be alright. Matt will get here and we'll get started. I've got his back and there's nothing to worry about. Everything will be just fine." Where was that? No, that talk was gone. Instead more paranoid thoughts have filled his mind.
My god, I swear I'm hearing things.
If that idiot isn't here soon, I'm ditching.
I already outta kill him.
I stop listening, partly because I've been doing it so long it's gotten harder, but also because I know I'm not going to get what I want from him. Whatever decision I make, I'll have to do it without Clark's persuasion. And perhaps that's better.
I take a step away from the warehouse, then stop, weighing my options. If I go around to the other side, where Clark is, there's no going back. He'd never let me live down my decision if I bailed then. But if I go the other way and walk back to town, I return to just being another nobody. Another loser. And I risk losing my only friend. Or whatever Clark is to me.
I stand there contemplating my choices for several more minutes before I start to hear Clark's thoughts again. I'm not trying, but his nervousness has escalated to the point he's practically shouting them at me. From what I gather, he thinks he's spotted someone else near the warehouse.
Someone's over there, he thinks.
I hope they didn't see me.
Then for a minute his mind is clear and I can tell he's doing all he can to stay out of sight. I take this chance to listen for the mystery person myself. The connection to Clark fades to the back of my mind as I concentrate.
For what seems like forever I force myself to stand completely still and regulate my breathing. Oddly, I hear absolutely nothing. It’s as if someone has flipped off the switch of sound and everything from the birds in the air to the stalks of corn swaying in the fields, must comply.
And then, right as I'm about to brush away all of Clark's worries and my own, his thoughts return to my attention...