We stayed there unmoving for twenty more minutes, we were too scared, too frozen in place. There is now a small pool underneath me soaking into my clothing from the knife wound. My adrenaline has subsided and the pain is searing through my entire body, but I dare not make a sound.
Cory slowly opens the locker and crawls out over to me.
“Are you okay, man?” Cory asks.
“Yeah, don’t worry about it we gotta get out of here.” I say cringing with pain.
He pulls me out to my feet, throwing my arm over his shoulders to help me walk. Every step shoots a jolt of pain into me. We make our way up the hallway to the staircase, we start up it back to the top floor. I stumble and fall on the stairs, letting out a groan of pain.
I get back up and lean into Cory, finally we make it to the top.
“Hold on, man.” I say. “Give me a second.”
He sits me up against the wall. It’s getting harder to breath, he sits down next to me. It’s pitch black in the hallway, can’t even see his face sitting beside me. I reach into my pocket to grab the phone for light, but it’s gone.
“Shit! I think I dropped the phone running from that guy.” I say.
“Don’t matter man, we’re almost out of here.” He responds.
We sit in silence for a few minutes as I try to catch my breath. Then I hear Cory start whimpering, I can understand he’s scared. I’m scared. This whole thing is a nightmare.
“I’m so sorry man.” He says.
“For dragging you here. I should have just calmed down, and let the police do their jobs. I’m so sorry, this is all my fault.” He cries.
“It’s okay man, I offered to bring you here, plus you were right, Mark was in trouble.” I say reassuring him.
“Yeah, but now we still don’t know what happened to him and we are in trouble. I mean look at you, you got stabbed because of me.”
I sit there quietly, nothing I can tell him right now will make him feel better. We just have to focus on getting outside to my car, then we can leave this whole mess behind us, and send the police. Hopefully they find Mark and he’s okay.
The hallway is completely silent, it’s unsettling, but silence also means we’re alone. I sit and wait for Cory to calm down before we move, I close my eyes and let myself drift away from this place. I think of the sunshine of the summer to come, remembering how my mother would always take me on long road trips to new places, she wanted me to really take in all the things the world had to offer.
The sunshine always got her going, she liked to take me on long hikes through the mountain trails she would find. It was a tough climb to the top, but once you reached it, you really felt good. As if the whole planet just stops for that one moment of peace just for you. We would stand there for a few minutes just letting the sun hit us as we took in the chilly breeze of the wind.
Standing on the top of those trails made you feel small looking out at the trees below, reminding you that there is so much more than yourself out there. Wish I was there now.