Days had passed, and the sun was exhausted due to his non-stop relay with the moon. So he asked the moon for a break and gratefully retired over the horizon. Roger was glad, as he had been anxiously waiting for dusk to give way to dark. Only when the street lamps became the only light source, bathing the buildings and sidewalks in their wan glow, did he feel safe enough to leave the apartment, thrust himself onto the needy streets and travel to and from his most sacred and betraying places.

The door to his room opened hastily, but silently, Roger having perfected the trick to an unnoticed exit years ago. He wasn't ready for Mark to be waiting for him, though. He wasn't prepared to leave his room only to find his best friend sitting at the table, writing and smoking a cigarette. He wasn't usually home yet, it was only...what time was it? A red 11:47 glared at them from the clock on the window sill. He was home early.

"Where are you going?" The question was innocent, curious. Just the kind of naive inquiry that drove Roger crazy with guilt. He had noticed, lately, it was getting more and more difficult to lie. Especially to Mark. Lying to him was the same as lying to himself, he decided.

"I'm going...I have to go out. I'm going out."

"Oh." He was accepting Roger's vague answer, although Roger thought that maybe this 'oh' was more one of disappointment than one of cooperation. Mark returned to his pages and scribbled what neither one was really sure could qualify as words.

Just as the door was tugged open, Roger stood halfway out and turned only his head to pose a question, hoping to somehow improve his status in the eyes of the filmmaker. "Do you need anything?"

Mark lifted his head and turned in his chair to face his oh-so-lost roommate. His eyebrows lifted themselves in pure curiosity. "Are you dealing?"

The inevitable phrase seemed to have shocked both Roger's ears and Mark's lips, the silence absorbing such a random (yet so, so appropos) querie. Eyes squinted in thought as the musician attempted to produce a suitable reply. The red glare from the window morphed into an 11:49. A single syllable dispelled the stagnant echo of nothingness. "No." The truthful, nonchalant response was soon the only company Mark was left with, as the door had shut and the night had continued as it had been planned.

Mark nodded, satisfied with the answer he had been supplied with, its lack of frills confirming its honesty. He took a drag of his cigarette and bowed his head, picking up his pencil and continuing where he left off.