Lewicki has asked me a question. Actually, I'm fairly certain he has asked me the same question several times. I am staring at him, which is not the response he is looking for, or at least that is what his increasingly impatient facial expression implies. He comes closer to me. His hands are on my shoulders. His words are bouncing around my head, but not creating any kind of comprehension.


Piece number one.


Piece number two.


Piece number three.

"What did she say?"

It finally all came through.

"She- I- We have to go Lewicki. Start packing."

"What? Doc, why the hell would we do that?"

"Just start packing!"

"NO! This is one you've got to explain, why do you want us to pack up and leave?"

"She- She- She kissed me. She- She told me she loved me. We have to go now!"

"Why? That's a good thing isn't it?"



Lewicki grabs me by the shoulders and sits me down on the couch.

"You obviously have feelings for her, so why won't you let this happen?"

"Please Lewicki, I will explain, but please just start packing. I'm not ready yet."

"We can't pack up and leave overnight Daniel."

"Yes we can, I'll call the University, you call anyone you need to, but don't tell them where we're going."

"No. Think reasonably, you and Kate can work it out. We are not leaving, not tonight, not next week, you're not running from this one."

He's not going to change his mind, I can tell. His feet are planted firmly, he's not fidgeting or breaking eye contact. He's not going to do this one.

"Fine, fine. I'll give it a while."

"Good. Now go to bed Daniel, you need your rest."

"Alright. Ok ok. Fine."

"I'll see you in the morning." The statement has not even a hint of questioning in it. I nod at him, not making eye contact, and listen as his feet ascend the stairs once more. I can tell by the way the noise pauses on the landing that he is waiting for me to follow him, so I do. His door closes, so does mine, but he starts to doze, and I do not. I pull a suitcase out from under my bed and start to throw things in it. I keep my footfalls and my actions quiet, I have no intention of another confrontation with the persistent TA. Clothing, toiletries, and even a set of sheets fly into the suitcase by way of my ever more panicked hands. I open the bathroom door with more force then I should, and look in the mirror. Behind that mirror lies my greatest fear. I yank it open and wrap my tense and trembling fingers around the small bottle of medication. It follows me back to my room and into my suitcase, just as it follows me everywhere. I look around the room, it's emptiness hitting me hard. The only thing left is a notepad and pencil sitting on the vacated bedside table. I invent one last task, and call the taxi company to come pick me up, but then once more, I am at stalemate with an object. I sigh; it truly is too late for that now. The pen is in my hand, the empty paper before me, and my deepest fears scrawling on it.

Dear Kate,

I'm very sorry about this. I never wanted to hurt you, but if I let this happen, it will hurt you more than my actions tonight ever could. I want you to know that this is in no way due to a lack of affection for you; I've had feelings for you since you first spoke in my class. I will miss your presence, but of course, I have to explain. You are the most loyal and persistent person I've ever met Kate. You never give up, and nothing can dissuade you from your purpose. But in this case, that would be a disadvantage. I love you Kate. As much as I'd like to, I can't deny that. But if I pursue this relationship, I do you a disservice that I could never forgive myself for, and years from now, you would realize and regret. I'm not good for you Kate. You've got all that ambition and potential, and I would hold you back. Even now you are constantly watching me for symptoms, keeping track of my schedule, and worrying about what a case might do to my condition. I thank you for all those actions, they mean a lot to me, but I can't subject you to them for a lifetime. You have entered my world and not shied away, which is something not many people have the courage to do, but you have not lived in it Kate, and you can't. It is after all, my world, and I can't bring you down into its mess of demons. Your future should be your own, without the hindrance of an old crazy professor who's stuck in his routine. I'm so sorry Kate. Thank you, for everything, you have changed my life in so many ways. I'm afraid this is goodbye though. Have a wonderful life; I'm sure you will.


Daniel P.

I rip my eyes from the paper before I can stain it with tears. I lift my suitcase and descend the stares with it as quietly as possible. I place the notepad on the hall table, pen beside it, in plane view of the door. I wander to the kitchen, throw a few more things into another bag, and grab the wad of cash that I keep hidden in a secret compartment of my tea cupboard. Then with a sigh, I go and wait on the curb, leaving this life for the last time. It's a shame; I had grown rather used to it. As the autumn wind caresses my face, the pain I am feeling in my heart as I loose this final stalemate is worse than any bullet could ever be. But I am absolutely certain of my decision, and by morning I will be exiting a train in New York City, with an untraceable ticket and a new phone number. Sometimes, keeping yourself out of a government database isn't related to conspiracy theories at all. I see a speck of yellow at the tip of the street. I close my eyes and wait for the sound of the engine to pull in front of me, but it never does. When I open my eyes, Kate is standing there in a bright yellow raincoat. She looks at me pensively for a short while, those brown eyes glistening brighter than the pavement after the earlier rain. I look around briefly and realize that everything is frozen once more. Leaves are halfway fallen to the ground, and the traffic light visible from my house has been yellow for far too long.

"One more moment of stasis." I smile and breath in the unmoving air, basking in it's nonexistent glory. One more moment stuck with her. A warm smile is on her face and she reaches for my arm. She leans in and kisses me on the cheek. "Thank you." She whispers and pulls back, her touch disappearing from my skin. She turns and walks away disappearing around the frozen street corner. I close my eyes, and hear the leaf hit the ground. When I open them, there is a taxi in front of me. I climb in, and I am gone.

I'm not usually one for author's notes, but I'm not sure if this is where I should end this story. It's where I had planned to end it in the planning stages, but I feel it could be resolved in a happier way as well, and I am looking for opinions as to whether or not I should add one or two more chapters. Thank you all for reading and reviewing!