I watch all the happy people going about their day. Smiling. Rushing to the things they feel are important. If I'm being honest with myself, I hate them. I'm not one of them. I haven't been in a very long time. It's not just the windows of this car that separate me from them. I've lost the things that make them how they are. That loss is a chasm too great for me to ever cross again.
It's been an hour since Kaitlyn went into the building behind me, Dunbar Armored. I want to be annoyed with how long she is taking in there. I just want to be annoyed with her in general. Always. Instead, I'm distracted from my issues with her and my family. I've left the car off the entire time. Let the winter cold fill the vehicle. Seep into my bones. The coolness of my skin matching the bitter numbness within. The fogged up windows make the happy people outside seem less real. As if they are ghosts. Remnants of the things I once had. It's like my nightmares have now invaded my time awake. Walking around me with wicked smiles on their faces. Taunting me. I'm consumed by their tormenting joy. I want to rip their faces off.
It's now I notice my right hand shaking. It's not the cold. Nothing else is filled with involuntary movement. I clench my fingers into a fist and then open them over and over again. Eventually, it begins to subside. How long was it shaking like that before I realized it? I can't be sure. My focus on my rogue appendage is broken by the car door opening. I immediately start the car as Kaitlyn climbs in. She's complaining before she even has her door shut.
Jesus, it's freezing. Why didn't you leave it running?
Her comfort isn't my concern. I don't care enough to answer the question. I respond with one of my own as her door is shut while I'm pulling out of the parking lot.
Well, did you get it?
She waves around a piece of paper as if I can read it through her flailing while I'm driving.
Of course I did. There was an ever so helpful idiot behind the desk.
Then what the hell took you so long?
Apparently, that comment takes the joy out of the situation for her. The smile leaves her face. Good.
I had to wait for his supervisor to leave. He had suspicious eyes. Would have ruined everything.
I hate to admit it, even just in my mind, but I trust her judgement on that. After all, she is a criminal. Like everyone else in my family. What does that make me? I'm not sure anymore.
Cassidy is in a worse mood than she was before I went to get the information we needed. You think she'd be happy I was successful. Not the case. She's been extra unpleasant and even less talkative than usual since I got back in the car. I didn't even know that was possible. I fold the paper up and put it in my pocket. It'll be useful later. Right now I just want to get warm. I reach over and turn the heat up. I see her eyes dart over to my hand as if I shouldn't be touching anything.
I don't need your permission to get warm Cassidy.
My words had more of an edge to them than I planned. Oh well. That's her problem. Not mine. There's no response. Not that I expected one. I thought I would be used to what a mean-spirited harpy she is by now, but I'm not. Living with her is unbearable. She's such a miserable, bitter bitch. We barely talk. Just leaving my room is stepping into almost palpable tension. Even when she's just staying in hers. What I wanted was to try and repair things and get my sister back. What I got was the living minefield that was once Cassidy Bligh.
Let's stop somewhere. If you're going to continue to be this pleasant I'm going to need a drink.
No response again. It's like I'm in this damn car by myself. No, that would actually be better. Easier. I sigh as my frustration with her rapidly increases. It isn't long before I can no longer sit still. It's not my fault. She brings this out in me. I can't take it anymore. I need something here. I start kicking the shit out of the inside of the car she just bought while yelling something at her that isn't even intelligible to me. She barely seems to notice for a moment before shoving me against my door.
I'm about to lash out at her. I don't care that she's still driving. I'm stopped by her next action. She opens the glove box and resumes to the position she was in before all the commotion. I look in the glovebox to see a bottle of Bushmills. My anger doesn't fade, but my fight does for the moment. I pull the bottle out and unscrew the cap with my thumb. It spins off next to me onto the seat. I take a couple of swigs before handing it to her. She doesn't look at me, but she takes it and drinks.
You could have said something you know?
Her response is as dry and empty as always.
Thanks for participating in the conversation sister. Jesus.
Is that all you can say?
Is she serious? I want to grab the wheel and steer us into oncoming traffic. She's making me insane.
I'm so sick of this! Drop your bullshit. Talk to me like a damn person for once in your adult life.
As soon as she responds I can tell her anger is already starting to reach the same level as mine. She doesn't so much speak. It's more an explosion.
What the fuck do you want from me Kaitlyn?! What is it that I am supposed to say to you? Tell me. Tell me right now!
Something. Anything. How about "hey Kaitlyn I admit that you're my sister and I realize you fucking exist"?
She grunts at my words and responds in a quieter fashion.
Like I have a choice in that.
My mind doesn't want to register that she said that. I'm to the point of wanting to pull at my own hair or lunge for her throat. I'm not even sure which. If I respond at this point we're going to fight here and now and end up in an accident. That prospect might thrill her, but really does nothing for me. Not that the idea isn't sounding more appealing the more we interact. Instead, I silently seethe next to her for awhile and stare out the window at everything passing by. Fuck Baltimore. Worthless city in a worthless state. Eventually, I cool down some and snatch the bottle from her hand. After another gulp I try to change the subject.
Where are we going?
Her response is bitter, but this time not towards me.
To go pretend we give a shit in front of a camera.
Cassidy and Kaitlyn
A blurry, black and white image comes into focus onto a side view of the Blighs. They rest back to back. Neither turns their head towards the camera. Each smokes a cigarette while passing a half-full bottle of Irish whiskey back and forth over their shoulders without moving their heads.
They drink silently for a long moment while flicking their ashes on the floor. These are their only movements or sounds for the period of time. Eventually, Cassidy speaks. Her voice quiet and disinterested. The words are harder to hear due to them not facing towards the microphone.
We were asked to actually talk about our opponents this week before we came in. Apparently, Kyra isn't pleased with how we conduct our little heart to hearts here. Kyra, stop having your grubby, little minions bug us with your wants and desires. We're not here to fulfill them.
Kaitlyn starts speaking as soon as she stops. Her tone just as quiet, but there's an odd joy in her voice.
You shouldn't be having them waste their time Kyra. The quicker this gets over with the sooner they can leave the property. We told you before that this area is...dangerous. What if something happened to them? Not that you care about the welfare of your employees. What if your insurance rates went up? Better?
We're forced to be here Kyra. Not to care. Not to hype matches to increase your sales. Your interests are not ours.
Though your safety has become our interest. Our top priority.
They stop talking. Cigarettes are put out on the floor. The bottle is passed back and forth a few more times. In unision, they both reach up and run a hand through their hair. Then they become completely still. To the pointing of looking more like a photograph of dolls than people. Seven minutes and thirty two seconds pass before they continue like nothing happened. Their vocal tones only growing stranger as they do. Their words going between loud whispers and normal volume randomly as they speak.
We're so very concerned...
...about your well-being. If something were to...
...happen to you we don't know how we could...
...live with it. Such a tragedy befalling...
...such a lovely person would be...
...so very upsetting.
(Their heads turn simultaneously towards the camera. Barely formed smiles rest on their faces, but their eyes appear almost lifeless in the cold way they stare forward.)
Don't worry though. We'll be around to make sure you're taken care of.
You can always count on that.
Kaitlyn's alarm goes off to show they've met their required time. There is little visible reaction beyond the two of them standing and walking away.