Listen to this conscience
straddling the line · 02/22 · 12:01AM

Standing outside himself, time dragged into a snails pace. Hands bruised and bloodied from connecting with tissue and bone. Damage was done. Blood had been spilled. It leaked from his head, clouding vision where it once was missing. A clobbering. He blacked out and felt no pain. Saw no destruction in the wake of seeking revenge. This was Nathan's undoing, the unraveling of himself he lacked reason for as a man laid slumped on his side barely breathing. It was a fight, ambush on his end, looking for a way to cap off the years long torment drawn after the day he took the beating of his life. The force that hung in balance as he was left for dead, mirrored. Done out of loyalty.

He took the blows because he was blind with devotion to his mentor. The man that long since retired and continues to watch over him, but not in this hour. Not in the moments where the clock fell right into early Sunday morning with intent to end it all by his bare hands. He didn't think it through past the point of laying his hands on the perpetrator. He didn't know if it was how far he was willing to take it but someone else made that move for him, creeping from the underside of the veil. Teaching him a valuable lesson as the joke had fell on deaf ears.

He saw little outside of himself, only heard a voice over his brain catching up to the crashing of furniture and random items. Bone breaking against his fist, snapping occurring that didn't incite a flinch on his behalf but that voice slowly grabbed his attention. Acting as an anchor, the rope to pull him out of a well looked to be incapable of escaping. It was soft, not grating to his ear when usually it had been. The complaint about it being of annoyance was nothing more of a sedative to bring him out of the fog, out of the darkness he ‎constructed while grasping on what had been real and just a figment of a wild imagination.

He dreamt of clearing all of his enemies with a simple swipe of the hand or a branding of a bullet, to do what was done unto him. He obsessively stalked, and kept tabs on the whereabouts, being successful at one. One became enough and he knew one just had to pay for the mistakes made upon him. Slow resistance to take that rope, wild eyes laid into the man just feet away. Unrecognizable as all he saw was blood and labored breathing. Nathan couldn't feel it but he lived it and for the worst, as he had a front row seating to his haunting. A third to the party chimed in just a bit louder, calling out his name in desperation.

"STOP NATHAN! Don't fucking do it!"

He saw no one. He heard it but saw no one with his back turned, dropped to one knee. Fist holding him up as breathing dragged in a slow heave. He heard her screaming, louder to ring his bell. Call it off whatever he was going for. It was one more shot, one more chance to end it all. He didn't want to go down that road of no return after doing so in the past couple of months.

"Please, let's go before this place is swarming!"

Her voice went unnoticed on the cusp of shaking off what he was left scrambling under. Slowly turning his head to the side to make sure that it was who he thought it was and not any imagined voice in his ear. Something other than the voice that was telling him to continue on while taking a micro break. He almost was there; ready to find the tool that sat in the back of his pants, heavy but easy to hold. It took one squeeze to end it all, to never having the same encounter disrupt his sleep, his day to day. If she knew, understood what he was capable of, she would leave, and let him be. His time was nearly up, as he believed but there was a belief that it did not have to end that way. Currently recognized, the hazel-eyed woman continued to shake him, revive him to the present instead of falling into the past where his mind had been stuck on in the last half hour.

Time escaped him and he knew that. There was little time in a window to escape, and he had to know that. She wouldn't let him go, not with the possible presence of getting into more trouble. It wasn't a savior's attitude when realized, but part of his conscience that was never there before until now. Speaking through her, telling him to do the right thing or what was left of it. He managed to hound on the wrong, take advantage of it but not remembering how he reached that plot, internally confused him to the point of flaring out frustration. He saw her shadow through a lamp's light knocked on its side, making out the shape of her figure he envisioned on a night or two alone. Nathan fell forward, weight bearing on both fists that curdled with a throb. It seized his nerves; the endings that made him feel physically and began deconstructing what was fantasy to what had been real.

Hands met his shoulder in a frantic note. Pushing him to rise, to get up faster than he was doing while collecting the little bearings he had. She endorsed him to react on pride, pushing her away with a harsh shrug, wanting to get to wobbly feet on his own. Elbowing her off like a child that didn't want to be helped, could've sealed his fate where the voice of reason stepped back to allow him to fall on his face. It was exactly where he could've ended up but fighting someone whom did nothing more than find him on a stage of trouble would be the wrong move. He needed her then without saying so on the shift to his feet. Towering her, he held on to what he could. A hand was captured, arm draped around her shoulder, anything that held him up while he was tussling to make sense of the trashed living room, he held on to.

"Quickly, we need to get you out of here," voice was calm, like the ripple of the ocean they spent wading in just a week ago. "Let's go, tough guy, easy," she enchanted while helping him gain footing towards the cracked door.

"Elsa, what did I do? What did I do?!" He glanced at her through a blurred glare waiting for the answer but she shook her head, helping him go through the threshold to exit. There was no time to explain what couldn't be explained and he did not ask any more questions then. A glance over his shoulder gave him the answer to one question but not why. Not how he got there or if it was luck that had her come to his aid. Appreciation was too soon to measure while escaping into the dead of night, where Sunday's morning began, setting the tone for the trying days to come.