"I know," I said.
"He actually wagered your life on a video game?"
"Yeah, this whole thing is pretty stupid," I agreed.
"So, since you're talking to me," Peter began again after a short pause, "I'll go ahead and assume you won."
"Oh, hell no," I said, "no way. He was ridiculously good. I mean, the guy must know that game in and out."
"So, how are you alive?"
"Oh, Rose crashed her car into the house and rescued my dumb ****."
"What do you mean 'she crashed her car into the house?'" asked Peter.
"Just that," I said, leaning back in the seat, "crashed right through the double glass doors, sent a bunch of **** flying. It was actually a pretty funny sight. The front of the car hit Trenchcoat's yoga ball and shot him flying head first into a wall."
"And you just got up, unharmed, ran to the car and got out of there?" he asked.
"Pretty much," I said, then add, "but I'd call it more of a brisk walk than a run."
Rose decided to chime in at that moment, "didn't I tell you not to talk about me while I'm around?"
"Hey, I gotta call you back," I said to Peter and hung up before waiting for an answer, "yeah, oops."
She kept her gaze on me for a few moments before looking back at the road. The morning stopped hiding and the town was illuminated by the combined strange glow of the first light and the orange of the street lights, yet to turn in. I wasn't usually awake at this time of day to see the morning, so it was definitely something new. And boy, was I glad. It was all so ugly.
The sun was obscured by one massive, all expansive cloud that painted the sky something between regular gray, and 79 cent toilet paper gray. A steady flow of rain had been pouring since we'd left Trenchoat's. It wasn't too heavy, but not quite a drizzle, either. It was just enough to bind the sky to the earth, melding the ugly with the dirty.
"God damn this **** is gross," I said finally. I rested my head against the window. The one good thing about all this was that the rain outside made the window cool and soothing to my forehead.
Rose's expression didn't change, nor did she ask what I was talking about. She just drove. "I know," she said, five seconds (or minutes) later.
She reached one hand to the footwell of the rear passenger seat and grabbed something. "Here," she said as she gently tossed me a muffin.
I was too tired to react in the usual energetic outburst, although my eyes did grow about three times wider than usual. I just looked from the muffin in my lap to the girl driving and back to the muffin.
"You're amazing," I said as I curled up in the seat and began to doze off. A hint of a smile materialized on her lips. It wasn't much, but it was real.
"I know," I thought I heard her say some time later.
"Get up, we're here," she said, unbuckling her seat belt and getting out of the car.
I got out of the car with uneaten muffin still in hand. I had no idea where Trenchcoat's house was, and therefore no idea how long the ride, but I was surprisingly feeling pretty refreshed.
"Hey, how did you know where I was?" I asked Rose as I took a bite out of the muffin, following her up the stairs to my apartment.
"I was there when they grabbed you," she said matter of factly, "I had just come to pick you up from the Guru's when his car pulled right up front and they took you. I didn't think I could take both of them so I just followed them all the way to his house and waited for an opportunity."
"Huh," I said. Odd, but I guess the logic checked out, "that's convenenient."
"Isn't it?" she said with one of her shifty smiles, "they also stopped by a drive-through burrito place so that worked out pretty great for me, too."
"Huh," was all I could say. I scratched my head. Was there even a need to write that?
As we got to my apartment, the thought crossed my mind that perhaps coming back here wasn't the best idea. Trenchcoat must have been pretty pissed by now and would surely send his goons over.
"Waaaaaaaaah!" Rose yelp/shouted as she opened the door.
I rushed in behind her.
"Who the **** are you?!" Rose demanded from the six and a half foot tall man standing in my living room.
He looked at her for a time before shifting his gaze to me, eeeeevvvvvvveeeeerrrrr ssssssooooooo sssssllllooooowwwwwllllyyyyy. He gave no answer nor made any movements.
It took even me a moment to realize who it was, I mean, I hadn't seen the guy move in at least a year. Relief washed over me. It was my savior, my benefactor, my friend. The man who will never lose a staring contest.