JOSH WALKED TOWARD THE FRONT OF THE SANCTUARY to the door which he knew led to offices and bathrooms and the kitchen; all churches had the same layout. His boots squeaked against waxed linoleum, so he slowed down, afraid someone might hear him. Josh passed through the fellowship hall. A long table, set already for coffee hour with two silver coffee urns and white porcelain cups balanced on matching saucers, lined the far wall.
Another door led to the kitchen. A streetlight shone through the only window over the sink, muted by swirling snow. Josh cracked the door of the refrigerator. A loaf of bread and an opened bag of individually-wrapped Colby cheese sticks. Josh dropped the cheese and bread into a plastic grocery bag. A percolator and a can of Italian roast stood on the counter by the stove. What he would give for a cup of hot coffee! Later. After he fed Nikko, got him settled.
“Wake up.” Josh shook him by the shoulder. He pushed away the damp hair fallen in Nikko’s face. His friend’s eyes looked sunken. Dried blood caked his lower lip. “You need to get up.”
But Nikko lay there, unmoving. Josh picked up his arm and it flopped to the floor with a thud.
“Jesus, Nikko. Get the fuck up.” Josh wrapped his arms under Nikko’s chest and heaved him forward. But Nikko went limp, a dead weight, and slowly slid back to the floor.
Josh stood. A strong urge to kick Nikko, anything to get him to move, overwhelmed him, and as he battled the urge, it came to him Nikko was dying, he was dying now, and if he didn’t do anything, Nikko would die there, on the floor in a church in a city four hundred miles from home, and it would be all his fault and how would he, Josh, ever live with himself if his best friend died in his care?
Getting closer to the end. I've decided to shorten each installment (last week's was a bruiser to get through), so maybe 3 or 4 smaller posts. Thank you for reading, Josh and Nikko and I appreciate it! Peace...