Fiction Home Freestanding Stories Alone Trilogy Legacy Series In Progress

Where Will You Go
By Amanda Berendt
Copyright July 2004

    Natalie sat in her car outside the loft. She had just had another argument with Nick. Instead of having a shouting match, she had fled in to the morning sun – knowing he couldn’t follow. Stifling a scream, she banged her fists against the steering wheel in frustration. Whenever something went wrong, or life got difficult, Nick’s first reaction was to leave. When she found out, and it seemed like he always left a trail for her to follow, she would get angry and talk him out of it. She would tell him that a major part of being mortal was dealing with the good and the bad.
    Natalie knew that almost everyone at the precinct thought of him as befitting his last name – a knight in shining armor. They saw him as some kind of superman with impenetrable armor. He was the aloof gorgeous guy that all the women adored and all the guys could hang out with. So many people thought he had a great life. It was only Natalie who knew the truth. Only she knew how he tortured himself each day because of what he was. She was the one who he shared his doubts and fears to. She was amazed how much of a wall he had built around himself, but then she guessed that eight centuries of perfecting the craft could make anyone a phenomenal actor.

You’re too important for anyone
There’s something wrong with everything you see
But I… I know who you really are
You’re the one who cries when you’re alone

    This particular confrontation had gotten as far as Natalie asking Nick what his plans were and where he was going to run to.
    “I don’t know, probably travel for a while. I do like the police work. Maybe I’ll keep at it.” He had replied, trying to lighten the situation.
    “Until it gets too hard again?” She asked, not even trying to disguise the biting sarcasm in her voice.
    When he didn’t answer, she continued. “Nick, you aren’t running from this problem. The problem you’re running from is going to follow you wherever you go. And no one else can fix it but you.” She paused, letting her words sink in. “And me… if you’re willing to let me.”

Where will you go
With no one else to save you from yourself
You can’t escape
You don’t want to escape

    Knowing Nick couldn’t do anything until after dark, she sighed and pulled away from the loft. As she drove back to her own apartment, she thought back to when she and Nick had first met. He had told her he was a monster and that even if he didn’t want to, he might kill her. When she had offered to help him, he had pushed her away asking her why she would want to help an irredeemable creature. His resistance had made her want to help him even more.
    She pulled into a parking space behind her apartment building and got out, squinting in the bright morning light. Grabbling her bag, she headed inside and up to her apartment.
    “Hey Sid.” She said, as her hungry cat met her at the door. In certain ways, the cat reminded her of Nick. He was very detached, but when it suited him, he could be very warm and caring. She laughed at the thought. “I don’t know, Sid. It seems like I am getting into a rut with the men in my life.” She set down her things and followed the cat into the kitchen.
    Later that morning, she sat at her computer going over her notes regarding Nick’s treatment. Just as she had predicted, the now satiated Sidney was nowhere to be found. Nick had called several times and left apologetic messages. Right now, she was still too frustrated to have a calm conversation with him. He had to learn that you cannot just have relationships with people on your own terms – it has to go both ways.

How ever did you manage to push away
From every living thing you come across
So afraid that anyone will hate you
You pretend you hated them first

    Lunchtime arrived, and along with it came Sidney. Natalie lounged on the couch flipping channels and thinking about Nick. After an emotionally trying night, she soon succumbed to the comforts of the couch and fell asleep. Her dreams were filled with images of Nick running away from her down a dark corridor. When she called to him, he didn’t turn. She saw him in different locations, but each scenario always ended with him running away.
    When she woke up, it was late afternoon and Sidney’s meowing had become insistent. She got up from the couch and stretched before going to the kitchen to feed the cat. She started the coffee maker and headed off to the bathroom to take a shower. Sunset was still a few hours away, so she still had time to figure out how to deal with Nick.

Where will you go
With no one left to save you from yourself
You can’t escape the truth
I realize you’re afraid
But you can’t refrain from everything
You can’t escape
You can’t escape

    After her shower, she sat on her bed staring at the phone on the nightstand. What was she going to say? It would be the same thing she had been saying for months. Just as she was going to pick up the phone to call Nick, it rang.
    “Nat, it’s Nick. Did you get my messages?” He did sound like he had worked things out, but then again; he had perfected the art of illusion.
    She sighed, preparing herself for the argument. “Yes, I’ve just been really tired all day. I actually fell asleep on the couch.”
    Nick was silent for a moment. “I’m sorry. Did I wake you?”
    “No, I just got out of the shower.” She took a deep breath. “Actually I was about to call you when the phone rang.”
    Another silence. When he didn’t speak, she continued. “Nick, please don’t take this the wrong way. I try not to nag you, but it just gets so frustrating. We have this same conversation every time things get tough and it just gets old. I shouldn’t have walked out on you this morning, but I guess I just wanted you to know how it feels.   Running away doesn’t solve the problem, Nick.”
    She heard a deep sigh and waited for the words to register.

I’m so sick of speaking words that no one understands
Is it clear enough that you can’t live your whole life all alone
I can hear you when you whisper
But you can’t even hear me screaming

    “You’re right, Nat.” He paused as if choosing his words. “I am really sorry. It’s just that sometimes I get tired of dealing. It just gets too hard sometimes.”
    She let out a sigh of relief. “Nick, don’t you think that happens to everyone?” She paused. “I mean I did it to you this morning. I got so fed up I just had to get away. But I didn’t leave the city, or my job. I just took a break. I gave us some breathing room, that’s why I didn’t take your calls today. You can get away from things without giving up.”
    He chucked, which was an added relief to her. “So you’re saying I should take more time off?”
    “Why do you think we mortals go on vacations?” She laughed. “It is more than just for the tans. I know you’re under more pressure than anyone else realizes, but if you need a break, just take it. The world will not come to an end because Nick Knight took a day off.”
    There was a moment of silence. “Natalie, I’m glad you’re helping me. I really don’t want to leave. Maybe that’s why I always tell you that I am leaving. I know you’ll come to stop me.” He stopped for a moment. “I guess I’m glad that you’re here to nag me.”
    She paused, not sure of what to say. “So that’s why you don’t listen, you like it.” She laughed again. “Don’t worry, Nick. I won’t let you escape from this life that easily.”

And where will you go
With no one left to save you from yourself
You can’t escape the truth
I realize you’re afraid
But you can’t reject the whole world
You can’t escape
You won’t escape
You don’t want to escape