Mark Cohen stared at the scratched wooden floor below him as he entered the dark and seemingly empty loft. Flipping the light switch, he heaved a sigh and draped his coat on the edge of the couch, sloppily kicking off his shoes. The weather outside seemed to correspond with his current mood—cloudy, dull, and gray. It was certainly no day to film anything. Mark had attempted to find something to film, but it seemed that the horrible, dreary weather had managed to drive all of the happiness away...It was nothing outside. That was the only way Mark could describe it. Nothingness. He made sure to keep the door unlocked so he didn't have to throw down the key for Maureen and Joanne a little while later.
As he grabbed a coffee mug from the shelf, he briefly heard some music drifting into the room, gently ringing through his ears . Guitar strings played out a familiar, yet strange tune that Mark simply couldn't place. He set the mug on the island table and followed the music until he was standing face-to-face with a closed door. Mark slowly twisted the doorknob and shoved the heavy door slightly.
On his bed sat Roger Davis, guitar in hand, his eyes closed and his eyebrows furrowed. He didn't seem to notice Mark enter the room. He was humming a little to himself, his foot tapping to the beat of his music.
Mark cleared his throat a little, and Roger abruptly stopped strumming the stream of swirling notes. Looking up at him with glistening green eyes, Roger said, "Hey. When did you get back? I didn't even hear you open the door."
"A little while ago," Mark replied, "The weather sucks. Didn't even get to film anything."
Roger shrugged. "Well, you've been filming every homeless person and child with a lollipop and old lady with a shopping cart since you got that camera. I don't think one day will make much difference," he replied sarcastically.
"Well, you've been locked in your room fiddling with the same notes all day, am I right?" Mark questioned. Roger said nothing, and Mark smirked. "I thought so. You want some coffee? I'm about to make some."
Roger shook his head. "No, thanks. I'm busy. I was actually getting the chorus down-pat until you showed up..."
Throwing his hands up in the air, Mark rolled his eyes. "So sorry to interrupt you, Roger."
"You should be."
Mark flashed a not-so-nice gesture in Roger's direction, to which the latter replied, "Oh, please, Cohen. My mom could look more threatening than you do right now."
"You know what the sad thing is?" Mark muttered, "I remember your mom. And you're right, she was scary as hell..."
Roger threw his head back in laughter. "Mark...that wasn't even the point...But now I have something else to make fun of you for. Thanks for that!"
"Shut up." Mark stuffed his hands in his jean pockets as Roger continued to laugh quietly, his hands rhythmically brushing against the strings of his guitar as he began to play again. He was in his zone; there was no point in talking to him. So Mark quietly slipped out of the room to make his coffee.
After about fifteen minutes, Roger emerged out of his room, flopping down on the couch as he began to read the newspaper. "You do remember that Maureen and Joanne are stopping by for a while today, right?"
Mark almost spit out his coffee. "Shit, I forgot...Maybe we should clean up the place a little..."
Roger snorted and replied, "Are you kidding me? This apartment is beyond repair, Mark. We destroyed it a long time ago. Think about it. When was the last time you actually picked up a mop or dusted something?"
"Good point," Mark said, surveying their messy loft. "Oh, well. They should be used to it by now."
Roger nodded in agreement absently, turning a page of the paper. "Mmhmm. If you ever finally get that girlfriend you've been so patiently waiting for, I'll make sure we clean up after ourselves if she comes over here."
"When did you suddenly become that generous?" Mark inquired.
Roger sighed, standing up and throwing the paper aside. "It's called being a friend, jackass."
"Rog, the friendliest you've ever been was when you decided to throw a snowball at my face instead of at my nuts when we were in fifth grade," Mark joked, a smirk on his face all the while. Of course, he knew that Roger was a good friend. He just tended to show it in a different way.
With a roll of his eyes, Roger stood up and put on his jacket. "It was an act of kindness."
"Sure," Mark said, raising an eyebrow as Roger buttoned his jacket. "Where are you going?"
"To see Mimi," Roger remarked softly, "I gotta go."
Mark shook his head. "Wait, you can't just...you have to...you can't..."
"Listen," Roger interjected, "I have to go, okay? I don't have any other choice."
Mark's downcast expression prompted Roger to stop in his tracks and turn around so that he was facing his room mate. "You know why I have to leave, Mark."
"And you know how I'm going to end up when you do," Mark retorted.
Roger shook his head. "It's your choice whether you end up that way or not."
"Roger," Mark mumbled, almost pleadingly, "You can't fucking leave. Not now. You can't—"
The door burst open, and Maureen sashayed into the room, followed by Joanne. "Marky! Are you ready to go to the Life Café with us?"
"Mark? Honey? You coming?"
It was dark. Mark stood in the center of the room, the coffee mug in his hand, a blank expression in his features.
Joanne took a couple of steps forward. "Why are you standing in the middle of the room in the dark?" she asked cautiously.
Mark looked around briefly, then at Maureen and Joanne's worried faces. "He's dead, isn't he?"
"Mark, sweetie..." Maureen whispered, hurrying over to Mark and putting a hand on his shoulder, "Roger's been dead for two months."
Mark nodded solemnly, sinking down into the couch. "Yeah. That's what I thought." He took a deep breath. "You guys can go ahead without me, okay?"
The women didn't bother to argue, and they quietly left the room. Mark, on the other hand, simply closed his eyes, trying to listen for the music once again. But, as he predicted, he heard not a sound. Roger was dead. Mimi was dead. Angel and Collins were dead. So, now, Mark turned to the only reality he had left.