Deb glared at the locked door. There was no reason for this kind of attitude – it wasn't like she had done anything to deserve it. A whisper of, "This time," echoed in her mind, but Deb pushed it away. That was his voice talking, not her own. He had no idea what she was going through, or what she was capable of, and he had no right to say things like that to her. But she didn't care.
She just didn't care about anything anymore.
Hollowly, she looked around the bathroom, taking in the familiar sights with a new attitude. Nothing was really what she wanted, though, and she dug through the cabinet beneath the sink. She really just didn't care anymore.
Distantly her alarm clock began to sound. Time to go to work. Past time, probably, if her alarm was still set to yesterday's time; she was supposed to open today.
Deb glanced down at her clothes. They would suit, so she wouldn't need to go to her room. Let that alarm ring all day, for all she cared. She eyed the window. It would take a bit of effort to break, but there was always the chance that she could slice her arm horrifically on the broken glass, so that was a plus.
Grabbing the trashcan, the heaviest thing she could find, Deb began to beat at the window. Unlike everything else in this crappy old apartment, however, the bathroom window was built to last. She wondered if it was the angle she had to come from, but even backing up and heaving the clunky electric razor at it did nothing. Panting with exertion, Deb glanced between the window and the door. There was apparently no going out that one, and you couldn't pay her to linger through the other.
Her alarm continued to blare, and Deb sat down on the toilet lid to think. She could always just not go to work; just stay in here and wither away from starvation. It wasn't like she cared.
Well, she could if it wasn't for Joe. Joe would call, and check on her. And when no one answered the phone, he would come to her house and knock on the door until she answered. Or finally managed to jump out the window.
But Deb couldn't do that to Joe. She didn't care about herself, but she wouldn't make him worry like that. Because for some reason, Joe really did care about her and the other kids. Plus, it was time for the quarterly reports. She had done those for the past few years, and she was the only one that knew how. It wouldn't be fair to crap out on him right before those were due, right?
And AJ. He had said yesterday that he needed to talk to her. She'd been rushing out the door after work, but she'd promised to talk to him today. Honestly, she knew what he was going to ask, and she knew the answer she'd give him. She even knew what stupid romantic thing he would do instead of following her advice. But still, she should give him the chance, shouldn't she?
And there was that stupid singer coming today. Rex Moron. The shop was always crowded on signing days, and crazy, and the others would need all the help they could get. Deb really shouldn't leave them in the lurch. Not that she cared about most of them, but they'd all drive Joe crazy on a day like today.
Deb looked around the trashed bathroom. She didn't care about anything in this room, including herself, or the room beyond, or a single thing or person in this entire apartment.
But Joe cared about her. And AJ cared about her. Even Lucas and the others, in their own ways – and despite how much she mocked them – cared about her to an extent. And she had promised to come in and open today.
Sighing, Deb got to her feet again. Her arms caught her eye and she stared at them for a long moment. Seeing these would worry Joe. And AJ. And the whole point of going in to work today instead of disappearing was to keep them from worrying. Her jacket would mostly cover them, but if she got hot… better to hide them than let Joe see them.
With another deep sigh, Deb stuck her head into the cabinet beneath the sink again. There had to be gauze in here somewhere. To her surprise, she found a small, fully stocked first aid kit tucked into the back corner. She had no idea where it had even come from, but she grabbed it. Unthinkingly, she also grabbed the electric razor that she had failed to smash the window with.
Taking a deep breath, Deb considered the bathroom door again. Her bag and helmet were both by the front door. All she had to do was make it down the hall, grab them, and then bolt. She'd stop somewhere along the way and take care of her wrists so Joe wouldn't worry.
Simple steps. Open the door, run down the hall, grab her things, out the other door. Didn't even have to close them. Open, run, open, run. She could do this. She didn't care about anyone else here, but she just didn't want to deal with them right now. Open, run, open, run.
With another deep, bracing breath, Deb turned the lock and yanked open the door. The sound of her alarm blaring became louder, and she smirked as she glanced around her escape route. It was clear for now. She sprinted down the hall, grabbed her bag, and was just opening the door when she heard a shout.
Not waiting for the person and the fight that would follow it, Deb continued to run. She jammed her keys in the ignition of her Vespa and thankfully, it started on the first try. Holding on with one hand, her other juggling an armful of things, she wove down the street. After a few blocks she could stop and put everything in her bag. Maybe fix up her wrists. She would probably be late to work, but she didn't care.