“When we get to the platform, get some sleep. I’ll keep watch.” Chance sounds angry, and I can only think it’s because I was staring at the kissing couple.
I look up the dark tunnel, but I can’t see anything except the tracks disappearing into the darkness.
I follow the men, but it’s at a slower pace this time. I keep tripping over the metal pieces of the tracks. I wish there’s light so I can actually see where I’m going.
After a while, my toes start to ache from bumping them on the train tracks.
I’ve been concentrating so hard on where to walk that I flinch when Chance suddenly barks, “Up here.”
I can’t see anything and squint until my eyes hurt. All I see is black and then a flash of light.
Chance must’ve been here before to know his way around in the dark. A light flickers on, then spreads dimly through the platform he’s standing on.
“Over there is a bathroom. We’ll sleep on the platform tonight,” he mutters, still sounding angry.
When I place my hands on the edge of the platform so I can climb up, Ethan takes me by my arms and tugs me onto the cold concrete.
Seeing Chance’s eyebrows pull together in a dark frown, I wish Ethan hadn’t help me.
Chance must think I’m totally useless by now.
I go straight to the bathroom, but I regret it the second I walk in. A pungent smell hangs in the air, and it’s so bad I can’t breathe through my nose. I don’t want to inhale through my mouth, either. The Almighty only knows what I’ll be inhaling.
My eyes start to water when I take another breath through my nose. Then, having no other choice but to breathe the awful smell in through my mouth, I cover my lips with my hand.
Paper sticks to the stained floor, and I don’t want to know what the stains are from.
With my pointer finger, I poke at the first stall’s door, and it creeks open. I peek into it and immediately back out. I’m sure my face is green by now. The second one is not as bad, and quickly stepping inside, I relieve my full bladder.
This place is disgusting, and for the first time, I think I can actually convert someone by just telling them how clean our bathrooms are back at the virtuous’ ecocity.
I try to flush the toilet, poking at the lever with one finger, but it only clicks, and on my fourth try, I give up. I pull up the zipper of my jeans, then freeze when someone enters the bathroom.
Do men and women share bathrooms here?
The door to my right squeaks. “Fucking hell,” Chance mutters.
Without thinking, I place my hand on the filthy door to keep it closed. My eyes grow large when a trickle sounds up from the stall on my other side. Slowly I turn my head to the left, unable to believe what I’m hearing.
Embarrassment and the most awkward feeling I’ve ever experienced flood me as life returns to my body, and I dart out of the stall.
Rushing to the sinks, I groan when I see they’re stained brown.
I really hope they’re water stains.
There’s no sign of soap or that there ever was any.
Using two fingers, I open the tap, and water comes out in spurts. I want to be gone before Chance comes out, so I try to wash my hands fast under the meager flow of water. There’s nothing to dry my hands on, so I wipe them on the back of my jeans while rushing toward the door.
I cringe, and heat creeps up my neck. I don’t turn around as I listen to Chance wash his hands. It feels like I’m intruding on a way too private moment.
“How’s your head?” he asks.
I’ve forgotten about banging it during all the running, shooting, hugging, and kissing episodes. There’s a dull throbbing, nothing I can’t handle.
“Fine, thank you.”
“I got these from one of the first aid kits. It should help with the headache.” I dare a glance at him from over my shoulder and see he’s holding a small metal tube of painkillers. “That’s if you have one.” He shakes out two into his palm and holds them to me.
Walking closer, I take them with a grateful smile wavering around my lips. “Thank you.” I eye the basin dubiously. I’m not sure if the water is safe to drink.
“Go ahead. It won’t kill you.”
I catch some water in my hand and swallow the tablets down. When I straighten up, Chance reaches for my head. I instantly stiffen, a weird sensation that’s almost like nerves spinning in my stomach.
Chance’s fingers brush over my cheek and jaw, then he murmurs, “Aaron didn’t do too much damage. The bruise should fade quickly. You did a good job at knocking your head, though.”