'Joachim' turned around and became a face again, and it was too late to take the bullet back. He could have turned away. He didn't. Now that it was done, he had to see it through. He had to watch him smirk and tug at the thing he was wearing around his neck and collapse and bleed out on the ground. Joe stayed still as a statue. He didn't move until long after 'Joachim' was dead.
No more Travis echos. No more jokes. And now he couldn't cause any more death.
He'd caused deaths, hadn't he? Of course he had. If he'd been innocent, why would he have kept his name quiet? Guilty.
Joe put the gun down. He walked towards the body. Looked down. Face. Person. Had parents waiting for him back home. They all did. Joe doubted his were waiting for him, though. They wouldn't want what he was now.
He wandered off to the nearest patch of dirt, just beyond the parking lot. He dragged his bag with him. Retrieved the tiny trowel he'd brought with him from the shopping center and started digging.
Thinking. Digging. Not figuring out anything else. He didn't understand 'Joachim' at all.
It got dark. Too dark to dig. Joe was tired. So he fell asleep right in the half-dug grave. It was surprisingly comfortable.
He woke up, caked in dirt on his left side, and kept digging.
It was early. Sun had barely risen. Joe dug and wished the dirt smelt like garden dirt. He had faint memories of sitting in the tiny front garden while his mother worked, and trying to touch the plants with sharp bits.
Eventually, the hole was big enough for 'Joachim's tall frame. Joe pulled himself out of the hole and found 'Joachim.' He still had the little bit of necklace poking out of his fist. Joe knelt down and tried to remove it. It was hard. The body had started to go into rigor mortis. It took several minutes to get the necklace free. He didn't know why he tried so hard. He just knew that if this guy's last actions were to grab for it that it was important. He finally tugged the heart necklace free. He wondered who'd given it to him.
He wondered who he'd taken this person away from.
He wondered if it was worth it. Of course it was. Wasn't it?
He pulled the boy into the hole, and tried not to vomit on him. He pushed dirt over him, covering his face first. He pushed dirt until the ground was mostly flat again.
Joe searched for words to say, and found that he had none.
He picked up the boy's skateboard and laid it on top of the grave. He left everything else the boy had where it was. He put his gun back in his bag, picked up the scythe where he'd left it on the concrete near the bus, slung his bag over his shoulder and left.
((Joe Carrasco continued in Remission