Audrey had no idea what just happened. When Alvaro left the room with his gun and without cleaning up the mess he had made, Audrey just stood there. Eyes wide, pupils dilated, unblinking. Her arms slack by her sides, her breath caught in the pit of her throat. She stared at the corpse on the ground, what was left of Jasper Bustamante. She stared at it and stared at it, trying to process why Jasper was dead, when the hell did this happen? Of course it was Alvaro, fuck it, of course she knew that. She saw him pull the trigger herself. What shocked her was how quickly Jasper went from smiling to corpse face in what felt like sixty seconds. It wasn't like in the movies where things just fade away, slowly, until there is nothing left. Jasper did not have the luxury of a slow, melodramatic death. That's what dug into Audrey, sank in, lingered long after Alvaro was gone. And that's what made Audrey frozen in place. She stood there for lord knows how long just gaping at freshly painted stain on the ground and she stood there until some part of her brain asked her why she was staring at a corpse and Audrey did not have a good enough answer.
Audrey did not cry. Of course she would, later. She just turned away from the body, grabbed her bag off the chair and turned to leave.
Was her body going into shock? That was the only explanation she had regarding the lack of reaction. Audrey took the death of Jasper like she would the death of a fly. Jasper Bustamante, someone she might have considered a friend. Jasper Bustamante, a friendly boy who never did anything to hurt anyone. Jasper Bustamante, the person who tried to talk to Alvaro. Audrey wanted to talk to Alvaro too. But she was too scared. Scared and furious. Alvaro ditched her, of course. Alvaro also killed someone so, um, yeah. Audrey, for once in her life, decided to compose herself because, hey, Jasper was trying to talk to him. Everything was going to be fine.
"No one is trying to understand you, to help you."
Much later, Audrey wondered what would have happened if she tried to speak to Alvaro. Would Jasper still be alive? Would she have taken Jasper's place on the dirty floor in the Group Therapy room? And for what? For trying to help Alvaro?
"I just want to listen, Alvaro."
What a crock of shit.
(Audrey Reyes continued Cold Cold Nights under Chrome and Glass