"It's cold tonight." That was the first thing you said to me. Obviously you were trying to change the subject. A pathetic attempt.

"What the hell did you think you were doing?" I blurted out. You looked at me, this time it was different. It was fear that I saw in your eyes. I can remember when it wasn't fear. It was usually excitement. Refreshing excitement. I just kept staring back at you. Sitting in that chair in the middle of the basement, unable to move, because one attempt of escape and you would have about 50 bullets driven through your head. We all circled you. We never stopped walking around you, except me. I just stared while they walked.

"Listen, Joey, you know we need to talk about what ha--"

"-I didn't think I'd be able to get away with it anyway... I was just... tired of it all." The second thing you said to me. I really wanted to let you go. You weren't my enemy, you were my friend. But no one else saw that, I don't think even you did. I made a move as if to put my hand on your shoulder to comfort you, but thought better of it. The gang wouldn't think much of me comforting you- the reason for our downfall.

"Hey, Vin, you gonna get the truth outta Joey or just stare at him. You look good, bro, but your looks don't kill." One of the circling members said.

"Listen, Joey, i really hate to do this but-" I held a gun up to his head, "Why'd you do it?"

"I told you I was tired." He pleaded, "I couldn't take anymore of it. It's getting too serious guys, it's not fun anymore, it's scary-"

"Oh, so you're a baby now?" I was starting to get into character. I think i was talking to myself rather than Joey. "Couldn't take it?, Thought it was getting scary? Damnit, Joey! If you could take i then, you can take it now. Toughen up a little, jesus! You've killed before, why's it so bad now?!"

"Because, Vincent! It's too much, we agreed we'd only kill if we absolutely had to! We were anonymous, she didn't know who she saw! You're all just looking to kill now, I had to stop you! I had to! It's gone too far!"

I was dying for Joey. But if I didn't do what i had to, I'd be in for it too. And when reality hit me, Joey had a point. I was calm now, though I was still dying.

"You know... you're right Joey. We did agree to kill only if we had to. And we didn't have to kill her. I'm sorry, bro. But right now... it's one of those times. We have to kill you, Joe."

"No.."Joey started to plead, "No, Vin. Vinny please. I'm worth more than this-"

"Apparently we're not worth a damned thing to you!" Someone walking around had stopped to speak.

"Chester, damnit- you don't speak unless you're spoken to!" I screamed, "Keep walking!" I think I was going crazy on Chester because I was dying for Joey. I was doing too much for too many people. Chester didn't move, he was getting a little defiant. I aimed the gun at his face, and said oh so quietly "Start walking." I distinctly heard Chester murmer "Squealer."

BANG. I shot Chester. Nobody did anything, except Joey, who started crying. It was sad. Tacky. I turned back to Joey.

"As I was saying Joey, you're right, we will only kill if we absolutely have to. And right now, I have to."

I took aim at Joey's head. He winced and started crying again. His breathing was so rapid it made my head hurt. It made my fingers tremble. It made me want to cry, but I held it in. I just stood still watching Joey cry. Gun shaking in my hand, aimed right between Joey's eyes.

Everyone stopped walking, they knew I couldn't do it and started whispering.

"You need to do it Vince'."

"Come on Vin, he's the reason we're hiding."

"Do it, Vincent, kill the bastard."

I couldn't hold it in, I started to cry. And then I made a bigger mistake. I ran for it. I pushed through the gang, up the stairs, as fast as i could leaving Joey to the rest. The gang started running after me, shooting, probably thinking I'd gone soft like Joey as was going to turn everyone in to the police. But no, i ran for more hiding. Isolation. Just runaway and start anew. They shot at me, so I shot aimlessly behind me. I think I killed a few of the others.

I went into hiding at my own house. Sounds crazy, I know, but I was least likely to be here according to the gang. My house was ransacked, probably by the police raiding it or something. I don't know why the police didn't come back, they probably thought I wasn't stupid enough to return.

Then, after two days of living of canned corn and beans, and no electricity, there was someone at the door. One of the gang, Isaac.

His shirt was bloody. I later learned that the blood on his shirt was Chester's. He knew why I ran away. He felt bad for Joey too. He told me, though, that when I shot back at the gang, everyone started to shoot and bullets were streaking everywhere..

"..and the next thing I saw Vinny... was Joey. He was shot in the stomach. I grabbed him and put him in a car to take off for the hospital, but he wanted to come here. He said he needed to talk to you. I told him he would die, so if he wanted to talk he has to live." We laughed, Joey, never thought things through, and Isaac went on, "Joey agreed to go to the hospital. When I turned into the emergency lane, Joey had already lost a lot of blood. I'm sorry, Vin. Joey died in the hospital. I just thought... you'd want to know.." He turned and left.

I left too. I felt as dead as ever. I left my house, my town, America. I moved to Europe. I never saw Isaac or any of the gang again. Except Joey. I saw him every day.