I want to make it clear that this is blatant and unapologetic wish fulfillment.

You're the only person I could ever call at three in the morning. You pick up after six rings and all I hear is your groggy breathing. "Josh?"

You grumble something unintelligible.

"Were you sleeping?"

"No, I was bloody skydiving. What do you want." It's not a question, it's a demand.

"Run away with me."

I count forty-seven beats of my frantic heart before you answer. "What happened?"

I'm shaking now, a little bit. "Nothing."

"Then why?"

"I need to get out, Josh… out. Now."

Your mattress creaks as you sit up straight. "Listen to me."

"No." I already know what you're going to say. "No, I—"

"You're a little unstable right now." You barrel on despite my protests. "Take a Benadryl, go back to sleep, and I promise we'll take a drive in the morning. First thing."

"I don't want a drive! I want to leave."

"You said that last week. You know that."

I get up and turn the lights on. "This is different."

"You said that last week, too."

"I can't breathe, Josh."

You're quiet for a moment while I paw through my closet and yank my backpack out by the strap. My fingers are clumsy and the blood is rushing through my ears. "What's that noise?"

"What do you think it is?"

"You're not seriously packing, are you?"

I sit back on my heels in the middle of the mess of clothes I'd thrown. "Josh, I need to get out. If I stay here, I'll go legitimately insane."

"You're not insane already?"

Jerk. I blow into the phone and you yelp at the sudden screech through your speakers.

"Okay, okay, I'm sorry… look, can't you hang on one more night? Call me in the morning and—"


"Four short hours."


More silence. I've stopped shaking now, crushed into submission by the weight of the air over me. "I'm leaving with or without you. I just want it to be with you."

It's quiet. It's so damn quiet. "I'm coming over. Now."

You take a deep, deep breath, and let it out so hard it whistles into my speakers. "Okay." There's a finality in it, and I've suddenly never felt more alive.

This will be continued, if only for my own amusement... I have no idea who Josh is, but I like him. I know two Joshes-one by association and the other only briefly. I think he's a mix of the two.