• The rain spat down as I walked along the dull empty streets. My umbrella was at home and the coat I wore had no hood. In moments I would be soaked, I had other things on my mind though. Two of my friends had just committed suicide and I hadn’t seen my other friend in months, the three of us remaining had assumed he was dead and left it there. I waited for months, but one October that glimmer of hope disappeared. I was always a bit pessimistic when it came to missing people, after all, I had known several murder victims who were assumed to be still alive when they went, but something gave me a little hope. Sadly, I live in the real world where hoping and wishing doesn’t make the dead rise or the missing return. It would be like wishing for my two recently deceased friends to jump up and skip down the stairs of our apartment block to have ice cream. I can’t see the point of suicide, especially in their case. Inez and Gabriel had been relatively happy people. Inez was a chef and her brother, Gabriel, was a lawyer. They both had good apartments next to mine and as far as I knew, were in happy relationships with men. Gabriel was the only one of them who had any reason at all to kill himself, his parents had disowned him for being openly gay. Thinking about it wouldn’t help though, so I stopped trying to figure out what was wrong with their lives and continued to walk. The streets were buzzing but I was so alone it felt as though not a single person was in the country. Sometimes life was so hard all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and die. No, bad idea. I didn’t want to end up like Inez or Gabe. As I trudged through the downpour, my phone beeped. I had a text. The number was unfamiliar but I read it anyway. It said; ‘hi K. R u ok? How r Nez & Gabe? Don’t freak out when u read this but it’s me, Mick.’ I did freak out though, I screamed right in the middle of the sidewalk. Several people turned and stared at me. I pretended that the phone had given me an electric shock and rubbed my hand. Reading the number carefully, I ducked into a phone booth and dialled the number.
    ‘Please, please, please be Mick’ I mouthed.
    ‘Hello?’ It was Mick.
    ‘Mick, it’s Kate, where the hell are you?’ I squealed.
    ‘Kate? I was in England with my brother.’ Mick said it as though he hadn’t been missing for months.
    ‘Why didn’t you call me?’ I asked.
    ‘Oh... well... I left America to start a new life and that meant cutting you guys out. I’m sorry.’ Mick still sounded normal.
    ‘Didn’t you see my texts?’ I felt like crying.
    ‘Not until today, my phone broke when I got out of the plane; I only got it back today.’ Mick’s voice was more apologetic now.
    ‘You asked me about Inez and Gabe.’ I pointed out.
    ‘Yeah, how are they?’ Mick asked. I let a few tears slide down my cheeks.
    ‘Dead.’ I whispered.
    ‘What? What happened?’ Mick was sniffing.
    ‘They... slit their wrists.’ I breathed.
    ‘Oh.’ Mick squeaked
    ‘HEY GET OUT THE WAY!’ A very un-English voice shouted from somewhere around Mick.
    ‘Mick... where exactly are you now?’ I asked, slightly worried.
    ‘Oh, right, look across the street.’ Mick sounded oddly sad. I turned my head so I could see the other side of the street. Mick was standing on the kerb waving. I slammed the phone down and marched out. Mick looked at me with puppy eyes. I glared at him.
    ‘Since when is this England?’ I yelled, giving him a push.
    “I was worried that if I came back... things might... change.” Mick’s voice wavered as he spoke.