[I return to type a little further. As always, thank you for your patience- Zef]
"Only fools look for death," he whispered.
"Then I'm a fool."
"More than you know." He stepped towards me and was surprisingly quick. Unconsciously I stepped back a bit. "Do you know how many people have come looking for me? Are you the fourth or the four hundredth? Revenge, depression, it's all the same, all the time. They want me to free them. But I'm a prisoner too!" He swept his arm wildly, showing me all the rows of empty pews. "They're always here! And I can't LEAVE them, and they TAKE me with them!" He was shouting now and I was shaking a little, but I am a determined person and I had a dark purpose.
"Kill me, please."
"I CAN'T! Don't you see? Or I would have been dead MONTHS ago!" He looked down again, and thank God that face was off me. He calmed like someone had let the air out of him, deflating. "I only know when people die." That boy drew closer, like his feet didn't even need his permission to move. "I really feel for you, I do. But I know you have a long life ahead of you and there's not a thing I can do about it."
I didn't take one step back this time, but I felt like my blood had turned to mercury. "I could kill myself right now, and then you'd be wrong." It wasn't as strong as I'd hoped.
"No, you can't. You won't. I've TRIED." His lips came up over his gums and I wanted to throw up. "Inescapable destiny, they've told me."
Did you go to Sunday school when you were young? I heard the story of the man touching the hem of Jesus' cloak and being cured. That was the only thing in my mind. "If you won't kill me, I'll make you!" His shirt was greasy and shifted in my grasp.
The pain was so intense I thought I was dying, or having an aneurysm, or my head was splitting into two. The information came all at once. It might have been an epiphany, but there was not a thing divine about it. There were all the compostela, gray, smokey, blurring together with the pews and there was the noise of a thousand voices talking and a laughing girl that wasn't so very young and a terribleness that invaded me right down to the bone and she had created everything for him and now owned him and threw him around like an old doll and she was two blocks away and she knew I was coming.
I couldn't tell the screaming apart from the vision until he wrenched himself away from me. It was then I realized that our voices had intertwined in a uniform expression of outrage and pain against the entire world, but I couldn't forget the pain was something I had made. I was still very cold, but the sweat poured off me and I lurched forward, hoping the pew I leaned on would hold. He just crumpled on the floor. The compostela was gone, and I had to fight to keep the picture of the girl in my head like you would a dream in the morning.
"I'm just a prisoner.... a prisoner...." He was only consoling himself.
That coldness I felt had settled in my chest. I left him there to deal with his own demons, because, as they say, I had a date with inescapable destiny.