Time seems to be standing still inside the morgue. This is where life had taken him, although he almost didn't want to face it. Still, the body on the steel table in front of him forced him to.
The face is all too familiar, framed by pitch black hair. It bothers Paul, how the always perfect hair is now a mess, not even close to how it should be. But then again... they are in a morgue.
How did it go this far? What made his lifelong friend step over the railing of his own balcony? How was falling to the earth and then leaving it the best option here?
Paul creeps further into his winter coat, feeling the cold of the room seep through. It's the middle of the night, and he had been abruptly woken by the shrill sound of his phone an hour ago. Somehow, he'd been on top of the ICE-phone list. Richards phone list.
Paul still couldn't rip his eyes off of Richard, the latter currently laying there on the steel table only clad in a black tee and a pair of sweatpants. He wasn't trained in medicine at all, but it was obvious even to Paul that his friends' body was mangled. Apparently, that's what happens when you fall from the 21st floor. Still, his face seems intact. Only a small drop of blood had ran from his nose over his top lip. Cocaine.
What bothered Paul the most though, is how empty Richards eyes look. The once bright blue, sparkling eyes are now dull, staring out into nothingness. Was this how he'd felt before jumping? Maybe he'd never know.
Paul had been standing there for a good twenty minutes when he realized he should call the others. Feeling drained of energy, he picked up the phone from his pocket, managing to open the call function. Last call was Doom. It'll do.
Only then, when the signals rang in his ear, did the situation sink in.
Richard is dead.
Pauls legs seemed to lose all strength, leaving him to sink to the floor slowly. All energy seemed to leave him, to that extent that he didn't register Schneider picking up the phone; now calling his name confusedly.
Then, a beeping noise seemed to come from nowhere, growing rapidly and overpowering all the other sounds.
With a gasp, Paul sits up in his bed, sweat dripping from his skin, the bed soaked. His chest heaving. Now, he realizes, the beeping noise is his alarm clock. Which is incredibly strange, since he's pretty sure he did not set an alarm for 2am. That time... It strikes Paul that his friend had - in the dream - jumped from his balcony at 3. Was... was it a true dream? In that case, he could prevent it.
Flinging himself out of bed and hurriedly pulling some clothes on, he put the phone in his pocket and grabbed the car keys while almost running out to the car. It took twenty minutes to get to Richards place, but fuelled by the fear of death, Paul made it in fifteen.
Still terrified for his friend, he tried to call him. While normal people usually sleep at this time, Reesh was a night owl like no one else, and calling at this hour shouldn't be a problem. Which made Pauls heart beat even harder when his friend didn't answer. Not even the fourth or fifth time. This was seeming a bit too real.
Parking his car worse than ever, Paul then started sprinting again, making it into the house and the elevator. Even though the elevator meant he had to stand still and do nothing for a while, it was way faster than running up the stairs all the way to floor 21.
Finally arriving at the right floor, and now having caught his breath a bit, Paul jogged the five steps over to the right door. At this point he skipped knocking on the door and let himself in, the right key already in his hand, having sorted that out in the elevator.
The apartment was eerily silent. That, until Paul actually stopped for a second and held his breath. The faint sound of sobs reached him, and somewhat relieved him. He wasn't too late.
With calm steps, as to not scare his friend, Paul walked towards the large balcony, following the sound of Richard.
"-All I want... all I need... is a sign... Please..."
The sentence broke Pauls heart. How could Richard have sunk this low without any of them catching on? They knew he wasn't feeling good, but the extent of it shocked Paul. He wished he could've helped Reesh sooner.
The taller man gasped for air in surprise and he spun around to see his friend standing in the doorway, like a gift from heaven. A sign. The sign.