Chapter Six


First floor.

Twenty three more to go.

Some guy stepped on carrying a duffel bag. He grunted at Voah and leaned against the grimy brown walls of the elevator.

My life is over.


Third floor.

A woman got on who was hastily applying make-up. She smiled sweetly at the Vanquisher and pressed "L".

I can't believe my father is dead. I killed my own father.


Sixth floor.

A black boy stepped on, nervously clutching a baseball bat. As he got on, he quickly moved towards Voah's corner of the elevator.

Voah flinched, thinking of James.

The woman shot him a glance.

He settled down.

My mother is in jail. I put my own mother in jail.


Eighth floor.

There was one elevator in the apartment. Anyone going down would have to go up first.

Voah shifted his suitcase closer to himself as a man in his fifties stepped on. He moved slowly and purposefully next to Voah, giving him a nod.

I should have just fessed up. But she didn't want me to. She said they would put me in jail.


Eleventh floor.

She was probably right.

The boy stepped off, running down the hallway.

I can't believe this is what my life is. It took five minutes to go from living with both my parents to this.

A cell-phone rang. The woman took it out briskly and began talking.

"Paul, listen to me. We can't afford to lose the Hudson case."

Yes you can. What you can't afford to lose is both of your parents.


Sixteenth floor.

A young couple walked on, holding hands. They were talking quietly.

He looked angrily at this happy relationship.

Rebecca broke up with me. Though that seems trivial now.


Eighteenth floor.

The elderly man stepped off, adjusting his baseball cap. He checked his watch, and then made a left down the hallway.

I guess it's hard to be with a guy who shot his own father.


Twentieth floor.

A young man in his business suit stepped on, carrying a briefcase.

I didn't need fire six times. Two would have been more than sufficient.


Twenty-third floor.

So why did I?

Voah stepped off, lugging his suitcase behind him.

He set it down and checked the slip of paper the social worker had given him.

134J, 23rd floor.

He looked up at the apartment next to him.


He walked the length of the building before coming to the door he needed.

He set down his suitcase and ran a hand through his hair.

This was it.

He reached up and rang the bell.

Within a minute, a young woman answered the door.

"Hello, there. You must be-"


He cut her off quickly. He didn't want her to call him by the name that his parents called him.

She frowned slightly, and then opened the door, inviting him in.

"I'm Jane."

He smiled slightly. "I know. And you'll be my host this evening."

She chuckled.

"Are you hungry?"

He shook his head.


There was an awkward silence.

"Why don't I show you to your room?"

He nodded.

She led him across the apartment to a small room, fit with a bed and a desk. At the desk sat a computer, next to it a small fishtank. A blue rug was placed in the middle of the room.


He walked in, looking around.

"I'll just let you get acclimated, okay? I'll be in the other room if you need me."

Voah put his suitcase down next to the desk and sat on his bed.

This is my home. Jane is my guardian.

He sighed.

I'd better get used to it.