Agnes found me behind my apartment building sitting next to the garbage cans.
"Want a smoke?" she asked. I sat with my knees pulled inward. She held out a cigarette. I shook my head. Silence pervaded the air around us. Then she asked, "How much do you remember?"
"Not much," I said. "Just the beginning - in the psychiatric clinic. After that, it's just bits and pieces. You know what scares me?"
"Plenty of things, I bet." She smiled.
"What scares me," I said, "is that I might be back in the clinic right now. This might just be a dream or a story or something."
"Do you really believe that?" she asked.
"I don't know what to believe," I said. "I don't know if the Slender Man really took me to another world or if he was just messing with my mind. I don't know if he was trying to warn me or trying to recruit me. I don't know, I just have no fucking clue about anything."
She reached out and held my hand. "Stop. Breath. Wait."
"Wait for what?" I asked.
"Wait for anything," she said. "Wait for something. I waited for you and you arrived."
I stopped. I breathed. I looked up to the stars and waited. "This feels kind of silly," I said.
"Your face looks silly," Agnes said.
I started to talk. "I have no job. Turns out not going to work for two weeks means you're pretty much fired. I won't be able to pay the rent. I won't be able to buy us all those breakfasts at IHOP. And then...then there's the Slender Man. I don't think he'll go away."
"He never does," Agnes said.
"Then what?" I asked. "We run?"
"That's an option," she said. "Except it won't be like last time. We won't be running away from something. That's not the way. We'll be running towards something. We'll be waiting."
"For what?" I asked as she lifted her face to the heavens.
"Waiting for tomorrow," she said. "Running towards the future. That sound good?"
I looked up as well and stopped and breathed. "That sounds great."