[WP] As a child, you and your best friend made a pact to go on an real fantasy adventure. After growing up, starting your separate lives and families, and losing touch, one day he/she bursts into your office, throwing you a sword and insists you accompany them.


*“Pinky promise it. You have to pinky promise or it won’t count.”

I hesitantly raise my right pinky finger, but keep my shaking hand close to my chest. He reached out to seal the promise but I jerked my pinky away, just quick enough. Tommy was a year older than me. He had this awful bright orange hair, and he was so tall he could grab the playground monkey bars without jumping. How could I not trust him?

“Hey, don’t do that!”

He was scowling at me, hand still outstretched in my direction, pinky pointing strongly at my chest. I wanted to promise, I really did, but what if it was dangerous? Neither of us had ever done anything like this.

“Dude c’mon! We have to do this! We’ll be heroes. Don’t you want to be a hero?”*




 I did want to be a hero back then, but we never went on that grand adventure. The world was truly against us. Tom’s parents divorced less than a week after we made that promise. His mother had come home to an empty wine bottle, a trail of her husband’s clothes, and a woman she had never met before. She had turned right back around and walked out the door with her husband yelling behind her, ‘You weren’t supposed to be home before 6! Son of a bitch Dana, you weren’t supposed to be home before 6’. His mother never made much money so they had to sell much what they had and move across town. That meant Tom went to a new school, and that meant I didn’t get to see him anymore. 

  Our mothers tried at first to keep in touch, meeting for lunch on weekends and having small get-togethers, but eventually that too came to an end. I haven’t heard from him since then, but I hope he’s doing well, I really do.

“Miller!” My cube-mate whisper-yells at me from over our little wall. His eyes are hovering just over the top like the Eyes of T.J. Eckleburg, the ones on the cover of that book I had to read in high school. “Miller snap out of it. You haven’t moved in at least half an hour, you’ve just been staring at your email this whole time.”

 Shit, he was right. It’s already 9:50 and I haven’t done a damn thing. I silently turn my head to meet his gaze. 

 “It’s nice out today Chris, I wish I could be outside” 

 “Man what’s goin’ on? You’ve been acting funky all week. Everything OK at home?” Rob crinkles his face a bit.

“Yeah everything is good at home” I reassure him as I glance at a picture of my wife. I smile as I push myself up from my chair “I just need a break you know? A break from all of this, just for a little while”.

 He grunts and shakes his head as he plops himself back into his chair. “You’re a strange one Miller” he mumbles as he straightens his glasses and begins to tap away at his keyboard.

 I stretch a bit, and just as I start to sit down and lose myself in thought once again, there is a slight rumble in the building. I turn my head just in time to see a homeless man come stampeding around the corner holding a –

 “HOLY SHIT HE’S GOT AN AXE” I hear one of the accountants scream as the rest of the office immediately brakes into a frenzied panic. I catch a quick glance of Big Lisa trying to climb the walls of her cubicle to get away, and we don’t call her Big Lisa because she’s small. *Well there’s a silver lining.* I then look back at the orange-haired homeless man as he lets out a wordless war-cry. I then realize he is headed directly towards me. Tommy, my childhood friend, was headed directly towards me with an axe raised high above his head. Three all-too-short seconds later he comes stomping to a halt right in front of me.

 “Let’s go, we don’t have a lick of time to wait!” He spits at me with wild eyes, his dirt-caked face inches from mine. *Jesus, he looks like he just crawled out of a mad max film.*

 I don’t move. 

 “Dude” he spits again, backing up a step. I realize the office had quieted down, and anyone brave enough to stay in the room was staring in my direction. I slowly reached my hand up and pinched my other arm. *Definitely not dreaming.*

 “Dude seriously we need to hurry, we need to go now” he said, thrusting the hilt of a sword at my chest. A *sword.* *Where the hell did that come from? And who says ‘dude’ anymore?*
 “You pinky promised Scott, you pinky promised.” His eyes still locked on mine, I saw everything. I saw a struggle I never had to go through, pain I never had to feel. I saw a broken heart that failed to mend, and years of being lost and alone. I saw the need for a friend. His eyes were beginning to water as we stood, motionless, like statues. 

 With my right hand I grab the sword, and with my left I raise my pinky up towards Tommy and smile. He grins the biggest grin I’ve ever seen as he lets go of the sword and grabs my pinky finger with his own.


 *I did say I needed a break.*



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