It was a startling moment of clarity. No answers presented themselves, but the wonder – and perhaps the absurdity – of it all struck him like lightning. “What is this all for?”
Next to him, his partner also sat on the floor, breathing hard. “What?”
“The universe. Our lives. What does any of it mean?”
“You have to be kidding.”
Loud cracks punctuated their words, but he ignored the distractions. “Not at all. We live. We die. We do some things in between, maybe, but even then the people we affect also die. So why do we bother? Haven’t you ever thought about it?”
“I can’t say that I have.” His partner turned and rose just enough to peer over the counter they were sitting behind. He fired a few shots and ducked back down.
“You should. It seems really important…”
“Look!” His partner grabbed him. “I’m not sure what caused your little existential breakdown, but I need you to take your gun and help me before we lose any chance of escape.” Suddenly his partner released his grip and looked at his hand. “Blood.”
“Oh. Yeah. I’m pretty sure I got hit getting back here.”
“Where?” His partner began examining his shoulder for the wound; he didn’t see the man come up behind him with a gun pointed towards them. With his free arm, he managed to lift his gun and shoot first.
His partner yelled as the shot went off next to him. When the body hit the floor, he looked back. “Thanks.”
“Okay. We have to get you out of here. You are not going to die, you hear me?”
“Actually, I’m pretty sure I am. Just promise me you’ll think about it. I’d like to hear your answer. Now go!”