"You," he told me, pocketing his gun, "Have exactly five minutes to live."

He started a stopwatch around his wrist and dangled his feet over the edge of the roof. I sat down next (4 minutes, 44 seconds) to him and patted his hand. "Ok, I said."


"Ok. I always knew it would end up like this," I told him.

He didn't say anything at first, just fingered the trigger (4 minutes, 12 seconds) of his gun.

"You're taking it well," he told me.

"Well, we all have to die, yes?" I asked.

His fingers twitched against the metal, and he nodded slowly. "Yeah, we do. Carpe fucking Diem." "Fucking isn't Latin," I told him.

He viciously kicked the wall. "Shut up, (3 minutes, 51 seconds) ok? I'm going to kill you. Seize THAT."

"Am I allowed to ask why?"

"No." He sighed and scratched at his temple with the gun's barrel. "When you think about it, I'm probably doing you a favor."

"Probably," I agreed.

(3 minutes, 32 seconds)

"Any last requests?" He didn't turn to look at me when he said it, but his voice was trembling. I knew he was exactly 1 year, three months, and 14 days older than me, which, in a better world, would not be old enough to want to kill someone and then ask them if they had any last requests.

"No," I told him.


"...Why not?"

"You're insane. I can't wait (3 minutes, 18 seconds) to put a bullet through your messed up little head."

"Ok," I said. "Are you scared?"

"Scared of what?"

"Oh, I don't know. That you'll get caught. That you'll have to live with this for the rest of your life. That I'll get blood on your shirt. Something."

He stood up (2 minutes, 47 seconds) and began to pace. "No, I'm not afraid. You're the one who's about to die."

"Then why am I not scared?" I asked him.

He was silent for awhile.

(2 minutes, 16 seconds)

"Nice weather, eh," I commented, resting my chin on my hands.

"Shut up, ok? Just...shut up. You should be crying, screaming, begging me not to kill you. You should have your eyes closed with tears running down your (1 minute, 59 seconds) cheeks. Why--"

"Dying isn't so bad. Well, I mean, technically, I wouldn't know. I've never died before. Surely, though, there are worse things."

He was crying, turning his head so I wouldn't see. I could tell by the hitch in his breathing.

"Yeah," he asked (1 minute, 25 seconds) "what sort of worse things?"

I pulled him down next to me and put my arm around him. "For starters, you could never see the cherry trees in bloom ever again."

(56 seconds)

"You love the cherry trees?" he asked, his hands shaking violently as he slid his hands around the base of his gun.

(43 seconds)

"Or someone could be cutting off your fingers while you swim in shark territory," I continued.

(35 seconds)

"Why are you trying to be funny?" he sobbed, "Why can't you just be afraid?"

(24 seconds)

He slid the gun out of his pocket.

(12 seconds)

"I'm sorry," he told me.


"Me too."


"What else is worse than dying?" he whispered.


"You could have a brother about to make the worst mistake of his life," I said quietly.


His eyes widened.


"If you did," he said, "Would you hate him for making that mistake?"


"I could never hate my brother," I said, and I stood square in front of him. "Even if he told me he was about to kill me."


He raised the gun and pointed it at me. "Good. Please...don't hate me." Slowly, painstakingly, he turned the gun to point at his own temple.


"Don't--" I screamed.


"It's ok. The cherry trees are in bloom," he whispered.