Jesse drove us out to the desert. We couldn’t risk my parents interrupting our snorkel and there was a good chance Jameson’s family, the police and my family were all looking for me.
Jesse outlined our plan of attack while we drove out into the endless, golden desert which surrounds the metropolis of greater Los Angeles. He pulled off at a desolate exit and drove up a dusty road which led to an abandoned water slide park. I thought I may have been to place when it was running when I was a kid, called Wet N’ Wild, or something vaguely pornographic like that, but that was long ago. The park was now an eerie skeleton of teal tubes, covered in graffiti, rotting in the desert sun and collapsing to the broken concrete of the ground.
“We had to get out of town, so I figured we would go somewhere at least somewhat dope,” Jesse announced as we walked up to the ruins of the park. “Supposedly a satanic cult used to hang out here.”
“I don’t see how that helps, but okay,” I snipped back.
We walked into a labyrinth of twisting, sun-bleached tubes and Jesse pulled out a familiar vial, shook it up and looked me in the eyes.
“You ready for this?” He asked.
I nodded even though I wasn’t sure if I truly was.
“I’ll explain the next level on the other side.”
Jesse took down half of the vial then handed it to me. He laid down on the dirty ground. I took the rest and followed suit.
We laid there silent for a few moments. A hot wind whipped through the park, throwing dust against our faces.
“So, are you from Vegas originally, or did you just move there?” I broke the ice.
“We’re not going to make little small talk why we wait. It’s pointless bullshit. Like the person at the bank asking how you are doing, like you would really tell them if shit was dark.”
“Silence it is then.”
Slowly, we crossed over.
Jesse didn’t waste a breath of time. He took off towards a 50-foot, rickety tower which led up to a slide where only the highest portion of the ride remained. I watched Jesse jump onto the stairs and saw the tower wobble with his weight.
I followed, but stopped myself on the first stair.
“Is this safe?” I asked up to Jesse.
“You get this far and now you’re worried about safety?” He shot back. “You wanna save your girlfriend, right?”
“You’re going up here to kill yourself anyway, so just come on.”
Jesse shook his head in disgust and continued climbing up the platform. I followed.
I felt the entire tower sway again when we reached the very top. My stomach dropped like I was suddenly overcome with a bad case of the runs. We looked over the desert and the edge of the last city on the edge of nothingness.
“Here’s the deal. You’re going to jump. Everything is going to go black and then I don’t know exactly where you will be, but you will be on the other side. The other side is like a dream. Your mind controls the environment and who is in it. I can’t guarantee that your girlfriend…”
“The whiskey girl will be in it or this Jeremy guy. What I can tell you though is that…”