Au Revoir [On the Record]

“Carla?”

A pause. Hans was worried. He wasn’t usually worried.

“Where are you Carla?”

He shouldn’t be asking. He knew it too. Turtles didn’t talk. Carla didn’t talk. She didn’t talk because she was a turtle. She wasn’t supposed to leave her bed either, but she wasn’t there now. This was not something he was used to. How far could a turtle even go anyways? It was hard. He never used to think of her as a turtle either.

“Damn it.”

He didn’t have time for this. Looking around, Hans noted how nothing else had changed in his apartment. Hopefully it meant that his living quarter had yet to be compromised, because he needed to leave immediately. At least, as soon as he found Carla. Only explanation he could come up with was that she left her place on her own, since it all seemed to be rather peaceful around here. Silently chuckling, Hans was determined to find his friend. If he could stay dead from the FBI, what could he not do?

Desks, chairs, shelves, the occasionally used trash can, and even dirty laundry was liberated off the floor, so that he could find Carla. It didn’t work. This shouldn’t have happened. He was in a hurry. He didn’t have time for this. He had to make time for it. Nothing else here mattered. He just needed Carla.

His phone rang.

“Yes?” Hans answered, with an obviously shaken and annoyed voice. He certainly did not make time for this.

“Hans!” The caller seemed to have quite the urgent piece of information. “They’re onto you. You have thirty minutes.”

“I know.” He knew. He also knew that he was upset, and it was showing through his voice. “Just give me a minute.”

“Hans, what’s wrong?”

“Nothing, I…” He calmed himself down. It was hard. He had thirty minutes. He didn’t need to pack, but he had to leave. He still needed to find Carla, and he couldn’t say that either. “Twenty five, be down.”

“Why don’t you just leave now?” The caller was already picking up hints. “What are you even doing up there. You shouldn’t have any personal belongings with you in that apartment in this first place.”

“I know.” He knew. He just wanted some time, was that so hard?

“Hans?”

“Twenty five.” He shut off his phone. No more distraction, as he’d been through as much as he could handle for today. This felt like teenage years, and it felt horrible. He never liked to be stressed out all the time. School was a pain; his parents was a pain. He never asked for them. That was why he left them behind in the first place. The only thing he kept from those days was Carla. Carla was a sister to him, a friend, someone who would never call him a burden, or make fun of him in front of the girls. She was special.

He grew up since then. He got a job. This job, it was easy. Just sit in front of the computer, hacking away at the keyboard, make some money. Learn some manners, be suave, display them at the irregular social gatherings, make some love. It was fun and it was stress-free. Not all of it was legal, but he couldn’t care less. He had to move quite frequently. A new name, a new apartment, and a new job every few weeks or so. It was fine. It meant he could travel. Life was good enough for him.

What wasn’t fine, however, was Carla not being found.

He felt as if he had already turned his apartment up-side-down, twice. She was nowhere in sight, nor did he find any trail. Did she usually leave trails? He couldn’t actually recall. Perhaps it was because he was approaching panic, or maybe he was just genuinely uninformed. Either way, it wasn’t helping.

These thoughts ran through his mind, as his rampage throughout the rooms carried out. He was getting nowhere. Time was approaching. He didn’t have any left. He had a decision to make. Either to leave now, or two stay and risk getting caught. What was more important? His career prospect, his fortune, his freedom, or a turtle that was the only friend he ever had, and the only family he cared for?

His phone rang.

“Yes?” He was calm.

“Where are you? You were supposed to be here five minutes ago.”

“Have you seen Carla?” He asked. He didn’t know himself whether or not that was a genuine question.

“Carla? Do you mean the turtle?” The caller hesitated, but only for a brief moment. “No, isn’t she always with you?”

“Is she?” Hans averted his gaze to the jacket on the couch. It was his favourite. It was black and leather. He didn’t even own a motorbike. He was literally human scum because of it. He chuckled, and gently grabbed the thing. He completely forgot about it the moment Carla went missing. “Remind me to get a jacket without pockets next time.”

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