The traffic is clogged like roots in a drain. I don’t know what’s happening to me, but I feel like my heart is trying to gallop out of my chest, an impala jumping thorns. I can tell Emmanuel is afraid—he’s squeezing my hand—but I don't know what he is afraid of. Nothing feels real. There is no world in which Imani dies, because the world itself would vanish.
Billboards pass by like ugly jokes. Stupid people laughing at noodles. I’ve never noticed how much they laugh. We turn at a park and now on the left there’s nothing but weeds and black-leaf trees. Taller than the trees are the streetlights, glaring yellow.
"Did we lock the office?" I ask Emmanuel.
"I gave the keys to Rashid."
"You can’t rely on him."
"Jojo," he says, squeezing my hand harder, "leave it." His heart is racing too, I can feel it. The buses and bikes and taxis honk and squeal around us. Every time we rush forward—go driver, go—and then stop, blocked by traffic, I can feel Emmanuel squirm and fight his own skin. I hope Rashid locks the office properly.