Copyright © 2002-2003 Pookie. All rights reserved.
It's been fun staying in this nice home all week with my boyfriend. I've been house sitting for the Riley's, who have been gone since last Friday and aren't due back until this coming Sunday. House sitting can be a great job if you have all the amenities with it. With it just being Thursday, we still have some days left to enjoy the comforts that are unknown at the apartments we live in.
The Riley's are paying me to stay in their home while they are gone on a cruise to the Bahamas. Before they left, I was given the grand tour of the home. Thomas told me to make myself at home and enjoy myself while he and his wife, Teresa, are gone.
The Riley's are a fun couple who enjoy traveling when they can, especially since they have no children yet. They know I'm responsible enough not to have any wild parties in their home while they are gone. Teresa also knows that my boyfriend, Mark, spends many nights sleeping with me at my apartment. She whispered to me before they left that they don't mind if Mark stays over with me either. They are an open-minded couple that understand just what it is like to be in love and adventurous.
This is a very nice home and a pleasant change from the apartment I share with two other coeds. The living room is well furnished along with a great big screen TV. The bedroom I'm using has a queen size bed, making it great for playful lovemaking with my sexy man.
There is a wonderful hot tub on the deck attached to the back of the house that Mark and I have been using throughout the week as well. The back yard has a privacy fence that allows us to enjoy getting naked and enjoying each other in the hut tub. We have had some pretty hot sex in the evenings out there, in and out of the hot tub.
Late in the afternoon, Mark comes by the house after working at his father's store. I fix him a quick sandwich before he has to go back to help close the store tonight. He always stops by the store after classes to see if his father needs any help. Today though has been slow at the store, but many of the part-time workers took the day off because of Halloween events. So Mark is helping to close up tonight.
As I watch Mark eat his sandwich, I think about today being Halloween and the fun we can have this evening. I also think about all the arguments we have been having over the past few weeks.
"Melissa, I really don't like you staying here alone tonight... especially Halloween night. That serial killer is still on the loose. I want you to come back to the store with me. It just isn't safe for you to be alone tonight."
"No, Mark. I'm not going to stand around that store while you and your father talk half the night about that serial killer. I'll be just fine right here until you come back to get me after closing," I say, somewhat irritated.
"It just isn't safe for you to be here alone. I want you to come with me. Please? Then we can go straight to the Halloween party after closing. Okay?"
"But this killer hasn't been anywhere near this neighborhood. I doubt he would come around here anyways," I say, becoming more annoyed.
Watching him as he gets ready to go back to his father's store, I know he is getting very upset with me because I won't go back with him, that I would rather wait for him here at the house. Only a few people know I'm staying here this week, so I feel safe enough.
He looks at me very intently, "How do you know he wouldn't come around here? The fact that he hasn't struck in this part of the city is what make me so afraid that he will target this area next."
"Why are you so obsessed with this?"
"I wasn't going to tell you this, but Frank stopped in the store earlier this afternoon... "
"Not the super macho cop... you know how he likes to spread a lot of crap, bragging that he knows more than anyone else," I say sarcastically.
"Baby, he is in the homicide division. If anyone knows details about this weirdo, he would."
"Okay, what did he tell you about this guy?" I ask in frustration.
"Well you know he struck two nights ago. It has been his trend over the past few weeks to strike every three days. Normally he breaks into the victim's house by breaking through a window on the side or back of the house. He brutally rapes his victims, beating them very badly in the process as well... "
"Mark... I don't really need to know all of this... "
"Listen to me. Please? When he gets ready to leave, he disfigures the woman's face with some kind of knife with a large blade. He then stabs her to death after she suffers from the pain of having her face slashed. Finally, he uses her blood to write what appears to be a love note to a girl he grew up with."
"A love note... in blood?!"
"Yeah, the message always says that he is in love with the most beautiful girl he has ever known, but he can never have her it seems... based on the note anyways. So, he is killing every girl that looks like her... before he kills her too, most likely... so there will be no more reminders for him of what he can't have."
"That guy is a real psycho," I say, feeling a little fearful.
"Mel... the girls are all pretty with long blonde hair. They all are about your age as well."
"Okay... yeah... that's scary, I'll admit... but what are the odds he would come here? He hasn't raped and killed anywhere near here. What are the odds he is someone I know? I don't know anyone that is a psycho like that!"
"Mark, don't worry about me. I'll be okay right here for a few hours. No one is out to kill me," I say, trying to let him know that I can take care of myself.
"You ARE coming to the store with me."
"Don't tell me what I have to do! I can take care of myself! You keep it up, and you won't need to even come back here later tonight!" I say loudly, showing my anger at being ordered around like a child.
"Okay, okay... I'm sorry... I'm just worried about you is all."
I take a deep breath, calming myself, "I'll be fine... now go back to work and I'll be ready to go to the Halloween party when you get back later."
He moves over to me, taking me into his arms.
"I love you, Mel. Keep the doors locked... and don't go anywhere without letting me know first... Please?"
Looking up at him trying to act calm, "Okay... I love you too... now go on... I'll be just fine until you get back."
He leans down to kiss me tenderly. I walk him to the door and give him another kiss. I watch him as he walks to his car in front of the garage, turning to blow a kiss to me along the way. He is such a sweetheart and a very caring man, but he has been so controlling and demanding the past few weeks. It seemed to start when the serial killer first struck. Closing the door, I walk over to one of the windows to watch him as he pulls out of the driveway.
I watch through the window as he leaves. I know he loves me and is just concerned about me, but he needs to understand that I can take care of myself sometimes. I've been living away from home for several years now. I learned a long time ago how to keep myself out of dangerous situations. I just wish Mark would stop treating me like a defenseless child lately.
After sitting on the couch, I begin finishing a reading assignment for one of my classes. It won't take me long, as I've read this book before. I stop reading a few times to think about my relationship with Mark. I love him so much, but we seem to be getting on each other's nerves so often now. Maybe we are moving too fast with our relationship? Maybe we need to spend some time apart more often? Each time these thoughts occur, I force myself to get back to my reading, knowing I never will get finished otherwise.
After completing the reading, I decide to make something quick to eat and watch TV for a while. Walking through the family room, I go into the kitchen to fix a sandwich to eat. Standing at the sink, I look out one of the windows and gaze out into the front yard. Darkness is setting in quickly now. I don't see any cars drive past the house, which is unusual for this time of evening.
I don't see any trick-or-treaters out tonight either. Because of the serial killer, the neighborhood has arranged for the kids to come to the nearby elementary school for a Halloween carnival, instead of walking the streets in the dark.
With my sandwich made and after pouring something to drink, I walk back into the family room and sit on the couch to relax. Setting my sandwich down for a moment, I grab the remote control for the TV and begin flipping through the channels to find something fun to watch. I pause on one of the local channels to catch the news and weather forecast for tonight.
Sitting on the couch eating my sandwich, I watch a few commercials while waiting for the news to come back on. Finally, the news program comes back on with the first news item covering the serial killer still on the loose. The news anchor warns the public to be careful tonight with this mysterious killer still evading the police. For the first time since Mark left, I begin to feel that maybe I should have gone with him to his father's store. I begin flipping through the channels again, not wanting to watch anything more about this scary killer.
The phone rings, startling me for a moment.
"Hey Mel... everything okay there?"
"Yes Mark, everything here is just fine. Damn babe, you have only been gone about forty-five minutes. I think I can take care of myself a little longer than that!" I say, the irritation I was feeling before returning now.
"I'm not calling to check up on you, baby... I just wanted to tell you again that I'm sorry for arguing with you earlier. I know we've been arguing with each other more over the past weeks... about different things. I wanted you to know that I'll try to trust you more... I know you can take care of yourself."
"I'm sorry too, sweetie. I guess I should be more understanding. I know you're just worried about me. At least I know you really do care about me."
"I do care deeply about you, baby... I'll try to lighten up with you. Listen, I'll try to be there in a few hours. It's really slow here tonight... probably because of it being Halloween... and because of the... "
I interrupt him, "Yea... I know... because of the killer being on the loose," I say, shaking my head in frustration.
"Mel, promise me you won't go anywhere until I get there. It's already dark now and I would just feel better if you would stay where you are until I get there."
"I promise I won't go anywhere... I'll be right here until you get back. Feel better now?" I say mockingly.
"Yeah... thanks for understanding my concerns... I guess. Be ready to leave for the Halloween party by 9 pm. I should be able to get out of here by then."
"Okay sweetie, I'll see you in a few hours then. Bye," I say quickly, hanging up the phone.
Moments after I hang up the phone, I begin flipping through the channels again, trying to find something fun to watch.
The phone begins ringing once more.
"Mark... give me a break! Please?!"
"Uh... I'm sorry. Is this Melissa?"
"Oh... sorry. Yes, this is Melissa. Who is calling?" I say meekly, feeling embarrassed.
"You don't remember my voice? This is Michael. Don't you remember your best buddy you grew up with and went to school with?"
"Oh! Hey Michael! I'm sorry. I thought you were Mark calling me back."
"No. I wish I could be Mark, but it's just your lifelong pal calling to talk... sorry to disappoint."
"Oh, Michael! You know I love talking to you anytime. How did you get this number? Only a few people have it since I'm just going to be here for the week."
"I called your sister, Jessie, and got it after I called your apartment. One of your roomies said you were house sitting for some friends this week."
I last saw Michael about a month ago. He told me then that he would soon be moving with his family to California. Michael grew up just down the road from my parent's house, out in the country. We often played together being the same age. We had many classes together throughout our years in school. We spent a number of nights together out with our friends, partying and occasionally getting drunk together. We always looked out for each other though. On our high school graduation night, we hung out together because I didn't have a boyfriend at the time, but he was never my boyfriend or intimate with me.
Michael and I have been best friends since we were very young, but we never did date each other for various reasons. We were always there for each other when either of us needed a friend though. When I moved into an apartment close to the university campus a few years ago, we began to see each other less often, usually when I was at my parents' house on weekends.
"So what's up with you, babe? Aren't you moving to California soon?"
"That's why I called, Mel. We're moving sooner than I told you the last time I saw you. We're leaving this weekend for San Francisco. I was hoping I could come by to see you for a bit tonight. I doubt I'll have much time tomorrow with trying to finish packing everything."
"Come on over! Do you know where the Overlook subdivision is at?"
"Yeah, what's the address?"
"1326 Lake Drive. The house sits off the street some... just pull up to the garage and come to the front door."
"Okay... I should be there in the next fifteen minutes. I'm not too far from there now."
"Okay. I'll listen for you. Bye."
Hanging up the phone, I begin wondering if I should call Mark and let him know Michael is coming over. Mark seems to like Michael from the times we have all been together. I decide not to worry Mark right now. The less I talk to him right now, the less he will aggravate me about being careful tonight with a killer on the prowl.
I begin thinking again about how Mark has been getting on my nerves quite often lately. Maybe we do need some space between us for a while. Maybe we have let our relationship get too serious over the past few months. For the first time, I seriously consider the need to spend some time apart, to make sure we really do want to be together as a couple. Maybe I'm just over-reacting to our argument earlier, but I can't help but wonder.
Realizing I still haven't finished my sandwich, I begin eating it quickly so I can be finished by the time Michael gets here. Flipping through the channels once more, I happen to catch another local channel's evening news about the serial killer that he is expected to possibly strike again tonight. I change the channel again quickly, not wanting to watch it. Maybe I really should've gone with Mark tonight after all.
I begin to really feel afraid now. The things Mark told me about what the killer did to his victims are really frightening. Being Halloween night doesn't help me feel safe and sound either. Flipping through the movie channels, of course I happen to catch glimpses of horror movies with legendary killers like Jason and Freddie. Finally, I find a comedy show I can watch, hoping this will get my mind off of being alone.
The sound of breaking glass startles me.
The sound seemed to come from the kitchen, which is on the side of the house where the garage is located. A few moments later, I hear what sounds like a firecracker. What am I suppose to do?! Is someone breaking into the house?! I sit petrified on the couch for a few moments, unable to think. Maybe I better call Mark and let him know what I heard!
As I reach for the phone, I hear a pounding begin on the front door. A familiar voice calls out my name.
"Melissa, it's me!"
I recognize the voice as Michael. As I'm slowly walking to the door still fearful of the noises I heard, Michael yells out my name again.
"Melissa, open the door! It's me, Michael!"
When I reach the door, he pounds on it again, which makes me jump, out of fear. I move up to the door and peek through the small window. I can see it is Michael. He looks like he is cold standing outside. I open the door cautiously, letting him come inside.
"Hey, girl! What took you so long to open the door? It's getting cold outside! Are you afraid of your old friend now?!"
Michael seems somewhat offended by my startled and fearful look.
"No, Michael... I thought I heard something in the kitchen breaking and then you're pounding on the front door... I just... got scared... don't be upset with me, I'm sorry!"
I didn't mean to hurt his feelings, but all the talk of a killer on Halloween night and the sounds coming from the kitchen just overwhelm me now. Arguing with Mark earlier has made me edgy now as well.
"Let me check the kitchen out for you then... it probably was nothing. Can you show me where it is?"
"Yea... follow me," I say sheepishly.
Taking his arm with my hand, I lead him cautiously through the door to the family room and point to the kitchen.
"Wait right here and let me check," he says, taking my tightly gripping hand from his arm.
He walks to the kitchen door and takes a look inside before walking through the doorway. He is in there for a few moments before he walks back out and back over to me.
"I don't see anything broken or out of place. Maybe it was something you heard on TV?"
"Maybe... it sure sounded like a window breaking though... then maybe a firecracker going off after that... I guess I'm just losing my mind tonight!" I say, beginning to cry.
Michael embraces me, "Don't cry, Mel. I'm sorry if I scared you. I didn't mean to sound angry when I came in the house either. I guess I'm a bit on edge too lately. Moving to California is really bothering me, leaving my friends behind, especially you... come on, lets go sit down. You look like you just left a haunted house!"
"I'm sorry, Michael. It's just all this talk I've heard tonight about this damn serial killer... I'll be okay now... can I get you something to drink first?"
He pauses before responding, looking toward the kitchen before saying, "No, but thanks. I can't stay too long anyways. I just wanted to see you one last time before I have to leave."
"I'm glad you called and came over. I'm really going to miss you. You've always been a great friend to me."
We sit down together on the couch. Michael seems to be acting a little strangely right now. I guess it's just the looming move across the country that is making him act differently.
I notice he is wearing the baseball cap that I bought for his birthday one year while we were in high school. It seems like he is always wearing a baseball cap. He takes it off and places it on the end table by the couch, then looks back at me.
"Mel, you have always been one of my best friends. Remember all the afternoons we played together after school? We used to ride our bicycles all over the countryside. You were always just like one of the other guys."
"Yea, those were fun afternoons... we used to ride until it got dark most days. I know our parents got mad at us more than once for being gone for so long at times. We always seemed to lose track of time together."
"I remember playing baseball with you during all those springs and summers. You were a better player than most of the guys," he says, smiling softly.
Looking at him sweetly, "Yeah... those were fun days. You were always a lot of fun to be around. You never treated me like I was a yucky little girl. You always took up for me when the bigger boys would pick on me and try to run me off."
He turns a little to look directly at me, "You were always a good friend too. You always took up for me as well. Remember the time Jimmy Taylor started a fight with me? He was so much bigger than me then. He was going to whip my ass that day. But you jumped right in between us, telling him to stay away from your friend. I never forgot that, Mel."
"Well... it didn't hurt that I kicked him in the nuts so we could run to our bikes and get away from him," I say, laughing softly.
"Yeah! But you were there for me. You have always meant a lot to me. I just wish... well I just wish things could have been different," he says, looking down sadly.
"Michael? What's wrong?! What do you mean you wish thing could have been different?"
"Mel, you've always been the most beautiful girl I've ever known. You've always been one of my best friends too. I just wish I could have... dated you some. After you moved from your parents' house to your apartment, I guess I knew then that we probably wouldn't have a chance to ever be... closer."
"I would have loved to have dated you. I guess I always seemed to have a boyfriend though when you didn't have a girlfriend."
"I would have broken up with any girl for the chance to be with you. Maybe it was just teen love or something, but I really had strong feelings for you... I still do I guess," he says wistfully.
I never realized it before now, but Michael probably always had a crush on me. I guess he just wants me to know how he feels now, knowing we won't be seeing each other for a very long time, if ever again.
I reach out and take his hand into mine. I look deeply into the eyes of my lifelong friend.
"You are a very special friend to me, more special in many ways than any guy has ever been, other than Mark. Why didn't you ever ask me out? There were times you could have you know."
"I have to admit... I'm very envious of Mark... I've always wanted to ask you out on a date... but I was always afraid I would lose your friendship if things went wrong," he says regretfully.
"Michael, you never would have lost... "
He interrupts me, "I knew I wasn't as handsome as the guys you usually dated... and I didn't want to be embarrassed by having you turn me down. You're the most beautiful girl I've ever known. I've always loved you... but I knew I could never have you... the way I wanted," he says, forlornly.
I know he can see from my reaction that I'm a little stunned by his confession. I have always had strong feelings for Michael as a friend, but I never realized that his feelings for me were so deep.
Looking carefully into his eyes, "Michael, I've always loved you as a close friend. I would've dated you if you had asked me. I wish I had known how you felt all that time."
"It's water under the bridge now... I'm just so glad we've remained close friends for so long... but I have fantasized... what it could've been like with you," he says disappointedly.
I feel a little apprehensive, but very flattered by his confession. I begin thinking about what it could have been like as well. He is a very attractive man now. He has filled out and become quite muscular. I feel myself becoming aroused as I look at his strong, sexy body. I sit there quietly for a few long moments before Michael gets my attention.
"Is something wrong?... Did I upset you with what I said?" he asks with distress in his voice.
"No, Michael... nothing is wrong... I couldn't help wondering for a moment what it could have been like as well... you're a handsome guy," I say, affectionately.
"Thanks for saying that... it means a lot to me to know you feel that way. I didn't mean to ramble on tonight about having a crush on you... I'm sorry," he says, somewhat embarrassed now.
"Don't be embarrassed... it's okay... at least we both know how the other feels now... I just wish I had known before now though."
"Well... I guess I need to get going... there is still a lot I need to do... would you do me one favor though before I go? He asks shyly.
"I will if I can, Michael. What is it?"
"Would you let me... can I... kiss you... just one time?" he asks, almost blushing.
I look down at the floor for a moment thinking... one kiss can't hurt.
"I suppose... a kiss would be fine... I guess... I wonder why we never have kissed before, even as friends... you know we never even... fooled around... as kids," I say, blushing profusely.