Jacob Mackenzie (Afternoon of August 31, 1994)
This week of packing and moving has been absolutely ridiculous. I still can’t believe I have to leave my entire life in Cherry Hill behind all because Pat can’t keep his big mouth shut when he’s supposed to. I’ve told Ma on multiple occasions that she shouldn’t have put him in those “normal” classes, but instead of agreeing with me, she just sent me to my room without dinner. Now, here I am, having to go through my junior year without any of my friends by my side.
Not to mention, the new house is super old and creaky. I was able to spot at least four different spider webs as soon as I walked through the door. As if that wasn’t bad enough, our real estate agent decided to just now tell us why my parents were able to get it for so cheap.
“It was a couple of years back when Ms. Russo and her daughter went missing. It was only six months ago, though, that the police found their bodies right there in the backyard,” the realtor said, pointing to the sliding glass door, leading to a relatively large and green backyard. I turned and walked over to examine it. There had been two big patches of grass that had obviously been recently laid where the bodies had been dug up.
“Oh my God,” I heard my mom gasp. “Did they ever figure out who did it?”
“His name was Joey, Joey Grace,” the realtor replied. “He actually killed several mothers and their daughters in this town.”
“Great going, you two,” I said, sarcastically as I turned back to look at my parents. “You bought us a house smack dubbed in the middle of a killing spree.”
“No need to be alarmed,” the realtor reassured me. “The sick bastard is long dead now. You’re perfectly safe.”
“Why the hell are you just now telling us about this?” Pops asked, fuming mad.
“I know I should have told you before selling,” the realtor exclaimed. “It’s just that this place has been on the market ever since that police report came out and I haven’t been able to sell it to any of the townies. I figured that since you’re from down south that maybe you hadn’t heard the news and that I had a real shot of making a sale. Please don’t sue me; I have three kids at home. And I promise you, the neighborhood is as safe as can be, now.”
“Yeah, until this guy snaps,” I joked, patting my ole’ man on the shoulder as I headed upstairs to unpack. It was then that I saw her, through my bedroom window, looking at the house from across the street.
I watched from afar as she watched back. Her long auburn hair blew in the late summer breeze as she stood there, still, on the sidewalk. She wore a ruby-colored top with light washed denim overalls, paired with some white sneakers. She looked absolutely beautiful. I had to get a closer look, know her name, and understand why she was so intrigued by this house in particular. Did she know the previous owners? Was she close to the daughter? I had to know.
Quickly, I ran downstairs, past my dad who had been carrying a bunch of heavy boxes in, and out the door. However, as soon as I had walked out onto the front lawn, the mystery girl was nowhere to be seen. It was as if she had just vanished into thin air. I couldn’t have just imagined her, could I? I thought to myself as I continued to look for her.
“Hey, Jacob, you mind helping me with this?” Ma’s voice traveled from the porch and rang in my eardrums.
“Yeah, I guess,” I said as I went to help her carry the coffee table into the living room.