Things to do in Freehold

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Chapter Forty-five:

Jacob Mackenzie (Late morning of September 11, 1994)

“Sorry for the delay,” I said as I came down the stairs and started handing out flashlights. “Something came up.”

“Everything alright?” Brian asked, taking a light from my hand. “Sounded like it was getting pretty heated up there.”

“Yeah, it was just some petty argument,” I answered. “It’s over with, for now.”

As we swabbed the nooks and crannies of the room for webs,Brian pulled me to the side. Seeing the concerned look on his face, I was highly interested in what he was about to tell me. “So are we going to talk about what happened last night?”

Oh, shit, did he see Adeline and I together? He did, didn’t he? Nevertheless, I tried to play it cool. “What do you mean?”

“Don’t act all innocent, now. I saw you.”

I let out a big sigh. “Okay, fine. Me and Adeline did go out on a date, if you can even call it that. One thing led to another and I took her back here, or she took me back here. I’m still a little fuzzy on all the details.”

“Oh my God, you seriously don’t remember, do you? What kind of drugs did they have you take?”

I looked at him, confused. “I’m not following.”

“You didn’t go home with Adeline last night. I know because I was the one who drove your sorry ass.”

“No,” I said under my breath. I felt sick to my stomach and as if I was going to pass out. I clutched onto the corner of the washing machine for balance.

“I was closing up the bakery when I saw you, being dumped off by some truck, in front of The Honeybee. You were drugged out of your mind, so I took your keys from you and drove your dad’s car home,” he explained, before bowing his head. “You kept repeating Piper’s name, over and over.”

“I did?”

Brian looked back up at me and nodded. “Why were you saying her name?”

“Because I saw her,” I told him, taking a seat on the stairs. “She was standing in this crowd of people, all bloody, asking me for help. It was strange, she looked so real for a hallucination, almost too real. Though, I guess so did everything else, according to you.”

“Why Piper, though?” Brian questioned, sitting down next to me. “I mean, it’s not like you two ever knew each other.”

“I don’t know, man. I suppose me, living in this house and you, showing me that picture of her, has me feeling some type of way about her death. It’s almost as if I feel guilty, like somehow, I should’ve done more to help her.”

“There was nothing you could’ve done. Hell, you didn’t even live in Freehold until a couple of weeks ago.”

He had a point there. I couldn’t have possibly helped her, even if I wanted to. So then why was I still seeing her everywhere I went? “C’mon, those cobwebs aren’t going to dust themselves.”

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