The Missing Piece

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Chapter 4

“Who’s this beauty, Luke?” a creepy guy from behind the desk asked us as we entered.

“One of my friends,” he replied.

“So, you two aren’t dating?” the creep questioned as he kept his eyes on my body.

“No, but she has a boyfriend,” Luke clarified. He pulled me to the elevator. “Sorry about Wade. He is a freak. He has flirted with Clara many times,” he said once we were on the elevator.

“It’s fine.” We got up to his apartment. This place was a dump. There were boxes of half eaten pizza, piles of dirty clothes, and pieces of paper all over the place!

“First, dude, we need to clean this place!”

“But, it will take forever,” Luke whined.

“Do you want Clara or not?”

“Fine,” he stubbornly agreed.

“Okay, I’ll start sorting this crap into piles. There’s gonna be a throw-away pile, a wash-this-now pile, and a what-the-heck-is-this pile. Can you go to the store and get some air fresheners? I’m going to start sorting the stuff,” I said picking up one of the pizza boxes.

“Uh.. okay,” he said grabbing his keys and heading out.

“What the heck is this?” I asked myself while poking an orange glob. I sorted all the pizza boxes and soda cans along with any other recyclable matter into one pile. About half an hour later while I moved all the papers scattered on the ground, my cell phone rang in my pocket.

“Hello?”

“Where the heck are you? Why aren’t you at home? Are you with that guy? I knew it! You were cheating to get back at me. I told you I was sorry. I can’t believe you did this to me!”

“Tyler, calm down! I’m at the grocery store. I ran out of food at home. ‘That guy’ and his girlfriend left yesterday. They were on their way to Washington D.C from Canada and they were taking a break. Tyler, I would never cheat on you.”

“Oh, Aria. I’m sorry. It’s just that I love you so much it drives me mad.”

“We will see each other soon enough. I promise.”

“Okay, well my mother is calling me again. Love you Aria.”

“Love you to-” Tyler’s mother’s shrill voice rang from the background.

“Don’t you dare call her again! You two are engaged and this girl is ruining it. She is a home-wrecker. I have already arranged this marriage and she is a bitc-.” The line got cut off. I sank to my knees. Maybe this wasn’t a good idea. Tyler and I probably wouldn’t last. His mother would never approve of me. She is already looking for a replacement. I sank against a wall to my knees.

“He would never propose to me. No matter how long we have dated,” I said to myself. A thin stream of tears fell from my eyes to my cheeks. No one would ever like me. I am too simple. The door opened.

“Aria?” Luke called. “Oh my god! Aria what happened?”

“What do you think?”

“Okay. Well I got the air fresheners and I can start cleaning stuff up.” He took a look around the room. “How the hell did you clean all that up so quickly?”

“I guess I just did.” He offered me a hand up and wiped away my tears.

“You are awesome.”

“Just throw away the junk you don’t need and help me sort stuff.”

“Yeah. Sure,” he replied awkwardly walking away. “You even labeled the piles. It’s my old basketball signed by Magic! Why it in the trash pile?”

“What so great about some stupid basketball?” I replied.

“Lady, this ain’t some ‘stupid basketball’ It’s signed by Magic Johnson. One of the best Laker, no, NBA players around. That wasn’t his only talent though. He had an amazing personality. Come over here. Let me show you what this really is about,” Luke said as he grabbed my arm in one hand and a different basketball in the other.

“Luke, we should really get you pack-”

“Just have some fun once in a while, will you?” He rushed down the stairs and out the back entrance. There was a basketball hoop just waiting for us. “Here try shooting it,” Luke said as he threw the ball at me.

I caught it and threw it at the basketball hoop, but failed to get it into the hoop.

“Let me show you how it’s done.” He ran and got the ball and shot it into the hoop. He handed the ball back to me and came behind me. “Now bend your knees, and hold your hands like this.” He took my arms and held them in the right position. “Now aim for the little red square and extend your arms.”

I did as he said as he took a step away from me. The ball went into the hoop. “I would’ve gotten it eventually you know.”

“Ha! You need me and you know it.”

“Yeah right!” I said as I lightly shoved him. The skies grew dark gray again. “We should head back inside and finish cleaning up your messy ass room.”

“It’s not that bad!” Luke exclaimed defensively as he walked to the door.

“Now that I’m done with it, it isn’t,” I replied as I followed him back inside. We got back into the elevator and when we reached the apartment the door was open.

“We didn’t leave the door open,” Luke calmly said to himself. There was the sound of something crashing. He suddenly started to walk without warning towards the door. I followed him. A tall dark shadow appeared on the ground across the carpet. “Aria, go check on Wade and then 911 and report a robbery here,” Luke said very slowly and quietly.”

I quietly dashed down the steps and hurried to the front desk. Usually where the creep stood, there was nothing there. I slowly approached to notice he was on the ground. He was unconscious. I checked his pulse and it was fading.


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