Ghost in the Night
Brian drops me home without saying another word and I slip off my trousers and crawl straight into bed. I don’t have enough energy in me to write but I’m not ready for sleep either. I trail along the swirls on my ceiling and let my thoughts run free.
By the time it gets to midnight it seems that sleep is never coming and if it is, I lost the patience to wait for it any longer. I can’t get Evan out of my head. I have this nagging feeling that I can’t shake. Something’s up with him.
I scramble through the dark to get to my phone and pause staring down at Evan’s number on the screen. He said his Dad had his phone; maybe this is a bad idea. Before I can argue against it anymore, I swish my fingers over the screen to call him. It rings five times and my heart pounds at every silence. My grip on the covers releases when the rings finally stop and a muffled sound enters the other line.
“Yo, who dis?” a deep voice grunts.
“Um who are you? Where’s Evan?”
“Wha? Who the hell is dat?”
“This is his phone, where’d you get it?” I question sharply.
“Some random guy on the street gave it to me. Now daddy needs some sleep, later babes. Feel free to call if you wanna come over sometime.”
I drop my phone in disgust as the line goes dead. I know not all guys are pigs, so why is it that I keep running into them?
Before my worry for Evan can dig its claws in any deeper, something else snaps me away from him and all the thoughts that come with it flood out of my head.
My eyebrows thread together and a rush of anxiety comes over me. I instinctively snap my head towards the window.
Something’s not right.
I feel a strange urge, pulling me to the window and a shiver falls down my spine. I edge towards it slowly. I’m not quite sure what I’m supposed to be looking for, which means I don’t know what I could find.
I peek my head around the frame and expand my view slowly. There doesn’t seem to be anything popping out at me but I can’t ignore the alarm going off inside of me.
The street lights emit a fiery glow over the block, which along with the abandoned desolation only fuels my fear. And yet the emptiness should ease my mind. There’s nothing out there. A couple of cars I guess. One’s outside our house.
Come to think of it, it’s been there since Brian dropped me home.
Is that… Shit.
I duck down in shock when I see a flash of movement from inside the car. I catch my breath and build up the courage to peek back over the windowsill. I edge on my knees to slowly reach my head over. Just as my forehead reaches the tip of the white wooden frame, a picture returns to my head.
I inch my head to look down to the car and sure enough, the picture’s the same. The same chin-length brown curls and the same cautious glance as I saw pulling into my driveway earlier that evening. I can see a number of wrappers littering his passenger seat and a notepad and pen balanced against the gear stick. I don’t have the bravery to continue picking out warning signs, so I jump out of view and back into bed.
I wrap my arms around myself and put my head into my knees as I think back. Think back to the only thing I can think of in this moment. The thing that assures I won’t see a blink of sleep in the next two weeks.
The six months I spent with the hooded man.