Hello Is Anybody Home
When I opened my eyes, my first thought was of Amber. Where was she, how was she, how do I find her. Then a strange feeling started to creep into my mind, a new sensation like I’d never felt before. A whisper of a familiar song that you’ve not heard since childhood. I knew she was safe, and fine.
I continue to just lie on the ground staring up at the now bright sky and let the new sense move through my mind. Scared that if I focused on it, I might lose it, like trying to hard to cling to a dream. I wanted to let it take root and slowly it did.
I knew that she was south of me, not close but not to far. Not unreachable. I could feel her so clearly that I wondered if I might even be able to hear her heart beat. But then a smell hit me and a few other realisations came with it.
I quickly sat up and looked around and realised I was in the woods between Huntington and Charleston. I also realised that if this was where my father buried his dead, I needed to cover up my escape and get out of dodge as quickly as possible.
My body still ached but it was working and it was a more familiar kind of pain. More like after a night in The Pitt and less like a night in The Pitt followed by being run over. So, I could make it work.
I covered my tracks, checked the world around me, changed and started running south. My clothes had been ruined anyway and my dad had clearly emptied my pockets. Besides the most important thing was Amber.
I wanted to move faster but that wasn’t really an option, and it felt very strange following pure instinct like that. A part of me knew, absolutely knew, I was headed in the right direction, but logic still wanted to get in the way. And they say it always takes you longer to get somewhere the first time.
So, I pushed and kept running. I needed to see her. I didn’t know if it had been a day, a week a month, or even a year. I just knew that I needed to see her.
Needless to say, I was a bit confused when instinct brought me to the outer wall of a giant mansion hidden away in the woods. WV wasn’t exactly a bustling metropolis and there was plenty of space to hide, but I’d never considered that something so huge could be hidden in plain sight like that. Everything in me told me Amber was inside, so inside was where I was going.
It took some time but I eventually managed to find a front gate, and I suddenly regretted not bringing my pants. But fuck it. I turned back into a human, stepped up to the intercom and camera and pressed the buzzer.
Despite the ominous atmosphere of the building, I knew Amber was safe, and that made me feel calm. There had been a moment where I thought I might need to burst in through a window and rescue her but my new sense told me that wasn’t needed. So, I waited calmly for someone to respond and tried not to think about how I was totally naked.
When the intercom did crackle all that came through was a deeply unnecessary laugh and then the gates just began to open.
So, in I walked, proudly, telling myself with every step that I had nothing to be ashamed of and really focusing on anything but the hot feeling in my cheeks.
As safe as I knew Amber was, when I found the front door also open my old tried and trusted normal instincts joined the conversation and I leaned my head in cautiously.
“Hello? Anybody home?”
After Frankie and I broke up, and sat for awhile, we were ever so politely informed that morning was coming. I was then led to maybe the most beautiful fairy tale princess’s bedroom I’d ever seen, promised personal safety and learned the magic of black out curtains. I then slept for something like 15 hours.
When I woke up, I had a million texts, voice notes and missed calls from Jessica demanding to know where I was and what the fuck was going on. So, I called her back and she spent a good few minute’s berating me before saying.
“Where the fuck are you?”
It was a good question, and while I had some answers, I wasn’t sure what I could or couldn’t tell her. Which stung. I hated having to keep secrets from her, but these seemed pretty big and they weren’t mine to share.
“Hello? Amber are you there?”
“Hey, yeah. I’m here, I just can’t tell you where here is. But I’m fine, if that helps.”
The loudest, most dramatic scoff I’d ever heard came echoing through the phone.
“Look, I know things have been weird and we’re all scared for Frankie, and different people deal in different ways, but you’re really out getting laid right now! You do realise that you don’t have to keep that secret from me, right? You already told me about it.”
She had always been so good at the mock offended bitch talk, that I honestly couldn’t tell if she was being serious, straight joking or somewhere in the middle. But she was giving me an out.
“Yeah, well, the NSA doesn’t, so I’m not talking about it over the phone.”
I could practically hear her shaking her head at me.
“Girl, you’re ridiculous. Anyway, nice to know someone is having fun. Look I’m guessing this means you’ve not heard anything new?”
“I, have not.’ I still hated lying to her. ’have you?”
Her voice lost its attitude and I had to remind myself that to the rest of the world Frankie was missing presumed dead.
“No, I mean, we weren’t close but we weren’t nothing, you know?”
“Yeah, yeah I know.”
“When do you plan to get back from your little sexcapade?”
That, while a bit off target was still a very good question and there wasn’t anyone awake I could ask.
“I, don’t exactly know. But I’ll find out and text you.”
“You better, and try not to just disappear again alright? There’s been enough of that going around already.”
That time I felt the true sting in her voice. And again, she wasn’t wrong. I was so used to her being the one that always picked me up, I forget that sometimes she needed it to, and that I really needed to be better at that.
“I won’t, promise.”
We chatted for a bit longer than she needed to go do something, probably just watch tv but didn’t want to admit to it.
I then stared at Bastian's number wanting to call him. But given the circumstances it felt off, wrong somehow. So I just texted him.
- 100% not ghosting, promise
The message was quickly read but there was no reply.
The rest of the day passed by in an almost dream. I wandered through the house and at some point, after the sun went down the vampires woke up. Belinda continued to give me bitch vibes but not scary ones. She brought me food, and water and told me I could stay. Which Frankie asked me to please do, just for a couple days until he felt more settled.
It wasn’t until the morning of the third day that things started to change again, as a familiar voice drifted through the halls and when I ran to the door, I found a very naked Bastian standing staring confused at me.
And if it wasn’t for the total weirdness of the moment, I think I would have moaned when I saw him, but luckily, I gasped. A moment later his arms were around me and for the first time in days, something made sense.