Before she reached the door knob, the door bust open and Billy popped out. “Nope, it’s just you.”
Aris punched him in the arm. “Don’t scare me like that! This isn’t a joke…I could be dangerous.”
Billy looked a little guilty. “I know, sorry, this just doesn’t make any sense.”
“I know.” Aris walked back over to the bed and sat down.
Billy grabbed his remote from his desk, turned on the small TV on his dresser, and sat back down on his chair. He could not sit in silence any longer when he knew they were both getting nowhere on figuring anything out. He began to flip through the channels, not paying much attention.
“Wait! Turn it back.” Aris crawled across Billy’s blue bedspread to get closer to the television.
The sudden outburst surprised Billy; he flipped the channel back. “The Weather Channel?” The five day forecast was on the screen. Billy looked at Aris, who looked freaked out. “What is it?”
She kept her eyes glued to the screen. “It’s supposed to storm tomorrow.”
“So?” Billy was not catching on.
She flipped her legs around to face Billy. “Think about every thunderstorm that happens here. The power grid in this neighborhood sucks.”
“And if the power goes out…” Billy started to realize the seriousness of what could happen.
“What am I supposed to do?”
“It might not go out. It’s only…” Billy looked at the forecast, “an eighty percent chance of rain. Okay it’s going to storm, but maybe the lights won’t go out. Wait a second!” Billy turned his chair around and started rummaging around one of the desk draws until he pulled something out. “Here.”
Aris looked at the object with a raised brow. “A flashlight?”
“You know, maybe it will give off enough light to stop whatever it is from happening.”
Aris smiled. “Thanks.” She took the silver flashlight from Billy’s hands. It was an old one, probably his dad’s from a long time ago.
Billy twiddled the remote control in his hand. “Wanna watch a movie or something? Might get our minds off this for a while.”
“Yeah, I don’t think I’m sleeping tonight. Just no horror, okay?”
Billy nodded and looked for a comedy to watch. They both had spent many nights having all-night movie marathons, mostly horror films, but it seemed now that Aris’ life was turning into one. They watched comedies all night and even laughed a few times. For a few hours while watching movies, they both almost forgot about the real horrors that were going on in Aris’ life.
When the sun came up, dark clouds encompassed the sky. A storm was definitely coming. Aris and Billy both stretched and yawned as they made their way downstairs and into the kitchen. They did not sleep the night before, but since they only watched movies all night they were not very tired. Neither of them would have been able to sleep even if they tried. The thought of what was happening to Aris had become too much for both of them. The two grabbed some cereal, trying to be quiet, so they would not wake Billy’s parents.
After eating, Aris dumped her milk in the sink and leaned on the cabinet. “I need to drop my stuff off at my house; then do you want to walk around?”
“Yeah.” Billy got up and put his bowl in the sink.
There was not a whole lot to do in Glenbrook, especially when neither of the two had a car. Billy had just recently got his license and Aris had her permit, so they rarely were allowed out with a car. Ever since they were kids, the two had spent a lot of their days walking around the neighborhood, observing and talking. They knew every inch of the place better than anyone else. Walks especially helped when either of them needed to get away from the house, or their parents. They both knew the best places to sit and think where no one would bother them.
They made their way to an opening in the trees they very often went. It was where they first met ten years earlier. The small clearing had gone from fort, to clubhouse, to hang out spot. They could go there and talk about anything, because they both knew no one would overhear them, or accidentally walk in on the conversation. It was their place. To get into the spot in the small woods, they had to crouch down and shuffle through branches. As the years went on, the more difficult getting into the space in between the trees became. They never made a proper opening, because they did not want any of the other kids in the neighborhood to figure out there was a big space behind all the shrubs and trees. They each had their own spot they sat in every time they went into their “clubhouse”. Aris would sit on the ground leaning against a large tree, and Billy would sit on a small log across from her.
Billy picked up a stick and began to fiddle with it. “So what do we know?”
Aris put her hand on her forehead. “Nothing. The movie marathon idea failed for clearing my head. We aren’t going to figure this out…maybe, maybe it just happened.”
Billy shoved the stick in the ground. “Things like this don’t just happen, Aris. There had to be something.”
“Yeah, but I don’t know what could have caused this.”