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So close

Back at the shack, I walked out of the cellar like crap, my hair a mess, my face red from all the crying, and the bells chimed in my ears from the headache still pounding my skull like a drum. The light made me squint, I walked out, confidence striking me, my facial expression was straight, and didn’t change. My gaze was fixed on the kitchen, it was straight ahead, and Dave was beside me. In a low tone like a robot, I started to talk,

“you starved my brother to death, gave him a heart attack. You killed my mother, and abducted me, what’s next on the to do list, burning an orphanage, or how’s about an animal shelter?”

I turned to him, stopping the casual to the kitchen stroll, my expression did not change anymore then it had before. He gave me a freakishly, creepy smile, “your brother tried to kill me, your mother tried to kill me, as long as you don't I wont kill you, it’s as simple as that.”

I tried to stop the tears from bleeding from my dry eyes, but they fell to the floor, magnetized somehow. I stayed silent as he walked me through the house, like it was a regular open house, but I kept quiet. No matter how much he tested my anger, I was still frightened by him very much, but who wouldn’t be. In the kitchen, was a peanut butter, and jelly sandwich just the way I used to like them when I was five, cut into squares. It was like he was trying to be my father, he motioned me towards the table. “would you like some milk?” Dave asked, careful not to upset him again I slowly walked to the table, sat down, and ate. Not taking my eyes off him, the entire time he sipped his coffee from a white mug, and read the paper like any other Sunday afternoon. I wanted to ask so many questions, but I dare not open my mouth, not after having the experience of being locked in a room with my dying, well dead brother. I shook at the idea, and he seemed to notice, “why so quiet?” He asked, so clueless, “you look sad.” My eye twitched, I just about jumped over the table, but my patients saved me. I just glared up at him, “hey honey, don’t play with your food,” he poked my arm away from the sandwich I had been pushing around on the plate. In my mind I freaked, touch me again, and I’ll shove that criminal fist of yours, right down your throat, but out loud I gave a sigh, and folded my shaky hands in my lap. I shivered, and he got up, “you cold sweetie? I can turn up the heat if you want.” My eyes rolled as I looked behind me, making sure Dave didn’t see the sarcastic gesture. “I’ll read silence as a yes,” than he turned his back, and walked to the thermostat in the living room. In the two seconds I had, I looked around behind me. Windows, windows, doors anything I needed an escape plan, and to get that I needed an escape. I turned back to the table, there right across from me was Dave’s phone. It was right there, I could call for help, I looked at Dave in the living room, he was still turning the knob on the thermostat. So I reached across the table, and grabbed it. I put the phone in my lap, and turned pressed the home button. A smile, the first smile I had, since before I saw my mother that night. It took up half my face, the smile as I came to learn, there was no password. I was in Dave’s phone, I looked down at the phone, then up at Dave over, and over until I saw him enter the kitchen. I scrambled, but realized it was too late to put the phone back now, so I put it in my pocket, and picked up the sandwich.

I shoved a huge bite in my mouth, and started chewing, looking down at the plate. I wasn’t a very good liar, so I avoided eye contact with Dave. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him ruffling through papers on the table. “Where is it?” He said as he vigorously threw paper everywhere. I whispered under my breath, “please, please, please,” my eyes squeezed shut, and I breathed silently, but quickly as if I was hiding from a thief in the closet. Dave looked at me, it felt so deep, as if he was looking into my very soul. Still I avoided eye contact, but I could see him perfectly out of my peripheral vision, he smiled, and took a deep breath, as he told me he was going out. Dave reached in his pocket, and I recognize the chemical stench, of chloroform. Oh no, I tried to stand and run away, but he grabbed me by the waist, and held me close. I struggled, and his face scrunched up, then my legs felt like jelly. My eyes grew weary, with bags under them, and almost immediately, I fell asleep.

Dave held my unconscious body in his hands, and cradled me, as he brought me to the bed I first arrived in. He tucked me in, kissed my forehead, and left locking the door behind him. While I slept I didn’t dream, but there were no night terrors either. It was just a dark room, and I was thankful for that.

Dave ran up the stairs, and out the cellar door on the top of the shack. He walked around to the back, and got into the stolen car he had “borrowed,” from an abandoned parking lot, on the dirt path, just of the freeway. When he entered, he floored the gas, there was still some papers, and files left in his old apartment that he had to snatch before the cops could. When he arrived he parked in the woods, just behind it, and walked in through the back. Dave shielded his face from any potential witnesses, but when he arrived at room 302, he was shocked to find the door had been busted down. He peered through the door frame, and saw the police searching the apartment.

Dave raced down the hall as fast as he could, he talked the plan up with himself all the way back to, and also in the car, slamming on the gas, it was a surprise he didn’t get pulled over. When Dave arrived back at the shack, he opened the door and slammed it shut, punching, and kicking the baseboards and furniture. Throwing dishes against the wall, and screaming. Then, when Dave was finished, he took a breath, and speed stomped to his room. He tore open the suitcase, and packed everything he could, papers, and files, clothing, food he’d stashed away. Since he was a fugitive, Dave couldn’t exactly go on a grocery run. Once he had packed what he could, he came to my room, and opened the door. He picked me up over his shoulder, and carried me to the car, along with the luggage. Once we were all in, he stomped the gas pedal, and drove away.

When I woke up, I yawned and stretched out, before I realized where I was, in the backseat of a van, with shaded windows. Dave was up front, and I panicked, hyperventilating I scratched the seats, we were going so fast. My head was glued to the back seat, channeling my emotions, I searched my surroundings, there was luggage piling up against me, chafing my legs. I looked at Dave through the mirror, he scared me without even saying a word. His face was stuck in anger, eyebrows furrowed, and face scrunched up in wrinkles, the air was silent until I broke it. My teeth chattered, and I looked down at my hand, it was shaking. I swallowed, and looked at the mirror, “please slow down, I cowered, I’m scared. The monster looking back at me, shook his head, “stealing my phone,” he held it up for me to see, “what a clever girl, brave too. Why would you be scared” I started to tear up, “tsk, tsk, tsk, crying never got anyone anywhere,” he heartlessly chuckled. I strained my head, and looked out my window, “now leaving Texas,” it read. We swerved off the road just before we could hit any traffic, just before anyone could see us, and into a forest, with a dirt trail, probably for dirt bikes in the summer. Unfortunately, we didn’t come across anyone, than I thought “where was the one place Dave couldn’t follow, the washroom.” I riled up all my courage, then, “I have to go to the washroom.” I said in a quiet whisper, just loud enough for Dave to hear, “okay” he replied, “when we get to the next pit stop, we’ll go in together.” I looked back out the window, “dammit, he’s coming with me,” I took a breath, “well at least he can’t follow me into the stall. Plus on the bright side, I actually kind of have to pee, so win, win right? Oh great now I’m talking to myself, I’m going to be one of those old people who talks to there dead cats.” I shook my head, “your trailing off topic, now get back on it.” “Where are we going?” I turned to Dave “you owe me a lot of explanations, but this one is by far the easiest” he smiled that creepy smile of his, and actually laughed. “Are you kidding me?” The words slipped out before I could even understand what I was saying. “Come on Milly,” he embellished, “lighten up, join the party. You don’t have to be uptight with me, I’m not as, what’s the right word for it? Oh yes. Crazed with organization as your mother” he paused, then smirked. Was I shocked this crackhead made an insult towards mom? No, but I was sure as hell mad about it, “don’t you dare talk about my mother again. How do you sleep at night, knowing what you did, knowing your a murderer” he stopped me, “uh no, I’m a self defender” he chuckled. “I stood up for myself, obviously something your mother lacked the strength to do, or teach you and your brother. I mean he’s dead because he couldn’t handle a little bit of a different meal plan. And you, well you’re here making empty threats, and thinking you can talk your way out of being with me.” I tried so hard to bite my tongue, but the words slipped out once again, “he’s dead because you starved him, not because you changed the food, but because you took it away, remember. Why pick on the three people in my family that can actually fight back, huh? You know I have a sister, she’s an enfant, why not target the weakest link.”

The moment I said it, I regretted every word. “I didn’t just say that,” my mind went blank, I was tore up inside, and it was my fault this time. The only thing worse than feeling weak, and helpless is feeling like the bully, the actual guilty suspect. I hung my head “not a nice feeling, is it?” Dave pointed out my expression “look, since you are going to be with me for the rest of your life, you might as well know why.”

I sat back as he told me the story, I was both terrified, and relieved to finally be hearing it. “It all started when you were about five, the reason you don’t remember me is because you haven’t seen me since then. Your mother cheated on me with Greg,” he practically spat the words out, “I knew Greg, he died when Lily was born, he was the only father I had ever known. My mom told me you were dead when I was five.” I spoke now more curious, “I know, she took you, and your brother when I found out about her cheating. She was afraid of me, and she was right to be” My fear slash hate for Dave started to come back, but I kept listening. “I spent years tracking you down, you and Charlie,” I saw a tear shed from his eyes, and that made me ball, I wanted so badly to be furious with him. I tried telling myself all the wrong I saw in him, all the reasons I should hate him. “He did this to himself, he killed them both,” I shut my eyes, tight “he hurt you, he hurt you, he hurt you,” but at that moment I couldn’t help but feel sort of connected to him almost sorry for him. Dave sniffled, and shook his head, than stopped talking. “No, no keep going, please” I couldn’t believe myself, what I was saying, Dave smiled, but it wasn’t creepy, for the first time I actually saw the soul inside him. Then the car stopped, “why did we stop?” I asked a little unsure, you said earlier that you needed a pit stop. I looked around out my window, then turned back to Dave, he had grabbed one of the suitcases, and unzipped it. My eyes grew wide, “what are you doing?” I raised my voice, and clenched the backseat, he lifted his hands, and showed me there was nothing to fear. “Its alright,” he said “don’t be scared,” then he reached back in the bag, and pulled out a roll of toilet paper, he handed it to me, and then dove in for a small shovel. He got out, and opened my door on the other side, “after you.” “Your kidding right?” I asked confused “well, I’m a fugitive, remember” he looked at me with a hurry up look, and motioned towards a tree. “Go on, I won’t look,” he said, and handed me the shovel.

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