Longest Nightmare

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Chapter 4

Alright, I had had enough of my family and decided to try and find out more about the woman who claimed to be my fiance. Charlene and I drove to her family's place in one of the other residential areas in Stonehurst. I thought it would be fun at the time.

We parked outside of a house which actually was pretty good looking. Nice paint, picket fence, two car garage. Didn't know what I was expecting but I was pleasantly surprised. Charlene and I walked up to the house and knocked. We were answered by an older woman with light brown hair. “Merry Christmas!” We both said to the woman who smiled wide.

“You little sneaks, we didn't know you were coming down”

“Chase insisted on going out and meeting everyone today.” Charlene said before she went in to hug the woman I guessed was her mother.

“I just wanted to get out of the house. You know how it is during the holidays no doubt.” I said with a smile before I went in for my own hug.

“Oh, you don't need to explain anything to me honey.” The woman said with a kind tone in her voice as she hugged me back. “Come in, come in,” She said, “You're letting all the heat out.”

We stepped inside and followed her to the living room where an eccentrically decorated tree stood. “Sammy!” The woman called, “Sammy the kids are here.”

“Give me a minute I'm just grabbing something from the kitchen!” A male voice called out.

“Well hurry up!” The woman turned back to the both of us with a smile, “What are you two still doing standing, c'mon and sit.” She said,

“Well actually if you don't mind I need to use the bathroom.” I said, “Upstairs right?” She was about to tell me somewhere else before I took off. I walked upstairs and saw pictures of what I guessed was Charlene, baby pictures, dance pictures, it was also apparent that she was a former gymnast from the way some of the pictures were showing her in a unitard and balance beams and all that good stuff.

I found a bathroom and made my way to one of the other rooms. The master bedroom from what I saw, queen sized bed and the like helped with that part of the identification process. I looked around for pictures and saw ones of the woman with a man. I guessed it was the man Sammy she called from the living room. There was another picture though. A picture of Charlene as a baby. It was a picture just of the baby charlene being held. 'Weird,' I thought, 'Sammy's hands look different than the ones here...' I thought as I made my way out of the room and down the other way.

I went to another room, no doubt Charlene's when she lived in the house. The room was being used for some storage fom what I saw, while I looked around everywhere else I couldn't help but think it was funny the number of boy band posters on her walls. They ranged from singers to movies, her tastes were varied there was no doubt about that. There was one wall though that had something interesting. A picture of a younger Charlene, this time in the arms of a man, clean shaven, dark hair, dressed like a cop.' A cops daughter eh?' I asked myself, 'No complaints here, that's for sure.' I noticed something else on the drawer the picture sat on. It was a badge, a policeman's badge. 'Witteson?' I thought to myself, 'I remember that name, don't I?' I said to myself as I walked out of the room and into Charlene.

“Whoa!” She said,

“Oh, I'm sorry baby.” I said, “I got a little side-tracked.”

“No kidding.” She said, “C'mon Sammy just brought out a thing of egg-nog.”

“Oooh,” I said, “I love egg-nog.” I followed her downstairs.

We got down stairs and made our way to the living room. I saw the man standing in the room with the woman and noticed a few things. His hands, first off. They weren't dark enough to have been the man in the picture, too small as well. Second the man in the other picture was definitely different, this one had a beard, was a little pudgy and darker eyes.

“Hey Sammy,” I said as we walked into the living room,

“Hey son.” He said as he held out two cups of egg-nog for the both of us. “Here, drink up.” He didn't have to tell me a second time. I took the cup and drank it gingerly. I loved egg-nog but I was planning on driving the rest of the day.

We spent the next few hours there talking and hearing stories about Charlene, confirmed some things. Charlene was a gymnast, whom I had FINALLY learned the name of; Darla, was her mother and Sammy was her second husband. It made me wonder about the first though. I didn't ask because Charlene seemed to tense for some reason. I didn't press the issue but it was definitely something I wanted to look into for later, just for schnitz and gigs of course.

By the time we finally left I had learned a few things and was more assured that the woman was on the level. Others might have called my crazy for going through her parents and her old bedroom. But I didn't touch anything when I was in there. That would help me not come across as so crazy right?

Charlene sat quietly and I was a little concerned. “Hey,” I said, “You okay babe?” She nodded,

“Yeah,” She said, “Sammys egg-nog tasted terrible though.”

“I noticed that.” I said with a chuckle, “It's not home made is it?”

“It is, why?” she asked turning to me,

“Well I guess I can't sue him for the egg shell that I swallowed then, can I?” We both laughed and I reached over to grab her hand and brought it over to kiss it. She aww'd and we drove off. We had spent enough time driving and had to get ready for my family's dinner tonight.

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