Chapter 1 - Chills
The beating of my heart thumps away in my aching chest, why does life have to be so hard, have I not suffered enough already? My mind goes blank, sinking into the blackness which I've suffered more frequently. Everything seems to be crumbling, falling to pieces. I've been in and out of the hospital with my blackout. Sometimes I lose myself, where I am, or who I am.
Fuzzy thoughts and blinding pains make me tip my head back, resting it against the seat as I throw what I think is my phone down on the table in front of me. Pressing my fingertips against the sides of my throbbing temples to try to relieve the tension in my head.
“Why does he do this?” I curse profusely as the dizziness is still whirling around in my head.
Several minutes later after a few deep breaths I gather my thoughts, Lee needs to sort his shit out, or he is out. There goes that lurch in my stomach, twisting from whatever mixed thoughts I have of him. His obsessive compulsive streak makes him buy the weirdest and god-damn awful things to clutter up our place. His latest thing is a painting he’s bought. He said I would like the painting but I haven’t seen it yet, I’m not looking forward to going home, dread fills me for some reason.
Slipping my glasses back on, my headache still persistent, I return to the paperwork in front of me. My boss is an architect and I’m his personal assistant. With several projects on the go, I’m filling in the required paperwork to send to the next client.
“Mr Larkin needs them before the end of the day.” My boss, Mr Fingle, passes me a folder. “He needs to check which design he wants now, they’ve been adjusted, both of them to meet the building standards.” The folder has a strange texture, not the smoothness I'm used to.
I check the address. “It’s on my way home I can drop them off.” I place them in my bag.
“Okay, well we are about done here anyway, why don’t you leave now so you’ve plenty of time.” He checks his watch and mutters something to himself.
I’ve been working with him for the past year. Others say he is difficult to work with, but that is perhaps to do with his awkwardness with people. He is a private man who is a fantastic architect. My desk sits to the side of the front office, whilst his is a massive main office in the back with an extremely large table in the middle, so he can place his drawings on when working.
Collecting all my things together I pick up my bag and head off to deliver the final changes to the client’s new extension on his building he wants to add. The man who greets me, Mr Larkin, is a tall, lanky man and his eyes seem hollow and almost sunken. My body stiffens and chills run down my spine as he takes the folder from me.
“Mr Fingle wants you to decide which one you would like.” He had two designs for the building he was extending. I realize it isn’t the one I am standing in front of as this one matches the owner. The darkness which surrounded the building was as intimidating as the man standing staring at me. He cocks his head to the side and his lizard-like tongue flicks out trying to wet his thin dry lips.
“Hum, the young man was extremely pleased.” His lips thinned into what I could gather as a smile.
I had no clue what the meaning was behind his words, but the man creeps me out. “If you can make a decision as quickly as possible, Mr Fingle can proceed with the drawings and get them passed for you.” I quickly took several steps back not wanting to be smothered by this man’s energy.
“Enjoy.” His words were like ice to my skin, cold and kept seeping in to freeze what little blood I had pumping around in my veins.
I left his property and the warmth of the sun engulfed me, hugging me as the relief of death left me.
“No matter what Mr Fingle says, I am never going back to that place ever again.” I’m sure the passer bys thought I was mad or something as I expressed my hate for the place and Mr Larkin.
My next dread was walking through my apartment door to find out what Lee bought. In the past he’s only bought one painting, and although slightly strange not to bad, an abstract couple are entwined in a sexual act. It was not one I could hang up in the hallway, so the thing ended up in our bedroom. How and why, I do not know; maybe Lee’s puppy dog eyes are my weakness.
My fingers are shaking as I slot my key in the door and open it. I’m lucky with my apartment, only because my best friend is poking the guy who lets it out that I got the place at reasonable rates. God help me if she breaks up with the guy.
“Babe, is that you?” Lee shouts out as I come in.
“No! I’m here to rob the place, I hope there’s some things worth nicking?” I chuckle back as I close the door.
“Very funny, by the way Ant is here.” He prewarns me of his best friend and obnoxious bastard who I hate.
I go straight into the bedroom and freshen up before I face him. Changing my work outfit into something more comfortable I opt for a pair of leggings and a vest top. As I walk through, straight away he tuts at me. I bypass him and go into the kitchen. It’s Friday night and I deserve a glass of my favourite bubbly after the crappy week at work.
“Hey Ty, pass a couple more beers out would ya!” Lee calls out as I pop the cork on my bottle.
Although, Lee has rich parents he is a sponger off everyone he meets. He doesn’t work, but he would tell you a different story.
The only reason I let him move in with me was because I thought he was going to contribute to the bills, which he sometimes does. But there was no way in hell that I was going to move out of my place to live with him in his parents’ posh mansion on the other side of the city. I liked my apartment, it was mine.
I carry two beers and my glass of bubbly into the lounge and sit down next to my boyfriend. “So where is this new painting you are raving on about then?” I might as well get it out of the way.
“Oh my god! You should see this.” He expresses his enthusiasm for the painting he bought. He jumps up and dashes into the spare room. Coming out seconds later he turns the picture, so I can see it.
“Why on earth would you buy such an awful painting?” I shrivel back in horror.
“Because it called to me!” His eyes were dead as he stared into mine, and chills ran down my spine. Who was this person in front of me? I don't recognize him at all. The warm friendly enviroment surrounding me starts fading away.