Cafe de Desiree

May 2, 2012

Horror Story Continued…

Filed under: horror,story — desi83 @ 8:11 am

Note: Please read the previous entry, Horror Story Parts 1 and 2, before continuing.

I laid there for a moment, trying to bring myself back to reality. I didn’t feel like I was in my apartment on my couch; I felt like I was at the store hiding from those eyes. Milly was now sitting on the floor staring up at me with those eternally sad eyes. “Okay, I am at home on my couch, and no one is here besides my dogs. I am okay, and the ghost eyes are not real,” I said to myself. I had to laugh. Was I really scared of the store being haunted? “Ms. Lisa, bad things have happened to people who’ve worked third shift at the Greenville store. There are legends, you know,” Ms. Addy had warned me. Those words were burned into my memory, and no matter how cynical I was, I was going to go into work with that fear looming over me. I couldn’t let the fear consume me. So, I got up and put on some pink running shorts, a white tank top with a sports bra underneath, my moisture-wicking running socks, and my New Balance running shoes, and I headed out the door with Milo’s leash in my hand. He was a great running partner because he constantly pulled me further so that I had to run faster to catch up. For all the time I waste and bad habits that I indulge, running is the one thing that makes me feel like I have a purpose. Every time I run, I go as fast and as distant as my body will carry me. It is a never-ending journey for me, because I will always push myself harder and further on every run. I also feel closer to Milo on our runs, because I think he has the same mentality. We ran through the parking lot, around the track that surrounds the pond at my apartment complex, and onto the sidewalk that parallels the main street going by my apartment complex. I was hoping to hit five miles today with an increased time of 5.5 minutes per mile as compared to 6 minutes on our previous run. Milo was definitely up for the challenge.

As I ran, I began to wonder if my life was ever going to mean more. If so, when? What would it take? I couldn’t be a retail manager forever, and I couldn’t stay in a dead-end relationship for the rest of my life. I wanted to do something that was meaningful. I thought of Greg, who worked as a gas station attendant with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. He didn’t have a clue what he wanted to do with his degree. Most of his ideas required him to get a higher degree, and his gas station salary was not going to pay for his tuition. His parents had paid for his college tuition the first time around, but they had recently cut him off since he has been coasting on his tiny salary and their allowances that they still gave him as an adult. He had to move in with his sister, who is not exactly fond of me for whatever reason. I wondered if Greg was ever going to wake up and take action to have what he wants for his life. I thought of Brad, my hot neighbor with the glittering smile, who sold cars every day with that same smile. I wondered if that was the extent of his aspirations, or if he dreamed of something bigger. What force would it take to shoot us out of our comfort zone and into the sky? Or was this the eternal plan for people like me, to wander aimlessly through life in precarious situations until we get crushed by a compactor or fall off a ladder doing some mundane task for a check that barely covers the monthly bills? I figured the first step was to ask that very question.

I looked down at my watch, and I noticed that we only had one mile to go. I was soaked in sweat, and I felt like throwing up my breakfast, but my legs felt like lightning. We were running on the sidewalk by the road where my apartment was located, when I noticed a cluster of people and dogs up ahead. Milo was usually pretty good about running beside me, but it was too distracting for him with so many dogs in his view. I was trying to steer us to the left, while he was pulling with all of his might to the right towards the group of dogs and people. I jerked him as hard as I could toward me as we passed them, and I suddenly lost my balance. As I fell, I felt this horrible fear at my loss of control go through my body, and I landed on my hands and knees. I felt a shooting pain as my body hit the concrete. I could feel the skin ripping off my knees on impact. “Milo!” I screamed. The people stopped and turned, and their dogs were pulling on their leashes and barking for their freedom. Milo came to me and licked the top of my right hand. All but one of the people who had caused this accident kept walking in order to control their dogs. “Hey, are you okay?” asked the concerned young man. He looked about nineteen years old, and he had a friendly face. His deep brown eyes stared down at me as I turned over onto my bottom and sat for a moment, trying to recover. Milo was sniffing me and pacing. My new hero reached a hand down to me. “Thanks,” I said as I took his hand and rose to my feet. “Can you walk?” he asked softly. I slowly took a step as I held his hand. “I think I’ll be alright. I live in that apartment complex,” I said as I pointed in the direction ahead of us. “Okay, well let me take your dog’s leash, and I’ll walk you to your apartment,” he offered. I was not going to argue, because the shooting pain in my bloody knees was making it almost impossible to walk.

I wondered how old this guy really was and if he was in school. I wondered who is friends were and if any of those dogs in their group belonged to him. I was too tired and in pain to ask these questions. “I’m sorry about what happened. I feel like it was partly our fault that you fell,” he apologized. I smiled. ‘Yah think?’ I thought to myself. “It’s fine. I usually-I usually have better control with Milo…but he just couldn’t contain himself…when he saw those dogs with-with you and your friends,” I said between breaths. “I can imagine. The girl is my sister, the guy that was in the green shirt is my sister’s boyfriend, and the guy wearing the blue and white striped shirt is my room-mate. The two German Shepherds belong to my sister, and the mutt belongs to my room-mate. So, as you can see, I was just tagging along. I don’t have any dogs because they’re too much trouble,” he explained. “Interesting. So, how are dogs too much trouble? If I can handle them, then surely you can,” I responded condescendingly. “I would not be able to devote enough time to a dog with my schedule,” he replied. “Okay, I’ll bite, what is it that you do?” I asked. I squeezed my eyes shut as I felt the pain in my knees stabbing me suddenly. “I am working on earning my Master’s Degree in Psychology. So, when I’m not at school, I am either writing papers at home or doing field work. I am always busy, but it will be worth it after I get that degree and get into a position where I can really help people-and get paid for it,” he said with a smile. Oh, he had that salesman smile like Brad. We approached my apartment, and I looked up at the stairs in disgust. Why did I get a second story apartment? “That’s my apartment-up there,” I pointed. He looked at me with a pouty face. “You can let Milo go. He will know to run up the stairs and wait,” I advised. He complied, and I grabbed his hand so that he could slowly guide me up the stairs. Each step was more excruciating than the next. Blood was dripping from both of my knees. We finally reached the top, and I pulled the house key from my shoe and walked into my apartment with my handsome hero following me inside.

I plopped on the couch and propped my leg onto the coffee table. The helpful stranger went into the bathroom and began gathering supplies to play nurse for me. He emerged holding a wet cloth, some ointment, bandages, and rubbing alcohol. “How did you know where my bathroom was and where all of those items were?” I asked suspiciously. “My apartment has the same layout with the same medicine cabinet as yours,” he explained as he pressed the cloth against my knee. I gasped from the pain. “What is your name?” I manged to utter. “I’m Seth. I live in building C, so we’re not far from each other,” he replied as he poured the alcohol onto the cloth. “This is going to burn like hell,” he warned. “I don’t think that is really neces-Ah! Oh my God, why?” I attempted to speak but was interrupted by the burning of rubbing alcohol forced upon me. “Ow! Ow, oh my God, this is fuck!” I shouted. Seth laughed quietly. “Thanks for the warning, man,” I said angrily. “I did warn you,” he retorted. I rolled my eyes and threw my head back as the pain throbbed in my knees. “I am surprised that we’ve never bumped into each other until today,” I suddenly realized. “Like I said, I’m overwhelmingly busy with school. I am glad that I met you today, though,” he said as he rubbed the ointment on my wounds. “I am definitely glad, or else I may have been limping back home by myself,” I replied, smiling at my newfound hero. He gently placed the bandage on my right leg. “So, how far did you run before you fell?” Seth asked, trying to distract me from the pain. “I ran a little over four miles. I was averaging 5.6 minutes per mile, which was almost to my goal time,” I answered. He placed the bandage on my left knee. “What was your goal time?” he asked, looking down at my knee. “It was supposed to be 5.5 minutes per mile, and I was intending on going for 5 miles,” I explained. “That is extremely impressive. I haven’t ran a mile since high school,” he laughed. “Well, you are all patched up,” he said happily. “Thank you so much, Seth. I’m Lisa, by the way,” I said with a smile. “Well, it was a pleasure to meet you today, Lisa. I’m just sorry that it had to be under unpleasant circumstances,” he replied in his charming voice. The pain in my hands suddenly reminded me that I had also hurt my palms in the fall. I looked down at them and saw some blood. “Could you hand me that cloth again, or I guess rinse it off first? My hands got a little beat up as well,” I asked. “Sure, no problem,” Seth replied as he picked up the cloth and headed to my bathroom with it.

I leaned back on the couch, feeling a bit angry with myself for letting this happen. It would be awhile before I could run again. Before Seth returned to my living room, there was a knock at my door. “Do you want me to answer that so you don’t have to get up?” Seth asked. “That would be great, thanks,” I replied. I had no idea who could be knocking on my door. Seth opened the door, and I knew exactly who my visitor was. “Hey, I’m here to see my girlfriend. Who are you?” Greg asked with a slightly angry tone. ‘Shit,’ I thought as I rolled my eyes. Greg was the last person that I wanted to see right now, and I didn’t want Seth to know about him. I felt my hatred for Greg grow even stronger in that moment.

“It’s okay, Greg. He’s my neighbor. He helped me get back home after I fell,” I shouted to him from the couch. Greg stormed into the apartment and knelt down beside me. I didn’t move from where I was. “Honey, are you okay? What happened? Why didn’t you call me?” he asked, agitated. Seth stood in the kitchen with an awkward look on his face, trying to divert his eyes from us. “It just happened, and Seth was on the trail. So, he helped me get home and bandaged my knee,” I explained. “Thanks, man,” Greg said, hinting to Seth to go home. “No, problem. Well, I’ll see you around, Lisa,” Seth said as he headed out the door with a smirk on his face. I wanted to break up with Greg right then. I couldn’t, however; it was bad timing. It always seemed like bad timing, though. I just knew that he would cry and beg me to stay with him if I told him that I didn’t want to be with him any longer. “Do you need anything, babe? Do you want to put ice on your knees? I’ll go get some,” he insisted. “No! No, thank you, but I’m fine. I just need to rest,” I said, annoyed. “I can stay if you want,” he said quietly. “I need to rest, Greg,” I responded with my eyes shut. “How did you fall?” he asked, stalling. “I was running with Milo. We almost made my goal of five miles, but I tripped and fell when we were trying to go around some people and their dogs. Seth was one of the people in that group, so he stayed behind to help me,” I explained. “I always told you that it seemed dangerous for you to run with Milo. I can run with you, and I can take Milo’s leash,” he replied excitedly. “I fell one time, and it was my fault. I should have walked around that group instead of trying to run around them. I’ll know next time,” I replied, staring at the ceiling.

Greg turned on the television and continued to sit in the floor while I stayed sprawled over the couch. I wanted him to leave, but I didn’t feel like using my energy. I knew he’d want to know why, and he’d have that hurt look on his face. I just couldn’t deal with that right now. So, I just tried to relax. I wanted so badly to smoke, but I knew that he would not like it. Greg was more of a straight-laced kind of guy. He knew that I had my habits, and he didn’t try to lecture me about it, but he would give me a disapproving look if I engaged in any said habits. I smoke pot and occasionally have fun with mushrooms, I drink a lot of whiskey, and I have a temper. Having a temper isn’t exactly a habit like the others, but it is a tendency that I can’t always control. It makes Greg very uncomfortable because he does not like confrontation. Sometimes I just want to argue or debate for the fun of it, but he just shuts down. He’s like a puppy-innocent, sad-eyed, and always wanting attention. How can I chase away a puppy? I don’t, however, I want to have a romantic relationship with a puppy. If I cheat on him, he’d break up with me and not beg me to stay with him. That is one of his deal-breakers. Maybe I could just lie and say that I cheated on him? I could tell him that Seth and I were having rough, passionate sex, and that is how I hurt my knees. Ah, but then he’d feel the need to get revenge on Seth. Then, Seth would think that I was a psycho for getting him involved in my drama, because he barely knows me. I don’t want to ruin his opinion of me. There is another way to get out of this without a terrible confrontation, I just know it. Yes, I know, I said that Greg was the one that avoids confrontation. Well, I like to avoid the kind of confrontation where someone cries. “Greg, can you get me a glass of whiskey, please? On ice?” I asked nicely. I figured I’d use him while he was there. “Sure, babe, no problem,” he said as he quickly jumped up to serve me. Why did this irritate me?

I asked Greg to warm up some left-overs for me before I sent him on his way. I told him that I was tired and in pain, and I wanted to go to sleep. He kissed me passionately, and I tried to pull back because it always seems like he’s trying to eat my face. We don’t need to devour each other with every kiss. “I’ll call you later, Lisa. I love you,” he said sweetly. “I love you, too,” I lied. I did love you, I thought I loved you, is what I wanted to say. He left, and I sighed out of relief. Milo, who had been sitting in the recliner ever since we returned home, was staring at me with sad, apologetic eyes. “It’s okay, Milo, it’s not your fault,” I said looking directly into his eyes. He picked up his head and smiled at me the way only a dog can smile-tongue hanging out, mouth wide, and eyes squinting. Milly was curled up in a ball beside my feet on the couch. She rarely ever moved from that spot on the couch, so she was always a perfect and ready foot warmer. I sat up and squeezed my eyes shut from the pain. I reached under the couch for my wooden box of happiness without moving my legs too much. I pulled out my little baggie of green, and I stuffed it into my Ed Hardy pipe. I just wanted to sleep and stop thinking. I was so tired of thinking all of the time.

To Be Continued…


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