My favorite place ever is my room. It’s my safe spot and I feel free in there. I’m away from everything and anything and no one can ever hurt me. My room is cozy, warm, full of soft colors, and always organized. I sit on my bed reading my monthly book and my body starts to buzz. I look around and I see that my phone is buzzing. Weird. I’m getting a call. I grab my phone and see that it is from one of my friends Gina.
I quickly answer and say “Hey, what’s up, are you okay?”
“Oh yeah, I’m all good. Just wondering are you free right now”
“I always am, you know that”
We both laughed and she explained why she called. She said that she was bored and wanted to hang out with me. Me. We went back and forth for a little while so I could see if she was kidding but she wasn’t. Me.
After talking for a bit we make plans to go shopping and get dinner at an outdoor mall. We plan for her to pick me up at five, so I have to get ready fast. I’m nervous, no one had ever asked me to hang out like this. What if something was happening? What if it is all a joke?
I shake off the bad thoughts and try to stay hopeful for what’s to come. I grab my favorite pair of black jeans and a basic light green long sleeve and throw them on. I put some mascara on and brush my hair. Boom. I’m ready in less than 10 minutes. I feel my phone buzzing again and I walk over to my bed to grab it.
A text from Gina pops up, ‘I’m hereeee’. I rush out of the house so neither one of my parents can see me. It’s not that I wasn’t allowed to go out, I just know they would say something.
I walked to her car and opened the passenger door slowly, “Hey girl, how are you?”
I get a sense of comfort when she says that and smiles, but the chills on my back are still there.
The ride there was about 20 minutes and we talked the whole time. Once we stopped talking about one topic, she would bring up another. She really wanted to get to know me. But why? Why now? I didn’t know and there’s no way that I would ask her, so I just kept talking.
I learned that she has one older sister, about 21, two dogs, and her parents are divorced. She used to go to a Catholic school but switched over to a public high school. Her parents are disappointed but they understand her. She just wants to live her life, to experience everything, and she has to. That’s really all I knew about her. But with what I knew, something was missing. I needed my ‘aha’ moment to click. It clearly wasn’t happening.
The navigation cuts off my thoughts, “Turn right in 300 feet.”
It was weird though. She kept going straight.
She gets silent with her words. Still driving and humming the words of the songs on the radio. Acting like nothing is happening. Acting like everything is good. Maybe it is all okay and I’m overthinking it all. It could be that I’m taking all the bad signs. I need to look at the good.
She turns her head towards me and confusingly says, “Hey, is everything alright?”
I look up from the ground and say, “Oh yeah I’m okay.”
She gives me a look and I blurt out, “Okay I just want to let you know that you missed our turn and have been driving the wrong way for a bit now.”
“Hahaha,” she laughs and looks at me like I’m crazy. “I totally forgot to tell you.”
She forgot to tell me? Forgot to tell me what?
“I don’t take that part of town.” She pauses, “It freaks me out a little.”
Why would someone not say that in the beginning? I’m still confused, “Ohhh…”
“I should’ve brought it up earlier. But anyways. Look.”
I turn my head the way she’s pointing.
We spend the rest of the day at the mall. We eat. We drink. We shop. We talk. Oh, we definitely talk. I learn so much about her and her life, it’s crazy to me how we never were that close.
The sun starts to set. She turns her head and asks me, “You ready to go soon?”
I want to say no. I never want to leave this moment. I really like her. I feel like I finally have a friend, someone who cares. I don’t want this feeling to leave. I nod my head and we walk back to the car. I get a chill down my spine and I jerk my head to look behind me. A tall man in all black is standing there. Not close to me, but close enough to where I can feel him.
I pause, what is happening? He takes a step towards me and disappears right in front of my eyes. Gone as soon as he appeared.