I woke up with a horrible feeling in my stomach. I laid there, I laid on the bed to see if I stayed still long enough would time freeze so I wouldn't have to get up. So, I wouldn't have to pretend that school actually interests me, because the only thing I'm worried about is Suzanne White showing up at my window again. Last night told me many things... things that I thought weren't possible. Jasper is Suzanne's brother and Sheriff is their father. I don't believe I would've ever placed those pieces together if it weren't for her. Still. If Suzanne really is sheriff's daughter, why didn't he mention that when he came here? Did he really think she was missing, or did he know she ran away and lied so he wouldn't look like a horrible father who may have a rebellious daughter? Was this the first time she'd ran away? Was this the first time she felt the need to warn someone because of the actions of her brother? I don't know.
A thought made sure I knew of it's presence in my brain. What if Jasper finds out what Suzanne is doing? Would he attack her? Would he try to get rid of her like he tried before? Even the thought of her going missing, for real this time, made me feel horrified. She can't disappear, at least not yet.
I get off my bed surprisingly. I could've just told my mom I felt sick and couldn't go. She'd understand, right? I couldn't do it though. I couldn't stay in this house for another full day hating my life. I couldn't stay and stare out my window with anticipation.
I never planned out how school would be or who I'd met. I've basically dedicated the last few months to finding out things I didn't know. Being curious to be exact. I had friends back in Seattle, but not too many to make me feel an absence within me after we left. I've always been very isolated. I didn't mind being alone, and living in this house guaranteed that isolation was what I was going to receive.
We'd drop Sammy off at school first. We were driving in the car, mom and I in front and Sammy in the back. My mother looked nervous. Her eyes appeared alert and she had a tight grip on the steering wheel. I could feel Sammy's eyes on the back of my head. He put this fear and nervousness in her. He made sure she knew he had plans, plans that could result in deadly situations, even if she didn't believe it. I bet he liked that, being seen so innocent, it gives his actions that shock factor.
We pulled up to Sammy's school, Marksberg Middle School. It was about a fifty minute drive from the house, but it felt more like fifty years. My mom stared into the rear view mirror at Sammy, "Are you ready honey?" she asks, trying to be optimistic.
"Yeah mom!" he answers her so childlike. It was so fake and rehearsed.
"Okay, I want you to have a great first day. Don't forget about Soccer try outs after school"
"I won't" he says, hand on the car door handle.
"Alright. I love you" she says, usually she'd kiss him good bye, but she definitely seemed guarded.
"I love you too mom" he says and pulls the door open.
"Aren't you going to say goodbye to -" she tried to finish, but he slammed the door shut, ignoring her offer for him to say goodbye to me.
When he got out of the car, he walked around the back to go to the pavement. He stared at me, then walked away. It felt like a warning. "Back off before you get hurt Matthew" I pictured him saying. Of course my mother didn't catch his threatening glance and was too busy watching the other children cross the street. All the possible victims I thought. Usually Sammy would give me a smirk or laugh at my displeasure or freight, but he just walked away. What did he know?
"Mom, what soccer try out were you talking about?" I ask my mother confused.
"Oh...I meant to tell you before, but I signed up Sammy for soccer try outs to... preoccupy him, you know?" she continues, "I know school ends for you around 3:30, but he has to be at his soccer try out at 3:30... so... you're going to have to walk." she said, biting her lip.
"What? Walk? That's literally almost two miles mom"
"I know Matt, but this'll be good for him"
"How about what's good for me mom?"
"I've been feeling completely horrible for months, yet no one's signed me up for soccer try outs"I tell her mockingly.
"Matthew, I care about you I just -"
"You just what? You think Sammy is just freaking perfect don't you? You think he needs your love and support, right? Well I'll tell you something, that's not Sammy and he doesn't need anything from you. I do" I was yelling now, and I didn't care if anyone was listening.
"Matthew, I care about -"
"No you don't. You just care about your deranged son who attempted to bite you"
"Oh when will you let that go honey?"
"Never. He's sick mother, and he may have already infected you too"
"Sammy is gone mom" I continue, feeling tears in my eye I continue, "You just decide not to see it. You need to believe it. He needs real help, not a soccer try out and I need your support, but obviously that isn't going to happen" I open the door and get out slamming it closed.
"Where are you going?" she asks, rolling down the window to hear me better.
"Well, since I have to walk later I might as well start now" I answer back to her.
"Matthew" she called back, but I already started to brake into a run. The school would be about fifteen minutes away. I ran to get farther away from her so I couldn't see her face and hear her voice. She didn't try to stop me. She didn't get out of her car. She just sat in there, speechless and in denial. She doesn't understand. He's becoming a monster. A monster that can kill his family.
I kept running and running until I saw it. The school, as I got closer, started to form right in front of me. It was large, red and white. It had "Marksberg High School" printed at the top. I saw a bunch of people walking up the entrance steps to get inside. There was a large clock on the left side of the building. I had ten minutes to get inside before I was late.
I walked over to the new building trying to avoid eye contact with anyone. I tried to keep out of everyone's way on the stairs in fear It'd cause too much attention to myself. I hear girls talking and laughing, commenting on how hot some of the guys were. School buses pulled up, obviously late, with people running out of it so they could make the bell. To come from a remote area to an area full of people is definitely a change. A change I didn't think would take an abrupt attack on me.
As I was about to reach the top of the staircase someone shoved my shoulder. I would've ignored it if it weren't so hard. It felt intentional. I turned over to see who the jerk was. It was someone very thin. They were wearing a black, thick hoodie. Their hair spilled out of the corners, showing a brown curl.
"Hey" I say to them, tapping their shoulder, but they kept walking. "Hey!" I say again, and they stopped in their tracks. They turn toward me and I was hoping they were going to apologize. The stranger pushed me against the railing. The face looked familiar, the features were the same of who I thought it was, but this stranger appeared to be an older version.
I know I had never met her before, but I knew that this stranger was Suzanne's mother.
"What are you doing?" I ask her, people barely even noticed my current, unsettling situation.
"Listen. My husband is watching. He's been watching this whole time and you know that. If he catches you and Suzanne, he will be furious. You must be careful, or else bad things will happen" she whispers to me, "Do you understand?"
I finally get a glimpse of her face. She could be Suzanne's twin. I didn't know she knew what Suzanne was doing. Apparently Suzanne hasn't told me the whole story. There's more to this than I thought.
"Yes" I answer her, afraid of her recent news.
"Good" she says and let's go of my shirt and walks away as the bell rings.