Suzanne drove us back to my house. I didn't really know what to expect. Would sheriff have gone there looking for me? Did they contact my mother? Would she have even cared? Was Caroline going to show up? My head felt like it was exploding and I was just sitting there watching in unfold. I must've had a blank look on my face, not paying attention to where I was, when Suzanne shook my shoulder.
"Matthew? Matthew snap out of it" she shouted at me. I shook and recovered from my drifting daze.
"Sorry. I was thinking"
"It's okay. Let's go inside and stick to the plan...for as long as we can get your mother to play along"
"She is not easily convinced, remember?"
"Once she sees what Caroline will show her...there's no way she can not believe" Suzanne said and got out of the car.
I braced myself for a lot of questions, I didn't like to lie. However, I've been doing it for so long that the feeling is sort of numb.
Suzanne helped me out of the car as we made our way to the door way. She seemed off edge and I didn't blame her. However, I could tell that the house was bringing back memories for her. She looked nervous and sick in the face.
I knocked on the door, hoping she'd answer expecting to see her son. I knew her car was out front so she had to be inside.
She opened the door and gave me a puzzled look.
"Where is sheriff? ...who is she is?" my mother asked and I felt sort of surprised at her concern.
"Sheriff thought it'd be a great idea for me to talk to someone about my ...attack. He knew Caroline and when he called her up, she recognized my name. Then she remembered Sammy. She thought it'd be a good idea to check up on Sammy and to talk to me ...in person" I told her and she looked at me skeptically.
"...if that's the case, then where is Caroline?" she asks and turns toward Suzanne, "I feel like I've seen you before somewhere"
Suzanne's face turned white, but before she could try to explain I said, "Mother, it's a small town. Odds are you have seen her before. There isn't many new faces...hardly any faces at all"
She nodded, but I could tell her thought she had before was still lingering in her mind.
"This is Caroline's assistant. Caroline sent her here to bring me home instead of Sheriff. Caroline had a few clients to get to first"
"Oh...okay. So we'll be waiting for Caroline to arrive then?" she asked
"Yes, she'll be here shortly though" Suzanne said in a harsh voice.
"Okay. Well, why don’t you two come in?" she says letting us both in and shutting the door behind us.
Suzanne helped me sit down in our living room. I could tell again how she was feeling. The inside of this house, to her, most likely looked the same. She was wide eyed and she was breathing very heavily. I knew that being in here made her very uncomfortable.
"How did Sammy's soccer try out go?" I ask, not that I cared.
"He did very well. The coach said he looked really good out there" she said smiling. I kind of hated that smile. She practically polished the floor Sammy walks on and looks at me suspiciously when I bring someone over. Sammy is the one she should be watching.
"That's great" I say with as much convincing enthusiasm as possible despite my anger.
"Matthew, why don't you show Ms...?" she asked, glancing over at Suzanne.
"Oh! Ms... Demetria" she said, trying to make up a name.
"Okay. Why don't you show Ms. Demetria around the house?" she asked
"Of course" I said nodding, even though a tour of the house was far from what she needed.
"Good" she said with a small smile and walked off into the kitchen.
I glanced over at her, "You don't have to if you don't want"
"It's fine. I'm fine... I swear" she says, and I know I don't believe her.
"Okay" she wraps her arm around my shoulder and we walk towards the staircase. She stops and takes a look at all the pictures on the wall.
"When were these taken?" she asked and I feel like a wound has been opened. I take her hand off my shoulder and I sit on the steps.
"Years ago...before we moved here"
"Why is this picture torn?" she asks, moving her fingers across it.
"My father was in the photo...I torn him out"
"Why?" she asks, turning towards me.
"I rather not have any memories of him" I mumble and she gives me a sincere look of sympathy.
"It's okay, you don't have to talk about it" she tells me and I feel glad that I didn't have to go through that emotional roller coaster.
"I think Sammy is upstairs" I tell her and she shakes her head.
"You sure? Do you hear that?" she asks and I pause to see if I could hear anything. At first, I thought she was going insane. Then, I heard it. It was faint, but I could help this tapping type of sound. It was like a muffled banging coming from somewhere and I didn't know where. It sounded like it was coming from underneath us rather than on top of us.
"Do you know what that is?" she asks frantically.
"I have no idea" I told her, because I had never heard that sound before. It creeped up on me and made a chill roll through my spine.
"I ...I want to go back outside and wait for Caroline" she suggests and her face was white again. I think there was something she wasn't telling me or maybe I hadn't put the pieces together on why she was so fixated on going outside. Terror follows us everywhere, going outside will not change that...not even in our wildest dreams.