Preppy: The Life & Death of Samuel Clearwater, Part Two

Page 11


Or maybe to me.
I couldn’t even bring myself to open my eyes when I was carried from the room and placed back in the bed I’d grown to fucking hate because I was already there. Chasing after a girl with dark doll like eyes, raven black hair, and fuck-me bright red lips.
“Keep me,” she whispers, crooking her finger at me.
I felt myself being turned over and inspected for more serious damage I might have inflicted on myself but I just let it happen because that didn’t matter anymore.
Nothing did.
I chase her further and further until the voices around me faded away.
But no matter how fast I run, she just runs faster.
Soon I’m not chasing her at all anymore. She’s gone.
I’m alone, standing on the train tracks. Unmoving.
Staring into the blinding yellow headlight of a train as it grows closer and closer...until it’s too fucking late.

DRE I was more awake than a college kid with a seven-cup-a-day Starbucks habit.
It was the middle of the night and after a very long day of fighting against the jungle like back yard, armed with a rented weed-whacker and a borrowed lawn mower, I should’ve been dead to the world, but no matter how much I tossed and turned I couldn’t reach any sort of restful state.
Not that night. Not any night since I’d been back in Logan’s Beach.
The moon glowed orange through the dirt caked windows. Tired of battling with the sandman I decided that sleep and I were going to have to break up for the time being.
I felt around for my glasses and put them on while I sat up with my back against the wall. I powered on my laptop while listening to the overgrown tree branches in desperate needed a trim, rustling against the roof. I fished a cherry sucker out of my bag and plucked the plastic off the top. Sucking on candy was a weird little trick I’d picked up in rehab that I used whenever I was feeling restless and that night I felt as if I was gonna jump out of my own skin.
With the house being empty of all furniture the usual creaks and groans from years past sounded as if someone were slowly walking around inside on the hardwood floors, each little noise echoing through the tiny rooms. Brandon was sound asleep in the sleeping bag next to me, lightly snoring in a way that made me think it was adorable, and also want to kick some of his perfect teeth in at the same time.
I clicked over to the local BY OWNER real estate website and decided to turn my sleepless night into a productive one by scanning the comparable sales in the area to see what else I could do in order to get the most money out of the sale that didn’t cost a fortune. With each stroke of the keys and click of the mouse the thought of selling the house grew from a nagging in the back of my head that told me it was wrong to a sickening thought of how I was going to live with myself after it was all said and done.
You don’t have a choice, Dre.
A noise in the kitchen, like something had fallen caught my attention.
I snapped my laptop shut and looked around the dark room, my eyes taking a moment to focus in the black space after staring at the bright screen.
I was used to hearing things at night. Being paranoid and exaggerating sounds in my head wasn’t exactly new for me. I looked over to Brandon who was still sound asleep and realized it was probably nothing.
Finishing my sucker I reached into my bag for another but realized that I’d left them in my purse in the other room. Slowly I shifted out of my sleeping bag and tip-toed into down the hall trying not to cause too many more creaks on the floor so Brandon wouldn’t wake up.
It was then I saw it. A tall thin figure standing at the screen door. I opened my mouth to scream but no sound came out. At the same time a flash of heat lightning lit up the backyard and for a brief instant I was able to make out the man wearing a black hoodie with the hood up.
My knees buckled when the recognition hit me and fell forward onto the counte top for support.
The facial hair was gone, his face sunken in, but it wouldn’t of mattered if he were standing there with a ski mask covering his entire face.
I would know him anywhere.
I pushed off the counter and darted for the door, throwing it open with such force it banged loudly as it crashed against the stopper. I stepped out onto the porch but I was too late. It was empty.
I reached inside and hit the switch for the back light. It flipped on just in time for me to catch the rustling of the trees just beyond the fence.
With my adrenaline racing I slipped my feet into my grass stained KEDS that I’d left by the door and took the porch steps two at a time. The latch on the fence gate was rusted and overgrown with weeds. It wouldn’t give when I tried to open it so instead I climbed over the small metal fence, it rattled and wobbled under my weight as I jumped down on the other side.
The moon overhead was bright as hell and my only guide as I sprinted through the dark woods. I couldn’t help but remember that the last time I was running in those very woods I was running away from the man I was now heading toward.
When I reached the clearing at the end and burst out from under the canopy the water tower came into view, bathed in the full moon’s light. I knew where I was going. Last time I was up there I was trying to end it all.
This time I had no fucking clue what was in store for me.
But I was determined to find out.
For the first time in forever I was outside in the crisp clean night air in the town I’d lived in and loved my entire life. The sky above me was cloudless and littered with a million twinkling stars.
It was the usual 80-plus degrees. Hot as fuck, but with a cool breeze rolling off the bay waters, taming down the humidity that always threatened to make your shirt stick to your skin in South Florida.
It was a beautiful night. Perfect in every single fucking way.
The kind of day that people up north only dreamed of.
It was a tropical paradise some wait their entire lives to experience.
And I fucking hated it.
It was too fucking bright even though it was night. The moon too fucking high. The sky too cloudless. The air too clean.
I’m pretty sure there is a special place in hell for people that cursed a beautiful night like that one.
Didn’t matter to me. I’d already been there.
Even the chirping birds flying overhead seemed so loud that at one point when I’d been climbing up the tower I had to cover my ear with one of my hands thinking that I was under attack. It was like sitting in a surround sound theater and having seats next to the speaker during a screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s, The Birds.