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

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“Grace’s house?” I asked. “You bought Grace’s house?”
Bear smirked. “Nope. Didn’t buy it.” He glanced over at me. “They didn’t tell you did they?”
I shook my head. “What, motherfucker? Tell me!” I demanded, stubbing out my cigarette on the bottom of my shoe.
Bear’s smile grew brighter. Shit, when did he get so many fucking teeth? “Prep, as it turns out, Grace was my Grandma.”
“Holy fucking shit.” The first thought that hit me was pure fucking joy. “Man, I’m jealous as fuck, but that just might be the greatest thing I’ve ever seen or heard. Like ever.”
“Yeah, just might be,” Bear agreed.
“Well,” I pointed at his neck. “Maybe next to that fucking tattoo.

DRE “I wish you weren’t leaving tomorrow,” I said to Brandon as we waited for the realtor to arrive. The house still needed some work. I hadn’t yet started on either the gutters or the painting but Brandon suggested we talk to a professional to see what they thought about listing price and sale time. Especially since I hadn’t gotten so much as a single call from my FOR SALE BY OWNER ads.
“I wish I could stay longer, too. But Ralph called this morning and it seems that the entire world is going to crumble if I don’t return by the weekend. At least, you know Ralph, that’s how he makes it sound. It’s only been a few weeks but alas, I am missed.”
Just then a newer model Honda pulled up and a tall man in his early to mid thirties stepped out. He had a lean build and wore jeans with a white button down and a blue blazer. His hair was slicked back and he wore thick black framed glasses that reminded me of my own. His boots were bright red and pointed at the toe.
“Hi, you must be...Andrea, is it?” he asked with a big smile, shaking my hand. “I’m Easton Feather, but you just you can just call me East because that’s what all my friends call me and I can tell from the second that we spoke on the phone that we are going to be great friends.”
I smiled at his enthusiasm. “Yes, I’m Andrea, but you can just call me Dre. This is my friend Brandon,” I said, and the two men shook hands.
“Do I know you? You look familiar?” East said to me, pulling his glasses down the bridge of his nose.
“I don’t think so, but I used to come here every summer so you might have seen me around.”
East snapped his fingers. “That must be it. It’s a small town and feels even smaller when you overhear how some of the women gossip around here.” East fanned himself with his clipboard and looked up at the house over my shoulder.
“So Dre,” East started, as I told you on the phone that I recommend that we tour the property first so I can see what we’re working with and then I’ll pull up some comparable homes that have sold in the area recently so we can get a better idea of price. Then I’ll go over my listing plan with you and let you know what I’m going to be doing in terms of marketing like hosting an open house, posting on the latest real estate apps, and so on.” He looked up at the house and made a few scribbles on his clipboard. “Sound good? Shall we?” he asked, ascending the porch steps and letting himself in the front door without waiting for an answer.
“I guess we shall,” Brandon said with a laugh as we followed East into the house.
Over the next two hours East did exactly what he’d promised and made a full evaluation of the house as well as a plan to sell and market with a full list of comps. After taking pictures for the listing he shook our hands and said good-bye, promising to email me the link to the listing in the morning before it went live.
“He’s an...odd one,” Brandon whispered without moving his lips as we waved back to East who had just pulled out of the driveway and taken off down the road.
“I like him,” I said. “He’s nice. And honestly as long as he can do what he says he can with the house he can be as different as he wants to be.”
“True story,” Brandon said, holding open the front door for me while I passed through under his arm. “Wanna help me pack?”
“But you aren’t leaving until tomorrow,” I started to whine. But then I saw something in the corner of my eye, something in the back yard. When I went to the window and spied out the back I could have sworn what I saw hoping over the fence was a little kid. He disappeared as quickly as he’d appeared.
“What?” Brandon asked, standing beside me at the window. “What did you see?”
“I think there was a kid in the backyard,” I said, opening the back sliding door and shuffling over to the back gate with Brandon on my heels.
“A kid? Like small and scraggly looking?”
“Yeah? I thought you said you didn’t see anything.”
“I didn’t. Not right now, anyway. But the other day I was pulling out when I saw him standing behind me in the rearview mirror. By the time I turned around he was running away. Must just be a kid from around here, curious as to who his new neighbor lady is.”
“Yeah, must be...” I said walking back to the house with Brandon. My phone buzzed.
“So we’re having a party tonight,” Ray practically shouted in my ear. “Come to the house around nine. One of the GG’s is watching the kids at her house so we’re going to have a big bon-fire. Lot’s of booze. Be here or I’m coming to get you myself!” Ray didn’t give me a chance to answer. The line went dead.
“Party?” Brandon questioned. “I mean; I could go for a party.” He paused. “Or would it be too weird for you to be there?”
The sound of a branch snapping caught my attention and I turned back to the woods. There was a slight rustling of the brush. I waited and listened.
“Dre, did you hear me?” Brandon asked. “Would it be too strange for you to be there? You know, since HE is going to be there.”
“Stranger things have happened,” I said, still looking out into the woods.
“Huh? No offense, but...what the fuck are you talking about?” he asked. “I’m talking about a party and you’re looking out into space like you just saw the ghost of Christmas future or some crap.”
“Party. Me. You. Got ya. I’m in,” I said, heading back into the house with an eerie sense of dread looming over me. I didn’t know if it was because of the party and the thought of seeing him again, or because when all the hairs on my arm stood on end I couldn’t shake a certain feeling.