Monday, December 5, 2011
please ask for help
They'd had a tiff. Even if Asa swore it was just a discussion over Matt.
"Has he even bothered you?" Asa reminded her that Matt was only here at nights. He needed a place to go. He wasn't driving. Asa was being a good friend.
"Well, how long is this going to last?" She wanted her house back. Christmas was coming. She planned to celebrate with the kids a week before the holiday so they'd have Christmas at home. She wasn't trying to take anything away from them. But still, she needed the space. She was going to try to make Christmas special.
Of course, Amanda had school Christmas concerts on her mind. There was the state choir rehearsals that had been going on since October. They would sing at the capital. And of course, lesson plans.
"He's fine." Asa told her not to worry. She didn't want to worry. In fact, she didn't have time to worry.
So she came home early from school, the door was unlocked.
"Max?" She didn't expect him to be home. He was Daisy's twin, lately. Max donned her strange hats too. They were always studying. But never here. She shouted for Derrick too, but she knew he was off with his drama group.
Of course, she kept asking why was the house unlocked. Had she left it unlocked? The place was empty. She guessed. What was she suppose to do? Look in every closet?
She looked in the fridge, poured herself a glass of juice. It was so quiet. Cloudy out, too. She expected snow. A soft snow, perhaps. She guessed it was the weather that gave off this foreboding feeling.
The orange juice hit the spot. Still, something was off. Like someone might be watching her. Her luck, it was probably a mouse in the corner. She looked at the fridge corner. Nothing.
There was a creak from behind her. Instantly, Amanda turned around, and saw...him. Yes, there was something in the shadow, but it wasn't small or hungry for crumbs on the floor. All she saw were teeth. Those perfect teeth.
It was Matt.
"OH MY GOD." She dropped her juice glass. "You scared the shit out of me." Her heartbeat thumped. Perhaps, she'd over reacted. She always did. She stared at him in the kitchen doorway. "I didn't..I didn't know you were here?"
Asa said Matt worked at a bank. It was a pretty good job. He'd started as a teller, but worked his way up. He had a college degree. It was a descent job.
He looked at her. His smile was tired. He looked down then. Out of the shadows, she saw what was in his hand.
"What are you doing?" She winced as if this might be the time to run out the backdoor. Pick up the phone. Something. But she was mesmerized by the metal. Could it be? "Matt? What's going on?"
He shook his head, as if it were inevitable. He started to slightly heave. She moved forward as he looked at what was in his hand.
"You don't mean it. You wouldn't." She shook her head. "We all feel really bad sometimes, but you have to..believe..it'll get better." Her throat was tight, and she thought of Elliot. She remembered. All this time, she thought it was her fault. But it wasn't. It was the alcohol. It was stress. It was life. The feeling of making all the wrong turns. "Just put the gun down."
"I don't think so." His words were quiet.
"We'll, put it away." She sounded as if he could get it out again in an hour, if need be. Suddenly, she was closer than she wished. Amanda really thought she could do this. He didn't look like he'd know how to use it. But he held on to it tighter than she imagined.
What had once felt like a daze, ended in a struggle. Then a blast rang through the house. And there was a silence. Blood splattered the kitchen wall.