The Horrorphiles, Part 6
By Stephanie; 1,704 words
Chapter 9 (ok?), continued
“Holy shit,” she said, not quite yelling, but loud enough that she thought she hear ghostly, quiet, echo of her own voice swearing back at her.
Jordan smile. “I’ve missed how jumpy you are. Can watch gory horror movies for hours, people getting their heads chopped off with machetes, eviscerated in weird torture traps, all of that but a loud enough orchestra sting or a violent sneeze in a quiet room, and my girl pulls me closer.”
“I’m not ‘your girl’ any more.” She started to walk away but paused. WAs she really ready to go back to that room? And would it be easier to have it out with Jordan now, ask him to leave of his own, instead of trying to avoid him all weekend? She turned back again. “What are you doing here Jordan? Did you come just to try and get back together? How did you even get on the list without me seeing?”
“Yes, I came here as a last ditch effort because you blocked all other avenues. And to support you on your big launch night.”
“What avenues? I didn’t block avenues. I never got a call or text from. Believe me, I would have responded.” She didn’t want to say that out loud. She didn’t want to give any indication of how heartbroken and desperate she was after he left. “Not even so much as an email about being sorry or . . . a single thing. We argued, you left, and then came like a thief in the night to get you shit. And never heard from you again.”
“I was angry for the first days. Then Becky said if I didn’t get my stuff in the next few hours you were gonna burn it in the middle of M street. So, then I was even more pissed. But the week after that I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t do anything without thinking of you. “
“What text? What the phone calls? Why are you lying about this?” Her voice was louder now, it definitely echoed this time. She was at the edge of an emotion, either rage or a waterfall of tears, she couldn’t tell which yet.
“I swear to God, I have no reason to lie. I wouldn’t have spent the grand to come here just to fuck with you.”
He pulled his cell phone from his back pocket. He had the Galaxy 5S now, he had the 4S when they were together, she remembered as if it was relevant at all. A few clicks and some scrolling and she was looking at a long list of text obviously written by someone trying to make amends, some practically begging. “Do you want to look at the call list too?”
“I didn’t get these.” He voice was softer but not calm. It trembled. She knew the emotion now, the edge of sadness, the waterfall of tears.
“I figured you blocked me, but hoped it was rash and then . . . I don’t know you were too proud to undo it. I tried to come to meet-up once but I ran into Becky outside and she threatened to . . . Oh what did she say? . . . Rip out my guts and shove them down my throat, then cut off my cock and balls and sew them into my empty abdominal cavity.”
A few tears escaped her eyes before they were stopped by a small laugh. It was something sheBecky liked to say but she’d never actually heard her say it to a person. She could imagine Becky, five foot nothing to Jordan’s six-one frame, how it would look ridiculous but sound serious to anyone who could hear it.
“For a long time, I wanted to hear from you, I wanted to talk to you. I thought it was over.” She tried so hard not to cry, not to sob. She wondered if she kept using her will like this if there would be any left for anything else afterwards.
“It doesn’t have to be over. I love you.”
He reached out and held her hands in his. She didn’t know how cold hers were until then, like ice in his so very warm hands. She meet his eyes, locked into the enchanting sea-foam green, the first thing that had attracted her to him. They were wet now like they were near overflowing with tears too. More tears fell from hers.
“I can’t deal with this . . . Right now, Jordan.” She pulled her hands away from his, looked away, and wiped the tears from her cheeks. “I just can’t, not here.”
She turned one more time and this time she did run. So what if everyone suddenly appeared in the hallway and she looked like a maniac. She couldn’t stand in that hallway anymore, she couldn’t just walk away with Jordan. She had to get to the only place she knew how to find, the only place that had felt safe all day, her room.
Chapter 10 (also)
Until she got there, she didn’t know what she intended to do. On instinct she went for her phone. There were no missed calls or text she somehow missed for six months, she knew there wouldn’t be. For at least a month after the break-up, she had obsessively checked her phone, scrolling over and over the last texts messages they’d exchanged.
(This is where their last texts will be…as soon as I figure out what that will be)
She went to the settings menu, under blocked numbers, Jordan’s contact information stood out as the only numbers blocked. Maybe she’d done it drunk and angry the same night she’d kissed Kurt but even when she was the angriest at him she always wanted Jordan back, she still longed to hear from him. She would never have blocked his number. But Becky. . . It’s something Becky might have done on her behalf.
Ronny typed to Becky. She hit send even though she knew it was useless. Jordan is here. What did you do?
Then, like six months ago, she cried into her pillow for longer than she should have.
“Sometimes you just need a big cry,” her Aunt Wanda used to say. “That’s okay. But then you stand up and get back in the game.”
She felt much better after crying. Her mind was clear, her emotions were clear, and, after a reapplication of some powder and eye liner, she was ready to get back in the game.
When she saw Jordan again, she would tell him that she might b open to a reconciliation, a slow one that would only start back home in D.C. And when she got a moment with Adam, she would insist on meeting with Mr. Peabody. His mysterious absence had gone on long enough.
In the meantime, she had to get a handle on her overactive imagination. No more thinking about ghosts, time warps, or impossible noises. None of it was real, it was never real. When she saw the movie Ben (or Willard?), she became convinced rats were living in the walls sent by her arch nemesis Olivia Crosstow to crack open her skull and gnaw on her brains. She could hear them scratching in the walls. She could even see the cracks in the wall, where they were about to break through. For a week she refused to sleep in her own bed. It wasn’t until her dad broke through the dry was with a hammer and sat up with her all night with a pair of flashlights until she was finally convinced there was no evil rat driven plot to kill her in her bed. Of course, the next week she saw Toy Story then stayed up several nights in trying to catch her toys in action. No matter how mild the movie, book, or tv show she saw, Ronny would find a way to distort into a nightmarish reality and lose sleep over it.
But now it wasn’t just sleep and drywall she was destroying, but the entire weekend and therefore her new enterprise. She looked at herself in the vanity mirror and held on tightly to its table. The tighter she held it the more grounded she felt.
“You have got to keep your shit together. This is just a stupid, old house with an unfortunate history and a false reputation inflated by other people’s overactive imaginations. While you maybe selling ghosts, demons and what no, that’s not reality. So, just keep it together.”
The pep talk wasn’t elegant but it did work. So this time when she was startled by the knock on the door, she jumped slightly but she was not completely undone by it/ She took one more deep breath before she answered the door.
Adam was there, her portfolio in hand. “ Are you okay? I was worried when I saw you leave before the slide show was finished …(feels like there should be something else here)…and then your young man followed.”
She took her folder and tossed it on her bed. And invited Adam in a gesture. “I’m glad you’re up here, I was actually just thinking about you.”
“Really?” he said, sounding intrigued, and smiled.
She didn’t mean to phrase it that way. “What I mean is I wanted to talk to you.”
“Is it about your friend? It would be no problem to have him evicted,” he sounded enthusiastic about the prospect.
“I’m sorry that’s not really necessary,” she didn’t know why she’d started with an apology but she kept going forward regardless. “No, I wanted to ask about your uncle and, um, if there was any indication that he’d be joining the group anytime soon. I’d like to meet him very much.”
Adam walked around her room idly examining the few things she’d removed from her bags, as if he couldn’t be more uninterested in what she was saying.
“And pay him of course,” she added.
“My uncle is downstairs about to start the house tour part of the evening. You can meet him afterwards at the . . . Creep ’N’ Greet, clever name by the way.”
He said neither the name or the compliment like he meant it, more like he thought it was pretty dumb but was patronizing her.
Keep Reading: Part 7
Keep Reading: Part 7
Thanks for Reading!