The Light

May 7, 2008
By Ayasa Shinohara, Keosauqua, IA

I was having a party with many people at my friend’s house. She lives at the apartment by herself. We were celebrating her 19th birthday and having so much fun. We watched movies, ate snacks, danced, and drank.
One of the neighbors came on and knocked her door so hard and complained about the noise that we were making. We tried to be quiet, but it lasted only a few minutes since the neighbor came to her door.
The chips bags were torn badly and the empty cans spread all over the room. It was winter, but everyone’s enthusiasm made the room warm and also made it feel like summer. At the end of the party, the guys brought in a huge birthday cake, as they sang a happy birthday song. Then the rest of us followed their singing. “Happy birthday to you~happy birthday to you~”
Someone pulled out the fire cracker’s rope, and made huge celebration sounds. I felt awake inside and like my ears were torn. But I saw my friend’s happiest moment and great smile.

By two o’clock that night, everyone was drunk. We were really tired and some friends started heading home. I was the last one who left her house. My friend saw me off at the entrance and said, “I had a great time today. Thank you for coming and you can come over anytime!”

“I did, too. Thanks for inviting me, and sorry for messing up your room.”

“That’s okay. I can clean up tomorrow.”

“Good night. See you tomorrow.”

The outside became really dark and I could barely see the way to my home.
That time I felt something foreboding so I decided to take a cab.
I noticed what the foreboding was later; of course, I had no idea at that time why I was afraid. My house is not far away from hers and usually I walk home. But that time I felt like it was a long way.
I finally came home and turned the light on. I woke my dog up and he barked at me so hard. I told him to calm down. I wanted to know what time it was. I searched all of my pockets; jeans, purse, and coat, for a cell phone. “Oh, my god…”
I left my cell phone at my friend’s house. I reassured myself many times that I had my cell phone in a pocket or purse and I wanted to think that I just couldn’t find it yet. But finally I gave up and decided to go back to her house. It was darker out side; I couldn’t even hear any sounds.
I walked to her room, number 104, and tried to push the door bell. But I couldn’t hear any sound from her room and I didn’t want her to wake up; so I started for home. Yet, I hesitated to go home because I thought it was nonsense to go back home without anything. I hoped only one thing that she had forgotten to lock the door. I pulled the door silently, and fortunately she had forgotten about it. I wondered if I turned the light on, she was going to wake up or not. I saw that my cell phone’s light was blinking on the drawer. That’s why I could find it without light. When I almost reach to it, I stumbled on the leg. I regretted that I woke her up.

“I’m sorry for waking you up, I just forgot my phone. I’m leaving. See you.”
I was in hurry.

As soon as I arrived at my home, I crashed on the floor before I could get into the warm bed and under the covers.

I woke up because of the sun shine lighting up my face, from the gap between the curtains. I turned on the TV, and gave a casual look at the news. Then my blood curdled at it. The news was about my friend who just had the birthday party yesterday. Unfortunately, my friend hade been killed by a robber.

The police said, “The robber stole into her room the night, and killed the victim who woke up because his noise. It seemed like his conduct was done from midnight to three o’clock. He stabbed her body fifteen times, and that was the cause of her death. The robber is still missing.”

My head blanked out. The interview of police passes through my head. “But there is a weird thing about this case. The robber left a letter to someone that we are still trying to find.
The letter was written in the victim’s blood, and it said, “You were lucky about choosing not to turn on the light…”

A flash ran through my empty head like thunder. And I realized that the letter was written for me. The leg that I stumbled on hadn’t been my friend’s leg. It was the robber’s leg. He was hiding silently, lying in the closet that had my cell phone on top of it. I was scared of thinking, if I had turned the light on…

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