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March 4, 2010
I stood on Will’s front porch, jiggling the handle of his front door. It was locked. Fortunately, I’d planned for this. Beaming at my preparedness, I pulled a bobby pin out of my hair and bent it so that it laid out flat in my hand.
Then I inserted it into the keyhole on the brass doorknob. I moved it around a bit, until I heard a small click. Then I twisted the doorknob once again. This time, the door opened up. I stood there, breathless and fearful, as I looked into the McKnight’s dark house. For some reason I was afraid to step inside. I felt like the moment I did that, an alarm would go off and Michael would jump out from behind the couch and strangle me or something.
I knew my theory was farfetched, but it was scary to think about nonetheless. However, I sucked it up and stepped inside, willing myself to stop being so paranoid. I shut the door behind me and braced myself for Michael to attack.
But there was no alarm. No surprise attack from Michael. Just darkness…and silence. Dead silence.
Letting out a relieved sigh, I flipped the light switch next to me, causing the living room to light up. But the living room wasn’t what I was searching for. I needed to find the room that Michael was staying in. Which would most likely be the guestroom upstairs.
So I quietly crept up the stairs, afraid to make any noise, but not sure why. When I reached the second floor, I flipped on the hallway’s light switch so that I could see where I was going. Then I made my way down the hall, heading towards the guestroom.
But on my way to the guestroom, I had to pass Will’s room. Ash’s old room. The room I’d stayed in when I was watching over Lori. I slowed down when I reached it, stopped in front of the door, which was open just a crack. Taking a deep breath, I pushed it open all the way. I turned on the light and stepped inside.
There was Will’s bed. With the comforter strewn across it haphazardly and the pillows lying there, looking flattened and worn. I bit my lip and slowly made my way over to it, sitting down on top of the wrinkled comforter. I swallowed hard, rested my head on the pillows, got under the covers.
I pulled the comforter all the way up to my chin and imagined that Will was lying there next to me. I shut my eyes, letting the fantasy slowly flutter away from my mind. When I opened them back up, I was still alone, still had some snooping to do. So I got out of Will’s bed and turned to walk out of his room.
But just as I was about to step into the hallway, something on Will’s desk caught my eye. It was a newspaper clipping. Just a small article. One paragraph was all it was. And it was titled ‘Harvard Student Falls Down Flight Of Stairs And Dies’. I knew what it was about instantly. Michael’s ex. Her death.
But the newspapers had it all wrong. She didn’t fall. She had been pushed by Michael himself.
Hesitantly, I picked it up and read.
Harvard Student Falls Down Flight Of Stairs And Dies
On January 14, 2010, at the University of Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Jennifer Hastings died. She fell down a flight of stairs in her apartment right outside of the university. Authorities discovered that she broke her spine, which is what caused the sudden death. Her boyfriend, Michael McKnight said “I was so devastated when I found out that she died. I just wish that I had been there to stop it.” May Michael, along with the rest of Jennifer’s loved ones know that they have our sympathy here at New York Times.
When I read Michael’s quote, something inside of me snapped. How the hell could he live with himself knowing what he’d done? How could he lie to the press? How could he tell them that he was devastated, that he wished he could’ve stopped it, when he was the one who’d pushed her?
It was terrible! And it was also very disturbing to know that someone so cruel, so selfish, so sadistic was staying right next door to me. And I was about to go searching through his belongings at that very moment. But it would pay off in the end. At least, I hoped it would.
Sighing, I set the article back down on Will’s desk and walked out of his room. I made sure to turn off the light and leave the door open just a crack too. Just how I’d found it. Then I stepped into the guestroom, where Michael was currently staying.
Once I was inside, I flipped on the lights and looked around. In one corner of his room was his bed, which was neatly made. Against one wall was a large oak desk, which was straightened up, with only a laptop and cup of pencils and pens on it. And against another wall was a large oak dresser with a TV set on top of it.
I decided to start with his dresser. I went through each drawer, searching thoroughly through his clothes, but found nothing out of the ordinary. Next, I moved onto his desk.
I grabbed the cup of pencils and pens that was set to one corner of it and went through it. I still came up empty handed. So I opened up his laptop and pressed the power button, causing it to light up green. When the screen went bright, the cursor blinked, waiting for me to enter in a password.
I bit my lip and entered in the word ‘Michael’. When that didn’t work I entered in ‘McKnight’. And then ‘Jennifer’, then ‘Harvard’. I even tried entering in Will’s name. But each and every time I was wrong.
Giving up, I shut the laptop and moved onto the first of three drawers on the desk. When I opened it, all I found inside was a stapler, a roll of tape, a box of extra staples, and a few highlighters.
After that drawer, I opened up the second one. Inside this was absolutely nothing. So far, my search wasn’t really going as well as I’d hoped it would. I let out a frustrated sigh and moved onto the last drawer. I placed my hand on it, silently praying to find some evidence in this one, and then opened it up.
There was an iPod Touch and a weathered, dog-eared copy of ‘The Great Gatsby’. And both of those things were absolutely useless to me. I shut the drawer and was about to turn around and leave when I heard something coming from downstairs.
The sound of a door shutting. Followed by muffled voices and laughter. My eyes went wide, my heart stopped, and I stood frozen in the middle of Michael’s bedroom, too petrified to move a muscle. But when I heard the sound of footsteps padding up the stairs, getting closer and closer, I knew I had to do something.
So I hurriedly flipped off the light switch, and glanced around frantically. The footsteps were so close now. I could hear my heart pounding in my chest. Taking a deep breath, I laid down next to the foot of Michael’s bed and scooted myself underneath.
Seconds after I was hidden under the bed, the door to Michael’s room was pushed open and the lights were flipped on.
“Mmm…” I heard Valerie’s familiar voice moan blissfully. My stomach churned when I realized what was going on. Michael had gone to pick Valerie up from her motel and bring her back here. He’d waited until he had the house to himself.
His parents probably didn’t even know about him being with Valerie. And if Will were to tell them, Michael would make sure they thought he was just making it up. He was so cunning, so deceitful, so horrible. It was sickening to think about.
At that moment, I felt the bed weighing down on me and I realized that they were now sitting on top of it. I turned my head to the side so that the bottom of the bed wasn’t touching my face and swallowed hard, trying desperately not to let the whimper that was caught in the back of my throat escape.
Then a thought popped into my head. What if Michael had brought Valerie here so that he could murder her? What if he pulled out a knife and stabbed her to death, and I was lying here the entire time? What would I do?
I felt tears welling up in my eyes, but I blinked them back. I had to focus on staying absolutely silent right now. If he did kill Valerie. I would just stay quiet, wait until he left to go take care of her body, and then go to the police. Everything would be fine. Besides, he probably wasn’t even going to kill Valerie. At least I hoped he wasn’t.
“Michael,” Valerie murmured.
“Yes,” Michael replied. I could hear the sound of him kissing her. I could just picture it. Him laying on top of her, holding her, kissing her. As if he actually cared about her. I felt sick thinking about it.
“Are you going to kill me?” she asked him, her voice soft and slightly afraid. When I heard her say this, it took all I had not to gasp in shock. She knew he was a murderer? She knew he was planning on killing her? This was a shock to me.
“I thought about it.” he said, sounding casual, as if this conversation was completely normal. “But then I thought of an even better idea.” He paused, and I could practically feel the eeriness of him grinning devilishly. “Instead of killing you, I’m going to put you to good use. You’re going to help me.”
“Help you do what?” she inquired, her voice shaky.
He cackled softly, wickedly. “You’ll see…but for now let’s just have some more fun.” Then they both stopped talking, and I heard lots of kissing and soft pleasurable moaning coming from above me. It made me want to puke. But I stayed silent nonetheless. I couldn’t get caught.
But on the plus side, I had something interesting to share with Will when he got back tomorrow. And at least Michael wasn’t going to kill Valerie. But he was going to use her as help. And I had a pretty good feeling that help meant helping him kill other people without getting caught. In fact, once he was done using her as help, he’d probably kill her too. I could definitely see Michael doing that.
The bed began to rock and creak, and I could only imagine what was going on up there. I tried not to though. I really didn’t want to know what those two were doing. But as the bed continued to move up and down, something fell out from in between the two mattresses, hitting the carpeted floor with a dull thud.
Neither of them seemed to notice. They were too busy…well I didn’t really know how to finish that sentence properly. The item that had fell was a small tattered journal. It had a brown leather cover and the pages looked as if they were beginning to yellow.
I stared at it, until finally my curiosity got the best of me. I held my breath, stuck my hand out, grabbed it, and pulled it underneath the bed. I smiled to myself. I’d grabbed it. And I hadn’t gotten caught by Michael or Valerie.
Mutely, I let out the breath I’d been holding and held the journal close to my chest. It was much too dark underneath the bed for me to read it, and I didn’t want to rustle the pages and get caught either. So I decided to just read it when I got home.
If I ever did get home. It seemed like Michael and Valerie had been going at it for hours, rather than just ten minutes. Gosh, I needed to get out of there. I was beginning to feel claustrophobic. I barely had any space to breath underneath that bed. Especially with the mattress threatening to crush me alive with every bit of movement it made.
Fortunately, after lying there in wait for about half an hour, they decided that they’d had enough. Both of them stood up, and I could see the shadow of their feet right next to the foot of the bed.
I bit my lip, trying to keep as quiet as possible as they turned to walk out of the bedroom. Michael shut off the lights and closed the door behind him. I waited until I heard the sound of the front door clicking shut from downstairs before climbing out of my hiding spot.
When I was finally standing back up, I stretched out my stiff muscles, tucked the journal underneath my arm, and got the hell out of that house as fast as I possibly could.