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An Echo in Time
I stared at the unknown letter in my hands and slowly flipped it, tearing it open. I pulled out the single index card which scribbled across it were the words, ‘Peek-a-Boo, I see you.’ I started at the note in shock and fright. What could it mean? Is someone playing a trick on me?
My eyes traveled around the room, my gaze lingering on the windows and doors. I slowly set the note down on the table along with the envelope. I let my fingers brush across the picture frame of my brother. I had lost contact with him a couple years ago and had no clue what happened or were he was.
I walked to each of the windows, locking them, stopping the flow of the warm summer air crawl over my skin and settle itself inside the house. My eyes glanced around once more, before shaking my head and shutting the blinds. I shut, locked, and covered all the windows separately, blocking myself from the rest of the sleeping world.
Finally, I stopped at the front door and let my small beagle into the house. Kaco barked happily, wagging his small tail back and forth, his butt stuck up into the air and his tongue hanging out of his mouth. I shut the door behind him and locked it. Afterwards, I got down to my knees and started to scratch him behind the ears. After a couple more minutes Kaco dashed off towards the kitchen and his food. For such a small dog he sure had an appetite.
I sat down at the counter and picked up my book, flipping to the page were I had left off. After what seemed like ten minutes, the clock chimed 12, midnight, and I stood up and stretched. I glanced back down at the table, glancing at the letter I had received earlier. The handwriting was sloppy, the person was probably in a rush or it could be a guy.
I started down the hall to my room when I heard Kaco started to bark furiously. Could it be tied to the note? Is someone actually out to get me? Questions zipped across my mind like bullets leaving the chamber of a gun, when everything got quiet all at once. “Kaco,” I called.
There was a light creak as someone placed their full weight on the floor.
“Peek-a-Boo,” the words echoed around.
I spun my hair whipping around me. Goosebumps on Goosebumps rose onto my skin as the house seemed to become an icebox. My heart seemed to beat 1,000 times a minute. I took one looked around me, towards the area were the first creak was made. The only sound was my breath coming in pants and my own heart beat pounding in my ears.
“I see you,” the words crept around me.
I spun around, the feeling of eyes still lingering on the back of my head. A single shiver ran up my spine and inched back down.
I couldn’t deal with not knowing were Kaco was or who was in the house with me. I slowly made my way towards the counter when I heard a low growl.
“Kaco?” I asked again and this time I heard a reply bark. There was a crash from the other room and I ran towards it. On the floor was an empty picture frame while in Kaco’s, mouth was the picture of my brother.
I went to my knees next to him and slowly ran my hand down his back. He slowly stopped his shaking and let the picture fall to the ground. I picked it up noticing black marker circling something in the back ground and I looked harder. The picture was from my 21st birthday and the large sign in the background had the words, ‘Peek-a-Boo, I See You.’
I flashed back to the party. It was a considerably small party that my brother had taken the time to surprise me. The theme was Peek-a-Boo, my favorite childhood game. So why was the game showing up in my life again? I let my brain work franticly trying to figure something out when Kaco started to bark angrily. I went to turn around when hands covered my eyes and a voice laughed, “Peek-a-Boo, I see you.”
My blood froze, my heart stopped, my breath lay cowering in my throat. I was paralyzed with fear, thinking, ‘This is it, this is the end.’ The breathing behind me was steady but still had a hint of laughter. I waited for the pain, for the shock, but the hands pulled away and then the voice that laughed asked, “Maria?”
I still couldn’t move, struggling to breathe when I saw chocolate brown eyes stare into mine, “Maria?”
The voice asked again. I blinked a couple times, seeing the whole picture this time.
He smiled and wrapped his arms around me, shock replacing fear. Tears came to my eyes, “Is it really you?”
He nodded, “Yes.”
I flashed back once more to the party, it was an echo, an echo in time. He was finally home.