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Maybe You Can't Trust Anyone
It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of the night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not. The caller’s voice sounded different, strange. It sounded like someone that knew he was doing something wrong, that shouldn’t be done. As he spoke and kept asking question after question chills began to form on my back warning me that I shouldn’t be talking to this mystery man, telling me that if I didn’t speak the truth this man would hurt me, maybe even kill me. Finally, at the end of the call, he said, “Thank you, Alexis.” How did he know my name? Has he been watching me? Or is he watching Justin and not me?
“Lexi, honey, I’m home.” It was Justin. Today is Tuesday, and I completely forget that every Tuesday Justin gets home at exactly four-thirty on the dot, every other day it is five. My heart started beating as if it was about to pound through my chest. The phone was still lying in my hand with the amount of time I spoke to the mystery caller on it. The dial tone was beeping every second so loudly that it felt like it was inside my head. I quickly gained control of myself and pressed the off button on the phone so it erased everything about this mystery man. I then threw the phone down on the couch and started to walk toward the kitchen.
There he was. The man I have been with for five years, the man I love, and most importantly the man I thought I knew. As I look back I remember letters coming back from a man known as Gerald Houston. The letters Gerald had sent were directed to a man known as Scott Henderson. Justin swore that he never heard of a Scott or Gerald, but something in his eyes was giving him away. It looked like he was in a shutter of pain after hearing of those names again. Earlier, the mystery man had been asking for a guy named Scott. Could that man have been Gerald?
“Honey, are you okay? You look like you are distracted with something. What is it?” How could Justin lie to me? He cares about me so much and he does love me. I know it.
“Oh, I’m fine, just a little tired. I didn’t get around to cooking dinner. I wasn’t sure what you were in the mood for so I thought we would go out tonight.” I knew right there that was a dead giveaway. My artificial smile told him everything that he needed to know. He didn’t say anything, but his face contorted into a rough frame, and that uniform vein popped on his forehead, truly showing his fury.
“Let me just go put my laptop away then.”
“Alright,” I said. “I’ll drive.”
“No. I will.”
The car ride over to our usual petite local diner was filled with silence and constant tension. The only noise throughout the entire ride was the static creeping out of the radio. Finally, we pulled into the parking lot of Red’s 50s Diner. Justin got out of the car and kept walking. He never looked back to see if I needed anything. We got into the diner and ordered, ate, then left. As soon as I turned the house key into the door knob and twisted it open everything slid down hill.
“What do you know?” Justin asked in the most horrifying voice. His voice stormed through the house and was filled with a sense of overwhelming power.
“I don’t know anything. I swear.” I was shaking, terrified. Goose bumps began to rise on the back of my neck and all down my spine. “I just answered the phone earlier, about five minutes before you walked into the house, and a man was on the other end. He was asking for a man known as Scott. So then I began to think back and remembered all those letters we use to receive when we first moved in together. And well, at the end of the phone call he said thank you, Alexis.” I could hear my voice start to crack at the end while trying to force out the last few words. Justin just looked at me in shock, as if he thought his old life would never catch up to him again and that he would be able to lie to me for the rest of our lives. Lying to me during the last five years we spent together is unforgivable. Out of nowhere Justin started to walk toward me and he lifted up his left hand and placed it on my chin. He raised my chin up and looked directly into my eyes. He closed his own eyes tightly. Then out of nowhere I felt a huge gush of pain across my right cheek, and then I crashed to the ground. I looked up into his eyes with a mixture of all the hatred and anger I could brew up. It didn’t seem to bother him at all.
“DON’T YOU EVER SPEAK OF THAT AGAIN!” He just kept yelling and yelling. His face was now anguished with red and his veins were bulging everywhere, it was no longer just the usual vein in his forehead.
After about ten minutes of consistent screams and yells, with me still lying on the ground, the doorbell rang. He stopped in dead silence. The doorbell rang again, sending chimes throughout the house, and then followed by a harsh bang on the door. “California police,” spoke the men on the opposite side.
Justin grabbed me by my shoulder and pulled me toward my feet. He forced me toward him and whispered in my ear, “Act completely normal. Don’t give away any hint of what is going on in here.”
I nodded my head, indicating no sense of fear, and made my way to the door while Justin was standing right behind me with a firm grip on the back of my shirt. I walked up to the door, grabbed the doorknob, and shoved it open.
“Hello Officers,” I said. I tried to act as calm as possible with Justin positioned right behind me willing to kill me if need be.
“Sorry to disturb you at this late hour ma’am, but we have gotten complaints from two of your neighbors, something about yelling.” The officer was so kind. He spoke to me in such a soft tone and had a caring sparkle in his eye. I took a deep breath and felt the grip on my shirt get tighter. I began to think about just flinging the door open and then sprinting out, but who knows what would happen if I tried such a thing. If I did, I would never be able to know the truth about Justin, but then again I might not even if I didn’t do it.
“Well, they must have been mistaken.” The grip on my shirt loosened up a bit. This is it, I thought to myself. I could run right now and let the police capture Justin.
“Ma’am, it looks like you’ve been hit. Do you mind if we come in and look around?”
The grip Justin had on my shirt grew tighter. I looked the officer dead in the eye and said, “Well sir, that is a problem,” Before I could finish I kicked my leg back, hit Justin, flung the door wide open, and made a run for it. I ended up behind the patrol car and just kept screaming for the cops to arrest him of abuse. Justin got back on his feet immediately and began to run upstairs. The cops whipped out their guns and started chasing him. About five minutes later, one of the cops began to walk down the stairs followed by Justin and then behind Justin came the cop that was communicating with me. An ambulance pulled around the corner when the cops made it out of the house and were setting Justin inside the cruiser.
The paramedics got to me and started checking my cheek and it looks like Justin had hit me so hard that he broke it. I was driven to the police station, behind the cop car that Justin was residing in. The sirens were blaring, turning our quiet little neighborhood into a frenzy.
When we got to the police station Justin was charged with battery, but then the police began to uncover old information about him. They found evidence reveling his true identity as Scott Henderson. Two years before I met Justin, Scott, he was a paid murderer, assassin. He worked in a gang known as the Death Punchers. It turns out that the man known as Gerald was the leader of the so called Death Punchers. I told the police about the phone call and they began to interrogate Justin, Scott. He was charged for three different murders. The victims were all local people. One of them was even one of the students I had attended college with, she was even in the same sorority I was. Another one was another gangster, in a different gang in downtown Hollywood. Finally, the last one was the most horrifying one of all. Justin had killed his own mother. The police have apparently been searching for him for years, a man that goes so low that he murders the woman that carried him inside of her for nine months, the woman that fed him, cared for him, and loved him. Justin always told me that his mother had died in some horrific car accident when he was only three. I never even thought about visiting her grave site or checking for newspaper articles about the accident. It goes to show how blind you become when you think you are in love with the man of your dreams.
* * *
Two months have passed since the court dates and the night my life crumbled to pieces. So far I have been trying to get my life back onto the right track, but nothing will ever be the same. Thankfully, there have been no mysterious phone calls or letters from strangers. And as far as I know Justin is locked up in a jail cell from miles away from here. At least I know I am safe.
Then there was knock on the door.
I slid the door open and before I could even draw in the picture, I was shot. Justin AKA Scott was standing outside my house holding a revolver and I had died in a matter of seconds.
I am Alexis Baldwin, and that was my story.