I slid into the car with my mother; the leather seats were warm from the sun. I smiled over at her as she was fiddling with the radio.
“Victoria Mills,” She said, eyeing me suspiciously. “How late did you stay up last night?” I rolled my eyes and looked at my mother.
“Not that late...” I said, strapping in. It must have been an acceptable answer because she shifted into reverse and pulled out of the driveway. She picked me up to take me to Anna’s. Every week on Saturday night we got together and had a movie night. It was usually pretty fun, so I was excited. It was always some romantic comedy we watched, or something of that sort. I sometimes suggested a horror movie, but Anna had a weak stomach and couldn’t handle it.
She dropped me off, and I ran to the door. Anna showed me in, then we went to her bedroom and plopped in front of the TV. She had only just turned it on when she said, “Hey, Vic, we’re having steak for dinner is that cool?” I nodded.
“Yeah,” I said, “Except…” I stopped.
“What?” She asked.
“No,” Anna said looking at me, “you can tell me.”
“Well, I’m kind of a vegetarian, as of yesterday.”
“What?” Anna asked with shock in her eyes. Anna was a hard core carnivore. She loved any and all things meat.
“Yeah, I just…I want to save the animals. Ok??”
She laughed, then stood and walked into the kitchen. A few minutes later she returned. “I told my mom. She said she’ll make a salad special for you.” Anna smiled at me.
“Oh, no,” I said, “I don’t want her to go through that trouble. I just won’t eat.”
“No, really, Victoria she’s cool with it.”
“Thanks,” I said, smiling at her. “Can we watch the movie now?”
We sat down to dinner about an hour later; Anna paused the movie so we could resume it later tonight. Her mother set the table while her father laid a plate of steaks on the table in front of us.
Her father picked up my steak and put it on my plate; I was treated like family here, something I liked.
“Dad,” Anna said, taking my plate with the steak and giving me her empty one. “Victoria’s a vegetarian now.”
Anna’s father looked at me, and then shrugged. “Ok, you can just have some salad and bread then.” He said, sitting down.
I liked Anna’s parents; they were quiet and never asked too many questions. It was peaceful there, I could relax. They only spoke when they had something to say.
“Anna,” her mother said, “did you see the front page of the paper today?”
“I don’t think so,” She said. Her mother reached behind her and grabbed the paper off the counter and handed it to Anna. She stared at it for a moment then simply said, “That’s horrible.” She showed me the paper. It was about a murder. They found the body of Eddie Stewart, a twenty-six year old cook at a diner. They found his body behind the diner, in the alley. His throat was slit, all ten fingers removed, and his cuts in his forearms.
I gave a small gasp, and turned to Anna’s mother. “That’s awful,” I said, “Do they know who did it?”
She shook her head. “No, the police are still searching. This isn’t the first body they’ve found like this, in fact, they’ve found several.”
“Well, I hope they find who did it! This is horrible, who would do something like that? That’s just sick.” I said with disgust.
“Tell me about it.” Anna said. Just then, Patches, the family’s spotty, yappy little Jack Russell terrier entered the kitchen. I hated the dog. He always growled at me, as though I was a bad person. He stopped at Anna’s feet and gave a small whimper. She leaned down and gave the dog a small piece of steak. I scowled at the dog. He turned his eyes on me and growled.
“Patches, no!” Anna said, pointing her finger at the dog. He stopped but continued to glare at me.
The rest of dinner followed with small talk, and then Anna and I went back to her room to finish the movie.