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My Routine Changes
This day is like any other, the same monotony of a constant and unchanging routine. I get up, eat, play, then its sleep. I guess that’s what summer is about; the boredom of school transversed to summer. You know, that’s the thanks we get for studying hard at school, isn’t it? We work, work, work, and then all we get is more and more boredom.
“Noah Miller! How many times do I have to tell you not to go outside at this time of night?” my mom snapped at me, wearing that same worried expression. Her face was wrinkled from frowning that way all the time. I hated making her worry, but it was hard not to; she worries about everything.
“Well, I guess a couple more times, since it still hasn’t got through my head yet,” I snapped. I always loved to sit outside at night. I was so comfortable that I could almost fall asleep because I felt so at peace with the world. I felt like the universe belonged to me, that I could do anything I wanted and the world would approve, but mom always had to interrupt my utopian moments.
“Don’t sass me boy! Now, get inside and fix you a plate. Dinner’s ready.”
I had no choice but to obey my mother. Man, I wish I had a dad. I’ve always thought that my dad would like me better, and treat me nicer. Mom just always was so anxious, and depressed that she made everything that was supposed to be fun, NOT fun. She was kind of like the sour apple of the bunch, but she’s my mother, so I have to love her…right?
It’s spaghetti! That was always my favorite. I always liked to slurp up the noodles, but a lot of times they would slap me on the face. No doubt, spaghetti is a dinner you have to have napkin for. As for my baby brother, Kevin, he always needs an extra set of clothes, the mess he makes. Mom usually has to mop the floor a couple a times to get all the sauce up. Now that I think about it, that may be why we only have spaghetti once every few weeks!
I sat down at the table, and tested the spaghetti. It was searing hot. It burnt my tongue, so I spit it back onto my plate. My mom gave me the “mind your manners” look, and went back to serving a plate to Kevin; he just stared at mom as he always did, giggling and smiling at her, oblivious to her anxiety.
It was a quiet dinner. The only noise was Kevin trying his voice. Mom chomped down her two plates full of food-yes, two plates full. I always wondered about her. She would stuff herself till she could barely stand up, then she would run to the bathroom. It sounded like she was belching, or gagging herself. I tried asking her about it, but she dismissed me.
As the routine unravels its repetitive story, the time for sleep comes. I slip into my pajamas, and remember that I forgot to brush my teeth. I slip out of my room, and I pass Kevin’s, thinking I might as well check on him.
I open his door quietly, and look directly at his bed. He isn’t there. Maybe he’s with mom, I thought.
“Mom!” I yelled. She has to be here somewhere. She would never leave the house with the behemoth of an anxiety disorder she has.
“Mom!” I yelled again. This is a big house, but you could hear everything from any room, so she should have called back by now.
“MOM!” If she was playing a trick on me, this was enough. I have stripped this house down to the inch, and I have yet to find her. Now, I’m having a mother moment; I’m beginning to worry.
I walked into her room, and she is nowhere to be found. She might be in her bathroom, I thought. I opened her bathroom door, and looked around; still no mom. I glanced over the bathroom one more time, and I notice something; the toilet. It looked like someone had thrown up.
I felt a cold breeze hit my arm. The ever-appearing chill bumps came upon me, and I looked for the source of the breeze. I spot the window that is ALWAYS shut and the curtains pulled over it; if it isn’t anxiety that my mother has its paranoia.
I walk over and shut the window, rubbing my arms as trying to scrap off the chill bumps. I think I was also trying to rub off the worry, but worry was persistent, and it stuck with me like my own shadow.
I tried looking for them again and again, and thought maybe I should call the police, but I just couldn’t pick up the phone for some reason. It’s like I know that they couldn’t help, or that because I’m only a twelve year old boy, that they won’t believe me. Disparity took its place in my thoughts as I decided that the only option left was to go to the neighbor’s house.
I ran back to my bedroom, talking to myself as I did so, trying to keep myself company. I grabbed a warm sweater, and headed toward the door. I was just about there when the phone rang. I ran to it and answered it.
“Mom?” I said as soon as the phone was to my head, “Mom?”
“No,” A deep voice said to me. It sounded mature, and smart, as if the person the voice belonged to had lived hundreds of years.
“Who is this?” I asked timidly.
“Me,” The old voice replied.
“I’ll call the cops!” I threatened, “I will if you don’t tell me who you are!”
“I told you. I am me.”
The voice scared me so much, I hung up the phone, and locked all the doors in the house. I couldn’t even go outside to get to the neighbors now, I was so afraid. I had so many questions that needed to be answered and so prayers at that.
I turned on all the lights, and turned everything that could make a sound on, too, the volume on high. I wanted to make it seem that there was a huge family in the house, so to deter the person from the phone.
I sat on the couch for a while, still contemplating why I couldn’t call the police. I mean, it was the only reasonable thing to do in a situation like this, but I just could not own myself up to do it. I felt so helpless without my mother. I wish I hadn’t disobeyed her earlier, now that she’s gone. I love my mother, and my little brother. I really wish I knew where they were.
I got up off the couch, figuring since the phone hadn’t ringed again that I was safe to leave the house. I went to my mother’s room, and got the pistol she kept hidden in a shoe box under her bed. I feel bad about getting it, but I have no choice. This is self-defense. I stuck the pistol into my sweater, and grabbed a flashlight on the way out.
The night was quiet. It was too quiet. I walked slowly down my front steps, and onto the dewy grass. I felt it seeping through my socks- Just then I realized that I had forgotten shoes. I continually flashed my flashlight in all directions as if to cover everything. I didn’t see anything, but I felt someone there. It could be a something, but I was sure it was a person. The third thing it could be is me; well, my paranoia. I more like my mother than I thought. I miss her.
I never noticed how far away my neighbor‘s house was until this night. I kept wishing I’d see Mr.
Fillmore’s lights from his living room. I kept wishing I’d hear his dog, Killer, barking as he always did whenever someone was close to the house. I kept wishing I see my mother sitting on their porch with Kevin bouncing on her lap, giggling.
Mr. Fillmore’s lights came into view as I rounded the corner, and my eyes took it in with joy. I was safe. I was finally safe. The old voice from the phone can’t hurt me anymore. I can finally figure out what-
Blackness. Pain, throbbing pain. Consuming nothingness. Hours of agony. Maybe days, I couldn’t tell. What I did know is that I was hurt, hurt bad.
I open my eyes. It’s a little fuzzy, like I’m trying to see underwater. I see a figure over me. I can feel eyes boring into mine.
“Who are you?” I ask weakly. My voice was very shaky, and it hurt to breathe.
“Me,” an old, matured voice said.
Fear swelled up in me. I started to cry a little, wishing my mom was here even more now. I tried to get up, but I couldn’t- I was shackled to the floor, both hands and feet. I tried to scream, but the figure taped over my mouth before I could.
“Noah,” the figure continued, “Don’t try to fight. You will only make this worse.”
“What did I ever do to you?!” I cried. I kept struggling with my shackles. I knew it was hopeless, but I couldn’t help but try. Thinking back on it, I probably should have called the police
Through the tears, I tried to identify the figure, or match the voice with a face. Neither option can be done because the figure sat, hidden in a corner where only he could see me. As for the voice, I had never heard it before, and wish never to hear it again.
“I have seen you before,” said the figure, “all the time as you sit outside at night. I watch you, Noah. I see you staring at the stars. I see you looking for the hoot owls. I see you watching the little lightning bugs flash their lights. I watch you Noah.”
“WHO ARE YOU?” I demanded.
“Me,” he replied simply, calm as ever.
Still he sat in the shadowy corner, staring at me. I’d had already given up trying to get loose, so I laid there and soaked up my misery. I couldn’t stop thinking about mom and Kevin. They meant so much to me. I felt so bad because the last thing I did was give my mother attitude, and now I might never get to say I’m sorry….
The figure stood up, and walked past me. I looked at where he was going, and finally realized my surroundings. I was in a small, dark room with ripped blue-stripped wallpaper. I t had writing all over it, and the room smelt of mold and dirty clothes. It was unbelievably humid, and I was sweating through every pore on my body. The floor on which I was laying felt like it was about to fall through, and it was wet. There was only one lamp in the room with one dim light bulb in it.
There was what looked like a bed in one of the corners of the room. It was the only well-taken-care of thing in the place. I peered to see what was on top of the bed, and I was shocked. There were hundreds of pictures of me, mom, and Kevin. I mean hundreds. I don’t even think the bed was meant as a bed, but as a table. Then I noticed more pictures hung on the wall above the bed, even on the ceiling directly above the bed.
I looked back to see the figure opening the door to the room, and as soon as he did I heard screaming.
“WHERE’S MY NOAH?! WHERE’S MY NOAH?! WHERE’S BABY KEVIN?!” As soon as I heard that voice I knew who it belonged to; my mother.
I Wish For Death
A rush of relief hit me like a dodge ball. My muscles relaxed, and my face wrenched itself into a slight smile, but the happiness was short-lived when I realized what my mom had said. She said she wanted to know where her Kevin is.
The figure slammed the door shut, and it went back to immediate quietness. I concluded that this room must be soundproof. I once again struggled with my shackles, but again, no such luck. As hopeless as I was before without my mother, I was even more now that I had her, but I couldn’t help her.
I just laid there thinking about a way out of this mess when I remembered the pistol I had taken from my mother’s bedroom. I rubbed my sweater where it was suppose to be, and I felt hard, cold metal. I still had the gun! The figure forgot to check me when he knocked me out. This was his greatest mistake.
I thought that if the room was soundproof, then I could shoot the gun, and nobody would be able to hear it except me. I took the pistol out of my sweater, and looked at my shackles. Maybe this could work, I thought. I aimed the pistol at my left shackle and fired.
The sound and the almost blowing my hand off made me jump, but when I regained myself, I saw that I had blasted away the shackle. I waited for the figure to show back up from the noise, but he didn’t. I guess I concluded right; the room is soundproof.
This time I put the gun in the other hand, and aimed for my right shackle. This was more difficult since I had to shoot with my left hand. When I fired, I jumped again, but when I looked at my shackle, it was still in one piece. I had missed. I shot again, and this time I got my target. My hands are finally free.
Now I only had three bullets left: one bullet for my right foot shackle, another for my left foot shackle, and the last bullet one for the figure. Even if he hadn’t hurt anyone, he was going to pay. I’ll make sure of that.
I shot off the right shackle, and then the left. I staggered a little, but I finally got to my feet. I put the pistol back into my sweater, and headed for the door, all the while thinking of how the heck I was going to get out of here with my mother and Kevin unscathed. It was all so scary, but I had to get to my mother, and I had to get out of here. I headed for the door. I knew once I opened it, all the sound I made from then on would be audible, and I had to be stealthy to get out of the hell-house.
I tippy-toed my way toward down a dilapidated hallway, sweating fruitfully. Still it smelt of mold, and the air was heavy. There was a hole in the floor, and I could have sworn that I saw a rat scatter by. This house was disgusting, and I couldn’t wait to get out of here.
I heard sobs as I rounded a corner, and found myself in another hallway. It had about four rooms on it, and only two and half doors; one room didn’t have a door, and another room had a door hanging on one hinge.
I put my head to the first door, and listened to see if the sobbing was coming from there. It still sounded too far away, though. I walked, even more the quiet, toward the next door, wondering if the figure had noticed that I was missing. If he had, I only have a couple minutes.
The sobbing wasn’t coming from this door either. I was starting to wonder if I was imaging the sobbing as if to give me hope, but I rubbed my ears out, and yet, the sobbing continued.
The next room was the one with no door. I edged toward it and looked in; the room was empty, except for an open window. I thought about jumping out, and only saving my skin, but the guilt of leaving Kevin and mom would kill me as if I had stayed. So I just passed that room, and went to the last one with the door hanging on one hinge.
The sobbing, as it turned out, to be giggling. I walked into the room immediately, and saw Kevin playing with a stuffed animal dog. Rage caught hold of me when I thought that the figure left Kevin in that room by himself, causing me to almost lose all good judgment, and find the figure and finish him off. It wasn’t a bad idea; it’s just that I would probably lower my chances of finding my mom, so that option is out.
As oblivious as ever to danger, Kevin giggled as I picked him up. I told him to be quiet, and he smiled at me, and then started to play with my hair. I walked out of the room, and started to think about what my next move was. Well, I could get out with Kevin, and then call the police for mom, I thought, but my hear t told me that I should look for mom first. In a sense, I was contradicting myself.
I crept down the hallway, shushing Kevin every once in a while. I made tons of corners which made this house feel like a maze, but I could be going in circles because everything looked alike in this house: the wallpaper, the floor, and the rooms; everyone I’ve been in has been empty.
I finally came to a stop when I reach a set of stairs, but not to the upstairs, but to the basement. Even in a situation like this, I thought of how in lots of scary movies people go into the basement even though it’s the worst thing you can do. Well, I’m about to do the worst thing I can do.
I walked down the stairs, but not quietly. Each and every stair creaked as I stepped on it, causing it to sound like bones cracking. I’m very scared now that I have a noise that I can’t control, and the figure will soon know of my disappearance, and come looking for me.
When I no longer hear creaks, I realize I must be off the stairs. I hear water dripping, and I smell something like caked-on blood and mildew. It makes me nauseous, but I feel my way around the walls, feeling for a switch of some kind.
The sound scared me and made me jump, but then I hear it again.
I stop, and listen. The sound is coming from the opposite wall, and it sounds sort of like when you bump your head against something.
I know that when you’re in a scary movie moment as I am, you should NEVER go to the mystery noise, but obviously I’m not following those rules. I start to feel my way around again, the bumping noise getting ever clearer, but before I get there, I feel a switch; I flip on.
The light blinds me momentarily, but I soon gain sight of the basement in full light; I wish I hadn’t. My mother sits against the wall, tied up and duct tape on her mouth, but that is not the worst part. The figure stands over her with a knife and mirror as if to let her see her own demise.
“Somehow I knew you’d get out of my lovely room, Noah,” said the figure.
“I’m quite talented,” I snap. I don’t know where the sarcastic retort came from, but it felt good.
“Watch your mouth, boy!” the figure threatens, “That was always your mother’s greatest laceration in her personality; always having a remark for everything.
“Runs in the family,” I know saying this was stupid, but this was one way I thought I could get to him.
“You wish for death! You wish to see your mother die! You wish to see the little boy you carry in your hands right now slaughtered. This is clear to me. However, it only runs on one side of the family.”
“What do you mean?” I ask him.
Just then, my mother starts to wiggle furiously, and looking straight at the figure as if pleading with him.
“You wish me not to tell the boy! There, there Katherine, he should know. It’s only his right,” the figure laughs as he stares intently at me.
“What do you mean?” I ask him again. It scares me because I see my mother thrashing wildly, and for the first time, noticing that Kevin was not giggling; in fact, he was staring straight into the figure’s eyes.
“You see, Katherine? Noah wishes me to tell him, and I will tell him. It is his last wish after all,” the figure says more to me than my mother.
“Well, tell me already!” I demand.
“Who am I, Noah?” he asks me as he steps toward me slowly, “Who am I?”
“I don’t know”
“I really don’t know,” I tremble. He’s right in my face now. I set down Kevin, and he started to cry; he finally notices the danger, “The only thing I know is that you’re ‘Me’”
“Yes, Noah. I am Me, but really…..Who am I?” We’re now nose to nose now. I’m very scared, but I hold my ground.
“Your…..your…..oh no…..it can’t be!” I scream as realization hits me. Some twist of fate has brought me here. Some Otherworldly force brought me to this conclusion. Mental lightning has struck, and thunder rings in my ears as I know who he is. He is my father.
Baby Kevin Saves The Day
“Yes! Yes! He knows, Katherine! He knows!” he cackles crazily, “Not up to your expectations, I see. Well, you wanted a father. Well, you have one!”
“Why are you doing this?” I cry as I sink to floor.
“Because of your mother, you stupid child! We would have had a happy family had your mother not have left. But no! She leaves when I try to help her!”
“What are you talking about?!” Tears are freely falling now.
“I’m talking about your mother’s problem. Don’t you know? When your mother and I lived together, she held a secret…..until I found out. Your mother would chomp down extreme amounts of food like an animal, and then go throw it up! I tried and tried to help her get over her Bulimia, but she rebelled. I probably wouldn’t have pushed her so hard had she not been pregnant with Kevin, but she wouldn’t stop.
So one night, she just left with the clothes on her back…..and you, Noah. I searched everywhere and couldn’t find her. I went crazy trying, but then I came across you, sitting outside, looking at the moon. I couldn’t believe it. I had given up, but as I was passing through the town, you were there, and I took advantage of it. I thank you, though. If you hadn’t have been outside, I wouldn’t have ever known.”
Now I finally know. Finally. I now know why she hated me sitting outside. I now know why she’s so paranoid. I finally know why she worries so much. I just wanted to run to my mother, and tell her I’m sorry for ever disobeying her. She had good reason for her rules, but I wouldn’t listen.
My “dad” turns to baby Kevin, and starts to walk toward him while my mother tries to scream through the duct tape, but only muffles a squeal. Kevin starts to cry hysterically, trying to crawl away, but soon our father catches him, and picks him up.
“He’ll be the first to go,” he says as Kevin fights him, “I want your mother to suffer. She’ll watch both her children die.”
I’m too scared to get up. My eyes follow Kevin, but I’m completely rooted to the spot.
“Now, how are we going to go about killing you, Kevin? Any suggestions?” my father asks Kevin casually as he sets him on a table stained by blood with bunches of knifes on it. There was even a cut off finger that had a ring on it. It was green and it had maggots slithering in and out of it.
Kevin picked up a knife, and almost stabbed our father with it, but he was too fast. I don’t think Kevin meant it as a way to be killed, but that’s how our father took it.
“Good suggestion,” He says as he wiped it on shirt, “I like your way of thinking.”
I think that Kevin knows what’s about to happen because he lets out a cry like never before. It was so loud, it even made me jump.
I looked over at mom, and saw that she was crying more than see was before. Every time she blinked, she let out a tear.
I turned back to the table, and saw my father getting closer to Kevin with the knife. I snap out of my shock, and uproot myself. I remember the pistol and take it out, and point it at my father. He’s got all his attention on Kevin, so he doesn’t see me.
I’m just about to pull the trigger when-
When I see my father drop to the floor-bleeding. He’s screaming in agony, and then I realize why; he has a knife stuck in chest, only inches away from his heart. I look up, and see Kevin almost laughing; he had took a knife, and stabbed his father when his father was about to stab him; although, I think it was more by accident than on purpose.
I waste no time; I use it all to my advantage. I run to the table, got a knife, and cut my mother from her binds. She immediately gets up and runs to Kevin.
“Come on Noah!” my mother screams at me, urging me.
I don’t immediately follow; I made a promise. I promised I would use the last bullet on the one who lies on the floor before me. I take the gun and point it at my father, the one person I truly wanted to have with me, but now I wanted him dead.
“NOAH!” she screams to me again.
I still don’t listen. I stand there staring at him as he stares at me. I know he won’t die from the stab. I have to shoot him. I have to.
“NOAH! DON’T! IT’S NOT WORTH IT! PLEASE, IF WE LEAVE NOW, WE’LL BE ABLE TO GET OUT OF SAFELY! NOAH, PLEASE!” She says more in a whimper than a scream.
This time I listen, but first I tilt the gun only centimeters away from my father, and shoot. It makes a hole in the floor just by his ear.
With Kevin in her hands, mom and I start to run through the maze-like house, and after what seemed to be a year, we reach the hallway with the four rooms. I tell mother that there is a window in the second room. She tells me to go through first with Kevin, and just to start running.
When I’m out the window, my feet work like a well-oiled machine. I’m running through some woods, but after a couple of minutes, I’m in someone’s backyard. It looks familiar.
My jaw drops. It’s my backyard. I always knew there was a house back in those woods, but I never would have thought that someone (my dad) had moved in there.
Even with this weird twist of events, it worked in my favor. I ran into the house, and in the bathroom. I put Kevin in the bathtub, and then went to phone and called the police. They said they would send assistance immediately. Then, mom shows up.
“Where’s Kevin?” She asks.
“In the bathtub,” I tell her.
Then she picks up the phone, but I tell I already called the police.
“Oh, Noah!” she cries happily as she hugs me tighter than ever, “I thought I’d never see you again. I’m so glad you’re not hurt!”
“I love you,” I say simply, “I love you, mom.”
“I love you, too, Noah,” she tells me, “More than you know.”
When the police arrive, we tell them everything that happened. I wasn’t able to tell them the beginning because I was oblivious when it all first started. What had happened is that my dad knew my mom was paranoid, and so he nicked mom’s bathroom window open, and hid below it. When my mom went into the bathroom (she had Kevin with her as always) she saw the open window, and went to shut it. When she did, my dad pulled her out the window, and knocked her out. Then he took her to the house in the woods behind our house where he had been for at least two weeks, taking pictures of Mom, Kevin, and I whenever we went outside. After he had mom and Kevin in the house, he called me, and then that was the beginning for me.
The police went to the house, and found my dad lying in the same spot where he had been. He was alive, however. He kept the knife in his chest to hinder the bleeding, but he was still extremely weak. They took him onto a stretcher, and into an ambulance. The police told us that after he got out of the hospital, he’d be going to jail. I don’t think I have to tell you how good it felt to hear those words.
We lived with ludicrous amounts of alarm systems and locks over the coming years. Mom would still nag me about going outside-even during the day, but I love to go outside and play with Kevin now that he‘s older. I’m five years older than him, but he’s already taller than me. It feels weird to look up at him now.
I’m almost eighteen, but mom wants me to live with her as long as she can get me to stay. I don’t have to tell you the reasons why; even though it’s been years since that day, she’s still getting over it.
“It’s time for you two to come back inside now,” she yells at us through the kitchen window.
“Mom! It’s only four o’clock!” Kevin and I yell at the same time.
“Don’t y’all sass me! Now get in here!”
As reluctant as I am, I obey. I’ve been obeying my mother ever since that day, without question.
“We can play tomorrow, Noah,” Kevin says as we walk in the door, trying to cheer me up. He’s such a happy spirit; He’s doesn’t remember that day.
RING! RING! RING!
“Hey Kevin! Get the phone, will ya?” Mom asks.
“Okay!” Kevin says as he answers the phone, “Hello?”
No one speaks.
“Hello,” Kevin tries again, “I know your there….I can hear you breathe.”
No one speaks.
“Come on now! Who is this?” Kevin asks.