Twisting Fate: Ch. 9

Tuesday, July 23, 2019



That night I can’t sleep. 

It’s raining outside. I can hear the raindrops falling onto the roof. Normally, the sound of rain would terrify me, but my mind is elsewhere. Lying on top of the blankets in the bed next to Ben, I feel like crying.

I don't know why.

I think maybe it might be because nobody answered when I called back the number the woman had used to call me while I was working. I called three times, and got a voicemail every time. 

I didn’t leave a message. I never leave messages.

But it would be absurd for me to be upset about that, wouldn’t it?

So I probably missed my chance to talk to the dead girl’s parents. What’s so bad about that? They probably didn’t know anything that could help me understand this messed up situation I’m in. 

Is it really that messed up? Maybe I’m just imagining things. Maybe what I’m experiencing are just the same kind of vivid nightmares that have kept me up at night for as long as I can remember. Maybe I’ve been sleepwalking, my brain desperately trying to make sense of the life that ended to save mine. Maybe this is all just one big near-death experience, and I’m going to wake up in the hospital and not remember any of it.

Maybe I need to stop trying to make sense of things that don’t make sense.

I sigh, and roll over, facing Ben. He always looks so peaceful when he sleeps. It’s honestly one of my favorite things about him. And yes, I know that probably makes me a creep. 

Eventually, realizing I’m not going to get to sleep at all, I crawl off the bed and begin surfing the internet for information again. I’m pretty sure I’ve read everything there is to be known about what happened that night, but I’m desperate to find something—anything—more. I’m tempted to call the detective again. 

But I don’t.

It's better to do things alone.

***

Jennifer was only nine the first time she went for a run.

It was the first night her father was home from his oversees tour. She heard him walk down the stairs and through the front door in the middle of the night, and panicked he would leave and not come back, she got up and ran after him. 

Her heart thundered in her ears as she ran into the dark. She wasn’t supposed to be outside when it was nighttime, but last time he left, he hadn’t said goodbye, and this time she wanted to make sure he did.

“Daddy!” she called, but he didn’t seem to hear her. “Daddy, come back!”

She chased him all the way to the river, even though she could barely breathe. And once the cold water touched his bare feet, he jumped like he’d been shocked. 

He looked at her, his eyes wide with fear, and she ran to him, locking her arms around his legs. He lifted her into his arms, and she clung to him.

“I’m here. I’m here,” he said, staring vacantly at the river rushing in front of them. “Daddy’s here.”

But it didn’t sound like he was really there at all.

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