The Quiet

I followed her gaze to the other side of the room, where there were two windows. One was closed tightly. But the other was opening slowly. I could see some kind of shadow come over the bottom.

Someone was coming inside.


15. Twisted

I didn’t know what to do, so I just sat on the pavement and kept my hand on Cari’s back. Her breathing returned to normal after awhile, and when she looked up at me, her grey eyes were full of tears.

“I don’t know why that happened.” She sat back, pulled her knees up to her chest, and laid her head on them. “I’m sorry.”

It seemed like hours before one of us spoke again. It was me.

“Are you alright now?” I asked.

Cari, who held coffee in her hand, nodded. “I’m okay now.” She was quiet for a moment, and then she said, “This wasn’t your fault, Clay.”

“No?” I asked. “Because it sure seemed like it was. I shouldn’t have accused you of anything.”

“No, you shouldn’t have.” Cari said as she finished her coffee and reached for another. “Thanks for these by the way, they really helped me.”

I smiled. “I’m glad you’re alright. I’ll take you home now, if you’d like.”

When she looked at me, the corners of her lips twitched. “I have my own car, remember? I can get home on my own.”

Before I could speak, I felt something drip onto my face. I looked up and saw dark clouds, then heard the unmistakable rumble of thunder in the distance.

“I’d better take you home anyway,” I told her.

Cari sighed. “Sure, if my saying yes is going to shut you up.” She grinned and stood up, then opened the car door and got in.

Once I got in and started the car, it had begun to pour. Rain slammed down on the roof and hood. It took me awhile to even get out of the parking lot, and even longer to get to Cari’s, once she told me where she lived.

Her large house was hidden among a set of trees. I don’t know why I expected the Delgard’s to live in anything less than a magnificent home. Peter Delgard, Cari’s father, was a really famous lawyer so he could afford to have a mansion if he wanted.

The house was dark when I pulled up. It looked like it was straight out of a horror movie. I mentally cursed myself for that twisted thought and put the car in park.

“Will you be okay by yourself?” I muttered, half hoping she’d say no.

“I think so. Thank you for the ride.” Cari moved her hair from her eyes and smiled. Then she opened the door and stepped into the rain. She ran to her front door, unlocked it, and slipped inside.

As I watched her go, I shifted the car into drive, but nothing happened. There was an eerie grinding noise and the car coughed and sputtered. Then everything went dead.

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