I could hear the footsteps coming up the stairway; I was huddled in the small laundry room waiting for the door to open and for it to be over. Every second was suspense, I looked under the door and saw the reflection of feet standing just outside the door, one move, one sound, and it’s over. Waiting was doing my head in. I could hear the movement outside the door, but nothing had happened. I tried to stay as still as possible, but the floors were slippery from the washing liquid I had spilt before, that was what caused the sound. My foot had slipped and hit against the washing machine, I could see the feet turn around and quickly move closer towards the door, all within a split second, I head the door open and light come flooding in from the outside, and then I heard the laughs from Jack knowing he had won.
“Found you Tay!” he screamed, he fell on top of me and started hugging me, I tried to pull my leg out, but the room so small that I was amazed he even fit inside to hug me and claim his victory.
“Good job Jack, is it your turn to hide now and me to get out of here?” I asked, mum pulled him off so I could get up and he was just hugging the teddy bear that he found while he was trapping me inside the laundry room.
“Valerie called while you two were playing and said she would be here in 10 minutes” called mum, she was pulling Jack down the stairs to get him dressed for tonight, They were going to a family party, I was lucky enough to avoid it and have Valerie over.
I started walking down the stairs when I heard the bell ring.
“I GET IT!” Jack screamed, he ran straight to the door. He was too short to open the door, I had to walk over and help him.
“Hurry up! It’s cold out here!” I heard the voice from behind the door say, Valerie. Just as we opened the door, she threw her bags to the side and sat on the couch.
“I’m Home!” she almost yelled,
Jack jumped onto the couch and sat on Valerie.
“Am I staying with you tonight?” Jack asked putting on his best puppy dog eyes he could, he puffed his bottom lip and stared at Valerie, he thought he could get her to do whatever he wanted her to do just with that face.
“Nope, you're going to see your family kiddo, can’t hide from them forever!” Valerie joked, she was like a sister and a daughter to my family. She treated our home like hers. Anyone would tell you that we were sisters, except for the fact that Valerie has long, beautiful blonde hair with small brown streaks, and I have brunette hair that ends in the middle of my back.
“Tayla had no problem hiding from me before you got here!” Jack protested, he loved twisting what had happened to suit him, only five years old and already like me when I was 10
“We were playing hide and seek Jack, completely different”
Mum made Jack leave us alone and get ready, he ran around the house looking for pointless things as a way to stall from leaving and having more time with Valerie, he has had a small crush on her since the first day he saw her, she thinks it’s cute.
“All right, I got everything, time to go!’ mum said in a sing-song voice, she walked out to the car with Jack and waved goodbye.
As soon as the door was closed, Valerie sat on the couch and started dialling her boyfriend, Josh. She invited him over and said it would be fine, which it would be, I like josh, just as long as my mother doesn’t find out he came over.
“He’s getting annoying lately, really clingy, maybe I should just kill him off to save the messy break up hey Tayla?” Said Valerie with a mixture of seriousness and humour in her eyes, of course she was joking though, she couldn’t hurt a fly.
Valerie went outside to wait for Josh, it had been an hour since she called and she insisted he should be here any time soon.
I realised something was wrong when I heard Valerie scream.
“What?!” I yelled after I ran to the door and opened it to see Valerie standing there looking into the bush left of my house.
“I saw something move, in the bush” she said, her voice was completely flat. She just stared and pointed. I walked over to have a look; tension building in me, I slowly crept over, waiting for something to come out and bite me. I bent down and reached my arm out when someone tapped me on the shoulder. I screamed, when I spun around expecting to find Valerie screaming along with me, I saw Josh, and no Valerie.
"Oh my god, you scared the hell out of me! "I huffed at Josh.
"Sorry, didn't realise what you were doing, still don't know actually" He said with a confused look on his face.
"Valerie said she saw something in the bush so I - wait, where is Valerie?"I said, he must of seen her when he was walking up to my door.
"Isn't she inside?" He said. I felt so stupid.
We walked inside, no sign of Valerie, but, in the spot where she was sitting on my couch there was a note in her place.
Josh called her name a few times before deciding to pick up the note and read it. He didn’t understand it. I did.
You should have listened to her when she
said something was in the garden.
What’s going on? Who put the note there? Where is Valerie? Those three questions were running through my head faster than ever, Josh looked confused.
My face must of given something away because Josh started pushing my with questions.
“What that supposed to mean? Tayla? What’s going on?” I couldn’t answer those questions, mostly because I don’t understand them myself.
I held onto the note longer than I should have, I had turned my hand into a fist and the note was in a ball inside of it. Josh must have read my expression and started looking for Valerie.
My house is small, how could someone have gotten in without us knowing and gotten Valerie out without her screaming?
That’s when I heard it.
Valerie screamed loud enough for the next door neighbours to turn their lights on and walk outside. Josh ran up to my room where her scream had come from, I ran to his side, there was nothing, my room is empty. Maybe I’m just imagining it, but, there was nothing the scream could have come from, but, Josh had heard it too, what the hell is going on?
“Tayla, what happened before I got here?” I tried to remember but the only thing I could think of was what was going on now, Valerie had heard something move and it had led to this.
“Valerie thought she saw something move in the bush, I went to check it out but you scared me and we walked inside” Which is what happened, the night went from planning to spend it with friends, to trying to figure out if anyone was in real danger.
“Anything happen before that?” Josh was still looking around the room, he was unsure whether or not to move and keep looking for Valerie, he had done a lap of my house 3 times now, but she has completely disappeared, how could a blonde, 17 year old girl, just disappear like that?
We walked back into the lounge room and sitting on the coffee table, was another note.
Josh picked it up, it took him a moment to read it, and a moment to throw it down and start calling Valerie’s name.
I was hesitant to pick it up, what note could make Josh so worried for her, my curiosity got the better of me, and I read it. The writing made it hard to read, but the message was just as scary as Josh’s reaction was
I found the knives in your kitchen, now
But don’t worry too much,
I’ll make sure she feels it.
The moment I stopped reading was the moment I heard her scream from upstairs, Josh was already running towards the scream, I tried to catch up to him before he ran into the room where the scream came from, my room, but he was already there, turning the doorknob, hoping to find Valerie sitting on the floor laughing like this was all a joke, but it wasn’t. I haven’t seen Valerie yet, but I could see a blade stick out from the doorway and into Josh’s side. He fell. I ran to his side and looked through into my room, Valerie wasn’t there and the person who had stabbed him was gone. Josh was lying flat and straight, he was too scared to move. I saw the blood slowly start to form around the wound and fall from his side, he started to close his eyes, he was losing a lot of blood, the wound was deep enough that he could close his eyes and never wake up.
“Josh, don’t close your eyes, wake up!” I screamed at him I don’t care if you are supposed to stay calm, my friend was lying on my floor bleeding to death, I grabbed the nearest phone and dialled the hospital, Josh was trying to move his hand to point to something, I turned around, and staring me right in the face, was another note.
I grabbed it as fast as I could this time, I don’t know why, hoping that for some reason it would be the last I would ever see.
Looks like Josh got in my way, next time,
I’ll make sure she doesn’t scream.
I started to cry, I could hear the ambulance starting to pull up into my drive way, the police were behind them, the neighbours had heard Valerie scream and called them, thank God.
I found Valerie out the back huddled into the corner with cuts and dirt all over her, I took her to the ambulance to get her checked, she was fine.
I thought they would be rushing to get Josh, but all I could hear was someone screaming that they ‘didn’t do it’. The paramedics came into the house and took Josh, Valerie and I were standing at his side the whole time, Valerie hadn’t shed a tear, when we walked outside, the police were arresting someone in a purple hoodie, with sticky notes barley hanging out of his pocket, and a knife hanging by his side……
This is the man that had killed josh.
The man that took away someone’s life.
I don’t even know him but he still did it.
After they took him away and all remains of the crime scene washed away with soap and tears, Valerie and I stayed at the house.
The police had called my parents and told them to come home early, I was curled into a ball on my bed staring at the exact spot where Josh had fallen.
In the corner of my eye I saw another note stuck on the door.
That wasn’t there when I was beside Josh.
Oh My God.
I slowly crept from my bed, barley finding the strength to stand, Valerie was laying on the floor asleep, she didn’t move an inch even when I let out my scared cry.
I pulled the note from the door and read it
Wrong Guy Tayla.
Or should I say Girl.
I was hyperventilating.
I turned to face Valerie, but she was gone. The cold air from outside flood in from the window that was closed a moment ago.
All that was left in Valerie’s place was the small sheets of paper they found on the man.
And the knife that killed Josh.