I ran home, I didn’t want to take the quick route, finding such a book had made me paranoid, I thought that Orion - if that was indeed his name - was a stalker? was he? How else could I explain this? I ran as fast as I could, like someone was chasing me. Were they? Had Orion returned and known that I had stolen the book entitled with my name? I was about a mile from town when I stopped. There was a clearing in the trees next to the lake, a place isolated from the world that I knew would be a safe place to rest and catch my breath. I looked around me to check my isolation from anyone and when I was reassured that I was alone, I sank to the floor, my exhaustion pulling me into a state of relaxation and rest. I wanted to..so much, but I knew that I couldn’t. I had to read this book.
I opened my jacket and once again saw the deep blue I had once loved, I felt to utter smoothness of the cover and once again looked at the title. the title remained ‘Jack Night. Vol 1’. My eyes were fixated, glued to the book, the title especially. I sighed I didn’t want to read it. Should I take it back to the shop and demand an answer from Orion? I wanted to do the right thing..but what was that? I didn’t know.
Alright, I told my self. Thats enough thinking. Open it. I thought to myself. I started to open the cover, it was stiff, unread. I saw the blur of script on the first page, I couldn’t quite make it out, just before I was able, there was a rustle of a tree behind me. I froze. Had Orion followed me?
I panicked and thought back to the recent spy novel I was reading at the moment. What would Agent Carter do? He would casually walk away. He would seem innocent and ignorant to what was happening. Casual. Alright. I stood up, my body unwilling to do so, and once again, tucked the book under my hoodie and walked away.
I tried to listen out for any sign that someone was following me but there was nothing. Had it worked? Had the act of casualness worked? I was finally glad to be around people once again. I had arrived at the avenue on which my house stuck and the usual people were there wondering about, the Smiths next door were in their garden. Mr smith was reading the paper while Mrs Smith was once again tending to the Deilias in her garden. The bright yellow flowers that looked liked the very sun that nurtured them from above. Mrs Smith was always out in that garden, it was her life, so much so that Mr Smith had complained to him that she spent too much time in the garden. There were several kids on their bikes going down the hill that lead into town.
‘hello dear’ Mrs Smith called out to me from her garden in her usual song. She was one of those tremendously happy people that almost sang everything that they said. She was always so cheery. I jumped when I heard her, still out of breath, I managed to say ‘Hey Mrs Smith’ But made no effort to allow her to think that the conversation could continue as I continued to walk to my house, which was next door. I ran up the drive and shut the front door behind me.
My mom was in, I knew this because the first thing I notice is the usual smack of cigarette smoke, making me cough each time - it’s not something you can get used to - .
‘Hey’ I said briefly as I ran upstairs to my room but as usual, nothing. Just the command ‘the rubbish needs to go out’ In her croachy voice given to her by the poison she breathed in about ten times a day.
I didn’t answer. I continued to run up the stairs until I reached my room and when I did, I shut the door and didn’t come out.
I collapsed onto the chair that sat near my desk where everything was. Literally. I would be surprised it the desk was still there, who would know? there was that much clutter and paper on it. I pulled the book out of my hoodie and threw it onto the desk, thussing as it landed. I held my head in my hands and thought once again by what had happened.
The phone rang its usual Highway to hell ringtone, I swiped the papers off my phone and dug it out. It was Ben, my best friend. I answered it.
‘Hey’ I said briefly.
‘Yo, You wanna come over and play the new call of duty? My Mom just bought it for me’ He sounded so proud. The sound of gunshots and explosions going off in the background.
‘Er..’ I froze and thought. ‘Sorry..I’m..I’m swamped with homework. English essay.’ I managed to say while rubbing my face and leaning back into the chair, listening to it creek with age.
‘What? Don’t do this to me man?’ He begged. Ben was like the king of the school. He had the looks, the money, the car and the girl. He was the envy of every guy at school.
‘Sorry, maybe another time’ I said with hastee. I needed to read this book.
‘You’re breaking my heart, man. Tomorrow, or you are dead.’ Ben replied just as I heard him shout out with joy after several gunshots and a huge explosion. But the only reply I managed was ‘Sure’ and then I hung up.
I threw the phone onto my bed and picked up the book. I was about to open it when once again the sweet music of Highway to Hell flooded the room. Dam it.
I didn’t even look at who it was, I knew it would be Ben again.
‘Ben, I told you. I’m busy!’ I said with exhaustion. But It wasn’t Ben.
A girls voice replied. ‘I’m not Ben’ She was direct and forceful, matter of fact, which wasn’t needed. Clearly it wasn’t Ben.
There was silence. ‘I think you have the wrong number.’ I said and I tried to hide my frustration but it came out anyway.
‘This isn’t Jack Night?’ She challenged like she knew I was. I froze.
‘Who is this?’ I stood up and looked outside my window.
‘My name is Anabel. I am here to help’ Her voice lost the harsh tone that was used before and was now settling and calm, relieved.
‘Okay, Anabel, but I don’t need your help. Thanks very much’ He was just about to put the phone down when..
‘Oh, alright. You see, I thought that you - a human - had just found a book with your name on which contains every single fact of your life. But I have the wrong person, sorry!’ She sounded distant to the end of it.
‘Wait’ I shot out. But before I could continue she spoke.
‘Meat me at the lake, where you rested this morning’ She rushed and then hung up.