Deadly Truth

A young man named Evan is torn when his best friend Liam Gates vanishes into thin air. He then meets his new neighbor Maxwell who is not the average boy next door.

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1. I Lost Someone Precious

I Lost Someone Precious

I remember March 13th 2006 as if it was just yesterday; after all it was the last time that I saw my best friend, alive.

****

I had finished making my usual Saturday night dinner of baked chicken, greens, and corn. My mother had gone out with a few of her coworkers and left me by myself, but that was a typical weekend for me since I was ten. I had just wrapped her plate and placed it into the microwave, when there was a knock on the front door. Not a normal knock, a rather rapid and loud knock, the kind that a cop would use.

I walked over to the door and peered through the peephole; it was my best friend Liam Gates. He was dressed in a dark-blue tank top and jeans and was looking back and forth from the street to my front door.

I unlocked the door and slowly opened it.

“Hey Liam.” I noticed that his eyes were red and that he had a few scrapes on his face. “Is everything okay?”

“Of course, I was just out jogging.” Which was a believable response, Liam was one of the fastest runners on our high school’s track team, and he was constantly pushing himself by doing extra jogging throughout the week.

“Did you fall or something?” I had spotted a few scrapes along his arms as well, and his jeans and sneakers were stained with mud and grass.

“Huh…” he seemed to be in his own world.

“I asked if you fell.”

“Oh yeah, tripped over a fallen branch.” He smirked at me.

“You should come in.” I stepped aside and proceeded to let Liam inside my home. (Not knowing at that time it would be the last time he stood anywhere in my presence.)

He walked in and sniffed the air, “You cooked?”

“You know I always cook on Saturday nights.” I looked at him as if he lost his mind, “Are you sure that you are okay Liam?”

“I’m fine Evan.” He looked over at the food, “Can you fix me a plate?”

I let out a sigh, “Sure, go ahead up to my room.”

“Thanks buddy.” He smiled at me and hurried upstairs.

I fixed him a decent helping of food and began to ascend the stairs, when I rounded the top of them I could hear Liam shouting.

“Fuck you bitch…, you better fucking stop harassing me!” was the only bit of it that I had caught. When I slowly opened my bedroom door, Liam quickly hung up his cell phone.

“Who was that?” I placed his plate of food on the computer desk in the corner of my room.

“Just some chick who wants some dick, total whore.” He smirked at me again, but something about his smirk just uneased my stomach.

Liam proceeded to walk over to the computer desk, sat down, and began scarfing down the food as if he hadn’t eaten in awhile.

“Slow down dude. You act like you are starving.”

“Can I stay here tonight?”

“Yeah.” I looked at him even more perplexed, Liam and I were best friends but he had never once stayed over my house.

I lay on the left side of my bed and Liam had curled up on the right side. Within a few seconds of us lying down he had fallen asleep. I closed my eyes and fell asleep myself to the sound of Liam’s light breathing.

***

I woke up Sunday morning and glanced over to the other side of the bed; Liam was gone. I listened for the sound of the shower, but there was nothing but the silence of the house.

I grabbed my cell phone off the nightstand and scrolled through my contacts and hit ‘call’ on Liam’s name. The phone rang once and then an automated-voice picked up, ‘this number is not in service’ the computerized voice stated.

“What the hell?” was the only thing I could think to myself. I walked out into the hallway in my boxers and yelled downstairs, “Liam where the fuck are you?!” once again I got the response of ‘silence’.

My phone began to vibrate; it was Liam’s mother.

“Hello Mrs. Gates.”

“Evan have you seen Liam?” Mrs. Gates’ voice was filled with concern and it seemed as if she had been crying.

“He slept over but when I woke up he was gone.”

“He probably left town with some girl, he stole eight-hundred dollars from our safe and his father’s truck.”

“That honestly doesn’t sound like Liam.” I paused for a second, “Mrs. Gates, he was acting really strange last night. He was also covered in scratches and bruises and had been cussing out someone on the phone.”

“Did he borrow your phone?”

“No he used his cell phone.”

“His phone has been off since Tuesday, and we had taken it from him. It’s still here Evan.” She informed me.

“He was definitely using someone’s cell phone.” I assured her.

“We have the police looking for him. If he contacts you please inform us.”

“Sure thing.”

She hung up.

I looked at a picture of Liam and I on the dresser; “What have you gotten yourself into dude?” I asked his photographed-self as if it would answer me.

****

Weeks had passed and the search for Liam had gone cold; his parents assumed the worst and had a memorial service for him. The entire track team had showed up and even his ex-girlfriend Carla had appeared.

After the memorial service I headed home and sat on the porch, letting my tears fall onto the wood paneling.

****

His parents had moved weeks after the service; the house had gone up for sale and eventually someone bought it. (But for me that house will always be Liam’s.)

I had been sitting on the steps watching the movers go in and out of the house with various furniture. But my ears pricked up when I heard a voice…

“Make sure the couches don’t get any scratches on them.” (His voice had sounded so much like Liam’s.)

I glanced across the street and spotted someone that was built exactly like Liam, same clothing style, and even shared his hair color. And I couldn’t get past that voice. Even the way he was standing was damn near Liam-like.

I slowly made my way across the street and watched as the mover walked away and went to assist the rest of his team with the ‘Liam-clone’s’ couch.

He turned and our eyes locked; his eyes were auburn-colored, just like Liam’s but the facial features were way off. Even the way his bangs were parted was different.

“Oh hello, you must be one of my new neighbors.” He extended his hand to me, “I’m Maxwell Parker.” His smile was almost an exact replica of Liam’s.

I must have been staring to long because he slowly started to lower his hand. I quickly grasped his hand. “I’m sorry, I’m Evan Griffin.”

“A pleasure to meet you.” Maxwell glanced over his shoulder and I looked in the same direction. The movers were exiting the house and one of them slowly approached Maxwell.

“Excuse me for a second Evan.”

Maxwell walked over to the mover and reached into his pocket; removing a crisp hundred dollar bill from within, “You are lucky that you are getting a tip, I will not be using your moving service again.”

“Whatever dude.” The mover; a husky black man just shrugged and walked off towards the truck with the rest of the crew.

“Did they break any of your stuff?” I questioned him.

“No, they just took their good old time getting here.” Maxwell laughed, (God, even his laugh had reminded me of Liam.)

I started to get an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach the more and more I glanced at Maxwell, the more and more I was reminded of Liam.

“You want to help me with the last two four boxes?”

I glanced over at the boxes. They seemed to be of decent size so I agreed to help.

We headed into my best friend’s former abode; Maxwell had much better taste in furniture then Mrs. Gates had. We carried the boxes upstairs and into what was originally Liam’s room. My mind started to wander…

(Liam and I had become friends by chance. We were assigned to work on a writing assignment together by our English teacher. We bonded over our favorite books and television shows and since then we were the best of friends. I had even come out to him; he was the first person to ever make me feel fully accepted.)

“Um, Earth to Evan.” Maxwell had snapped me back to reality by snapping his fingers in front of my face.

“Uh…sorry.”

“You seem upset by something. You aren’t a mental case are you?” he smirked at me again.

“No, just this house used to belong to a friend of mine.” I sighed.

“Did he move far?”

“He disappeared on March 13th.” I stared at the ground for a few seconds, “The police and his family believe that he is dead somewhere.”

“What do you believe?”

“Huh?”

“Do you think he is dead?” Maxwell looked into my eyes with the same intensity that Liam had when he told me it was okay that I was gay.

“I just believe he is hiding or…” I had started to tear up.

“I’m sorry for prying Evan.” Maxwell reached into his pocket and pulled out his cell phone, “How about we exchange numbers. You could show me around town sometime.”

“Uh…sure.” I grabbed his phone and entered my number. “I should get going.” I turned and walked downstairs and out of the front door. I felt as if Maxwell had been staring at me the entire time, from the door or even from a window on the second floor.

That night I couldn’t sleep, I stared at the ceiling the entire night. Imagining that Liam had been lying beside me like the night he disappeared.

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