The airport was crowded as I waited for aunt Liv to arrive. Luckily nothing else has happened in the past few hours, and I didn't see Clifford. Seeing him so early after my embarrassment, well, that wasn't going to make my day. Fidgeting, I crossed my legs and looked at my cell phone. She should be here any minute now. Sighing, I paid attention to the news that was on a TV close to me. The bolded words of a murder on Spruce Drive was moving across the screen, as the news reporter was standing in front of a house.
I felt the blood slowly drain to my toes. That was my street they were on, and the house that was being inspected was only the house next door to me. The memory of this morning played in my head. If the murder was actually taken place beside my house, could that mean the killer was in my house? Surly not, right? Remembering the open door, the chill I felt of another presence, or the door closing by itself. That couldn't have been a dream of something, could it?
An announcement of a flight landing got my attention and I looked up to see aunt Liv's plane landing. I knew I should tell her what has happened, but thinking about the possibility made a shiver crawl up my back. My phone went off and a number I didn't know popped up. Hey. This is Clifford. Please don't think that I am a stalker, but I wanted to know if you had any sugar I could borrow. I blinked in confusion.
How did you get my number? I asked him. I didn't remember giving it to him this morning.
I noticed a hot guy at your door and told him that you left. I also asked who he was and he said he was a friend of yours, and got your number. He explained to me. I breathed a sigh of relief.
Cool. Must have been Trey. Also I am still out right now, but when I get back I can give you some. Sorry!!! I smiled and hit send after re-reading it. He sent an okay with a smiley face and I looked up. Aunt Liv was walking towards me with a huge smile on her face. I got up and walked towards her, meeting her half way.
She embraced me in a hug and looked back at me. Probably seeing if I was okay. Like her, I checked for any injuries. a small bruise on her wrist was all I seen, which was better than a broken bone. Her black hair, like mine, was up in a pony tail. "How are you?" She asked me. "You sounded pretty upset on the phone this morning. Did something happen?" She asked me.
Aunt Liv was always able to know when something was wrong with me. Which was why we got along so well, because I couldn't hide anything from her. "I am fine. You look good though, got a nice tan I see. Must have went somewhere warm." I commented, trying to not think about the morning now. When we get home I would tell her.
A laugh came from her and she thrown back her head. "Yeah. Maybe next time I would get you to come with me." She said. Although that would never happen, I could always wish.
"Maybe. But who will watch the damned cat?" I joked and rolled my eyes. "Let's go. I bet you can't wait to get home." I said.
"Food first. I am starved. How about pizza?" She asked me. I felt my stomach growl at the idea of pizza. She heard it and laughed. "I take that as a yes." She hooked her hand in my arm and went to go get her luggage. Once we got her bags, we went out into the parking lot. Everything seemed to feel better and the events that happened didn't fully bother me anymore.
We got to a pizza restaurant and got out. Already the smell of the zesty tomato sauce and the goodness of cheese filled my nose. An AC cooled us as we walked into the restaurant and took a seat at a table near the window. "So. Tell me all about your trip." I said and looked at the menu.
"You know that I wasn't on vacation, right?" She dodged the question, getting a curious glance from me. "Okay. Okay. It was perfect. I got some shopping done and the beach was great. When I seen it, it just screamed your name." She admitted.
"And?" I pestered her on. "You can't say nothing happened between you and your hot, single, co-worker?" I said. Aunt Liv blushed and looked down at her menu.
"I am not admitting anything." Was all she said but I know that some stuff may have happened. I smiled and when the waiter came over I told her I would have a six inch pepperoni and cheese pizza with a soft drink. Aunt Liv gave her order and the waiter left. "So. What exactly happened this morning?" She asked me.
A frown pulled at my lips. "Well, when I went to go get a shower I thought I felt someone near me. But I overreacted, thinking that I must have been tired. But after the shower... the back door was open and Bubbs was outside. That scared the hell out of me, since I knew that I didn't open it or unlock it. I checked the house, all of it, but when I went to go close the door, it was already closed and locked. Bubbs was inside sleeping. I thought that maybe I imagined it all up, but then I saw something on the news. There was a murder next door this morning." I told her.
I wouldn't have been able to wait until we got home to tell her. Another cold shiver made its way up my back. Aunt Liv frowned as well. "Do you think the door was actually open?" She asked me. I stayed silent for a moment before nodding. She seemed to realize that I was uncomfortable with this conversation and gave up on it for now. But I knew that I would have to talk about it sooner or later.
"Did you get me a present?" I asked her, trying to change the subject. She usually always got me one though, which was a stupid question to ask. But I couldn't stand thinking right now that there might have been a killer in my house, when I was home alone.
"You'll see once you get home. But I promise you that you will love it." She said with a smile. I smiled back at her, and the waited came out with our drinks. I took a sip and so did aunt Liv.
"Tell me more about your trip." I said.
Once we got home I helped aunt Liv with her bags. Clifford's car was still gone now, and I was kind of happy about that. I'll hate having to see him next time. When aunt Liv was settled down she walked into the living room with a small box in her hands. "Here you go. I have some more stuff upstairs but I couldn't wait to give you this one." She told me.
I took the box from her hands and she sat down beside me. Inside was a golden chain that had a red rock hanging from the bottom of it. It was beautiful and breathtaking, capturing the sun light and bouncing it off at different angles. Definitely something I would wear. "This is... wow. It's amazing! Thank you so much aunt Liv!" I squealed and hugged her. She hugged me back and pulled away from with.
"Try it on." She told me. I let her put it on me and I felt the coldness of the necklace against my skin. "You know, the lady who I bought it from told me that this necklace will protect whoever is wearing it." She told me. I laughed, that lady must be very superstitious. "So it looks like we got a new neighbour." She said, and glanced over at the window that was barely visible.
I took a small breath. "Yeah. I met the guy and he is quite cute. Looks about my age, but I think he lives alone. Or with his girlfriend." I told her. "His name is Clifford." I added as an after thought. Aunt Liv looked at me with a raised eye brow.
"Taking dibs, are we?" She poked fun at me. I blushed but rolled my eyes at her. "I'm teasing. It'll be great to see you with someone after the last one broke up with you." She said.
The reminder put a small damper on my mood. After dating the guy for six months, and him breaking up with me over text saying it wasn't me, but him, would definitely make me sad. At first I thought he was joking, but he wasn't. Unfortunately he is in some of my classes at school, and I couldn't bring myself to talk to him yet. I could only remember the small text he sent me and how much it hurt. "I'm so over him." I told him, probably for my benefit more than hers.
Bubbs meowed at us and jumped on aunt Liv's lap, breaking the awkward mention of my ex. My phone went off and I looked at it. Hey. I was looking around and found an awesome place to hang out. Want to join me tonight for a couple hours? It was Clifford. I felt a blush spread across my cheeks.
Thought you have a girlfriend? And don't you need sugar? I responded, hoping I didn't sound too hopeful. I waited for a reply and aunt Liv looked at my screen. She winked at me and continued petting Bubbs.
Oh yeah. I'll come by soon and get it. And unfortunately I do not. She was just a friend, if that was what you were referring to. He messaged me. I felt a small amount of relief flood through me. I could possibly have a chance of truly getting over my ex.
Maybe another day, my aunt just got home. I told him.
"Is that Clifford?" Aunt Liv asked me. I looked at her and nodded. "Don't rush into anything okay? Now, I think that I will head upstairs to shower and sleep. Maybe later we can watch a movie or something?" She asked me.
"I think I want to stay in tonight. We can watch one here and then go out tomorrow." I told her. She smile and stood up, making Bubbs jump off of her lap. He landed on his feet and walked away after trying to claw at aunt Liv's ankle. Probably upset that he wasn't getting attention anymore.
"Sounds like a place." She said and walked up the stairs. I waited on the sofa and turned on a show. A couple minutes later I realized that I never got a message back from Clifford. Right as I thought that a knock came from the front door. I smiled and knew it would be him, coming to get some sugar. I got up and opened the door.
Clifford stood there with a smile and an ice cream in hand. "Hey. I brought ice cream in exchange for sugar." He told me and passed me the vanilla ice cream. I blushed and wondered how he could be so nice towards a stranger. I literally met him this morning. Maybe he was some psycho who was obsessed with one girl at first glance. Hopefully not.
"Thank you." I said and took the ice cream and moved out of the way. "Come in. How much sugar do you need?" I asked and started to walk towards the kitchen. He followed me, closing the door behind him. He looked around and took a seat at the table.
"Not a lot. I am going shopping tomorrow for food, I just wanted some for my coffee and tea." He told me. I nodded and put a small amount into a sandwich bag. He took it and I sat down beside him, licking the ice cream.
The sound of water running started and I was starting to feel uncomfortable. I had no idea what to talk to him about at all, and it was a good time to try to impress him. Not once have I ever been this tongue tied before. "So, why did you move here?" I asked him, saying the first thing that came to mind. Clifford smiled and looked out the window.
"I was sent here actually. By my parents. They need me to do something here for them and it might take a while, but I don't mind. Because I have a pretty lady as a neighbour." He said with a wink. For the millionth time that day I felt my face heat up. How could someone have such an effect on me? "I should probably head home and sleep. Jet lag sucks." He told me.
I nodded and stood up with him. "Thank you for the ice cream." I said and followed him to the door. He turned around before he stepped out with a smirk.
"Tomorrow, do you want to hang out?" He asked. The thought of him being a psycho was tugging at the back of my mind. Maybe I just wasn't use to this at all. A hot guy wanting to be with me. He seemed to notice my hesitation and smiled. "It's not a big deal if you don't. Maybe another day. I'll give you some time with your aunt." He said.
Clifford started to walk away towards his house. "Okay. I'll message you the time when I am free, but I have school on Monday." I told him. He looked at me and laughed, nothing else. I closed the door and smiled. A hot guy was definitely what I needed as a distraction.