Pages

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****LANGUAGE WARNING****

Pages. Pages scattered everywhere. Pages on the counter top, torn to shreds. Pages in the sink, water worn and wrinkled. Pages. They’re fucking everywhere. Manic scribbles, drawings, maps.Pages. They’re all over the bloody apartment and I have no memory of them, but the writing looks familiar. It’s not mine, is it? I would remember writing the words, tearing the sheets, spreading them all over the place. There are pages in the garbage, grocery lists, names with family titles listed beside them, sketches of faces I don’t recognize. What the hell is going on here?

On one page, the words DO NOT TRUST SAM are scratched on so hard they transfer down page after page. Sam. Don’t trust Sam. I swirl the words around, grasping, pleading with myself to remember. Don’t trust Sam. Why? Who is Sam? What could he possibly want with me? A knock at the door reels me in from the chaos.

“Hey, Lydia?”

I freeze, trying not to breathe, to not exist.

“Lydia! Are you in there? It’s me, Sam.”

Sam. Don’t trust Sam. Don’t…

“Lydia. Come on. I know you’re in there. Answer the fucking door already. I need to talk to you.”

Pages. They’re fucking everywhere. In the sink, on the couch, and in my hand. Don’t trust Sam. But Sam is at my door. He’s here. Right now. I don’t really know where I am. The couch is pink. Is that a colour I would pick? I’d like to think not, but there it is, loud and proud. A sticky notes hangs from the arm, the words, again, are clear. DO NOT TRUST SAM.

“Lydia. Seriously. What the fuck are you doing? Answer the fucking door. Now!”

Sam sounds angry. Really angry. But even if I did answer the door, how would I explain all this paper? All these notes clearly state that I should not, apparently under any circumstances, trust Sam. I pretend I’m not there, willing myself to evaporate into thin air. It doesn’t work.  Still I sit on the floor of this dreadfully cheerful apartment with fucking paper… everywhere.

“Okay. Fine by me, Lydia. You want to fuck around? I’m the only friend you have left in this fucking world. The only one willing to protect you. So, sure. Go ahead. Don’t answer the fucking door. See if I care. Wither away and rot in there. Soon enough you’ll be begging for me to come back.”

Answering Sam isn’t an option, obviously, but neither is crumpling up all this paper, letting him know I’m in here. He’ll let up. Of course he will. He must have places he needs to be. As I wander through all the various and nonsensical thoughts that pop into my head, I see it. A shiny, purple suitcase. Wide-eyed, I turn to look at the door, as if Sam-the-Lunatic can read my thoughts. Then, slowly, my hands unclench, releasing the crumples of paper in their grasp, and I crawl toward the suitcase. But, shit. It’s locked. Not just locked. Triple locked with key, code, and thumb print activation.

“Lydia! Answer the door. What the fuck?”

Clearly, I’m out of time. With no other choice, I scramble for the bedroom, hoping to find a key. A code. Anything. But when I get there, it’s the same demented scene as the living room. Pages.There are fucking pages on the floor, in the bed, the writing of a mad person. Don’t Trust Sam. It’s everywhere. On the wall, on the carpet, on the drapes. It’s even on the pillow, written in what looks like fuchsia lipstick.

I’m in big trouble.

“Lydia, if you don’t answer the door… I’m going to call him,” he draws out the word as if spoken with plague-sickened tongue. “And trust me, you don’t want me to make that call.”

The best option, as far as I can calculate, is to jump out the window. I don’t know what floor I’m on, but there must be a way out. Drawing the blinds, I realise I’m way higher than I thought I possible. The people on the ground below look no bigger than bugs. The air in my lungs chunk back into my throat and without thinking, I yell, “Just a minute! I need to get dressed.”

“No worries, baby. Did I wake you?” the voice, Sam’s voice, suddenly sounds pleasant.

“You did, but that’s fine. Would you mind grabbing me a coffee? I’d kill for some caffeine right now.”

“Of course. Three sugars? Black?”

“No. Not today. Maybe a latte?”

“Sounds good. I’ll be back in five minutes, okay?”

“Thanks!” I don’t even recognize the voice coming from my own throat. I suppose it’s necessary for survival, instinct or something. When the coast appears clear, I hurriedly gather all of the papers around the various rooms in hopes of covering my tracks. I’ll have to keep Sam out of the bedroom because there’s nothing I can do about the lipstick-covered pillows and walls.

After a hurried, sweaty clean-up, I head to the closet. There’s nothing in there. Hangers. Empty shelves. No clothing. Nothing. How can I escape with no clothes?

“Fuck!” My voice is loud, startling even me. “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” I don’t know what’s going on.Where am I? Who is Sam? Am I really going to answer the door in a pair of skimpy turquoise underwear and a black tank top? I have to. What choice do I have? Where are the fuck are my pants?

“Babe? I’m back. I have your latte. Let me in.”

He knows me. He even thinks I’m with him in some fashion. The thought sickens me and I can feel the colour of my face changing, my skin grows cold.

“Coming,” I say, not very loudly. Not sure if I want to open the door. Not sure if Sam will hurt me. Not sure of where I am.  Taking one last breath, I unlock the door and open it. Standing there, exposed to the world, Sam steps in quickly, shutting the door behind him.

“No time to get dressed, hey?” He says, blonde hair spilling over his thick-rimmed glasses. He doesn’t look all that dangerous.

“Yeah. Not sure where my clothes are. Must have been a rough night.” Sam hands me a steaming paper cup, the latte, I presume.

“Could you hand me that blanket?” I ask, hoping to cover myself.

“What for? You look good!” Sam winks, only now showing the age in his face. He’s got to be mid-forties. How old am I? I don’t even know. He smirks, pulling the blanket from the couch and tosses it at me.

It’s already uncomfortably hot in the apartment, but I cover up anyway, self-conscious of my appearance.

“What do you want, Sam? Why are you here?” I try to play it up, hoping it makes enough sense to him that he’ll react emotionally, giving me a clue.

“What? Last night wasn’t good enough for you?” He smiles again, brown eyes dark like molasses. “I thought you might want to see me again. Was that too much for me to hope for?”

“You seemed pretty desperate for me to open the door… I just thought.”

He cuts me off, standing up. His presence is much bigger than my own, especially from my seated position on the couch. He has to be upwards of six-five. I retract. Who is he? Who is Sam.Then I see it. A tattoo, trailing up his neck, ending in a spiral. Sam. The man who’s been haunting me for years. Sam. Don’t trust him. Don’t trust Sam. My memories crash down around me. Sam. The pages. The suitcase.

“It’s okay, babe.” He leans down, swiping a curl from my face. I hope he doesn’t notice the sweat forming. I lean in, kissing him on the lips. What choice do I have?

“Listen. I need you to make a call. It’s important. Just tell Britney that everything is set and we’ll be there soon.”

“Who’s Britney?” The name doesn’t trigger any memories. Nothing at all, in fact. No feelings, nothing.

“Britney. It doesn’t matter. I just need you to call her and tell her we’re on our way, okay?”

Okay. I’ll call Britney, but I don’t know what her number is. Should I? “I, um, don’t know her number and can’t find it in my contacts.”

Sam laughs. The tattoo ripples on his neck, so do the muscles under his shirt. “No. You don’t have Britney’s number. Here,” he says, passing me a ringing phone.

“Hello?”

“Britney?”

“Lydia. Oh my god. Get out of there. Now! Dont’ trust him, Lydia. Get out of there!”

“I, um, need some information from  you, Britney?”

“Don’t. Trust. Sam.” and then she hangs up the phone.

Sam smirks again, his eyes taunting me. “What’d she say?” his voice is sly.

“Nothing really,” I say, trying to control my tone. “Who is she?”

“Nobody.”

“She must have been somebody if you wanted me to call her.”

“Come here, babe. I have something for you.”

I lean forward, hoping if I listen to what he says that he’ll leave. Move on. “Yes?” I whisper.

Sam pulls something from his pocket that crinkles as he fiddles with it. “Shhhh.” Sam’s body is on top of mine. I try to push him away, but can’t. There is a needle in his hand now, I feel a prick, and then the world goes dark as he whispers, “See you tomorrow, babe.  Same time?”

****

Pages. Pages scattered everywhere. Pages on the counter top, torn to shreds. Pages in the sink, water worn and wrinkled. Pages. They’re fucking everywhere. Manic scribbles, drawings, maps.Pages. They’re all over the bloody apartment and I have no memory of them, but the writing looks familiar. It’s not mine, is it? I would remember writing the words, tearing the sheets, spreading them all over the place. There are pages in the garbage, grocery lists, names with family titles listed beside them, sketches of faces I don’t recognize. What the hell is going on here?


Author Notes

6 Comments for “Pages”

Raymond Tobaygo

says:

Good morning, Anisa

Excellent post! Opening paragraph definitely expresses a dire sense of confusion, of muddled thinking of self-centered doubts. You make good use of the character’s confusion, albeit creeping fear of her inability to understand her circumstances and her sense of time.

The ending was spot on

Observations: most were spacing
maps.Pages. spacing

releasing the (crumples of paper) in their grasp, flow a tad akward maybe….
releasing the (crumpled papers) in their grasp

Pages.There spacing

I thought (I) possible.

The air in my lungs chunk ???? seeps? back into my throat and without

going on.Where am…spacing

Well done, Anisa!

Take care and stay safe,

Ray

Stephanie Walker

says:

Oh wow! I just read through this whole thing. You are such a great writer Anisa. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that but still! I’ve only read your goofy stories and poems until now and though they were great they didn’t showcase your talent like this. I want to read more!

says:

Damn! I REALLY like this, Anisa! Totally sucked me in. What is this guy doing to her??? So many unanswered questions the reader has to ponder on, and I felt like I became the female character. We can only think the worst scenarios are happening and reoccurring. Every day? Is there more?

Write On!
Becky

Tim Hillebrant

says:

Hey Anisa,

Another great offering from your writer’s mind. I loved it. I remember too this post, or at least talking about it, previously. It was wonderful to see it here.

While I didn’t see any nits, I do have a favorite line: I’m going to call him,” he draws out the word as if spoken with plague-sickened tongue. Love that part. Gives great imagery and shows your style well.

Tim

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