Seal the Deal
My head feels horrible, like someone is bashing it in with a hammer. I feel this horrible rotting feeling in the pit of my stomach. I try and crack my eyes open but the dim light that fills the room makes me squeeze them shut again in agony. The only comfort I have is I'm not lying on a cold, hard floor but I'm lying on something comfortable. I feel with my hands that it's something quite soft and slightly springy. A bed? A couch? Come to think of it. Where exactly am I? The last thing I remember was standing on the bridge, falling, hearing someone whisper to me and then blacking out. Who? Where? What?
I slowly begin to recollect everything and pull myself together, opening my eyes to face the dull light before me and ease myself off, what I soon realise, to be a mattress. Not the cleanest of mattresses but it's better than hard concrete. Trying hard to ignore my pounding head and churning stomach, I look around, slowly taking everything in. I can see a ripped, tattered old sofa, a broken table, empty takeaway cartons, cans, apple cores and multiple wrappers and containers laying around everywhere. There are two smashed windows, one of which semi-boarded up. The walls are stained, ripped and crumbly looking, to mention the state of the floor. In fact, the mattress I'm laying on is the cleanest piece of furniture (if you can call it that) in this place. For a few minutes I wonder who on earth would let their house go this way and then it finally dawns on me; Its an old, rotten, abandoned house. It looks like its been abandoned for many years, I'd say about 10? 15? Possibly longer.The dim light comes from a few lit candles scattered about the room so someone must be staying here. But who?
Who brought me here?
I'm not immediately terrified. If they were kidnapping me, I'm sure they'd have tied me up. And if they were killing me, I'd assume they'd have done it by now.
Go to sleep.
Those were the last 3 words I heard before blacking out.
Wait a sec... of course! It makes sense now! Only one person has a way of saying those words that make it sound both terrifying and comforting. Only one person would hideout somewhere like this, somewhere isolated, a place no one would go. Only one person would bring me to a place like this.
I know full well who this one person is, that I don't even jump when I see a door opening and a whit hooded figure enter the room, smirking right at me.
"Well, look who's awake."
"Hey...Jeff..." I try and sound as casual as I can. I stand up straight but in the process I feel a bit dizzy again and have to hold on to the nearby broken table to steady myself. I look as calm as I can and ask him what happened as my mind is mainly a blur. Jeff just stares blankly, tilting his head to the side a little.
"I was hoping you would tell me."
"I...can't really remember.."
I don't really want to tell Jeff about my sudden alcohol binge at work, but with the way he's smirking at me, I think he already knows.
"Your lucky I saw your face, you know. I can't stand drunks. They're usually my main targets when I'm feeling bored. But I guess with you I'll make an exception this time."
"I'm not a constant drunk. I just had a bad time at work...."
Jeff frowns a little, sauntering casually over to me. The closer he gets, the faster my heart beats and the feeling of butterflies fly about my stomach, until he brushes past me, staring out of the grubby, broken window that isn't boarded up. He has his back turned to me and I see him take something out of his hoodie pocket. I immediately assume its his trusty knife and I back up a tad, nearly tripping over the table legs. There's a chilling silence for a moment. I question whether I should stay awkwardly lingering as I am now, or leave. I don't want to say or do anything to anger Jeff this time that'll make him go for me. We're isolated, they'll be no one to save me this time. I doubt It'll be third time lucky for me and I'll survive. Eventually I see Jeff's head lowering a little and he begins to speak.
"You really fucked someone over did you?"
"You're supposedly crazy? Ooh. And pretty twisted too. Wow. We have a lot in common, huh?"
"What do you me-"
"Oh I like this one. Me and you make a PERFECT pair! Aw. Aint that just sweet?"
What is he talking about?
"You'll regret messing him about? Someone really has it in for you, dearie."
The way he's talking, like he's reading something out loud. And what is he going on about me messing someone about for? Who have I supposedly messed with that Jeff would know? The only person who said that was...
Gary! Shit! The texts! Jeff's reading the texts! I remember now. I remember Gary going apeshit at me. I remember believing every threatening text message I've been getting are from him! I remember my phone skidding along the end of the bridge into the darkness. I assumed it was gone forever. Clearly not. Jeff rescued it. As he turned to face me looking both amused and stern, I see the familiar phone in his hand. He's got it alright. And he's read every single text.
"Yes. Oh. I guess THIS is what you were trying to tell me?"
I just nod. He sounds angry and his voice is slightly louder. I don't dare say a word in case it's the last word I EVER say.
"Mind explaining what's going on?"
"Jeff. It's a...long story. Look I can sort this-"
"What's going on?"
He sounds a lot more stern now. He sounds seriously pissed off and to be honest I can't blame him. My stalker has made it plain that he or she knows all about Jeff and that must be winding Jeff up to shit because well whoever it is seems to be stalking him too. Jeff is the stalker. He doesn't do being stalked. And he doesn't want anyone to know his business, I'm sure. I guess I have no choice but to tell him everything.
"Okay. It started like this..."
It takes god knows how long to explain the whole story to him. Not only do I have to explain what happened but I have to talk for myself too, tell him why I kept it a secret. Tell him why I didn't mention Gary to him when I had the chance. I should be worried about the time and that my parents will likely be going mental wondering where I am. They probably tried ringing but I doubt Jeff would have happily chatted to them to tell them I'm alright.
By the time I mention today's events to Jeff, I'm literally out of breath like I'd just finished a marathon. It's not always easy to learn what Jeff is feeling because his expressions can be difficult to read but he seems slightly...concerned. I'm probably kidding myself and he's just pissed off or bored with my story but there just seems to be a small look of concern in those crazy eyes of his. Just a little bit.
"So please", I wrap it up. "Please don't kill Gary. At least....at least let me find out the truth..."
I feel a bit bad. Here I am begging for Jeff not to kill my workmate/possible Stalker and poor Catherine is now buried in the ground. I'm still so angry at Jeff for that and want to go berzerk, but now really isn't the time.
"And if it IS this Gary that's behind it all?", Jeff quizzes me, looking me in the eye.
I'm the first to look away, staring at the ground.
"Then...I'll let you do what you want." I can't bring myself to say the words. I can't bring myself to give, permission more or less, for Jeff to go and kill someone. I know he will likely do it with or without my permission. I can't tell him what to do, but hopefully pleading will be enough. I just can't let a possibly innocent person be killed. Not again. Too many people have died because of me.
I can't let it happen any more.
Jeff actually looks slightly amused now, a small smirk appearing.
"You got guts, you know that?"
I look up at him, confused at that sudden remark.
"Guts? Me? How?"
"Here you are, you've just woken up after passing out from an alcohol binge. You don't know where you are. The only person around is an infamous killer. And you're stopping me from doing the one thing this infamous killer loves to do."
"So....you agree? You'll let Gary live and let ME deal with this?"
"If I regret doing so, I'm breaking your neck". It sounds like a deadly threat that I freeze for a moment, chills running down my spine. But then I see that familiar cocky little smug grin spread on his face and his eyes narrow.
"But fine. You win. Little Gary gets to live. At least for now."
I don't know what it is. One second I hated Gary, and wanted him dead. Now I'm so relieved that Jeff isn't going to slaughter him that I suddenly become overcome with emotion. I don't quite know what I'm doing but I suddenly just throw my arms around Jeff and hug him. I don't care that there's a sharp knife in his pocket that's inches away from my heart. I don't care that Jeff has an even darker side to him that he could switch too at any time. I don't care that I could be dead in seconds.
I just want Jeff.
I feel him tense up at the surprise hug and I gently let go of him and look at him, clearing my throat a little.
"Sorry...uh...thanks, Jeff. I'll sort this out. I promise."
"You will, huh?"
It's just then I realise how close I really am to Jeff. My face is inches away from his. I feel his breath on my skin. I see the light shining in his wild eyes. I can see his bleached facial features.
I have no idea what I'm doing but I find myself slowly placing a hand on his cheek, forgetting that he's like a rabid animal that could attack at any time. I want to remind myself of that lovely, leathery feel of his face. I slowly eye up his distinguished face. The skin. The carved smile. The unblinking, black rimmed eyes. Being honest it's enough to scare, shock and traumatise some people. But not me. Never. It's never scared me. It's never terrified me. It's made me fall in love.
Fuck what the world thinks.
I lean in closer. I expect him to pull away but he just stands there gazing. I have no idea what he's thinking. I don't care if I'm killed for this.
I press my lips against his.
In the end...
In the end...it's worth it.
I might be crazy but I think he's actually kissing me back. Maybe.