A Warning Call
I don't know if it's a nightmare, racing thoughts or a noise outside but I'm suddenly awake in the middle of the night, sitting up, panting, sweating. My heart's racing like I've just run a marathon and I'm alert and tense. When I pull myself together, I instantly think the usual and gingerly peer behind the curtains of my window expecting to see a wide grinning face peering back at me. But not this time. Not at the window, not climbing up the drain pipe, not in my front garden. Not anywhere. Jeff isn't there for once.
I wait a few moments in case he is about to jump out at me and give me a fright. He's done that a few times, once he's hyped up and on a high after a killing spree. No matter how many times I try and prepare myself for it, I still about shit myself every time.
But alas, no Jeff. I'm kind of glad. I just want to sleep really.
I close the curtains, yawn loudly and crawl back into bed, closing my eyes. I try and get comfortable but the pillows slip about and I keep getting itchy. I turn the other way but suddenly there's a spring digging into my side making it very uncomfortable. I try laying on my tummy but it hurts after about 5 minutes. Oh God it's going to be one of those nights is it? I roll on my back and give up more or less and just blink in the darkness. It's not the bed or the uncomfortable sleeping positions. It's my mind. I have a lot on it. Trying to sleep with a full mind isn't easy, and to make things worse, my anxiety is on full swing.
Something is going to happen.
Something bad already has happened.
Well, it has. With Catherine of course, but this time something different. Something worse.
It's a common feeling I get with Anxiety. Normally I can brush it off after a few hours, or at worse a few days, but this one is stronger. This is one, I can almost feel it. Like a force. A force hitting me, consuming me, taking over my thoughts and emotions. I almost hear it whisper to me but I cant make out what it's saying. But I feel like its telling me I have to do something. I need to be some place. I need to... stop something. But what?
Maybe this is why I should stop over thinking things and worrying before bed. That and eat a bunch of sweets. No wonder my sleeping pattern has gone to shit. Every time I've been looking in the mirror, the dark circles under my ears become darker and darker, and I'm cranky.
I sigh and close my eyes again, trying hard to get comfortable and to let my mind just wander, escaping the worries and just let myself drop off. I feel myself getting sleepier and sleepier, the world around me starting to drift away and I feel relaxed... so relaxed...and warm...
"You're too late now."
My eyes flash open and I sit up so fast I make myself dizzy, but I'm too shocked to care. I heard a male voice speak to me, right beside my, clear as day. Well, technically night. I spring out of bed, flick the light on and once I've blinked in the sudden brightness about 40 times, I look around. I look under my bed, in my wardrobe, behind shelves and even out the window once again. You're probably wondering why I'm so edgy and scared. I mean I'm used to a male rudely waking me up by talking loudly or making a rather noisy entrance. A scary, psycho who's spookiness doesn't really phase me any more since I'm used to it, and dare I say love it, but this was a different voice.
It wasn't Jeff's voice.
Jeff's voice is deep, harsh, husky, kind of croaky. This voice was the opposite. Light, calm, kind and even sweet, like a golden boy. A golden angel as opposed to my dark demon. It sounded harmless but it's new to me, so it could be anyone.
But as I look around my room in panic, searching every nook and cranny, I find nothing. There's no one in here a part from me and the spiders.
"Probably a stupid dream"
Maybe I had fallen asleep again and started dreaming and it was such a light sleep that voices in the dream woke me. God I can be such an idiot. I breathe a sigh of relief, then let out another of exasperation, turn the light back off and crawl into bed. It's slowly starting to get light outside, full morning soon. At this rate, I'm lucky if I'm going to get any sleep before I have to get up. Maybe it's time to take a trip to the Doctor for some sleeping pills.
God Jeff, you make my mind race all the time. You're bad for my health physically and mentally!
Ah well. I suppose love does that to people.
I snuggle down, shut my eyes, try hard to drift off again, telling myself to ignore any "voices" I hear (unless it's Jeff's of course), and this time I'm startled awake by a different sound. A constant buzzing sound coming from my phone.
Who the Hell...?
I pick it up and look at the caller ID.
Why the heck is he phoning me at this time of night? Oh let me guess. He's drunk, or high and he's going to shout, sing and ramble nonsense to me as he makes his way home from another night out. He's done it plenty of times before. I should just reject it, switch my phone off and get some sleep, but with sleep being impossible just now, maybe a funny chat with Gary will humour me enough to ease my mind of worries. Or put me to sleep. Whatever comes first. So I hit the green button and accept the call.
"Hello, alcoholic", I chuckle.
"Not this time."
"Oh that's a first."
"Are you awake?"
"No I'm talking to you in my sleep. What do you think?"
"Turn on the news, now!"
"Do it! It's important!"
I bite my lip nervously. He isn't playing some kind of trick on me is he?
"Am I going to put the channel on and it's going to be some porn film or something equally disgusting?"
"No, seriously! Just put it on!"
He sounds panicky. Either he is a great actor...or he's being truthful and something serious has happened that I should be aware off.
"Okay, okay. Hang on."
I climb out of bed, shove my dressing gown on and tip-toe downstairs, cringing at each creak. They always make me think about the first ever dream, well nightmare, I had about Jeff. Oh how time flies.
I switch on the TV, turning the volume down low so I don't wake my parents.
"Okay, what channel is the News on again?"
Gary tells me and I change it to the channel he says.
It's cut to a commercial so I have to wait, jumping about impatiently to see what big important news Gary thinks I need to see at 4 in the morning. The 3 minute commercial break feels like 3 hours to me and I'm nearly a puddle on the floor by the time the Breaking News report flashes on the TV.
And before I read and listen about what's happened, I nearly drop my phone and fall over.
The image shows our local hospital, and there's Police everywhere. Police cars drawing up, policemen with dogs, interviewing people, hunting around with flash lights, talking to the news reporter. There's crowds of patients and nurses outside too, behind yellow tape, shivering and looking scared, some even crying.
"What the hell-"
"Just watch and listen", Gary instructs me, sternly. So I do as he says.
"A female who was already a victim of a stabbing just a couple of nights ago and was left in a coma, has been murdered. We have learned that someone made their way into her room and stabbed her repeatedly. By the time the nurses arrived, the attacker had fled out the window before they could get a good look at him and the victim was pronounced dead straight away."
No. Please no.
No. It can't be.
Oh it is. I know who it is. I know the victim and the attacker. I know it all but I don't want to know. I want to be wrong. Please let me be wrong. Please let it have been someone else. Please, please, please...
"The victim has been identified as Catherine Burke."
I'm not wrong.
I'm very much correct.
I'm too late.
Just like that voice told me I was.