Sarah tiptoes up the steps nervously. She shouldn't be here and she knows it. But she has to keep going.
She reaches the top step and peeks around the corner of a short hallway. Carefully stepping so the floorboards don't creek, she inches her way to the second door on the right of the hall.
Key. Key. Where is the key? Her hands shuffle through a small jewelry box on top of Sammie’s antique dresser. She begins quietly, but panics after a minutes work of searching. Keys clatter on the top of the dresser as she throws them out of the box.
“This one?” she whispers to herself. None seem to be the right key. “I thought it was here.”
Her hands snakes to the back of the box. It grasps onto a larger soft keychain. A tan stuffed teddy bear with a pink ribbon tied around its neck is attached to a small gray key. Sarah’s eyes widen in her unbelievable success.
The mass of thrown out keys crash back in the box. Sarah winces before shutting the box gently.
Having the deed done, she quickly hops down the stairs, looking around at the dark and lonely apartment. It almost looked too tidy, like someone had cleaned before going on vacation. This sparks Sarahs curiosity, and she decides to look around.
She feels her way around the kitchen, not wanting to turn on the lights. A paper crunches under her hand. She holds it up in the moonlight coming from a sole window on the opposite side of the kitchen.
Probably tomorrow. Be prepared.
It seems as if it were ripped out of a small notepad. The handwriting looks like Jeff’s. Unsure of what it is, Sarah shoves it in her back pocket and leaves the kitchen.
Melissa glares at the dark road in front of her. She grumbles insults to no one in particular.
She was never fond of Jeff. She always thought he was suspicious. She remembers the first day she met him.
Dom and her had only met Sammie about a month ago, and she had started to grow very fond of her. They had planned to meet at the diner and Sammie said she had a new friend that she’d like them to meet. When they arrived that day, she brought in a tall, lanky man with chocolate brown flippy hair. Just the sight of him and his glazed over blue eyes made Melissa cringe a little inside.
It was a very awkward day. Most of the time, they spoke very little, sipping at their milkshakes, not sure of what to make of the new person sitting at the table. When someone asked Jeff a question about his life, Sammie would answer it for him. In fact, he only spoke to tell them his name. Sammie seemed strangely intrigued by him, and Melissa could never understand why. Those mysterious guys always have too much to hide.
It might have been jealousy, but she knew she held something against Jeff. She found out why on an evening about a month ago.
Everyone was at Sarah’s house to watch a couple of movies over some popcorn and sundaes. The Shining had just ended, and Jeff left to go to the bathroom. Dom and Sarah went into the kitchen to make more sundaes, and Melissa and Sammie sat on the couches of Sarah’s living room, talking about the movie.
“It always scares the crap out of me!” Sammie laughed.
“Yet, we still watch it over and over,” Melissa added. She looked over at the empty space between her and Sammie where Jeff had just gotten up from. His cell phone lied in the space, where it must have fallen out of his pocket. Melissa quickly grabbed it.
“Stop it! That’s not right!” Sammie yelled at her playfully, yet let her hack into his phone anyway. Melissa sifted through his messages, scanning for something embarrassing or completely out of the ordinary.
“I think I like him,” Sammie continued. “He’s being really nice to me all of a sudden.” She would say that.
Melissa scrolled down to messages from a mysterious contact named R. Hernandez.
I think I have the perfect person for the job. He sent to 'R'.
You keep him to yourself. I don’t need another person to look after. There are too many that can’t be trusted. The mystery man replied.
SHE’S what we need. Trust me. He sent back.
“Sammie, I think he’s using you,” Melissa said to her. “He says you’ll be perfect for the job.”
“What job?” Sammie asked worriedly.
“I don’t know what they’re talking about,” Melissa continued, scrolling through the rest of the messages, “ but I don’t like this. Stay away from him.”
“But Melissa, I-” Sammie stopped when she heard the bathroom door creaking. Melissa quickly locked his phone and tossed it back on the couch where it was. The two friends never spoke about it again.
The memories only made Melissa grow more irate. She knew that Jeff was trouble, and she did nothing to stop it. Now, it could be too late.
She growls at the road in her own frustration. She sighs and turns her gaze away from the highway, blinking back a few tears. What had she let happen?
“What does this mean?” Dom asks, peering at the paper intently.
“It means that there is more to this than we thought,” Sarah says with a soft sigh.
“Do you think she knew about this? Was this all a setup?” Dom questions, playing with the visor in Sarah’s car. Sarah leans her head down in her hand and shakes it tiredly.
“I don’t know,” she yawns. “This whole thing is tiring me out.”
“But what is this?” Dom notices something on the back of the paper when he holds it up to the car light. He flips the paper over. It reads, in Sammie’s handwriting,
I love you.