Tara was just a normal teenage girl, until the mysterious Roman turned up on her doorstep. Who is he? What does he want with her? So many questions Tara think won't be answered, one thing she is certain about: her life has been turned upside down. Can she trust anyone anymore?
‘Tara! There’s someone on the phone for you!’ Mum shouted from downstairs. I heaved a sigh and replaced the thin piece of paper I used as a bookmark into my book and set it down on my bed.
‘Who is it?’ I grumbled, making my way down the stairs. I hated being disturbed when I was reading, it was one of my pet peeves.
‘I don’t know, they don’t sound particularly familiar,’ mum replied, handing me the phone. I didn’t recognise the number.
‘Tara.’ came a dark, unfamiliar voice from the end of the line.
‘Yes?’ I frowned. ‘Who is this?’
I heard a soft chuckle.
‘Freak,’ I muttered, before hanging up. I wasn’t in the mood for pathetic prank calls. Seconds later, however the phone rang again, the same number flashing up on the display.
‘What?’ I snapped.
‘That wasn’t very nice, Tara.’ they tutted.
‘Who is this?’ I repeated, angrily. ‘I don’t have time for this.’
‘Why? You’re not doing anything,’ they replied in an amused tone.
‘Yes, I’m helping my mum with tea,’ I lied.
‘No you’re not,’ they laughed. ‘You’re stood in the doorway with your hand on your hip.’
‘I can see you, and I’ll be coming for you shortly.’
I quickly replaced the phone upon the hook and ran to the far side of the room, drawing the curtains closed.
‘Who was that dear?’ Mum reappeared.
‘No one mum, they got the wrong number,’ I mumbled. I had an unpleasant feeling in the pit of my stomach, how did they know exactly what I was doing? It was impossible that they could see me. Even so, I should tell my mum to warn her. Shouldn’t I?
The doorbell interrupted my thoughts.
‘Who on earth could that be…?’ I made my way over to the door, confused.
I opened the door to reveal a tall unfamiliar man dressed head to toe in black, wearing a half amused half annoyed expression. He had wild black hair and striking blue eyes and looked like he was in his late teens, early twenties.
‘Um, can I help you? I questioned in a wary tone, getting ready to yell for help.
‘Yes I suppose you can,’ he smiled, sending chills down my spine. Every instinct in my body was telling me this man was dangerous. ’My car’s broken down, and my phone’s out of battery. I don’t suppose I could use yours?’
‘Sorry, it’s broken,’ I lied. I was about to shut the door when mum appeared at my side.
‘Can we help you?’ mum repeated my earlier question but her voice was full of warmth and kindness. She obviously didn’t get the same bad feeling I did.
‘Yes,’ I noticed the man had changed considerably. He no longer looked menacing or evil, he looked just like a regular person in need of help. He smiled warmly at her. ’I was just saying my car has broken down and my phone’s not working. I know it’s rude but this is the first house I saw. Could I please use your phone to call for help?’
‘Of course you can!’ Mum stood the side, welcoming this stranger into our house. He stood there for a minute, looking unsure what to do. ’Come in then.’
‘Thank you, that’s very kind of you. My name’s Roman by the way,’ he stuck his hand out as he crossed the threshold. Mum shook his hand beaming.
‘The phone’s right this way,’ mum lead the way into the living room. I was still stood holding the door open, hesitant of what to do. I felt I should warn my mother about the bad feelings I was getting but I knew she’d simply laugh at me and tell me to stop being so rude. My mum was a very trusting person.
‘Tara offer Roman a drink,’ mum instructed me. Roman seemed to smile at that point, like it was amusing to him somehow. This just freaked me out even more.
‘Um, tea? Coffee?’ I offered, keeping my eyes on the floor not wanting to make eye contact.
‘No thanks, it’s nice enough that you’re letting me use your phone,’ he replied. I made my way into the kitchen after my mum while he made his call.
‘You trust people way too easily you know mum,’ I muttered.
‘What? Don’t be silly dear.’
She wasn’t going to listen to me, that much was clear. I still wasn’t going to leave her down her alone with him though. I offered to help put the dishes away to keep my eye on him.
His call was very brief and he popped his head round the door a minute later.
‘Thank you so much, somebody’s on their way now. They should only be fifteen minutes.’
‘Oh it was no bother, really. Feel free to stay a little longer if you like, you can wait here until they show up,’ mum smiled. I nearly dropped the plate.
‘Oh no, it’s okay. I need to collect some stuff from my car anyway, but thank you,’ Roman gave the creepiest smile but it appeared I was the only one who was freaked out by it, my mother just thought he was being polite.
‘Tara would you like to show Roman out?’
Not really, the guy’s a freak!
I ushered Roman to the front door and out the house. He turned round to face me.
‘Nice lie about your phone being broken by the way Tara.’ his eyes flashed.
‘Yes well, erm, bye,’ I mumbled, slamming the door shut in his creepy face.
The next day at school I was subdued and distracted the whole day. Rose tried to get me to tell her what was wrong, but I couldn’t. She was my best friend and I trusted her with my life but some things were just better left unsaid. Besides, I had this feeling that was telling me I shouldn’t tell anyone; it was too dangerous.
‘Tara?’ Rose’s voice drilled through my thoughts once again and brought me back to reality. ‘Seriously what is wrong? Come on, you know you can trust me.’ I looked at my caring and concerned best friend but I still couldn’t bring myself to tell her.
‘Nothing,’ I mumbled for what felt like the thousandth time that day.
The day dragged slowly and everything seemed pointless. I didn’t take anything in and I skipped lunch. I didn’t know why something so small and possibly not even that important was affecting me so much. But it was like he was etched onto my brain. I remembered his cold, striking eyes the colour of the ocean, his wild unkempt jet black hair and his eerily chalky complexion. Who was he and why did he have this influence over me?
When the bell finally sounded at the end of the day, I packed my books up and made my way to the door.
‘Tara! Wait up!’ someone called from behind me.
I turned around puzzled to find myself gazing into the eyes of the new kid. He was certainly very hot that was for sure. His wavy, honey blonde hair fell just short of his shoulders and framed smouldering brown eyes and beautifully curved lips that were now stretched into a friendly smile.
When did he join our class? Was it today?
‘Um hi,’ I smiled, feeling a blush slowly creep across my cheeks.
‘We’d better stand outside, we’re blocking the doorway.’ He led me out the room and into the corridor.
‘You live around Crescent Avenue, right?’
‘Erm, yes I do, how did you know?’ I enquired.
‘Oh I sort of asked,’ he replied sheepishly. ‘I thought I saw you there the other day and I live right near you but I’m new to this town so I thought that maybe we could walk together?’ He looked unsure and ready for rejection but I quickly nodded.
‘Sure! I’d be happy to show you!’ I probably said that with a bit too much enthusiasm…
‘Great,’ he smiled once more and I felt myself going bright red once more.
I learned that the guys name was Luke Cevino (Chev-ee-no) and he was originally from America, but his parents moved over to England when his dad got transferred at work. He was an only child and I got the impression that he was a very independent person.
‘Mum and dad are always at work, so I don’t see them much,’ Luke shrugged his shoulders and my heart went out to him. ‘Anyway,’ he changed the subject before I could say anything. ‘I don’t know all that much about you. Tell me something.’
‘There’s nothing really interesting about me,’ I tucked a lock of hair behind my ears. ‘I don’t have any brothers or sisters and it’s just me and mum at home. I’ve never met my dad and I have a cat called Snowball.’
He laughed and my mouth fell open at the sound of it. It might sound corny but it was literally the most wonderful thing I have ever heard; like beautiful music to my ears.
‘Is this where you live?’ he gestured to a house in front of me. With a jolt I realised it was, the time had passed really quickly.
‘Yeah I live here,’ I giggled but stopped immediately when I realised how silly I sounded.
‘Right well, thanks for walking with me. See you tomorrow?’ Luke smiled.
‘Sure,’ I grinned back.
With a final wave, Luke turned around and walked off down the road. I stood there for a while staring after him wistfully before starting to head inside. However, before I got inside I saw something move in the garden out of my peripheral vision. It was just a flash but something was definitely there.
Instead of going inside and ignoring it, I opened the creaky gate that separated the garden from the drive and took slow, tentative steps further into the garden. Nothing was there. I decided to check round the edge, next to the conservatory.
The grass was slippery from the rain and so my feet didn’t make a sound as my eyes searched out for something unusual or some possible intruder. Another flash of black to my right. I whirled round and my mouth hung open at what I saw.
Roman was stood facing me, hatred and anger burning in his eyes.