Unknown Caller

The phone was ringing again. She stepped away from its eery tone and repeatitive vibrations. I watched as she lifted the tiny device to her ear, her hands shaking though she was cold. She whispered a quiet hello and waited, turning pale as paper. After a moment in silence, she threw the mobile at the walll. The iPhone hit the wall with a sickening crack and plummeted to the floor, bouncing thrice and stopping by my feet. I looked at her, seeing the tears fall and get caught in her hair, pulling it to her cheeks. I stamped down on the phone as though it was on fire, screen and glass going everywhere, some cutting into my foot, but I didn’t care, I hugged her close as she sobbed, dampening my t-shirt and whispering repeatedly, “when will this nightmare end?”

DAY ONE:

She was so full of life. Running after her younger siblings her parents forced her to watch; texting me and the rest of the gang; walking her dogs; going to parties; she was happy. We all were. Then, while walking through the streets of London, dogs on the leads, she walked past a telephone box. It was ringing it’s awful screech as she passed and paused, looking at it. Knowing full well what happened in horror films, she picked up the phone. “H….Hello?” Her hesitant voice whistled down the line to the other end, getting only static in reply. She slammed the phone down and began to walk away when it rang again. She didn’t answer.

DAY TWO:

She walked along the street without dog or child or bag. Just her and her music. She passed the phone box, the events of the previous day forgotten. In the middle of her favourite song, her phone began to ring. Lifting the mobile device to her ear, she didn’t bother to check the number but was greeted with silence. She muttered a hello, hearing a whisper, sounding so very very close in Response.  “Hello Beth.” She jumped, a chill dancing on her spine at the unfamiliar voice. “Who’s this?” Her voice shook as she removed her other earbud and looked around. The caller said nothing and she checked the number, thinking it might be one of her friends pulling an unfunny prank. ‘Unknown caller’ the screen proclaimed.  She held it back to her ear as the caller began again. “You’re looking around now aren’t ya? Well enjoy your day!” The line went dead.

DAY SIX

She sat in her room surfing the net after four days without incident, when her home phone rang, she picked up, thinking it would be a random family member. It wasn’t. “Hello?” Silence. “Anyone there?” Silence. She sighed and was about to hang up when she heard a voice. “I see you there” she shuddered at the voice, for it has the same empty hollowness it had had on her mobile. She slammed It down, tears falling.

DAY FIFTEEN:

Every day had been the same. The house phone would ring. The voice would tell her it could see her. Then her mobile would ring. The voice told her it was okay. The telephone box would ring. All she would hear was heavy breathing. She would shy away from any phone that rang. She changed her number, stopped passing the telephone box, but the calls kept coming. She managed to block calls from unknown numbers on her mobile, but the calls kept coming.

DAY EIGHTEEN:

The phone rang. She didn’t answer. Her mobile rang. She didn’t answer. I called her, using my own Nokia as my Samsung was lost to the sea of items in my room. She didn’t answer. It had been three days since I had last heard from her, so I kept calling till she answered, her voice shaking with sobs, sounding distant in her hysteria.”thank God it’s you Joe I thought…n..never mind. Joe I need help.” I stood in silence as she explained all that had happened to her in the last eighteen days. “It’s gonna be okay Beth.  I’ll come around now and-” I stopped at her yell hearing footsteps and heavy breathing then silence. “There’s someone outside” she whispered, still crying.  “I’m coming to get you.  It’ll be okay” I grabbed my coat and my keys and rushed to her house, seeing a figure standing opposite. I walked to the door and she let me in, hugging me tightly. “He won’t stop” I held her tightly, trying to calm her.”don’t worry, I’ll make him stop”

DAY NINETEEN:

I woke on the floor in her room, the guy gone from outside but she was crying. I sat beside her on her bed. “What’s wrong Beth?” She didn’t answer, Only clung to me as I hugged her. She told me bout how she had heard her mobile ring and answered it without thinking. She sobbed as she recited word for word what he had said to her. “He said ‘Don’t forget I am still here. I will kill everyone you care about and love of you dare tell another. You have been warned’ over and over and over” I held her close, whispering that it was going to be okay, at which point she shuddered, remembering what the unlikely own caller had said to her. ‘It’s okay. Everything will be okay’ I needed to be more careful.

DAY TWENTY:

The guy had moved on from outside her home; but the calls hadn’t stopped. I held her close very time the phone rang and eventually convinced her it was okay to answer the calls. She would pick up with a shaking hand and reply with a shaking voice and tears on her beautiful blue eyes. I was doing it again, I needed to be more careful. I suppose being reckless had Otten me that far, why not o all the way that careless about the consequences.

DAY THIRTY:

The phone was ringing again. She stepped away from its eery tone and repeatitive vibrations. I watched as she lifted the tiny device to her ear, her hands shaking though she was cold. She whispered a quiet hello and waited, turning pale as paper. After a moment in silence she threw the mobile at the walll. The iPhone hit the wall with a sickening crack and plummeted to the floor, bouncing thrice and stopping by my feet. I looked at her, seeing the tears fall and get caught in her hair, pulling it to her cheeks. I stamped down on the phone as though it was on fire, screen and glass going everywhere, some cutting into my foot, but I didn’t care, I hugger her close as she sobbed, dampening my t-shirt and whispering repeatedly, “when will this nightmare end?” I knew full well when it would end. Not yet though, I was enjoying it too much. No I couldn’t bring myself to end her pain. Not yet. I took hold for her shoulders, looking her in he eyes, those beautiful blue pools a guy could easily get lost in, but I didn’t.  Not this time. She held my gaze as I spoke, her sobs weakening and growing further apart. “Look at me, Beth. Would I lie to you?” She shook her head. I was loving it, she was clueless! “I’m going to make it stop Beth.  I promise.” She ld me close, whispering  I shouldn’t do anything stupid. Fat chance, this whole thing was stupid, not ending it would be stupider.

DAY THIRTY-TWO:

I walked to the place alone.  Leaving Beth home alone wasn’t a smart move but a necessary one. I walked to the old warehouse I knew he would be , ready for the two o’clock phone call. It wasn’t far to walk but I didn’t enjoy the exercise. I arrived within fifteen minutes, muscles aching in protest. Upon entering I saw the man, still in the same black a tired he had wore to all our pervious meetings. He didn’t rn to look at me but he ran the tape as he was told.  I saw her number on the large computer screen and watched silently as he played my recording. I waited as my voice whispered that it was all going to be okay if she kept quiet just a little longer. Then I walked over to the guy and hit him. “LEAVE HER ALONE YOU SICK B*****D” when he fell, he didn’t get back up, didn’t say a word. I picked up the phone, hearing the dial tone and sighing with relief. I walked out after a few minutes, rolling in the ud outside to keep it seem like I had been in a fight; Then stumbled back her house. I let myself  and was greeted with a hug. “Don’t ever do that again Joe!” She sobbed. I hugged her tightly, lost in the moment of my ‘heroic praise’ though, staging this was simple, the next step was going to be even easier.

DAY FORTY-FIVE:

We walked into school together. There had been no sign of her ‘stalker’ since day thirty-two and my moment as a hero had passed. I knew it a too soon, but I had to do it. While at our locker I looked at her and, using all my willpower, asked her out. She turned bright red. “Joe I…didn’t know you felt that way I…uh…” she loozed around awkwardly, obviously Ken by prise by my proposition. “No Joe, sorry but no.” She went to walk away but I wasn’t thinking clearly and I gravedigger her arm. “Beth please, after all I have done for you. Please you OWE me this.” She shook her head and pulled her arm away from my grip but I held on. “I owe you nothing.” She slapped my hand away and I stepped back. She started to walk off and I felt it again. The rage I had tried so desperately to repress bubbling to the surface. I rushed after her. “I’VE DONE SO MUCH FOR YOU! you can’t even LOOK AT ME” SHe picked up speed, the rridoor deserted. “What was the point of all this? Calling you? What was the point if you won’t let me be your hero!?” She stopped dead in her tracks. “It was you? You PAID that guy to stalk me just so I would love you?! You sicko! I TRUSTED YOU!” She ran in the other direction but I followed, easily keeping pace. We sprinted down the hallway, until we ran side by side, as we had many times before. This time however the one who got to the other side first wasn’t the winner, they were the one survivor. I sped past her and shoved her into the lockers to our left.

She hit it with a sickening thud. I stopped dead in my tracks seeing her bleed and yelled for help. She lay there, motionless and I sat beside her sobbing, waiting for her to wake up; I stayed beside her, even as the cops and teachers and paramedics pushed me and pulled me and questioned me. I stayed as close as I could, until the cops took me away, in their car.

DAY FORTY-SIX

I walked out of the police station late at night. I felt numb, no pain, no fear, no grief, no emotion. I walked towards my home but didn’t enter, I knew my parents would be in, ready to greet me with hugs and apologies.  But they would never know I killed her. Manslaughter. That’s what they called it. It wasn’t Manslaughter.  It was murder and there is a huge difference between the two. I suppose there wasn’t much point in me even trying to work it out, I didn’t try then and I’m not going to try now.  All I know is that I killed her. It was time that I ended it like I had promised. I walked to the park just past my house and sat on the swing. She was dead. I was a murderer. So why I ask, did I start laughing? I’ll tell you why. I was laughing because I loved it. I had killed her and noone knew. Or ever would. I felt numb, yes, but, the numbness was welcome to me. I loved the feeling; and I couldn’t wait to make it happen again.