Posts Tagged house
She flexed and clenched her entire body, trying to wiggle out of the hands that were holding under her armpits and another set holding her feet. It did no good. The hands squeezed tighter, making her tired. She wanted so badly to rest but needed to keep fighting. No one was helping her. No one was out, most likely, because it was still so early in the morning. She thrashed her head back and forth, trying to see through the impenetrable cloth.
Both bodies that were carrying her halted. A fleeting moment allowed her to think that they had realized they had the wrong girl and that this was all a mistake. Sweat dripped into her eyes and the sack made her skin crawl with its itchy fibers. She heard metal sliding against metal, like a door was opening.
It was a vehicle door. She thought of the rules she was taught in the self-defense class she and Gertrude had taken at the library; never let them take you to a second location. She sprung with all her might and managed to kick one foot out of the fierce grip. Just then, a hard object smacked her across the face. She had never experienced such a dull pain that exploded into all of her senses. Her ears rung lowly and she wondered if her nose was misaligned, as she tasted blood running into the corners of her mouth. Whatever hit her was very heavy and she thought it might be a gun.
She felt rope wrapping around her ankles and hands at the same time. There were more than two people involved. The hands swung and heaved her body onto a hard metal floor. She landed on one knee and the agony made her fall face first. The door closed. Some strident notes rang out from what must have been the car radio. She couldn’t recognize the song but it sounded of Middle Eastern origin.
An engine started and rattled as they left the beach. She struggled to roll herself onto her back, but hand no success. The sharp turns made her slide face first into the corners under the seats. It took a lot of concentration not to scream. She knew it would waste her energy and worse, that no one would hear her. She wondered where they were going. They could have passed her parent’s house. Her parents, post coital from their block party, had no idea their daughter had been abducted.
She heard the familiar ringing of her phone. Her bag must have made it into the car. It must be Danno calling, saying that he had finished breakfast with Rainbow. It was time to talk about where they could run off to together. He would think that she was ignoring his phone call.
She flayed about the compartment, trying to get the sack off of her head again to be able to identify who was responsible. She felt the rope rub against the skin on her wrists, savagely scratching. She decided it was too soon to cry and, making that very decision meant that shock had set in. Still though, crying would make her more helpless.
“Please make the car stop,” she whispered. “Please let this be a mistake.”
“Shut up back there,” a low, crackling voice roared. She felt tiny hairs all over her body spring straight up. “I’ll cut off that pretty pink tongue and stuff it down your throat.”
She settled on some boat shoes she had bought the summer before. They felt a little stretched out and loosely dropped down her heel as she walked, but they would have to do. She couldn’t spend all day getting dressed for a hike.
Ala found him in the kitchen smearing some kind of preserves she didn’t recognize onto the two heels of the bread. There was also cheese wrapped in waxed paper, a cut up apple in a baggie, a bottle of wine and a wedge of pate wrapped in plastic lying on the counter.
She picked up the pate.
“Will this be good in the heat?”
He stopped spreading and looked at her.
“Are you afraid?”
She smiled and went into the pantry to find a bag. She put everything into a canvas satchel and zipped it closed. She carried it to the foyer, where she found her purse, and retrieved her sunglasses. She heard him locking the back door and her heart quivered. They certainly were playing house. He was taking the time to take care of a house that he was not even supposed to step foot in.
The car was sweltering and he immediately turned the dial all the way up so the cool air blasted their faces. She melted against the headrest as he drove past her parent’s house. She didn’t bother looking to see if they were home. She felt very adult and really didn’t need, or care, to know what anyone else was up to today.
He drove along the water for as long as possible, then veered toward the highway that curved toward the hills. She held her breath and inched her hand over to his. He snatched it up instantly.
He parked on the side of a very steep and rocky hill, partially covered with little green sprouts, and made sure to activate the parking brake. She grabbed the bag of food and secured the leather laces, which were more of a decoration than functional part of the shoe, before skipping to catch up to him.
She removed the rest of what she had on and let it all sink to the bottom of the pool, along with any self-conscious feelings she had. She dipped her head back and lifted up with her abs in order to float. She skimmed across the water, amazed at how dark the yard still was with the pool lights and tiny light posts Emmanuel had instilled throughout.
She pretended to not notice him taking off everything except his briefs, and only turned around when hearing the splash from his body hitting the water. He swam up behind her and put one hand across her forehead and over her eyes.
“Who is this?” She said.
“Who do you think?”
“I can’t say that you’re wrong.”
She spun around and swam backwards, splashing at him and laughing. He was able to keep up with her and finally grabbed both of her wrists.
“What you’re doing is very dangerous,” he said.
“You think so?”
“Yes,” he said, kissing her forehead. “Letting someone you hardly know swim with you, at night, in a pool, behind an empty house. I have both of your arms now. Do you know how easy it would be for me to drown you?”
Ala didn’t flinch or blink. She had no idea whether he was serious or not. And she had no instinct to try to get him to let go of her. He could’ve been serious and could’ve killed her without getting caught.
She just floated, letting him hold both of her arms. This was real. Incredibly stupid or not, her limbs had awoken. Nothing was asleep. She was present and the hazy sadness that always veiled her eyes had been cut through. She felt his hands coiled around her wrists. She felt his breath when he spoke to her. She wouldn’t trade it for saving her own life at this point.
She wanted to move into this barn with him. She didn’t want to go back to live with her parents. But then, she wasn’t living with them. She was living on her own for now in a beautiful house. She could do whatever she wanted.
After a faster song the whole place got up and danced to, he gestured toward her shoes.
“Would you like to leave?”
“I think so.”
The drive home seemed to linger on and she was happy for it. Now, even the headlights couldn’t make much sense of where they were driving, it was so dark. She was impressed that he could navigate through it. Soon buildings started to make sense and she started to recognize streets, to her dismay. She got nervous when he turned onto the block where Emmanuel’s house was. She did not want to say goodbye. She did not want to admit that this was just a date.
She looked up at the house and saw that she had left every light on. He turned off the engine and looked at her. Of course she wanted a kiss, and more. Not necessarily sex, her feeling wasn’t that primal urge, it was more that she wanted to know that when he left, he wasn’t going far.
“How did you even know what my name was?”
“I read your driver’s license.”
“That’s right,” she said, sitting back in the booth. She took at bite of the soufflé and the crunch on top melted her in mouth. “This is outstanding.”
“I’m glad you like it.” She took several more bites and realized there would hardly be enough left for him. Luckily, the Waldorf salad and egg salad platter arrived and he seemed to like both just fine. He brought a napkin to his lips and patted them gently. “How did your job interview go?”
“Pretty well. I got the job.”
“Really? That’s wonderful. What are your days going to be like?”
“Well, I’m sort of an estate manager.” She noticed the Pink Lemon Aid getting to her and tried to speak clearly. “I’m staying in the house you picked me up from.”
“It’s a great house.”
“I like it, so far at least. I just moved in today.”
“So, your time is going to be pretty open you’d say?”
“I would. I really only have to make sure it is maintained and watched over. It’s a great job for right now.”
“I wouldn’t mind doing that all day.”
“It’s a good way to get to normal,” she said and decided that sounded cryptic. “What I mean is, I’m saving up for a trip.”
“Where are you planning on going?”
“It’s strange really, but I am planning on visiting Burma.”
“Let me guess, you have family there?”
She gazed at the quivering water in the in-ground pool and thought about going skinny dipping. The sun seemed very bright at the time and, while there were very tall shrubs surrounding the yard, she decided against it. Skinny dipping was to be done in the dark. This was, without a doubt, the greatest job she had ever had. Why she hadn’t considered assisting the rich before, was baffling. She curled up sideways in the crook of the chair and drifted off for a short nap.
She awoke upon hearing her cell phone ringing from inside of the house. She jumped up and hurried inside. Her bag was by the front door, along with her luggage she had forgotten about unpacking. She answered.
“Ala, where are you?” It was her mother. While Ala was pretending to be wealthy, she had forgotten to call and tell her parents that she had moved out while they were gone.
“Oh, hi. I, I couldn’t find you or dad this morning and had to move quickly.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, I took a job for the summer.”
“Really? That’s wonderful. Where?”
“I’m housesitting actually for Emmanuel.”
“Emmanuel! I had no idea you had met.”
“At the Neely’s, yes, we talked for awhile and when he found out I was looking for a job, he asked if I would want to watch the house while he’s away on business.”
“And you said yes?”
“It’s the first offer I’ve gotten.”
“It’s really a low key job.”
“You barely know him.”
“But he’s not going to be here.”
“You expect me to believe that?”
“That Emmanuel just met you and asked you to stay in his house all summer and he’s not there going to bed with you?” Ala nearly dropped the phone.
“What in the Hell are you talking about?”
“Everyone knows about Emmanuel, Ala.”
“He has some very strange habits, well sexually, and I really don’t think you should be staying in his house with him.”
It was clear they needed the house to themselves. She would rather lick a toilet seat in a public bathroom than confront them. She couldn’t think of a friend who wasn’t traveling for the summer or shacking up with a boyfriend. She would have to stay somewhere else. For some reason the idea of Emmanuel’s job offer did not pop up as an immediate solution to her issue. It could have been the shock of what she had discovered in her parent’s bathroom. She walked into her bedroom and practically collapsed onto her bed. Her mind was speeding and sparking and she felt the rumblings of an anxiety attack creeping up through her ribcage. She spotted the letter out of the corner of her eye and realized that this summer job could fix all of her problems. She could have that house all to herself and make money to visit the temple for very little work.
She pulled a suitcase out from under her bed and got to work packing only what she needed, always a challenge for her. It would be best to be completely ready to go before notifying her parents she had thought, even though she couldn’t imagine looking either of them in the eye for more than a second.
She found her bikini and shoved it in the side pocket. She had not had a wax yet this summer, but decided no one would be around when she swam in Emmanuel’s pool. Sometime between selecting three books to bring with and finding her phone charger, she realized that she did not have to tell her parents in person that she was leaving at all. She could do so over the phone, a much more comfortable setup. She finished packing quickly, and made sure that her bed was made and that her hamper was empty of dirty clothes. She rushed downstairs and locked the door behind her. She would come back for her car later. She raced down the street to Emmanuel’s, feeling a thrill as if she was being chased or in great danger, and barely getting away.