Stay close by and I'll let you know when the sequel is done. It sheds light on what really happened and how she found herself so tangled in this crazy web of chance.... Enjoy!
The Longest Night
I could see his reflection, and the reflection of the clock in the moon roof. The time was 3:18 am, and the expression on his face was of sheer terror. I was paralyzed. Fear had gripped my soul so tight, the rush of adrenaline in my system was about to make me lose my lunch. The horror was gut wrenching. The feeling was far beyond the realm of anything I could have imagined. All I could think about was "Would I have to be on television? Would my face be on the news? In the paper? On the net?!". I thought about how ashamed my mother would be of me. What my co-workers would think, and the rumors they’d spread. My mind raced through time and space. Through every thought, time, and place Id ever been. My life flashed before me in ways Id never seen. And now I lay in a car, with my panties around my ankles with a corpse (whose last name I don’t even know), lying next to me with his face splattered all over his leather interior. I didn’t even know what kind of car it was. I was weak with anxiety. The pit of my stomach quivered. I couldn’t decide what to do. I couldn’t decide if I should get out and run for help, or if I should stay my ass in the car in case they were still around.
They. Who ever they were. I hadn’t the vaguest clue. Hell, I didn't even know who he was! I decided to stay in the car, at least for the time being, while I thought things through. Or at least tried. I couldn’t remember my cell phones emergency code, and didn’t have the strength to go digging through my purse for it. Was it 911? Or was is # something, or * something I wanted so desperately to stop trembling long enough to sit up and look around to see if the coast was clear. I knew I had to do something but my nerves were so bad I could hardly think. Or even move for that matter. I replayed the whole day over and over again in my mind. My thoughts were cluttered. They even sounded cluttered in my head. And loud! Loud like confusion. Like the noise you get from having the tv, radio and the vacuum cleaner all on at the same time. I tried to lock in on one thought at a time. Again, and again I tried to replay the day to see if there had been any clues, or any warning signs that should have tipped me off . . .
That day . . .
It was Friday, the thirteenth. Really! I got off work early. It was the due date of my payment arrangement with the phone company, and the last day I could pay my bill before the phone got cut off. And I had to get to the office before they closed. I left work, cashed my check, and headed for the phone company. I worked downtown so I only had to walk about 5 or 6 blocks. The line was short, so I was in and out in less than 10 minutes. The phone bill was paid. That burden was off my mind, so I went to get some food, a new pair of shoes, and stop by my friend’s job and see if she wanted to go out later on. She said shed love to, but shed have to bring David, one of her bed buddies. She knew I hated being a third wheel, and so she conveniently said she would ask David’s best friend Roger, if he’d like to come. She convinced me it would be fun. "It is not a date," she assured me "were just all gonna kick it!" Cool. I went along with it. I told her Id be at her house around 10, and I left.
At 8:12 she called me to say that the guys were picking her up at 10:30, and they would come and get me around 10:45. Great. I had a few more hours, so I took my time getting ready. I put a bowl of leftover pasta in the microwave; ate, and watched a Good Times rerun. It was the one where Thelma’s family went to dinner at Ibe’s house. And they announced they were getting married and Thelma was moving to Africa. I caught the last half of the show, and took my time getting ready. At 11:16 pm my doorbell rang. I grabbed my purse, jacket, hit the lights, and left. My friend met me in the lobby, and as we walked out the car she explained they were late because the guys had to stop off somewhere before they picked her up, and that David didn’t drive, Roger did. And since she and David were kicking it, she recommended that I sit up front, so her and Dave could be close in the back seat. I agreed. No problem.
I began scoping the scene as we got closer. His car was nice. It was some kind of import, worth at least 40 or 50 grand. I took a couple of quick looks at the driver, but it was dark, so I couldn’t really see him that well. But as we got closer. . . He looked better and better. And up close, he was fine. Fine. He was gorgeous. His smile was impeccable. His face was chiseled. His skin was dark and smooth. His bald head glared the street lights in my eyes. He was fine. Drop dead fine! But non of that really mattered. This wasn't a date.
We wound up going to a different club from the one my friend and I had decided on earlier. When we pulled up there was a guy going into the club that David had beef with, so we went somewhere else. The night went on. Roger was a gentleman. He opened doors, bought drinks, and didn’t bother me with any of those standard club clichés. We talked for a long time at a table in the corner of the club. It was a dark, warm, cozy, and secluded spot, and the Long Island Ice Teas were starting to make me a bit carefree. I was really started to like him. He was a classy man, with a great sense of humor. And certainly know how to tease a woman, and, for some reason I didn’t stop him from feeling me up under the table. Thanks goodness we were at the club, had this been some other time and place, it would have definitely turned into something else. I was really digging him. Every so often my friend and David would come by the table, share a few laughs and disappear again.
The DJ announced "last call for alcohol!" at 1:30 am. The place closed at 2. Roger and I both passed on another drink, but when we saw David leaving the bar with fresh drinks, we deduced we’d be there until they closed.
"What are you doing after this?" Roger asked me.
I knew what that meant. "Nothing in particular," I responded, ". . . ‘Ill probably just go home and go to bed. I’ve Got to do laundry in the morning".
"I could help you." he offered.
"You want to help me do laundry?" "No. I want to help you go to bed." he smirked.
He was almost irresistible. But I wasn’t sure I wanted to take him home with me. After all, this wasn’t a date.
The lights came on as soon as David and my friend made it back to the table. It was 1:56 am when we walked out of the club. We walked 2 blocks to the car. Both couples walked separately, hand-in-hand. This couldn’t be a date, could it?
David announced he was spending the night at my friends place, so that saved Roger a 45 minute drive to the suburbs.
"How about a bite to eat before the night is over?"
"The night? It’s morning already."
"Okay, how about an early breakfast then?"
"No thanks." I responded.
"Why not, you must want some food after all of those Long Islands you sucked down." he quipped. "The food will soak up some of that alcohol in your stomach. You won’t wake up with a hangover." "Plus you’ll sleep better," he added.
"No thanks," I said again, I should have been offended by his sarcastic lush joke. "I’ve got food at home. I’ll be fine, thank you." I replied.
"And besides," I continued, "...Breakfast might make this a date." We laughed. He opened the car door for me, and we took the two horny dogs in the back seat home.
The ride was smooth. The car rode over every bump in the road, like we were gliding on air. It smelt pretty good too. It was a combination of new car smell, and Egyptian musk. I couldn’t help but comment on his beautiful smile. He said he wore braces as a child. The conversation was pretty dull until his fingers started climbing my skirt again.
"You better stop that," I said sheepishly, pushing his hands away. "Your hands are pretty busy aren’t they?"
"You heard me. Why are your hands so busy?"
"Well," he began, "when they see something they like, and that something is as sexy as you, I have no control over them. You know what I mean?"
"No," I answered, "I don’t know what you mean."
He laughed at my answer.
I stared out of the window, and watched the reflection of the car in storefront windows as we drove down the street. It was quite an impressive car. I wondered what he did for a living. I wondered what his house looked like. I wondered what his parents looked like. I wondered if he had a girlfriend.
"Do you have a girlfriend?"
"Who me?" he asked
"No, not you! Of course you!, Who else could I be talking to?"
"Well, it depends."
"Depends on what?"
"On which one of us you ask. Me or her"
"I’m asking you."
"No, I don’t."
"Oh really? Well then, what would she say?"
"Shed probably say. . ." he paused "Hmmm, ya know..... I don’t know what she’d say. Would you like to call her and ask? Here you can use my phone..."
"You are a smart ass. Do you know that?"
"So, I’ve been told." he murmured, as he threw that million dollar smile on me.
At 2:39 am we pulled into a gas station. He got out to pump and pay for the gas. He asked if I wanted anything. I asked for a Coke and a Mr. Goodbar. The chocolate and caffeine was sure to keep me perky until I got home. I watched his every move. I watched him go to the soda cooler. I watched him look for my candy bar. I read his lips at he talked to the attendant. They said "15 on 5, please". I watched him pump the gas. He smiled at me. I was feeling him. He got back in the car, and we headed to my house.
Roger was cool. He wore his seatbelt. He sat up straight, he wasn’t laid back like the guys in my neighborhood in their less expensive rides.
"You live by the lake right?"
"You picked me up, you should know." Now I was being the smart ass.
"Would you mind if we chilled out by the pier for a while before you went inside?"
I knew exactly where this was going. If I went to the lakefront with him, one thing would lead to another. And before you know it we’d be all over each other. I knew the deal.
"Sure." I said. He smiled, and then there was about 5 minutes of silence.
"I grew up around here." he began.
"Yeah, I lived about 5 blocks that way," he pointed, "and I went to Lakeview Junior High."
"Oh, so you know the area pretty well."
"Like the back of my hand."
We pulled up to a parking spot at 3:04 am. His hands were up my skirt again within minutes. Within minutes from that my bra was undone. And yet in a few more minutes he was trying to rip my panties off. My hands weren’t exactly idle either. He was huge. And so strong. His skin was tight, like he had stretched it over his muscles himself. And smooth. He was so smooth, like an collegiate athlete. He seemed so perfect. Except his attitude, that could have used an adjustment or two.
"I think we should slow down" I panted
"Why?" he asked
"I just think we should."
"I know you want to." he said.
"How do you know that?"
"I can feel it. . ." he whispered as he ran his hands across my kitty-cat. I was on my back. ". . . It’s hot" he said.
"I’ve got protection."
"Me too. In my purse"
"Oh, did you plan this?" he asked jokingly.
"I should be asking you that?" I remarked. We laughed.
He sat up and pulled a condom out of his wallet. It was a Magnum. I reclined my seat all the way back and adjusted myself accordingly. I slid my panties down around my ankles and kicked off my new shoes. He turned the music up.
I wanted him now. I didn’t care that I had just met him. He was the sexiest man I’d even been this close to. I wanted to feel him so bad.
In the blink of an eye a man in a black hoodie and ski mask appeared. He shoved a gun up against Rogers temple, mumbled something that sounded like "This is for . . .(something, something, something. . . ) muthafuka!!? What?!!! What?!!!" . . and pulled the trigger. Twice. Roger slumped completely over onto the passenger’s side, and his body fell to rest on my lap. It was that quick. No reaction time. I heard a few footsteps, and then a car drive away. It was only 3:18 am.
In retrospect nothing could have prepared me for that moment. No situation I had ever encountered in my existence had ever required as much composure and clear thought as I would have to muster. I said a prayer. And another. And Another. I just kept on praying. I asked for the strength to just make a decision on what to do next. Time seemed to move in such slow motion. "This was not happening", I kept telling myself. "Not happening!" The next minute seemed to linger on forever. Every second seemed like 20 minutes. I felt like I had been laying there for about 5 days. I had to do something. The weight of the dead man, both physically and psychologically, was too much for me to bear. The scent of the new car, and the Egyptian musk had suddenly been altered by the smell fresh of blood and gunpowder. I panted. Then gasped. Then panted. And gasped again. The lower half of my body was numb and naked. I could feel his blood filling up in my lap, running down my legs, and pooling up around me. He seemed to be getting heavier and heavier. I tried a few times to push him off, but I was too weak, and my hands kept slipping. I was overcome by heat and nausea. I just kept trying to prevent myself from going into shock. The radio was still on. I tried to regain my composure again. I fumbled around for the door handle, but it too was slippery. I cringed. My eyes started to burn, then water. Then burn some more.
At 3:41 am the glare of flashing lights and high beams broke my concentration. I knew instantly from the colors of the lights that it was the police. What would I say? Could I be suspect? Would they believe me? How would I prove that I wasn’t involved? I mustered up enough strength to lift my head a bit. I could only see part of the dash board. It was splattered with blood and bits of tissue. It was surreal. I was horrified. "Gather yourself and get out!" a little voice kept saying. "Get out. You have to get out now," it kept saying. "Right now!", it yelled. And then all of a sudden, everything I had been so afraid of seemed to challenge me all at once. I was overcome by a sense of urgency to get out of the damned car. The lights got brighter. I heard a voice. The amplified voice got louder. And closer. "The pier is closed," echoed through the air. It was 3:58. Again the voice rang out again "The pier is closed!" By the glare of the lights I could tell the squad car was in close proximity. In an instant, my soul dropped. It felt like relief. Consumed with desperation, this was the moment I felt like I had waited years for. I knew the time was now. I braced myself. One hand pushed Rogers head, the other grabbed my purse, I opened the door and ran straight for the lights. I stumbled a few times, and then fell to my knees. I remember hearing voices asking me what had happened, but I couldn’t say a word. I opened my mouth to speak but nothing came out. Then everything went dark.
At 8:55 I woke up in a hospital room. There was a woman sitting on a chair next to me. She said she was with the police department and she had to ask me a few questions, and then I would be free to leave. After a few hours of questioning, they told me I was free to go. They offered me a ride home. I declined. I caught a cab. We took Lake Shore Drive. We drove right past the spot. The car had been removed. Nothing was left to show for what had just happened a few hours ago. And as the scene faded in the distance I realized that the most horrific experience of my life meant nothing to anyone, but me. People walked the street like nothing had ever happened. My life would never be the same, yet I still had to go on. I had to tell my friend, and David. And maybe those closest to me. But I would have to deal with this for the rest of my life. I couldn’t imagine how I would cope. So many thoughts raced through my mind. I saw the cabbie looking at me through the rear view mirror. I looked like shit. I’m sure he wondered what my story was. I flopped into bed at 12:34, on Saturday afternoon.
I didn't wake up until 9:15 Sunday morning.