Finding Kate: Continued
Disclaimer: Adult Content.
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I couldn’t breathe. My entire body trembled. What kind of sick human being would orchestrate a meeting like this?
The zipper on my dress caught and I tugged with my numb fingers, cussing as I scrambled for the door.
I spun around, tears streaming down my face.
“Fuck you. You murderer. You sick piece of shit.”
He didn’t try to follow me. He stood still, arms limp at his side. But I yelled anyway.
“You better not follow me. Ever again.”
My legs shook as I made my way down the stairs and the door slammed behind me as I walked out. This felt like a nightmare. My brother’s face flashed in front of my eyes and I dropped my heels from the crooks of my elbows. My knees scraped against the sharp blades of grass and I crumpled into the dew that was collecting on the lawn. A hellish cry tore from my throat and I called out.
“Lucas. It was supposed to be me!”
I didn’t care who heard me, who saw, or what would happen. I didn’t care if I died at the hands of the psycho just inside the house. My life had already ended two years ago. The breath twisted out of my lungs and my shoulders convulsed as I cried on the ground, barely dressed. I did not recognize myself anymore. I was a shell of a woman, and the emptiness spread out into the dim light of morning. Lucas was never coming back. His vibrant laughter would never fill my room. He’d never play pranks, never lift me up when things with our parents got hard. He had left me.
The grass sliced the inside of my fingers as I grabbed a handful and pushed upward. I could feel the makeup running down my cheeks. I stood up. I started walking. My eyes burned and I stared numbly in front of me. The house grew smaller behind me and finally I reached into my clutch and grabbed my phone. I hated taking taxis. I hated driving. But tonight I did not care. I welcomed the idea of another crash. I looked around for the closest address to give the driver before sitting on the curb outside another unfamiliar house. Another deep breath. I could do this. Turn it off, Kate.
The cab pulled up and I got in, a little self conscious of the way I looked. The driver smiled sympathetically and said nothing. The walk of shame was never a good look and I knew it.
“Avalon Apartments, please.”
The tires rolled slowly off the sidewalk and I rested my head against the window. I was more tired than I had realized. My life had become dedicated to strangers and look what it had given me. I had just slept with my brother’s killer. I closed my eyes, but the tears fell anyway. I didn’t cry for Lucas. I cried for my mistake. I cried for my stupidity. I cried for his panther’s eyes, his preying. I cried because I couldn’t ignore the feeling he had given me. I inhaled slowly and forced the tears to stop falling. Last night had been strange and it was time to go home.
I stepped out of the cab and didn’t make eye contact when I handed the driver the last of my cash. I couldn’t stand to see the sad puppy eyes that people seemed to give me whenever I let myself feel. It’s why I often didn’t. It was easier to live without feeling, to live in a world dominated by material possession. I understood why people did it, why it had become so addictive to society. Nobody wanted to spend time feeling their heart obliterate itself.
I buzzed myself through the security gate and walked tragically up the five flights of stairs, feeling sorry for myself. There was nothing materialistically beautiful about this. But his bedsheets had felt unusually soft. Maybe to take the sting out of eating a girl’s soul. I shook my head and shoved my key into the door. I didn’t even know his name. I dropped my purse unceremoniously on the floor and kicked off my shoes. My apartment smelled stale and I sighed, opening the window and walking down the hallway to my bedroom. I had to get out of this dress and into the shower. I had to wash the night away. I turned the water on and listened to it sputter through the shower head. Like I had stuttered through my confession last night. My dress fell around my feet, nothing like the way he had stripped it off. Even my naked body seemed lackluster without his intensity to devour it.
“What am I thinking?” I breathed, stepping into the steaming water. “The guy is a psycho.”
I titled my head back and let the scent of his mouth wash off my body. I let the adrenaline of following him through the night slide down the drain. I closed my eyes tighter, scrubbing his lingering hands off my breasts, his tongue off my thighs. My skin turned pink from the friction. My pulse raced. Everywhere. I couldn’t believe the memory was turning me on. Maybe I didn’t care in the solitude of my sorry existence. I dropped my loofa and let my soap covered hands run over my body. I retraced the map he’d left. I wanted to find myself the way he did. I left a trail of goosebumps as my hands moved over my stomach. My back arched and my fingertips trailed over the place his tongue had left me senseless. My mouth parted and the sound of the shower fell away. I could hear him begging me to break open. I could feel him move into me. I curled my toes. I searched for freedom from myself. The memory of his shaky breath against my neck raised my pulse and I cried softly into the oblivion of ecstasy. My hands found the cool tile behind me as I leaned against it. I would never get out of here. Out of this shitty pattern I called life.
I turned off the shower and grabbed my towel. My Sunday would be spent in oversized sweats, watching tragically sappy movies on Netflix. Just like every Sunday. I pulled a shirt over my damp skin and headed towards the kitchen, hoping I had something indulgent to eat. I knew I did. My grocery list only ever consisted of ice cream, popcorn, and wine. I’d relied on dates to feed me anything real. I grabbed the Ben and Jerry’s from the freezer and searched for a clean bowl. The intercom next to my door buzzed and I turned my head to look at it before laying one last scoop into my semi clean dish. It was probably Dee, looking to gossip about last night’s escapades. I pushed the button.
“Hello,” I drawled as I licked the spoon, waiting to hear her raspy voice reprimand me for not calling last night.
The spoon fell from my mouth.
“Kate, just listen to me. Please don’t walk away from that speaker.”
It was him. Here. Of course he knew where I lived. I said nothing. I couldn’t if I wanted to. My throat had swollen shut. I was frozen next to the intercom.
“God damn it, Kate, can you just come to the window. I have flowers. I’m not going to hurt you. Please let me in. Or come down. Please. I brought a bag of stuff from the bakery. And coffee.”
I was out of coffee. Who was I kidding, he probably had been in my apartment and took stock of my entire life. I tiptoed to the window, barely peeking outside to see him standing there. We made eye contact. I dropped to the floor. My heart slammed against my ribs and I held my breath. I had no idea what to do.
“Kate!” he yelled up through the open window. “Kate, please let me explain!”
The entire world told me to call the cops. Everything I had been raised to know as truth said to get this insane person far away from you. Are you afraid because it is what you have been conditioned to believe? His own words rang hard in my ears, and I crawled toward the intercom to buzz him in. I had no idea who I was anymore.