Duke's Redemption

Page 12

We shake hands, and I walk him to the door, staring at his large frame the entire way.
A moment later, he’s gone, and I’m all alone in this big empty house again. I was here by myself earlier, but I was so busy unpacking and putting away groceries that I didn’t have much time to notice. Now, the silence seems absolutely deafening.
I should probably get some cleaning done, but exhaustion is starting to take hold. I decide to call it a night and head upstairs. I turn on some music on my phone to drown out the silence before stepping into the shower. The water pressure sucks, but it feels good all the same.
When I finish, I head into the bedroom, grateful that I made up the bed earlier.
Not knowing what the bed situation was going to be like, I brought all of my own sheets and blankets. Even though the bed wasn’t in awful shape, I still took a vacuum to it and put about four or five sheets on before I’d even sit on it.
I slip on some pajamas and throw a movie into the VCR. I get comfortable in bed while the opening credits start to play.
Out loud, I say, “Wow. A man on a horse in the opening scene of a Western. How original.”
The movie continues to play, but my mind drifts off. I still can’t believe that I’m here.
In Texas.
In this big empty house.
Two weeks ago, I never would have imagined that my life would take this crazy turn. I still think I’m crazy for going through this whole thing. I’m not a person who takes risks… ever. I am the epitome ofstuck in a rut. I have my routine, and I like it. Deviating from that is a giant step for me, and I’m going to try to embrace it.
Because it’s too late to back out now.
My mind moves onto thoughts of my new hot handyman. I thought after meeting someone with a crazy name like Duke Samson, some of the mystery around him would vanish, but now I feel like I have more questions than I had before.
Why did someone that buff leave the military?
Where does he go on Thursday afternoons?
Does he have a girlfriend?
The last one doesn’t really matter. He’s working for me, so it’s probably not a good idea to get involved. And I’m sure a man that fine dates women who look more like models.
Speaking of questions, I have a buttload about my father now, too.
Why did he leave?
Why didn’t he fight for me?
Why did he leave me with a woman who would one day turn into a raging alcoholic?
He had to have a good reason, right? One would think so, but I don’t know anything about this man. Maybe while I’m here, I can try to get some answers, but not tonight.
Instead, I’ll try to shut my mind off and get some sleep. It almost works… until I hear a loud crash coming from outside. My eyes shoot open as my heart pounds in my chest. I listen for a moment, trying to convince myself that it was just the wind—and trying to ignore the fact that there wasn’t a single wisp of wind just half an hour ago.
I mute the TV and listen as hard as I can, but I hear nothing. Just when I’ve convinced myself that I imagined the whole thing, another noise pierces the silence. This time, it sounds like knocking.
Trying to muster up all the courage I can find, I slowly get out of bed and make my way downstairs. I feel like I should have a weapon of some sort, but all I managed to grab was my curling iron.
Halfway down the stairs, I try to peek out the window at the top of the door, but I can’t see anything. Too chicken to just go open it, I run into the office and look out the corner of the window.
There’s no one there.
Maybe I’m just hearing things.
Or maybe I am going to live in my own version of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Not wanting to figure out which one of those is true, I rush back up the stairs and crawl under the covers. Back in Boston, I live alone and am rarely scared. But I’m also surrounded by other people in a big apartment building. Here, I’m not close to anyone. I doubt anyone could hear my screams.