A true story about my stalking ex
I was a 17 year old, very small and petite girl at this time. My current boyfriend was twice my size and also weighed about three times more than me. We were in a small friend-group with two other guys and did almost everything together, it were fun times. One night we went out to town, bought some vodka and soft-drinks and just walked through the streets, having a good time. Me and the oddball of the group were already pretty tipsy and we were fooling around, just giggling at stupid shit and such. I recognised my boyfriend getting more and more pissed, so I let the other guys take the lead and walked up to him, quietly asking him what the matter was. In the next moment I was pushed against a wall and couldn't breathe. My boyfriends hands were around my throat and he brought his anger-stricken face close to my ear and whispered: "You are MY PROPERTY. MINE. Do you understand?" I was so shocked, I couldn't even respond. He then let go off me and caught up with the others and laughing this totally exaggerated, fake laugh.
The following winter I broke up with him. He was devastated, crying and screaming and telling me how he had thought about marrying me. I felt really bad for him at this point, but that would change really soon.
A week later when I left the house to go to school, he was waiting for me outside. For your information: he lived at the other end of town and it was too early for any busses to drive to my location. He must have started walking at least two hours earlier.
Then on saint nicholas day, as I was about to leave, I found a little black bag sitting in front of our door. It's a common tradition here around to stuff your kid's boots with chocolate or other stuff, so I thought my parents got something for me. When I asked them about it, they told me it wasn't from them and when I looked inside there was a handwritten card inside: Happy Saint Nicholas Day, I still love you. It was obviously from HIM but I had no idea how he had placed it inside our apartment building, as you need a key to access. I thrashed the bag and told him later that day to not bring me any more gifts and to stop waiting for me at my house. He really did stop doing those things and I felt relieved, thinking it was over. But it wasn't.
Fast forward to january. My parents were out with a few friends and I was home alone. I was playing some games on my computer when my smartphone rang. It was my ex and he was just asking about stuff for our oncoming exams and then hung up. Very weird and short conversation, I thought. About half an hour later our house phone rang. It was him again. I asked him what he wanted and he was just in this strangely forced, cheery mood again, talking about nothing in particular when paranoia hit me like a brick. He was checking if I was at home!! I don't know how I came to this conclusion, but suddenly I felt all of the hairs on my body stand up and I thought I was beeing watched. I immediately hung up on him and started closing all the blinds to our windows. As I was checking the locks on our door, I took a look through the peephole, just to be sure - and there I saw it. The shadow of someone standing right next to our door, almost out of sight. Absolute panic started pouring into me and then I heard the faintest sound of.. something scratching lightly at my door. Our cat did this if he wanted to be let in, but I knew this wasn't my cat! Nonetheless I peeked through the whole again and called out my cats name in the firmest voice I could muster. I watched as the shadow next to the door inched forward and my ex-boyfriend whispered "Meow" while extending a hand and lightly scratching at the door. At this point I was so stricken with terror that I didn't even feel the tears streaming down my face. My whole body felt limp and I was shaking uncontrollably. But with the overwhelming fear came something else: anger. Somehow I managed to walk inside the kitchen and grab the biggest knife I could find. With shaking hands, I positioned myself behind the door again, concentrating on this building rage inside me and completely unleashed it, screaming: "I KNOW IT'S YOU HIDING OUTSIDE AND I FUCKING SWEAR IF YOU PUT ONE FOOT INSIDE MY HOUSE I WILL GUT YOU LIKE A FUCKING PIG COME AND GET ME IF YOU DARE!!!!!!!!" Apparently my shrieking voice was loud enough to wake my neighbours, because next thing I saw was my neighbours door opening and my ex absolutely booking it. A few seconds later I heard a car driving off with screetching tyres.
When my parents got home I told them what happened and they immediately called my ex's parents, threatening to call the police on him if they ever saw him again. After this I only saw him at school. He still managed to hack my gaming-accounts and send me a virus that absolutely destroyed my PC, so yeah that's that. But I never got intimidated by him again, as I always remembered that primal, burning rage I've felt.
submitted by typhoon_raccoon
I met a guy who could experience and feel things by looking at photographs of people. I wish i never met him. (PART 1)
“Pao.” The voice of the inspector echoed a bit louder this time. I blinked and re-focused my eyes on him. He looked more tired than frustrated with me, which I appreciated. The worst part was me trying to tell them the truth, but them not believing it. Or at least not entirely.
“You may have all day, but I don’t.” Inspector Mina was tapping his pen against the table. His fatigue was transitioning to agitation. This was a bad sign. In a precinct where I felt like all the policemen and inspectors were against me, every ally was valuable.
“I told you everything I know. He killed himself.”
“And you have to understand that we have no way of verifying that. You were the last person to see him alive, and there were no fingerprints on the weapon.”
“And so? It’s easy to clean fingerprints off any weapon these days,” I snapped back.
“Really? He cleaned off the prints after he shot himself?” Inspector Mina raised his eyebrows.
I didn’t know what to tell him. I didn’t know what to say, all I knew was I walked in on Elton and saw him lying face down on the floor of my friend’s house, blood already pooled everywhere. Call me a coward, but I didn’t even try to approach him to help. I just called the police right away. And look where it got me. Goddamn it, I wish I had never met Elton. The man brought all this trouble into my life, directly or indirectly.
“I want to talk to Rex,” I asked after a few moments of silence. In this chilly and windowless interrogation room, I could tell the tension was building and tempers were about to fly if there was to be no interruption.
“I can’t let that happen Pao, and you know it. Conflict of interest, and your brother’s on duty right now.”
Inspector Mina crossed his arms, then his legs, then leaned back in his cheap monobloc seat. “Look, I want to help you, Pao. But there just isn’t any substance in your story. Corroboration is everything here, and this just doesn’t make sense. Help make it make sense.” My eyes darted between him and the camera on the upper left corner of the interrogation room. A small light between the lens blinked with a uniformity that made me want to scream and throw my chair at it.
“Fine, but off the record. If I’m going to tell you what happened, we’ll start from the beginning. Do you have time?”
“Depends. Is it going to substantiate your story and get us somewhere?”
Inspector Mina leaned forward. “Then I have all the time in the world.”
“Alright,” I said. “I’ll start from the beginning.”
When I first heard of Elton, it was through a friend named Seb who studied in university. Elton was his roommate, and whenever Seb would come to the city, he would always tell me about his roommate who was a handful. He would often keep to himself but was open to conversation when it presented itself. He dressed weird. He didn’t bother to make himself presentable for class, but always got decent grades. His hair was long, but he’d occasionally cut it down to a typical undercut. I’d like to say he was a textbook hipster, since he cared for the environment and was always waffling on about the supernatural.
That wasn’t the weirdest thing about him though. The weird thing was he was really into ritualistic things. I’m not talking blatant satanism or human sacrifices, but he did read up a lot about those things. He loved going to the library and studying religions, cults, and he eventually graduated to reading more—archaic, weird books that you’d think only scholars, professors, and religious leaders would read. My friend Seb, who was his roommate, would tell me that it would unnerve him, but not scare him.
“Why does he have to read those things? I swear, it makes me feel like one day I’ll go missing and he’ll cut me up and use my insides to summon some tree demon or something,” Seb would half-joke with me. We’d laugh it off, but the reality was that Elton was never capable of something so sinister. He loved all forms of life.
My brother was hardened but could still be humorous on good days. He had a really aggressive-sounding name like Rex, and I guess I had to settle for Pao. Since we lost both our parents, he has always been the head of the house, and kind of my dad, mom, and older brother all formed into one. He wasn’t strict, just as long as I didn’t get into any trouble.
The first time I met Elton was something else. Seb had invited me over to his house for some games and drinks, just some things we liked to bond over. A couple of hours before I was going to head out, I told my brother I was going to probably come home late from Seb’s house.
“It’s on the way to a place I have to patrol later, let me drive you,” he offered.
On the way there, I got a text from Seb saying that Elton was staying with him for a bit while his apartment was being renovated. He reassured me that it was no problem, as Elton would likely just stay out of our way anyway. I wasn’t really bothered by it either, but I did tell my brother about it.
“Seb’s friend who’s a bit of a weirdo is going to be there, apparently.”
“Oh yeah? Weirdo how?”
“He’s into a bunch of ritualistic things and all that. Probably the occult. He’s like a witch doctor hipster hybrid if you’ve ever seen one,” my brother and I both laughed lightly to that.
“I’ve never really come across any crimes caused by rituals or occult things. They’re usually harmless. Have fun with your weirdo friends then.”
My first impression of Elton? Not at all what I expected. He dressed a bit weird, that’s true. A loose plain white shirt that I swear had a hole that was slowly growing around the shoulder blade, his hair was rather short but yet seemed a bit messy, and he was pretty skinny and tall. He greeted me when I walked in, shaking my hand. “Elton,” he said. “Pao,” I replied.
Seb led us upstairs, and he was right. Elton stayed with us in the room since there was air-conditioning, but mostly just read. I don’t even remember what book he was reading, just that it was too boring for me to remember. Elton stayed out of our way for the most part and seemed rather unbothered by the fact that we were playing videogames that were clearly causing noise pollution which I imagine must have bothered his reading. Apparently, it didn’t.
Midway into chewing up some more chips, Seb looked over at Elton. “Hey Elton, tell Pao what you told me. That’s some wild shit,” he laughed.
Elton raised his head from his book. “I’m sorry?”
“You know, your power thingy. I think it’s really scary but really cool.”
“Oh.” Elton closed his book gently, then spoke.
“I have this thing where sometimes, I can feel the situation or feeling a person has just by looking at a picture.”
To that, Seb looked at me with wide eyes. “Spooky, right?”
“Wait. Any picture? So even on billboards with celebrities you instantly feel something? That must be frustrating,” I said.
“Not the case. It has to be an intimate or personal photograph, or so I discovered. I can look at pictures of people just fine, that’s no problem. I’m talking about photographs that aren’t in public, owned by loved ones, seen in corners and nooks in houses, that kind. I don’t know either. And it isn’t some kind of seizure-inducing vision. I just know it, it’s like a feeling I get when I look at a photograph.”
Seb chuckled. “Crazy, man.” But I was having none of it. I got out my wallet. I wasn’t about to let these two clowns prank me.
“Here’s a childhood photograph of me. Only one copy, since digital copies weren’t a thing back then. It was taken by my aunt; on the day I lost my parents.”
Seb and I are good friends and I’ve told him about me losing my parents, but he dropped his game and looked at me. I’ve never gone into detail about that day. I handed the picture to Elton, but before he took it, he looked at me first.
“Are you sure you want me to do this? The closer it is to such an intimate, traumatizing, and hard memory…I’ve never tried it like this before.”
Looking for validation, I looked at Seb.
“He did it to me with a picture of me and my ex. Nothing creepy happened to him or anything. But he was able to tell me where we had our first date and where we first hooked up,” Seb said, excitement in his eyes.
“Only she and I knew those things, and he perfectly described the emotions I felt with the breakup. My fears, what weighed on me the most, and all that. I lost my shit.”
I was actually curious now. Seb was a jokester, but this just didn’t seem like a sort of elaborate prank he would try to pull. I looked back at Elton.
“You promise me you won’t start levitating and convulsing?”
“No promises, but the likelihood is pretty low.”
And with that, I gave him the photograph. Nothing special happened. To be honest, it was just a dude looking at a photograph. After about ten to fifteen seconds of just staring at it, he handed the photograph back to me. What shocked me was when he looked up at me.
A single tear, going down from his left eye through his cheek.
“I’m sorry,” he said, his voice a little shaky. He wiped his eyes with the sleeve of his shirt and breathed a deep breath for a bit.
“You want to know why they left you,” he said. “you think it’s your dad’s fault for dragging your mother along and being on a rush to get to the office. And that’s why he crashed the car.”
All I could do was stare. I had never told a single human being that. Not a therapist, not my aunt or uncle, not my grandparents, not my brother, not Seb, not anyone. And yet, here was a guy I was meeting for the first time in my life, who probably didn’t even remember my name, telling me exactly what I felt growing out of that incident. The feelings came flooding back to me now that he mentioned it, but to be honest, I was just amazed that he was actually able to tell me something accurate.
And honestly, asking Elton to show me is probably my biggest regret in my life.
Elton, Seb, and I bonded more that evening. He was actually pretty relaxed. I was slightly spooked the whole night about what happened with Elton, but I didn’t show anyone. I elected to just see Elton as this normal dude who was laughing along with us instead of a guy who reached into my soul through a photograph somehow and exposed my hidden grief.
“Have at least one beer,” I pleaded with Elton.
“Never had a drink in my life, never will.” He said, a slight smile.
“Why such a loser?” Seb was slurring, and his head was slightly rolling back. Typical Seb.
“It kind of… gets in the way. I value my clarity of mind, if that makes sense. Plus, keeping your body a temple never hurts.”
I shrugged. “You do you, man.”
“So, about the whole photograph thing. Has anything extreme happened?”
Elton shook his head. He didn’t seem bothered by me asking about it.
“I know Seb hypes it up, he’s hyped it up with a few other people as well. But I’ve been very particular about him just telling everyone about it. I only let him tell you because he said he trusted you.”
“It just must be very spooky.”
“It’s like watching a very sad video, but only I can see it. Like when I was looking at you picture…” he trailed off.
“It was like I was watching it all happen through your eyes. I don’t know what your parents were like, whether that be how they acted or how they looked like. But I definitely knew what it was to lose them.”
By now, Seb was fully unconscious, his arms behind the sofa and his legs forming the biggest man spread I have ever seen in my life.
“Well, I’m off. My brother should be looking for me now.”
I stood up, brushing my pants off and nodding at him. Elton didn’t get up, instead moved his gaze up so he was looking at my face. Studying it, it looked like. Probably pitying me and everything I have been through.
“I’ll take care of him,” he assured me.
We smiled, said our goodbyes, and I booked an Uber home.
“Look who’s alive,”
I groaned, rubbing my eyes open. The morning sun was blasting my face through a window in our living room, and I was still wearing the clothes I went out in last night. I must have just crashed immediately when I got home. I wasn’t drunk, but I definitely had a headache.
“Been a while since I’ve drank any alcohol, I’m just not used to it.” I defended myself.
“Rookie. What a lightweight,” Rex chuckled. He was at the dining table, scrolling through his phone while eating a sandwich.
“Get up. It’s 10 AM. Might as well eat breakfast in those clothes. Take a shower after.”
“Don’t you have to go make sure people aren’t killing each other or something?”
“Duty doesn’t start ‘till 3 PM. I got the night shift, which means you can have all your lady friends over.”
I knew Rex was making fun of me. He knew I had none.
Rex laughed. “So, how was your cult meeting yesterday?”
My heart sank and my stomach turned. I remember what Elton was able to do yesterday. And to think I almost forgot about it. I wish I just did.
“That friend of Seb’s? Elton is his name. He did some really creepy shit,”
“Yeah, you mentioned he likes to butcher goats or something.”
I flipped the finger at Rex.
“Not like that, idiot. He didn’t mention his enthusiasm towards ritualistic occult shit at all, actually. He claimed to be able to sense emotions and feelings of people when he looks at a photograph…”
I swear, Rex was holding in a barrel of laughter.
“And I gave him this.” I took out the photograph of me in my wallet. It was literally just me without any other person in the shot; a toddler version of me, looking at the camera with a huge smile on my face. It was taken in my family’s backyard in our old house.
A flicker of seriousness flashed across Rex’s face. He knew very well that picture was taken that day. And he had to face the bad news that day for the both of us. He pretty much has been shielding me from all of that for as long as I could remember.
“Okay…what did creepy cult guy have to say?”
“That I was hurt and angry that dad rushed mom and rushed to the office that day…that I wonder why they had to leave us,” my voice was pretty much a whisper at that point. My hair all over the place, clothes all wrinkled, and my stare focused on the table yet so distant.
Rex was looking at me. Rex knew I wasn’t this type of jokester. With Seb? There was a slight possibility this was a prank, but I had a feeling Rex didn’t think the same thing for me.
“Maybe they were—”
“I never told anyone that, Rex. Not you, not anyone. And somehow he knew.”
I scratched my eyes again.
“Goddamn it, that was so weird. I wish I never asked him to look at the damn picture,” I said as I put the picture away in my wallet again.
“It felt invasive as hell too. Him knowing that all of a sudden. Now Seb knows it too.”
Rex was silent for a bit then chuckled. But I could tell his chuckling was uneasy.
“I’m sure there’s some logical explanation. Seb probably told him or something,”
“I just told you, I never told anyone that.”
“Well then how’d he find out? Is he the boogeyman?” Rex stood up and went towards his room.
“Going to try to chill, maybe get some sleep before my patrol. Hate night shifts,” he muttered, almost to himself.
I could tell then that Rex was uneasy with it. It was a bit weird, and if Rex came to me and told me something like that, I’d probably be reacting the same way. And between the two of us, I’m the skeptic. Rex is the one who still goes to church every Sunday and prays whenever.
(Rex didn’t believe you. But it really happened?)
(Inspector, I wouldn’t be telling you this story hoping for my exoneration if it didn’t really happen. It really happened.)
(Then how did you convince Rex?)
(I’m getting to that part.)
I knew Rex wouldn’t believe me, so I had to make him. I remember what Elton had told me. Pictures only worked for him if they weren’t something public or out there. They had to be intimate. I went into one of the old antique cabinets that Rex made sure we kept from our parents’ old house. In it, was a picture of 13-year old Rex carrying a basketball. He was smiling, but the smile was a bit fainter. This was taken a few months after our parents died.
Rex was a bit recognizable, but Elton would have never met him. I grabbed the photograph with the frame, freshened up and got dressed, and texted Seb.
When I got to his house, the sun was burning me outside, but I didn’t care. I hit the doorbell persistently and waited outside. He didn’t reply to my text, but what did I care. I’ve known the man for years; he wouldn’t mind me showing up. Plus, even if his parents had come back from wherever they were out of town at this point, they knew me anyway.
I don’t know if I was happy that Elton was the one who answered the door. His hair was slightly messier than it was yesterday, but he looked cleaner and more alert than I probably did.
“No. Is Seb awake?”
“Probably still passed out in his room. Haven’t heard from him today. You want me to tell him you came by?”
I wondered if I should just tell him directly. Elton stared at me, and I swear the way he stared unsettled me. But I went for it anyway.
“Actually, I meant to talk to you.”
“Oh, come in then. It’s sweltering out here,”
As we entered the same lounge where we drank yesterday, Elton sat in the same seat where he was last night.
He was so casual about it, as if he didn’t just show me that he was some demonic mind-photograph-reader or something. Or whatever he was.
I pulled out the photo of Rex.
“Can you…can you see if you can make something out of this?” I nervously asked.
I thought he’d be upset that I was making him something like a shaman or taking advantage of his ability. But he simply took the photograph and willingly stared at it. Unlike my picture, he looked at this one a bit longer, even turning it and looking at it from different angles. I patiently stood there and waited, just watching him. When I felt like it had been close to a minute, I thought that Seb and Elton had just been messing with me yesterday. Maybe Elton thought he’d just have to play with the joke for one night.
Then he returned the photograph. He wasn’t tearing up like he was with my picture yesterday.
Damn. Rex and I never looked alike, even until now, so there was no way he could have seen this picture and extrapolated that information from this picture alone.
“Yes,” I hesitantly answered.
Elton stood, and paced around the room before grabbing a glass of water and heading back to his chair.
“Very similar feeling. Except more anger towards the world. Depression, dark thoughts.”
I silently cursed myself. This wasn’t enough to convince Rex. He hadn’t opened up about that day much either, so I was hoping to get something that only he knew to convince him this was real.
I was just about to thank Elton and apologize for troubling him, when he asked me something.
“How are you guys now?”
“We’re good. We live together, he’s sort of my guardian now.”
I found it weird, so I asked him.
“Why do you ask, Elton?”
“Because in that picture, he wishes you died instead.”
“You dealing drugs or something?” Rex didn’t sound mad, but he did sound curious as I entered the room. He was sitting on his bed, just on his phone as usual.
I looked at him, and he didn’t seem off to me in any way. But I’m sure I looked that way to him. Having received that information from Elton, I just couldn’t shake it off as if nothing happened.
“Look,” I said as I took out his picture.
Rex rolled his eyes.
“Let me guess, the boogeyman witch doctor read my fortune. Does it say I’m going to get rich soon? I really want a new place,”
“He said you wished me dead here.”
The room was silent and when I say I swear the tension got so high you could hear a needle drop, it sounded like that in the room at the time.
“He said what?”
“I came to him with your picture, hoping he would tell me something only you would know about what happened that day. But he—”
“Why the hell would you do that?” Rex said quietly. There seemed to be an anger and a frustration with him that wasn’t there before. I started to regret pushing that button.
“I just wanted you to see for yourself. I didn’t even really care about what you really felt that day.”
Seeming to only now realize what I found out, Rex’s expression relaxed.
“Pao, about that. I didn’t actually mean it. I was 13, and I had to take on all this…all this responsibility.”
“I get it.”
I honestly did. It wasn’t even anger or resentment I felt for Rex. All that baggage and burden…and having to carry it at 13 years old when he was still starting to figure things out. I was more shocked than angry. Elton wasn’t faking it. It was real.
“Your friend got all this from a photograph?”
“Yeah. He says it has to be something intimate, like a personal photo or one that isn’t so out there or anything. And he literally just feels and knows these experiences and things, or whatever it is he feels when he sees pictures.”
Rex’s eyebrows were scrunched together.
“Duty isn’t for another 3 hours. We can drop by Seb’s house before I head to the precinct. Can I see him?”
It seemed messed up that we were talking about Elton like he was some circus attraction or something. But Rex normally only ever goes to the precinct, to church, and home. So, when he said he wanted to see Elton, I didn’t hesitate, and we got in the car.
(Is all of this really necessary?)
(Inspector, if you want to understand that I had nothing to do with this, you have to understand how this all started.)
(Speed it along, we haven’t got forever.)
(Don’t worry, I’m getting to the part where it gets bad. Really bad.)
We got to Seb’s house a little after noon. Seb was awake, albeit with a headache and capable of limited function. Elton was in the same lounge, seemingly half-expecting us. He was reading some other book that was just as boring as the last one.
“Hello,” Elton extended his hand to Rex. The police uniform must have given it away, but Elton didn’t seem nervous or his behavior didn’t seem to change at all.
“My name’s Rex. I’m Pao’s brother.” Rex glanced at me, then looked back at Elton.
“I’m not trying to intrude or anything. But I heard about this…thing you can do. Is this true?”
“Yup,” Elton simply answered. No elaboration. It seemed so casual for him.
Clearly interested, Rex took a seat beside him. They spoke a bit.
“When did you discover you could do this?”
“Several months ago, maybe a year and a half ago.”
“Did it shock you?”
“Not too much. I always knew there were people with gifts.”
“Does it work on dead people?”
For the first time, Elton’s response wasn’t instant, and he thought about it.
“I’m not too sure,” he said. “I haven’t really tried it. I have been to a cemetery once, and although they had pictures of their loved ones on some tombstones, it didn’t really trigger anything. I guess when you put something in public and so many people see it and all, it just doesn’t become as intimate anymore? I’m not sure.”
Rex was clearly pensive, and I wanted to ask him what he was thinking, but I didn’t want to do it in front of Elton. I didn’t want Elton to feel like we were studying him. He was just a person at the end of the day.
“How long does it normally take? It took you a bit longer with Rex’s picture today than mine,” I asked.
“I guess it’s kind of like talking to a person. If you’re more reserved and you bury those feelings deeper, it’s kind of like having to move a mural around until you see the bigger picture.”
It seemed like Rex didn’t hear a single thing we were talking about. He was fidgeting, still thinking.
“You don’t have to know the person to get this feeling, right?”
“Can you look at something for me then?”
Although Seb was mostly quiet during this encounter, probably from his hangover, even he got curious as I watched Rex pull what looked like a folded paper from his back pocket. Except it wasn’t exactly folded paper. It was that same material which they use to print old pictures in Kodak or something.
I didn’t exactly see who or what was in the picture, but Elton calmly took it and just stared at it. He stared for about 15-20 seconds, before the picture just dropped out of his hand. Rex bent down to pick it up, but I kept my eyes on Elton. His stare was hard, and I swear his hand was very slightly trembling. By the time Rex got back up to look at Elton, he had recovered and looked fine again.
“I…I’m not sure what that was.”
“Did you feel anything? Did you get anything?” Rex was clearly interested.
“I…it felt cold. That’s for sure. The temperature in the room dropped.”
I looked at Rex, then at Seb. We all thought the same thing without even having to open our mouths; the room temperature hadn’t changed at all. In fact, it was quite humid, and I was starting to produce beads of sweat.
“W-who is that?” Elton asked. Although the conversations between Elton and I amounted to about a few hours at least, I knew he wasn’t the type to stutter. And yet, he just did.
“Just someone who went missing a few weeks ago,” Rex said.
“Precinct has been scanning and reproducing photographs of this little boy hoping to get some information on where he could be.”
I got the picture from Rex and looked at it. It was a little boy, smiling at the camera, as he sat down with a couple building block toys in the shot. He looked sweet and innocent. I shivered just looking at it, thinking that this boy was probably lost and alone somewhere for weeks at best, kidnapped and murdered at worst.
Elton nodded silently. Seb had to go to the bathroom to vomit, so I helped him up and assisted him to the bathroom outside. Just in time, Rex had gotten out and beckoned for me to come with him.
“Let’s go, traffic is building up and I got to get to the precinct. You good to Uber from there?”
I nodded. As we descended the stairs and got into the car, Elton didn’t wave goodbye at us. He just stared at us, particularly at my brother, and he seemed very uneasy. He got back in the house before we even left, and when we drove off, I turned to my brother.
“What did Elton tell you? While I was with Seb in the bathroom?”
Rex’s expression looked grim, and his grip on the steering wheel had tightened.
“He told me to tell the precinct that we might as well stop searching.”
“What? What does he mean?”
Briefly, Rex turned to look at me.
“He means it doesn’t matter. All we’d find is a body.”
(I remember this. The Rodriguez case. His body was just found.)
(It was. But that’s not where the bad things stopped.)
The car ride to the precinct was difficult, to say the least. I wanted to ask Rex more questions, but it seemed clear he didn’t want to hear any. Once we got to the precinct, he parked his patrol car, got out, and walked off.
“I need to talk to my supervisor,” he grunted.
On my way home in the Uber, I thought back to what I had asked Elton the other night. I haven’t really tried it, he said when I asked him about whether or not he had tried it on dead people. Could it be possible this was the first time it happened? It made sense, since the picture Rex was carrying around likely came from family, which made it intimate enough.
Just when I thought the feelings of unease weren’t enough, I got a text from Seb.
Bro, what did Rex show Elton? He’s locked himself in his room, curtains are drawn from outside. Reply when you get this.
I silently cursed myself. What did it even matter if Rex believed me? Again, I regretted convincing Rex that Elton was for real.
Wow, Pao. Didn’t think of that one!
Instantly, I felt a pang of guilt. Or maybe it was anxiety. Or both, I’m not sure I remember, and I don’t care to try. All I remember is I managed to convince the Uber to drop me off at Seb's place if I paid him extra. Absent-mindedly, I handed the Uber driver a wad of cash from my wallet, not thinking to count how much I gave. When I got off, Seb was waiting for me by the gate.
“Dude, what did—”
Whatever Seb was going to ask me, he was cut off by a scream from upstairs. It sounded horrible; like the sound you would make if a car backed up and a tire crushed your foot. Seb and I sprinted upstairs.
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