Even the thought of studying makes you sleepy. You spy a comfy looking couch nearby, and sprawl out on it, not bothering to change clothes. You check your phone for messages from Millie, and see none. You consider sending her text, but have no idea what you’d say. You stare at her contact picture for a moment, then sigh as you shut off the phone and close your eyes. Even though it's only about seven p.m., you feel yourself drifting off to sleep almost immediately, and you make no effort to resist.
You’ve hardly closed your eyes, it seems, when you are wakened by your phone buzzing madly. You blink groggily and roll off the couch, disoriented. “Wha... who could be calling at this...” your eyes widen as you realize the sun is up. The phone stops buzzing and you grab it to check the time. It’s 12:37... p.m.. You smack your forehead in dismay. “I slept in!” You gasp. You jump up and run to your dresser... wait a minute, where are you?? You study your surroundings in a panic, then it all hits you once again. You clutch your temples, seized by an overwhelming headache as you blot out bloody images from your mind. It all seems like some hellish nightmare. One peek out the window bespeaks the reality of the situation. Three police vans are pulled up in your driveway across the street, and yellow tape is strung out around it. You back away from the window and plop back down on the couch. You are trapped here. If you try to leave, the police may recognize and take you. You’ll have to wait to leave until they are gone.
Your phone beeps suddenly. You glance down at it, and your heart skips a beat. It reads:
37 unread messages from: Millie
9 missed calls from: Millie
“Shhhhhhiiiit,” you groan, but before you can dial her, your phone lights up with her picture as she calls you for the tenth time.
“Millie, I-“ you begin as you accept the call, but that’s as far as you get.
“What the FUCK!!!” her voice spits from the speaker. “I have been calling and texting all fucking morning!” She speaks in a hushed, furious tone, forcing each word out individually. “Where in fuck’s sake are you! No one has seen you, and I heard there POLICE at your house!” You hesitate, not sure where to begin. “Do you know,” she begins, now speaking in a much different tone. “How worried I have been?” Her voice wavers and you hear her sniffle. “You never miss class, a-and the police... and our argument yesterday.... I thought you must have done something stupid and gotten yourself shat... Gil... what is going on?”
“S-sorry,” you stammer, unsure what else to say. You chew your lip and eye the police women milling around the house across the street.
“Don’t apologize,” she says, annoyed. “Just... tell me.”
“It’s... my mom,” you say.
“Oh no, did she try to eat you? Where are you? I can help, I won’t let her!” Millie knows about your mother, and has often expressed worry that she might snack on you someday.
“She’s dead.” You say it bluntly, completely without emotion. Millie goes completely silent, and for a moment you think she hung up on you.
“How,” she whispers at last.
“Well... my neighbor, she... her brother...” you try to explain, then sigh. “It... would be easier to tell you in person... can you come after school? I’m in the house across from mine... I can’t leave or the police will see me.”
“Of course- wait, what do you mean the police will see you?” Millie asks at once.
“I’ll explain later... will you come?”
“No,” Millie says firmly, and your heart sinks. “I’m coming right now, before you get into more trouble. Don’t move, you hear? Whatever’s going on, I’ll take care of it.” She clicks the phone off before you can respond.
You sigh in relief. Not only does Millie not want you dead, but she’s coming to help! It will be good to have someone at your side right now.
Then something raps on the front door. You cover your mouth to keep from yelping and stare at the door. The sound comes again, more insistent this time. “Hello? Mrs. Miles?” a woman calls. “It’s officer Brown. Are you there?” She knocks on the door once more, and you feel panic rising in your throat as you realize you forgot to lock the door last night. All she would have to do is stick her head inside to see you. You turn your head slowly, afraid that even the sound of your neck moving may alert her to your presence, looking for an escape. Through the kitchen, you can see a back door. You can escape through there! Then again... maybe you should just wait it out. Any movement might tip the officer off. You doubt she’d enter the house without permission, but if she did, you would be discovered immediately. You doubt you could offer a satisfactory explanation for your presence, if they even bothered to ask you. If you choose to escape, you need to do so now. Officer Brown won’t knock forever.