I don’t really know how to use this, but somebody told me about you and I would like my story told. The neighborhood kids opened up a Twitter account for me, but I forget how to send a Twitter, and my photos won’t show up. They were nice enough to let me borrow a cell phone that can send them, with a color screen, and can take photos too. The whole thing is really quite impressive.
My normal phone has been ringing every single night at around 2am, for the past month. I always answer, since it would be rude not to –plus, it could be someone I know in an emergency.
The first couple of times, they didn’t say anything. Even though I said hello? over and over.
Around the fifth call, they finally said something: Deborah, my name. It was the voice of a woman.
Not long after that, she started saying full sentences to me, but would ignore all of my questions and hang up suddenly. I’ve come to expect these phone calls now, even though I’ve tried ignoring them after a call last week. It worked for a while but now, the phone keeps ringing until I answer it. I don’t have an answering machine anymore.
The things she has told me are things that nobody else would know about me. Nobody that’s still alive, that is.
I grew up in a small town a couple of states over, and back then I was a bit of a troublemaker. Mostly petty theft and some vandalism charges followed me around. There was one event, though, that made me change my life for good.
One of my best friends at the time had just gotten a car and we would drive off into the woods with some drinks and take along whoever wanted to come with us for the night almost every Friday night. A man we had met through my friend’s job was coming with us one a particular evening, and he invited one of his friends. His friend seemed like a nice gentleman, and frankly, I found him to my liking.
We went toward one of the viewpoints that was usually empty around this time one night, and parked the car. I was in the driver’s seat. As the night went by and our radio played loudly, we kept laughing and talking about work and somehow the topic of prison came up. I had only been in holding cells, but all of the others had crime stories. They were going around until they got to the coworker’s friend, who whispered something I couldn’t hear.
I asked what he had said, and I watched his lips as he said the word “murder”.
He said it with a menacing look in his eye, and I was scared. He started laughing, and we all started following along nervously. Then he took out a knife from his pocket and said to my friend “there’s nothing to be afraid of, love”.
He grabbed my friend by the arm and she screamed. Let her go! I yelled, and my friend’s coworker reached for the knife. My friend screamed in pain as he stabbed her over and over. I started the car and set it in drive when the man threw himself toward the driver’s seat. I didn’t know what to do, I opened the door and forced myself out only to watch the car slowly moving forward, until it rolled off the cliff and down into the rocky hills. The car sped up and I heard screams, but suddenly there was a loud crash and all of the screaming ceased. All I could see was smoke in the distance. All of them perished that night. A body had been thrown out the windshield and landed twenty feet away.
It has been a long time since then, so I’ve left out many details that I can’t remember. I never told anybody about these events, and the story of the killer in the car lived only in my hometown but soon became forgotten.
The phone calls said things about that night. Like the Lucas brand beer we used to drink. Or “turn up that thing, thing, thing”, a drunken phrase my best friend used to say. Sometimes I think it’s my friend who has been calling me from beyond the grave. All of the word choices seem to be hers.
But now I just don’t know. Last night the phone rang again. I said said “what?” and I heard the familiar voice as she took a deep breath. The woman’s voice grew deeper as she said hello. She said “There’s nothing to be afraid of, love.”