The shrill sound of his cell phone blared on the night stand as Darrian jolts awake from a tenuous sleep, nearly knocking his head against the back board. He wipes a few beads of cold sweat from his face as he rubs his temples. After a few more seconds he reaches over to finally answer his phone, which had sat ringing for what seemed like several minutes.
"Yea?" asks Darrian, his voice low and groggy.
"Dude, where the hell are you?" asks the voice on the other end.
"What?" asks Darrian, still trying to fully wake himself.
"Bro, Manny is flipping his shit man. You better get here quick."
"Josh? Dude what time is it?" asks Darrian as he glances over to his wall clock, which registered 8:30 AM "Oh shit, I over slept."
"Bro this is the third time in a week, are you trying to get fired?" asks Josh on the other end.
"Look tell Manny I'll be there as soon as I can." says Darrian.
"Alright man, but you better..." Darrian abruptly hangs up.
He tosses his phone onto the bed beside him and rubs his eyes in frustration "Goddamit..." He was an hour and a half late for work at the body shop. He looks down and takes note that, save for his shirt, he had fallen asleep in his clothes again. He wasn't quite sure what time he had made it home last night. His shoulders and arms were quite sore from the intense workouts he was putting himself through from the past few days. Darrian was in pretty good shape, but he had been hitting the gym extra hard in the the last two or three weeks and it showed. However it was taking a toll on his sleeping habits as of late. He would spend two or three hours pumping it hard at the gym, get home a little past midnight or later and sack out from exhaustion. This was his way of coping with the breakup.
But what had hurt even worse, was the slight glimmer of hope she had given him just a week and a half prior. Yea they were both drunk and it could technically be considered a one night stand, but Darrian saw it as an indication that they would be getting back together. But his repeated attempts to hang out with Ali from that point on were just met with flakeyness and her telling him that she "needed time"...whatever the hell that meant. In any case, it was causing him great distress. He checks his phone's recent texts and sees that she still hadn't responded to his request to see a movie, which he sent her two days before.
"How damn hard is it to reply to a simple text?" he mutters to himself.
Darrian walks over to his bedroom window and looks outside to the large leaf strewn front yard of the old house he was renting with Ali and a few other friends. He sees Ali's beat up old Sedan that was still sitting in the elongated driveway after her transmission had blown a few days ago. She had been bumming rides to and from work. The day was gloomy overcast and Darrian took note of the peculiar feeling that washed over him as if it suddenly felt as if he were being watched. He turns around and is taken aback to see a tall, shadowy figure standing in the hallway, looking directly into his room from the open door. Darrian rubs his eyes once more and when he looks again, the figure is gone.
"What the fuck?" he stammers as he bolts over to the door and looks into the hallway. Nothing but the emptiness of the hall greets him "That's it, no more Barcadi before bed."
After he quickly showers and brushes his teeth, the young man makes his way out of his room and heads down the hallway. On the way he passes Ali's room and takes note that it was empty. Strange thing was, her bed was unmade. Now one of Ali's habits would be to always make her bed in the morning before heading off to work at a local hair salon in town. He casually pokes his head in and glances around. Out of nowhere, a small radio shutters to life and the song "Last Christmas" by Wham, begins to play. Darrian narrows his eyes in bewilderment as he steps into the room. The song continues to blare as another ominous feeling takes hold of Darrian. He looks at the radio "Maybe somebody is tryin to fuck with me..." he thinks to himself. He switches off the radio and hesitantly heads downstairs. In the old kitchen he opens the fridge and grabs one of his protein supplements as he shakes it before popping it open. He leans against the counter and starts to drink, a feeling of uneasiness taking hold in the pit of his stomach.
"I wonder where the hell she's at?" he whispers.
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