Monday, May 03, 2010

Harter Union: Part Three, Chapter 7

Heather and I woke up the next morning in her bed, naked and face to face. I smiled at her and kissed her nose. “Good morning.”

“Good morning,” she put a hand on my cheek and looked into my eyes. “What do you want to do about this?”

“About what?”

“We’re naked in bed together. We had sex,” she giggled.

“Well, what do you want to do about this?” I asked Heather, running my hand through her curly hair.

“I don’t know. I’ve never been in this situation before.”

“I think we should keep it quiet. At least for now. See what develops in our relationship and go from there,” I said. I got out of bed to stretch and pop my back.

“Do you regret what we did?” asked Heather, sitting up.

“Never,” I looked back at Heather.

The guy from Facilities finished hanging up my framed picture of Myrna Loy and put his drill back into his tool belt. “Hey, thanks for doing this,” I said.

“No problem since we were downstairs anyway,” the guy began to leave the office. “Do you need any help moving this cabinet?” he asked, referring to the old file cabinet that, until now, was just taking up space in my office. I had moved it outside the door because I was going to throw it away and make some more room in here.

“No, I can handle it. Thanks again.” I sat down in my chair and looked at my picture of Maggie that was on the desk.

“I can’t believe she would do that to you,” said Wendy, walking into my office.

“Yet she did. Story of my life.”

“Well, if you want to talk, you know where I am,” Wendy left the office and went back into the kitchen.

I looked at the picture of Maggie once more, opened the bottom desk drawer and placed the picture inside, upside down. I closed the drawer and left the office. “Hey, Jeff,” Nathan came up behind me, “have you ever been ghost-hunting?”

I turned and looked at him. “Yeah, I’ve been once or twice.”

“Well, a group of us, including Alyson and my cousin, are going ghost-hunting and thought you might like to join us.”

“Where are you going?”

“My cousin lives in an apartment with a haunted basement and then there’s an old abandoned house on Baker Street that we’re going to look at.”

“Yeah, I’ll go, it’ll help me stop thinking about Maggie,” I agreed.

“I heard. I’m sorry, man. We’re meeting at Sonic at ten tonight.”

“Okay, I’ll be there.”

Later that night, everybody was at Sonic waiting for me. Nathan and Alyson, along with Nathan’s cousin, Dean, a guy who went by Nate, a girl named Crystal and a guy named Troy. I pulled into the parking lot and parked next to Nathan’s Explorer, got out and met with the group.

“Sorry I’m late. Are we ready to head out?” I asked.

“Let me introduce you: this is my cousin Dean, Crystal, Troy and Nate. Everyone, this is Jeff.” The group grunted in acknowledgement.

“Can we hurry up? It’s getting cold out here,” Nate complained.

Nate was about as tall as me only extremely skinny and dorky-looking with shoulder-length greasy blond hair. Also, he never wore an actual shirt. He was always shirtless or wearing a tank top, like now. He also had a nipple ring which made me cringe in pain. Crystal was an extremely cute girl with black hair and beautiful green eyes. She had potential to be wonderful girlfriend but has slept with nearly every guy in Baldwin because her home life was crap. Her father was lazy and forever on Worker’s Comp, her younger brother kept running away and her mother abandoned them all. Dean was nearly 25 but slept with girls under the age of 18, probably because he’s slept with all the girls his age. Troy was the seemingly normal one and seemed cool enough despite that he was kicked out of school for threatening to kill the principal. But, honestly, Troy threatened to kill everybody.

When we arrived at Dean’s apartment, which was a converted sorority, we had to climb up stairs originally used as a fire escape. His apartment was a mess with used condoms lying all around.

“Why don’t you clean these up?” I asked, poking at one with a yard stick.

“I would but some of them aren’t mine,” he answered.


Dean’s “haunted” apartment wasn’t interesting or scary. The only evidence that the basement was haunted was a single string blowing in the wind when there was none. I asked Dean what the story was and apparently, back in the 1970s, the sorority was having a party, this girl had an altercation with her boyfriend and then fell three stories to her death.

“I wonder what happened,” wondered Alyson.

“She had an argument with her boyfriend, who was more than likely cheating on her, so she committed suicide,” I replied.

“That’s a little depressing isn’t it?” asked Alyson.

“That’s life,” I said. “Now are we still going to that house on Baker Street or not?”

We all went to the abandoned house in Nathan’s Explorer. The dilapidated house was near the highway but hidden from view by trees. It was still a nice looking house and at one time, had a nice garden with arches for vines to grow on but now the arches needed a good coat of paint. The front door was unlocked so we all walked right in. The smell of the house was all musty and it looked like someone ransacked the place because there was stuff lying all over the floor from pictures to knick-knacks to tarnished silverware on the kitchen floor. Everyone stayed downstairs but I took a chance and went upstairs to look in the bedrooms.

The first bedroom was like a teenager’s room with magazines on the floor along with National Geographics from the 1930s and yellowed newspapers crumbling with age. I looked down and saw a torn piece of newspaper with a cartoon drawing on it, done in crayon. I picked it up and looked at it: Mopsy. I folded up the paper and put it in my pocket and went into the next bedroom that was filled with books. Hardy Boys Adventures and mainly Boy Scout type books lay about in the shelves and on the floor. Three books: Faulty Diction, Guide to Writing English, and Laurence Sternes’ Sentimental Journey followed Mopsy into my collection. I went into the last room that had children’s toys in it. In the middle of the room was a box full of letters. I sifted through the letters which talked mainly about church or a vacation to California. Soon, everyone was ready to go but I left the box and vowed to come back and pick them up later.

When I went back about two weeks later, nothing remained of the house. It was just an empty field surrounded by trees with one right next to where the house should’ve been. Even the basement was filled in and grass was already growing on the dirt. It was as if the house never existed. The only mementos I have from the house are these three books and a drawing of Mopsy, a comic strip character from the 1950s.

I sat under the tree for about two hours listening to the birds and the cars passing by on the highway…

Part Four begins. Jeff learns Nathan and Alyson have had sex and he tries not to let that ruin his night off.