Monday, September 17, 2012

No. 35: Missing

The cute redheaded cashier took my purchases and ran them over the scanner. Her name was Myrna and she lived across the hall from me. “Hey, My. How are you doing tonight?” I asked and she smiled.

“I’m doing good, Nick,” she replied. “I’ve been working some extra hours to make more money. You?”

“Good. School’s going good as is work. Can’t complain, really,” I said.

“$11.84,” she said. I handed Myrna a twenty.

I nervously looked around as she got my change. No one was behind me in line so I cleared my throat. “Myrna? I was wondering, a friend is having a party and I was wondering if you’d like to come with me,” I invited.

“$8.16 is your change,” she handed me the money. “When is it?”

“Friday night. I’d totally understand if you can’t make it.”

“I’ll go. I’m not working that night. It’ll be fun.”

“Great! I’ll come over Friday to pick you up. I’ll see you around, My.”

“All right. Definitely see you on Friday,” Myrna smiled again which caused me to smile. I left the store and headed home.

I watched in awe as Myrna sank two of her billiard balls into a hole. We had been dominating the pool table my friend had set up in his apartment. “How did you get this good at pool?” I asked her.

“When I was a teenager, I hung out with…undesirables,” she said.

“At least you learned something hanging out with them,” I said.

“I also had numerous pregnancy scares, became an alcoholic, dropped out of high school and became estranged from my family,” Myrna revealed. “And that’s why I now work in the glamorous world of cash register operating.”

I looked at her with my mouth agape. “But all that was worth becoming a decent pool player, right?”

“Totally,” Myrna said as she lined up a shot, hit the cue ball with her cue and sank another ball.

“Why don’t you just clear the table while I get us some more to drink?” I leaned my pool stick against the wall and went over to where all of the drinks were just outside the kitchen.

“Is that the girl from the grocery store?” Eric leaned closer to me.

“Oh yeah. And she is even more amazing than I imagined she would be.”

“Imagined? You mean ‘jerked-off to?’” Eric said.

“Whatever,” I grabbed our drinks and went back to Myrna. “Here you go,” I handed Myrna the drink and she took it from me.

She immediately downed the drink and burped. She sat the cup on the pool table and wiped her mouth with her arm. “Can we leave? I kind of want to hang out with you in a more...quiet setting.”

“Uh, sure. Where do you want to go?” I asked.

“We can just go back to my place,” she smiled and bit her lip.

Myrna and I sat on her couch, kissing and fondling. Her lips were soft and liked to linger on mine when we stopped kissing. A small kitten leaped onto the back of the couch. We both started laughing as the kitten startled us.

“Who is this?” I asked.

“This is Jake. I adopted him a couple weeks ago. I felt it was getting a little lonely in here,” Myrna said.

“Hello, Jake,” I scratched the cat behind the ear and he mewed softly. I glanced at the clock on her TV. It was after midnight. “It’s getting late and I know you have work in the morning.”

“Are you going to be spending the night?” Myrna asked.

“Spending the night? Why? I live across the…hall…” Myrna kissed me again and pulled herself on top of me. I leaned back and embraced her.

She pulled away and got off of me. She stood and pulled me off the couch. “Come on,” she led me into her bedroom. As we stood next to her bed, we looked at each other then she removed my shirt. She moved her fingertips through my chest hair and down my stomach stopping at my pants. “Take them off.”

Naked, we lay down on the bed and continued kissing. Her pale white skin seemed to be illuminated by the dim moonlight coming through the window. As we made love, Jake tried to attack my fingers from under the bed. When we were finished we laid on our sides and looked at each other.

“You should be getting to sleep,” I said.

“I know but this has been such a perfect night. But you’re right. I’m gonna clean up and then we can go to sleep,” Myrna got out of bed and went into the bathroom.

When we lay down to sleep, I pulled Myrna close to me and held her. As she fell asleep she began snoring softly. I held her tight and fell asleep myself.

For the next three months Myrna and I were a great couple. “But the last month or so, she’s been acting weird. It seems almost like she’s avoiding me. She leaves early in the morning but I never see her come home. The last time we were really together was two weeks ago and I haven’t seen her in about a week,” I said to Eric. “Do you think she’s cheating on me?”

“I don’t know. I don’t really know her that well. You know her though. Do you think she’s cheating?” he asked me.

I looked at him. “I don’t want her to be. I know we’ve only been together a few months but I’m falling in love with Myrna. I really want us to work out.”

“Have you gone to see her at work?”

“I don’t want to bother her at work and get her coworkers involved in our private lives,” I said.

“Do it anyway. If you really love Myrna, then go get her and find out what’s wrong.”

I left Eric and went to the store. She wasn’t working at a register so I went to find the manager. “Excuse me but when is Myrna scheduled to work again?” I asked him.

“Myrna? I had to let her go about two weeks ago. She stopped showing up for work. I called her and left a message on her phone and called her again to tell her to pick up her last paycheck but I haven’t seen her in over two weeks, the manager said.

I was silent as I tried to process this information.

“I hope everything is all right with her. She was a good employee and a lot of our customers liked her.”

“Yeah. She was unique,” I said. “Thanks for the info.”

“You’re welcome.”

I began walking home, thinking about when the last time I saw Myrna was. It was a little less than a week ago and from what I remember, things seemed fine. Before I went to my apartment, I stopped at the maintenance man’s apartment. He answered, a gruff-looking man with permanent stubble and a beer belly. He always seemed angry and kind of drunk.


“My neighbor in 3B hasn’t been home in days and she has a cat so I was wondering if you could let me in her apartment so I can make sure it has enough food,” I said.

He stared at me for a moment then grabbed a ring of keys and came out into the hallway with me, closing the door. We went up to my floor and he unlocked Myrna’s door. “Make sure you lock the door when you’re finished,” he said and went back downstairs.

I opened the door, Jake was by the door but when it opened, he bounced away playfully. I entered Myrna’s apartment and saw nothing out of the ordinary. Everything looked the same as the last time I saw it. I looked in the kitchen and saw Jake was out of food and water. I picked up the water bowl and filled it then picked up the food bowl and filled that. Jake ran into the kitchen and began rubbing himself along my arm and hand.

I went into her bedroom and saw nothing out of the ordinary. I opened the drawer of her nightstand and saw the usual stuff—hairbrush, cotton swabs, a box of condoms, a couple of books and, most interestingly, a flash drive.

I put the flash drive in my pocket. I thought it was weird that Myrna would have a flash drive since she didn’t have a computer. I checked the dresser drawers but found only clothes and a weathered picture of Myrna and another girl. On the back was ‘Heather and me’ with a date of two years ago. Myrna had spoken about Heather but they hadn’t seen each other in over a year. I pocketed the picture as well.

Before I left, I picked up Jake and his bag of food and brought them over to my apartment. I went back over to grab the bowls, litter and litter box, locked the door and closed it. I sat down at my computer, sat the picture on my desk and pushed the flash drive into the USB port.

There was only one file on the drive. I double-clicked the file and a movie began playing. It started out with a point-of-view shot from inside of a car stopping in front of Myrna who was sitting on the curb.

“Hey, baby. You look sad,” a man inside the car said.

“A little bit,” Myrna replied. “My boyfriend and I got in a fight and he broke up with me.”

“Aw, that’s too bad. Get in the car, I think I can cheer you up,” the man said.

Myrna got in the car and the car began moving again. “How are you going to cheer me up?” she asked.

“With this,” the man driving suddenly had his semi-erect penis out.

“Ooh,” Myrna said in a childish tone, leaned over and began giving the man oral sex. I skipped forward a few minutes and Myrna and the guy were walking alongside railroad tracks. The cameraman was attempting to film upshots of Myrna’s short skirt as she was not wearing underwear. “Where are we going?” she asked innocently and giggling.

“Somewhere where we can get some privacy,” the man replied.

They entered a clearing where a giant house stood. The house was a giant stone house painted white but it was now peeling and dingy from water and dirt. Vines were growing up the side and the windows were broken.

Myrna, the man and the cameraman went into the house through the broken down front door. I skipped ahead a few more minutes to Myrna performing oral sex in a point-of-view scene while looking at the camera. I skipped forward a bit more to Myrna on a couch, on her side with one leg in the air and the man between her legs, thrusting in and out. Myrna was moaning in exaggerated porn movie sounds but, at moments, some of her sounds sounded like ones I had heard when we made love.

I skipped forward again and this time Myrna was straddling the man, still moaning loudly as she rode him, the camera going between a crotch shot, her breasts and the look on her face. I skipped to the end and the money shot where the man ejaculated on Myrna’s face while she stuck her tongue out. The camera zoomed in on her face. The last couple of minutes were Myrna and the man having a back and forth as she half-heartedly laughed. The camera then shut off.

I stared at the blank screen for awhile then went back to where they arrived at the house. “That house looks familiar,” I said quietly. I paused the movie and stared at the house. “That’s it!” I shouted.

The house was located about two miles from the city limits along the railroad tracks. A couple years ago, Eric and I got into going to abandoned houses. We made the journey to the house but there was nothing notable about it. If the movie was recent, the last couple of years had really taken its toll on the house.

The next day I drove to the industrial area of town and began walking down the tracks out of town. The house revealed itself to me like in the movie. It looked just like it did in the movie. All the windows were broken, the door busted in and the fake decorative red shutters next to each window were missing on the ground floor.

I cautiously entered the house. There was a ceiling fan hanging down with a massive birds nest in it. Right in front of me was a stone fireplace with a decorative ‘W’ under the mantle. I went through a doorway next to the fireplace and saw the couch that Myrna had sex on with that guy. It had been set on fire and was now unusable. I didn’t know if the couch was a victim of vandalism or to get rid of evidence.

I began walking up the stairs, not really knowing why, and paused on the landing of the second floor. It reeked up here of animal feces. I stayed on the landing and looked out of a window that was in the room directly in front of me. I thought about Myrna and the months that we had together. I tried to think of a future with her but everything I thought of was fuzzy and based in the present. I was falling in love with her but how long that love would last was unknown to me.

I was snapped out of my daydream by a loud clang that seemed to come from the kitchen. I quickly ran down the stairs and out the door to the tracks. I ran back to my car without looking back. I sat in my car staring down the railroad tracks but I saw no one. I started my car and drove away to the police station.