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I Followed Him Home

I followed him home; the boy who scared me.

I continued following him. Nothing out of the ordinary happened for around 15 minutes when he turned off into a thin path.

My eyes began looking around at the path I had just started walking on, it was the first time I had been in that part of town; which wasn’t that weird as I only ever went to the town to go to school which was a 4 minute walk from the station. My gaze gravitated downwards. I looked at the broken path I was walking on. I noticed the pavement was littered with cracks and fractures which looked like wounds and scars of the earth. As soon I noticed these, I began attempting to avoid all of them. I hummed the tune of the common childhood poem, “step on a crack, you break your mothers back, step on a line you break your mother’s spine." I hopped and jumped over the lines engraved in payment, occasionally tripping over and stepping on a crack where I’d pretend I didn’t. That quickly became boring and I began walking normally again. It took around 30 seconds for my legs to regain rhythm and walk normally. It was then after my legs had regained their function, I looked at the sky. Due to it being October, the sun was nearly set. I used to devote October photographing the falling sun in all its hues. I swore I’d never see enough sunsets then. Turns out I had seen so many crimson skies under multi-colored leaves that I didn’t even stop to look. My brief gaze at the sky before my eyes began looking forwards once again made me feel sad, but not too sad because wasn’t that how the world worked? Beautiful things become ordinary—everything slowly becomes boring. Something that I noticed that didn’t go away though was sometimes the rising sun scared me. It was another irrational fear I had. I thought the sun was so big, and yet when it rose it didn’t make a sound—not even a whisper. It was nice how it lit up the entire world but it was scary that there was absolutely nothing I or anyone could do to stop it. It confused me why more people weren’t scared of the sun, when you think about it it was truly terrifying. If the sun ever decided to go away, so would the world.

I continued walking on this thin path for around 20 minutes. I had yet to uncover anything of interest, and I was started to think it may have been a waste of time to follow him.

My decision to follow him continued till I reached what I assumed to be his street. Across from his street was a bus stop, which I decided would act as the perfect venue to “stake out” at. It was at this point I had undertaken the persona of “Detective Santiago,” a rookie detective whose partner was brutally killed by the “bus-stop killer.” The memo of the "bus-stop killer" was that they picked up lonely traveler on the midnight route and decapitated them. I should have put more effort into the killer's backstory. I had dedicated myself to this case to the point it destroyed my already deteriorating marriage due to the fact our child had died at just eight weeks old. At the time I remember the funeral, everyone had tutted and sighed about the tragedy of cot death. I was close to solving the murder, I could feel myself getting closer to finding the man responsible for ruining my life. I flicked up the collar of my corduroy jacket and pretended to put a cigarette in mouth. I blow air out of my mouth and the cold air simulated smoke. As a rookie investigator, I surveyed the black chewing gum dotted around everywhere that looked slightly like a piece of life-size abstract art that belonged in the Tate Modern; I wondered what it would symbolize. However, I reconsidered that thought when I remembered Robert Ebert once said that if you have to ask what it symbioses then it didn’t. I felt the cold, hard plastic seats beneath me; saw the deteriorating council and their unkempt gardens; heard the heavy drone of cars on the nearby dual carriageway; smelt the pungent scent of urine left as debris of an over-indulgent night out. The gentle autumn breeze lifted the leaves—all shaded different hues of red and gold-into a gentle seasonal dance.

As he approached his house there was a girl who seemed to be waiting for him. She seemed overly distressed and was obviously shouting at him however I couldn’t make out what she was saying. I knew her from somewhere, but I couldn’t put my finger on where. After what seemed like an intense argument, he ushered her inside—most likely to avoid drawing attention and disturbing the neighbors. I remained at the bus stop for a while, my stubbornness of unearthing something overshadowing my lurking boredom.

She left after 20 minutes later, she looked noticeably distressed. She had tears down her face, noticeable by the mascara. I assumed they fought over something dumb. After that, I realized nothing was going to happen and made my way to the train station to catch a train home. I should have paid more attention that night, I really should have because 3 days later that girl was announced missing.