I was already dark outside, and as I made my way through Bridgeport, I noticed how creepy everything was.
When I looked around, the shadows looked like people lurking in the night. I felt a chill on the back of my neck, and I picked up my pace. At first, all I could hear was my footsteps. But then I heard a shuffling in the bushes across the street. I thought about booking it back to my house, but I figured it was just a rabbit or something.
And then that rabbit turned into a man.
He emerged from the black behind a large bush, and I could tell he was staring right at me. Though I could barely see him, I sensed something familiar.
I just stood there, too scared to move, until I subconsciously took a step forward, my curiosity moving me on. The man also moved toward me, and into the light.
It was then that I regretted taking that step.
This was just not some guy hanging out in a bush. It was Tony Callaway.
I stopped, and then so did my heart.
He was supposed to be in prison, locked up for murdering Marcus, Suzette, and Riley. And not hanging around in Bridgeport, just down the road from my house. I began calculating the years he was gone. Thirteen years, I’m positive that’s not a life sentence. So what was he doing here, and why was he not in prison?
Oh my god, it was my nightmare coming true.
He was here to kill me; I could just feel it. But I still couldn’t move my legs. Maybe I could talk my way out of this situation. It was worth a shot.
“Daddy?” I said innocently. I have to play to cute daughter charm if I’m going to get out of here alive.
“Lillian? Yes, it’s me. Oh you’re so grown up. I’ve missed you darling.” I couldn’t tell if he was being serious, or if it was bait. I have to stay on my toes, be alert. I have to live.
“What- what are you doing here?” I stuttered, fear taking over my words.
Tony took another step forward. “I’m here to save you, honey. You can’t stay here anymore. I need to tell you the truth.”
I became angry. “What truth? Do you want to tell me how you did it? How you killed my family?” My breathing was heavy; I was still so tired.
“No, Lillian. I didn’t kill them. It wasn’t me, I swear!”
I shook my head, “Well then who did it? They caught you Tony, you were put in prison for it.”
I noticed that he got closer, and closer. “Not me. Someone else. I have to get you out of Connecticut, before she finds me. Before she kills you.”
I was confused. Who is “she”?
“Who? My mother? When she finds out your hear, she’s going to call the police.”
“I fear that she’ll find you too, and then she’ll think that I told you. Then she’ll want to kill you,” he said seriously. Then sadness touched his eyes.
I thought about this for a second. My mother would kill me? This has got to be a trick. He just wants me dead.
“Don’t you try that, I know she would never hurt me. She loves me, unlike you. If you loved me, you wouldn’t have killed them.
He was so close; he touched my arm in a comforting way. “Honey, I didn’t kill them. Clarissa did. Your mother blamed it on me so she could keep you. And now that you know, she will kill you to keep her secret from being leaked. You are in danger, and you’ve got to get away.”
“Lill! You left your book bag at my-“ Damien called out to me, and then he saw the man. He couldn’t know who he is.
“Lill, what’s going on?” he asked, concern in his eyes. He saw this grungy man, and could only assume the worst. And he was right to assume as much.
“Damien, run!” I demanded.
We sprinted down the street, and finally made it to my porch. I collapsed, trying to catch my breath. Damien still looked confused.
“Damien, that man you saw was my father. He escaped to tell me that my mother killed the Callaway’s, not him.” I gasped for more air. “I don’t know if I should fear my mother, or my father. He could come and kill us. But if he’s right, she could try to kill me.”
Damien’s eyes were wide, with either worry or fright. “Maybe we should talk to her. It can’t be true, she’s not like that.”
“I know,” I said, “but I don’t want to risk our lives.
He looked straight at me. “You could be risking your life if you don’t find out that truth.”
And I knew he was right.