Originally posted 2016-10-07 12:00:00.
You decide to tell Ben you do not want him going upstairs. For some reason you don’t want Ben snooping around. Something doesn’t feel right.
“Ben I’d rather you didn’t,” you say. “I need to have a shower and get ready for work.”
He looks surprised but then shrugs his shoulders. “Ok. Right. I’d better be off then.”
You walk Ben to the door. As he opens it you finally say, “Ben, your trousers. They’re so dusty. What have you been up to?”
He looks down. “Oh nothing,” he says, “Well not nothing, it’s just some cement. I’ve …,” he hesitates.
“Cement?” you ask. You didn’t know Ben knew how to cement anything.
“Well not for me, it’s …,”
Again he hesitates, just for a second before continuing, “It’s for someone I’m seeing. Her garage needed some work done. I offered to help.”
“You’re seeing someone?”
“Yes,” he says, “But I wasn’t going to tell you.”
“Why, what’s wrong with her?” you ask before you can stop yourself.
“Nothing Laura! God, what a thing to say. She’s fine … better than fine. It’s just …,”
“She doesn’t want me to tell anyone about it yet.”
“She’s just not ready. When she is I’ll tell you.”
You can’t help but think it all sounds a bit strange, but you decide not to say anything else. He’s starting to look flustered.
“Ok,” you say. “I was just interested that’s all. I’m happy for you.”
“Thanks,” he says, looking awkward. “Ok I’m going. I’ll check out the phone and get back to you.”
“Ok. I appreciate you coming over.”
He gives you a quick hug and then walks to the car. Just as he’s about to get in he turns and says, “Don’t do anything silly in the next few days ok? Just go to work and come home. Lock all your doors. We’ll get to the bottom of it but you need to stay safe.”
You nod. “Understood.”
Ben smiles. You think he’s trying to look reassuring but it’s not quite working. He gets in the car and drives off.
You look at your watch. It’s already six o’clock. Time for a shower.
You go back in the house and shut the door. The house seems so quiet. You already wish Ben was still here. You can’t believe how suspicious you got when you saw his trousers. That phone call has really put you on edge. And now you feel scared. You look around the living room. What if someone has been in here? What if they are still in here, hiding away, ready to attack at any moment.
“Come on Laura,” you whisper, “Get a grip.”
You need to go upstairs and take a shower but you can’t seem to move. And then a noise. Loud and shrill. You jump and your heart pounds in your chest. A telephone. For a second you’re confused. Ben has your mobile. But then you realize it’s the landline. Oh god, you think. What if it’s that man again. That voice. Who else would be ringing at six in the morning?
You walk over to the phone. Should you answer it? Your hand reaches out to the phone but then stops as you hear something else. A tap against the window. The curtains are shut so you can’t see anything. The phone is still ringing and you don’t know what to do. Just answer the phone and find out who’s ringing. Or open the curtains and see if there’s someone there. Your heart is beating so fast it’s making you feel dizzy. What should you do?
Option (a): Open the curtains.
Option(b): Answer the phone.
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