Chapter Two

That night, I walked into the old comic book store. There are a lot of memories there. Very old memories. But it helps me find solace. No one goes there anymore, and I usually just go there to be alone. I was already inside and was walking towards the back.

I force the door open, and it creaks. The bottom drags the ground like someone would drag their feet on the floor, and I start coughing because of the dust. I haven't been in here in years. The last time I was here, I had only just remembered the old storage room. A lot of things happened in there for me. For example. It's where Edgar and I would go to 'study for a test' and end up in a make-out session. It was my place of solace when I thought I was pregnant when I was a senior in high school and had everything going for me. I kept that small thing to myself. I didn't even tell Edgar. But I ended up having a miscarriage, which I thought was all for the better, since I got accepted to three schools. But that ended up being a pisser when I found out that Harvard wouldn't accept me. So, I just graduated from high school and never went to college. School was too stressful anyway.

I look around. The old room was the same. The two blue worn out chairs were in corner, covered in a blanket of dust. The table in front of them had finally crumbled, the old front left leg broken and worn down from years of termite infestation. The was still that one squeaky floorboard, and the tacky red couch where so many memories were made sat in its same place as it did back in 1989, when I graduated.

I walked over to the couch, the squeaky floorboard scaring me like it did so many years ago. I sit and lie down and let the old memories come rushing through my mind. I heard a door open, and looked up. Soon, the door to this room opens and someone screams. I scream back. But it was only Vanessa.

"What are you doing here?" I asked.

"What are you doing here?" she repeated.

"I wanted to be alone. You?"

"I wanted to jack a comic book."

"Looks like you did."

"Shut up."

"How's Alan?"

Vanessa groaned and flopped in an old wooden chair hidden near the door. "He won't kiss me."

"He just doesn't want to bite you." I explained.

"I know but still."

The wooden chair began to creak. "Nessa." I warned.

"What?"

There was a crack. The chair broke from under her and I began laughing.

"Shut up, Casey!" Vanessa snapped, but it was still funny, because her face was priceless.

"Hey,"

"What?"

"You wanna get coffee?"

```~~~LATER~~~```

Vanessa and I hung out the whole day. Afterwards, I took her home.

"Alright. Let me get back to the slave ship." Vanessa muttered. I laughed because she was talking about her dogs and I knew what they were like. They ran around, broke everything, and shit in the house.

"I'll see you later." I said.

"Bye."

"Bye."

Vanessa got out and left. I drove off and saw someone in my rearview mirror. I sped up and then turned the corner. I got out, and ducked behind my car. The other one drove on.

"What the hell..." I got back in my car, and drove home.

```~~~APARTMENT~~~```

I walked in, and was surprised when I saw Sam.

"What are you doing home?" I asked.

"Turns out Sarah turned me down. I asked her when she wanted me there, she said eight o'clock. She stood me up."

"Oh, Sam, I'm sorry." I sat next to him and put a hand on his shoulder.

"It's okay. I just thought she really liked me."

I gave him a hug.

```~~~NIGHTTIME~~~```

My eyes snapped open and I sat up. I looked at the end table that had a picture of me, Edgar, and the kids. I looked at that, suddenly missing him, and wondering if he missed me too. Then, I looked out the window, and saw a shadow. I walked over, and opened my blinds but it was gone.

"Am I going fucking crazy?" I muttered to myself. I didn't like this. Not at all. I walked out of my room, and sat on the couch. I turned on the TV and had it on low. The news was on.

"The body near White Rock Lake area in Dallas, Texas, was confirmed to not be the body of Lisa Walsh. The search continues for the seventeen year old." I turned the TV off. So where was the girl? I got up, looked at the cabinets, and then shook my head. No. I can't. Not like last year. After the separation, I sorta...gorged on food. But I stopped and already lost more than half the weight. Just got five more pounds to go. Or something like that. I needed to ask Sam. He's my weight manager. I went into my bedroom, and got on the bed. Maybe I'm just imagining things. Maybe I'm just missing Edgar. I shut my eyes, and I fell asleep.

The next day I woke up hugging my pillow. I looked around, and walked out, and saw my brother on the couch, talking to someone on the phone.

"Sam?" I said. He held up a hand.

"Yeah. Well, I—You what? When? No. That's not—that's not true." He laughed. "Wow. Nice goin', Mike."

"Hi, Michael!" I called going into the kitchen and getting a soda.

"Case says hi." There was a slight pause. "He says hi back." Sam continued his conversation. I quietly opened the Coke and slowly took a drink. I saw that this was the last Coke in the fridge and these are Sam's favorites. I put my soda down and put some more in the fridge. I heard Sam laugh.

"Oh, man. Mike, you couldn't have done worse."

I shook my head. Sam got up and opened the fridge and took out a Coke.

"Oh, uh Sam." I started, but Sam had already opened it and took a drink.

"Why is this hot?" he asked. I stood there for a second and then started laughing. "Did you drink the last cold one?"

"No. I'm drinking the last cold one." I answered and kept laughing. Sam glared at me and got down a glass and put some ice in it. "Alright, Mike. I'll talk to you later. Bye." He hung up.

"What was going on?" I asked. Sam laughed.

"Mike went to a party. Some kid-a girl-started hitting on him. And she literally was a kid. He said she was about seventeen. Kissed him and everything. Just didn't have sex with him. Star found out and made him sleep on the couch. Then she made him cook the dinner the next night."

"What happened with that?"

"He burned it."

I laughed. Sam continued.

"Then, Kenly was able to actually make something up and said Michael did it instead." Kenly was Michael and Star's sixteen year old daughter. "They had a romantic dinner and made up."

"Well that's good. But still. That was funny." At least in my book it was.

"Yeah, like when you drank my last Coke."

"Drinking, Sam." I took another drink. Sam walked up to me, and I put the Coke down. He started tickling me.

"That'll teach you. Don't drink my Cokes."

"Okay, okay, okay!" I screech, laughing.

```~~~LATER~~~```

"Well, I—You what?" I listened to Vanessa's story. Apparently, she and Alan were going to kiss and he was about to bite her so he left the room, and locked himself in his. "No, don't do that. Honey—Honey, it has nothing against you. He just didn't want to hurt you. Now, don't get crazy here. No one can track down that vampire. I was there. He took off out the window and no one's seen him since. And no, it's not going to help if you wear his hat. No it's not. Alright. I'll talk to you later. Bye bye."

"What's up?" Sam asked.

"Oh, last night Alan and Vanessa were about to kiss and he freaked out."

"Oh, I knew that was going to happen. Look, Case, I gotta get to work. See you around seven, and keep dinner warm."

"Who are you? My husband?"

"No. I'm your brother who likes warm food."

I laughed.