It was about nine o’ clock on an autumn night when Michael and Michele finished watching The Order. It was about time for Michael to leave, to go back home, but neither really wanted to say goodbye just yet. Michael loved the country, and he loved to spend time with his friend Michele. They had a good friendship, despite the fact that society dictates that a guy and a girl can’t be just good friends. For Michael, he hadn’t let his mind wander down that particular path. To him it wasn’t much of an issue, it isn’t right for a guy to date one of his friend’s ex-girlfriends, and even if he had been interested, in his heart, he knew that it was too soon after the ending of their relationship to give it any real consideration. No, Michael was happy to just be Michele’s friend, even if her other friends didn’t really see it that way, because Michael didn’t have too many friends. He had only just recently come to the realization that life’s difficulties are much easier to get through with the support of friends.
The night was relatively young yet, at least it was for Michael, because he was usually up until three or four in the morning reading or playing video games. Michele usually tried to go to bed before midnight, but Michael couldn’t visit very often due to the large distance between where they both lived, and so she was willing to go without a few hours rest if it meant that they could hang out and have fun. So they decided that they would go for a walk, even though the sun had gone down a few hours previously, and it was a dark night.
“I’ll grab the flashlights, you go ahead and get your shoes on,” Michele said. “The roads out here aren’t well lit, so its pretty dark outside.”
“We don’t really need any flashlights,” Michael replied. “Besides, I prefer to use night vision to see in the dark anyway.”
Michele figured they’d be alright without the flashlights, and Michael decided to bring his cell phone just in case they did get into some kind of trouble. They put on their shoes and walked out of the apartment complex. Michael took a deep breath, enjoying the country air, something he could appreciate due to living in the city. He then poked Michele affectionately in the side and pulled the hair band our of her hair, causing it to fall out of the pony tail she had pulled it back into. He then trapped the hair band in his hand by closing his hand around it. Michele immediately tried to get the hair band back, grabbing a hold of his hand.
“Aw, how sweet of you, wanting to hold my hand,” Michael teased. Michele immediately let go, insisting that she only wanted to get her hair band back.
“oh, you know it its really because you can’t resist my charming and sexy self,” he teased again.
“Yeah, I just can’t seem to keep my hands off of you,” Michele replied sarcastically. It was part of a game they played often. They would flirt with each other, both understanding that it was all in good fun, though they had played it down a bit around her roommates and friends, because they were getting the wrong ideas about his intentions.
They crossed the street, and headed down another road that seemed darker than the others, but it was the back way onto a local play ground. Unlike in the city, trees in this area were plentiful, and they made the road they were on even darker.
After progressing a little ways, Michael noticed that night vision wasn’t very effective if there wasn’t enough light for him to see by. So he opened his cell phone with the idea of using it like a flashlight.
“Hmm,” Michael said. “Now I understand what it meant.”
“Understand what what meant?” Michele asked.
“Well, in a book I was reading, one of the character’s has a magic staff with a crystal ball that lights up on it, which they use when in dark caves or at night, but the author always described it as making seem darker, rather than lighting the area effectively,” Michael answered. “I never quite understood how that could be the case until just now, as I’m trying to use my cell phone to light the way.”
“Maybe its because the light isn’t strong enough to light this area, but its enough to make your eyes focus on it, thus making the darkness more apparent to you,” Michele suggested.
“You could be on to something there,” Michael replied. They continued to walk down the road, talking about anything that came to mind, when Michael suddenly stopped.
“What is it?” Michele asked.
“I thought I heard something,” Michael answered.
They both stood quietly, listening. Michael held the cell phone up again, having already forgotten that it made the darkness seem worse, rather than helping. As he gazed around, he though he saw something move. Feeling somewhat freaked out, they both took off running back the way they had come, only stopping when they got to a well lit area.
“I don’t think there was anything there, but I could have sworn I saw movement,” Michael informed Michele.
“I didn’t get too freaked out until you said you thought you heard something,” Michele told him.
Having decided it was nothing, they decided to head back down the road again, as they walked, Michael told her about a similar event that happened in his childhood.
“When I was about five or six,” Michael started, “My mom had sent me to the local Boy’s Club of America, as being a single mom, she couldn’t come get me right after school. Well, during one summer, they Boy’s Club and the Girl’s Club had a sort of summer camp where they would go to a camp ground during the day, and then head back home a little later. It was here that I met my childhood girlfriend, indeed, she was the first girl other than my mom that I kissed, and I kissed her on the lips. Well, one of the traditions was for the older boys to take the younger kids to a really wooded area, and make up a story about a hermit that lived at the top of a hill, who would kill people. The goal was to get as close as you could to his house before he noticed you, and then run back down the hill and draw a circle in the dirt, and get inside the circle. If you drew a circle in the dirt and were inside of it, you’d be safe.”
“Well, one time I went, my girlfriend Amanda came with me, and she stayed at the bottom of the hill while I went up to the top. After a certain amount of time, some said that the guy had seen them, and so we all ran back down the hill to draw our circles. Amanda had drawn a heart, and told me to come stand with her inside of it, which I of course did. I still sort of miss her.”
“That’s kind of sweet,” Michele replied.
It was about this time, that they came to a corn field, having passed the back entrance to the playground. They had stopped speaking for the moment, and they both heard a slight rustling near where they were standing in the corn. Michele jumped, which in turn cause Michael to jump as well.
“I don’t think we should hang out here any longer,” Michele said.
“Hmm, part of me thinks it’s just nothing but a little animal,” Michael told her. “However, as I recall, in scary movies, the jock usually ends up getting killed because he thinks that the evil scary homicidal thing that made the noise that the girl heard was only the cat that came running into view from where the noise came. So I’m kind of torn as to what to do.”
They both heard the noise again, this time a little stronger, and this time, Michele immediately grabbed onto Michael’s hand. They both took off running, this time Michael stayed back a pace from Michele as they raced the full way back to the area where they first crossed. They then proceeded back to Michael’s car. It was a silver 1990 Ford Probe GT, turbo charged. He like it okay, mostly because of the turbo charger, but what he really wanted was a truck. He and Michele hugged, knowing it was close to time for him to leave, both still wishing to delay the actual moment of departure. Michael leaned back and sat against the edge of his car, holding her hands in his, this time she didn’t pull her hands away
“You know, I couldn’t help but notice how you grabbed my hand when you got spooked,” Michael half teased.
“Yeah, I’m not sure why I did that either,” Michele told him. “I guess I feel safe when your around, that if it came down to it, you’d do your best to keep me safe.”
Michael was touched, no one had said anything like that to him before. They talked for another hour or two, and by the time Michael hugged Michele for the last time, and then got into the car and left, it was close to two in the morning.