Back in school I had a good friend named Ryan, and well, he was my only friend. After school we always went to his house to hang out. His house sat almost in the middle of a big grazing field, which mostly worked in our advantage as it gave us a lot of room for playing outside. Since the house was in the middle of the field, you would have to follow a long driveway to get there. But that’s enough description so let’s cut down to the flesh of the story.
It was 8:00 in the evening and a huge fight broke out between my parents and me. I was frustrated and couldn’t stand it any longer so I called Ryan’s house, as I needed to break away from this mess. He picked up the phone and was surprised hearing from me at such a late hour (we were kids back then), but after hearing my story he said I could come over, although he said he was going to be away at football practice until 9:00, so I would have to wait for him.
It was night and it was dark. It didn’t mind the dark, but I never liked the road that led to his house. Its wavy pattern would sometimes make me sick, especially if I was traveling in a car. But now that was not the case, I was on my bike. The disturbing part of this story will not happen on this road, though. It will happen once I reached the house.
Parking my bike by the side of their empty garage, I walked up their front porch and reaching the door, rang the bell. The door opened almost as soon as my finger let go of the button, giving me a jump. There was no wait; it literally opened up almost instantaneously. Then I saw.
It was his mother. I always liked his mother; she was kind, sweet, and always offered her support whenever I felt down.
But I could tell something was wrong with her.
Her usually bright eyes seemed darker. Her hair was not neatly tied in a bun behind her head; it fell upon her shoulders. Before I had the chance to examine her further, something much more unsettling caught my eye. She was smiling.
She did not greet me, or start talking. Just kept smiling and stared right at me.
Feeling very uncomfortable, I asked if everything was all right. “Come inside and have some tea with me,” was her answer. Before I had the chance to answer she went back into the house. It was then that I noticed that she was wearing her bathroom robe. Having neither the disrespect to decline her offer, nor the guts to stay outside in the night, I entered the home and closed the door behind me.
Heading towards the kitchen I could hear her humming a strange tune. The moment I entered, she stopped humming and an overwhelming silence took over. Without waiting for a conversation to start, I took a seat at the kitchen table. She was standing in front of me, with her back turned in my direction. I tried not to look at her and started awkwardly looking around the room, until the tea was ready. I was thinking. Ryan’s mom would always seem warm and loving and eager to talk about anything concerning my school, family life, and anything else. Now she was just silent. Saying nothing. I spent the next five minutes in this deep thought.
And then it occurred to me.
She hadn’t moved at all during the whole time I was in the kitchen. With her back towards me, I could see that her hands were hanging down her shoulders. Her head was tilted to the left. Thinking something was wrong, I stood from the chair and approached her from behind. Making an awful lot of noise while doing so, she did not move a single bit. Carefully I approached her from the right side to look at her face to see if she was all right. The following sight still haunts me to this very day.
Her eyes were wide open and she was smiling.
Being as unsettled as I was, I decided it’d be best to go back home. “I think I better be off now, I have a lot of schoolwork for tomorrow,” I lied, and receiving no answer in return, I headed towards the front door and stepped outside onto the porch. I wasn’t scared, well maybe just a little bit, but mostly I was just weirded the fuck out.
As I was moved down the porch towards my bike, I caught a glimpse of two lights at the far end of the wavy road. It was a car. “Finally,” I thought. Ryan was around ten minutes late. However, as the car was nearing the house, I began wondering who was driving Ryan back from football practice. His dad was at a business trip, and wouldn’t be back for another two weeks. Ryan himself was too young to drive a car so who else? I was getting more and more anxious as the car was nearing the house. Who was driving Ryan back? The car pulled into the garage and stopped. Ryan was the first one to get out, giving me a “What’s up, man?”. But the person who came out of the car next was his mother. She noticed me and asked how everything was.