Do you ever look out at one of those suburban neighborhoods where every house looks exactly the same, like a sea of bland lives set in rows?
They always felt so dead and empty, like no one actually wanted to be there. I don't think they did.
It was around 8 pm when I left my house that night.
My best friend's girlfriend had just broken up with her so I was on my way to try and be some sort of emotional support. Lucky for me she lived in the middle of one of those dead neighborhoods.
As I drove into the neighborhood the darkness seemed to engulf me.
That's when I realized a strange fear had overcome me, not one of being scared but one of judgment like I was seen as less or grotesque.
The houses seemed to loom over me, a reminder of my status. The streets seemed to go on forever. I looked down at my phone to check the street names, I've never been great with directions.
That's when my phone shut down. At first, I thought it had just been an automatic update, but when I tried to turn it back on the screen simply remained black. "Great, just great."
I sighed out loud. I'm pretty sure she lives in Magnolia. I guess I'll just have to make my best guess and go for it.
Driving further down the street I started to take note of how quiet everything was.
Sure it's dark outside but it's still only around 8 pm on a Friday; shouldn't people be out, maybe some parties or something, just anything at all.
I tried to disregard my thoughts and just focus on trying to find my destination.
The road ahead seemed to go on forever, I recall turning a few times but I'm still not sure of what direction I was even going in.
Everything was so big, larger than me, larger than my importance, my existence. That's when my night got worse than imagined.
My car stalled. Now I've had cars break down before, but this, this. My car just shut off, just like my phone.
For a second I sat there and just took it in, the darkness, the feeling of failure, the frustration of everything falling apart, the guilt of not being there for a friend in need, and judgment for a crime I do not know.
I looked out at the street-sign my car had stopped next to. "Daisy Lane" That's close to Magnolia, I think.
I let my legs carry me out of the metal vehicle, starting my way down the pavement. It was cold outside, colder than it should've been.
I felt so small, everything seemed to be crashing inwards onto me. I stopped after about five minutes looking around for another street sign.
I looked up to see one about three feet away that read "Daisy Lane." in that same scrolled text. No, no, no this can't be right.
Running forward I saw my car, I jumped inside and tried to start it. Still nothing. There is no way this is happening. I know I took at least three turns in different directions.
I have to find someone, anyone. I jumped back out of my car and scrambled up and knocked on the door. Nothing. I knocked louder, still nothing, I rang the doorbell. No response.
That's when I tried the doorknob and heard a click. The door was unlocked.
I cautiously stepped inside calling out that my car had broken down and that their door was unlocked and I meant no harm.
It was quite beside my footsteps on the hardwood floor making slight clicking sounds. "Hello?" I called out, then once more a bit louder.
The kitchen was fully stocked and decorated but yet there was somehow no sign of anyone actually being there. I could feel my heart speed up, my situation set in.
Running up the stairs now shouting if anyone was home, what if someone had broken in before I got here. No. All the rooms were empty, every single one. All with signs of life but nothing living.
"Did I just break into someone's house while they were on vacation?"
Trying to cross this thought out of my mind I walked out feeling dazed and stumbled to the next house over and knocked on the door calling out that my car broke down.
Nothing, I knocked louder, then louder and louder and louder. Check the doorknob, click.
I ran inside checking everything calling out, I could explain to the owners later but this is getting very concerning. No one home, yet again signs of life but no one actually living there.
" thing isn't real this can't be happening. This isn't real no no no no." I ran out of the house and crossed the street repeating this process but more panicked. Nothing. Next house, nothing.
Next house, nothing. And the next and the one after that and after that and after that. Nothing, nobody, everything was empty.
This can't be right, I swear nothing was developed around here or anything like that. "Calm down there has to be a reason for this.
Maybe they're doing on night construction or maybe a movie is being shot here, but still where would all their stuff be.
It's fine, I'm fine, there's still one house left I haven't checked, maybe there like a stage manager or something there, ya that has to be right it just has to.
I carefully walked up to the last house, no even bothering to knock. I grabbed the door handle and turned it, giving its the signature click.
The house looked the exact same as all the others, same hardwood floor, same teal-ish kitchen, same stairs, same two bedrooms.
It was all the same, that was until I saw an extra door at the end of the hallway.
"Finally" I hurriedly walked over to the door, excited for maybe some clue at what's going on or maybe even some help. I opened the door, peeking into what would be my last chance.
The room was completely empty and almost in shambles, it kinda looked like someone's attic. That's when I noticed what was in the middle of the room.
It was a golden necklace with a compass at the end of it. I cautiously walked towards it picking it up. It was cold, feeling like it had been sitting outside.
For some reason I got the sense it was waiting for me? I don't know how long I stood there, just staring at the necklace, entranced by its shimmer.
I snapped out of my haze when I saw a light flash on from outside, then almost like a planned harmony my phone started buzzing, it was my friend, I picked up.
"Where are you, you're not usually late, are you okay?"
"Ya, I- sorry I got lost. Um, how long has it been."
"Like ten minutes, I just wanted to make sure."
"Okay, I'll be right there," I said as I started walking out of the house, shoving the locket into my pocket. Running into the cold night air I look around.
I-it felt as if the buildings were screaming at me? Nevertheless, I got into my now somehow restored car, I decided after everything to just not question it.
I looked down at my phone about to pull up my GPS when I realized it was already on.
And that's it, I made it over to her house we hung out, watched some bad sci-fi movies.
Is that all you wanted? Is that all you wanted
Do you still have the locket?
Um actually yes, I don't know why but I don't think I could get rid of it even if I wanted to.
Then yes that will suffice. Keep it.
Okay, I guess I will?