I couldn’t believe my eyes. “Mike! Mike!” I shouted. My whole world was coming apart around me. What was happening? Standing there in shock, I couldn’t bring myself to cry out but just remained fixed to the floor. Finally after taking a deep breath, I walked over to Mike only to have my worst fear confirmed; he was gone.
With my mind racing a mile a minute and my heart keeping pace, I turned around to Corinne to say something, when a piercing sound invaded the somber scene. Only when the sprinklers went off did I realize that the shrill interruption was actually the fire alarm. Scared, confused, and wet, I was in my own little world until I felt a hand take mine and lead me towards the door. With my vision slowly coming back into focus I saw Corinne’s concerned face looking back at me. Before I knew it, we were walking past the crowd in the Henle Fishbowl back towards Leavy.
“I’m sorry Tony.”
“I don’t even know what to say right now,” I replied.
“I wasn’t sure what we should do, but once the sprinklers went off, I knew the RAs or fire department would walk in.”
“I don’t even know what the right thing to do is anymore,” I sighed. Then Corinne took my hand and whispered,
“You know I understand how you’re feeling. My dad died in an accident ten years ago. I know what it’s like to lose someone close to you, and I won’t let you face this alone.” With that she squeezed my hand, and everything seemed a little better. “Now let’s go get your phone.”
We walked silently back towards my apartment. Coming up on Copley lawn, we saw some shadowed figures huddled together on the ground back by the Virgin Mary statue. As we got closer it became obvious there were two individuals hooking-up on the lawn. Under the moonlight we could see them getting serious. I was just about to look away when I noticed the guy reach for an open container of ice cream.
He took a spoon and trailed it down the center of her body. Transfixed, Corinne and I watched as he drew the ice cream across her stomach, and into her navel. He then laid her down and followed the line of ice cream down her body, lapping up the sticky melting cream as he went. I could see him murmur something in her ear as he leaned over, grabbed her hands, and pulled her upright she was practically sitting on him. Then nuzzling her neck, he began to lightly bite down, and as he flexed his hips, I could see her smile and curl her fingers around his jaw and throat, holding him fast for a moment.
Finally, I snapped out of my moment of voyeurism, and continued down the path with Corinne. “I can’t believe what we just saw,” I said.
“I know, right on the lawn. What the hell?”
“Tonight is just too much for me!”
“To be honest though, I’ve kind of always wanted to try using food in sex though…” Her voice trailed off. As I sighed, my ears perked up at the familiar sound of the squeaky wheel of Wingo’s Guy’s cart. Seeing that vigilant vagrant on his rounds filled me once again with a sense of calm. Amidst the static of his radio I could make out the lyrics “She’s a maniac, maniac on the floor.” We kept walking towards him. “That guy’s weird. He creeps me out a bit,” Corinne whispered. Our paths finally crossed as we reached the front gates and he walked towards Healey. Just before he was out of earshot, I turned around to face my mysterious, chicken-distributing, twilight companion and heard the sound of Nelly Furtado cracking from the radio “She’s a maneater, make you work hard” as he changed the station. As I turned back towards the gates, I noticed Corinne staring at him.
Continuing to Village B, I was trying to figure out what I knew already and how we could make it through the rest of the night. Lost in my head, I bumped straight into a streetlamp on the corner. Looking up, I saw an advertisement for a big-band show at the Kennedy Center to be led by my favorite saxophonist Bavin Gade. The thought of his smooth jazz made me long for the comforts of Michigan, listening to records in my backyard guesthouse. No matter what, I always felt safe in the Little House.
We entered my apartment and I picked up my phone. Sitting with Corinne on the couch, I decided to call Ryan first and break the news to him. Mustering the strength to dial, I put the phone to my ear and waited. “Hey Tony, what’s up? Mike and I saw you leaving with that hipster chick you’re obsessed with. Did you seal the deal? I had $20 bet that you’d blow it; please don’t tell me I owe that asshole money.”
“Ryan,” my voice cracking on the line, “I have some bad news.”
“You blew it didn’t you?”
“No, it’s about Mike and Brett.”
“What’s up then?”
“Mike and Brett are…”
“Hold on a second,” Ryan interrupted me. “I just heard a weird noise. Hey who the hell are you?”
“Ryan?!!?” Panic struck me.
“Whoa, dude what the f….” then I heard a loud crash and a thud.
“Ryan!” I screamed but heard no answer. I hung up and grabbed Corinne’s hand. “Come on we’re going to find him.”
“What happened?” she asked.
“I think someone just tried to kill him too.” I knew this would be too much for me. Three dead friends in as many hours was unfathomable. Running through the stairwell, adrenaline was the only thing keeping me together. With Corinne in tow, I ran out of the vestibule and towards campus. Sprinting across Healey lawn, I noticed a figure running towards me. Not sure whether I was about to fight for my life or just collapse, I kept running until I heard “Tony!” The figure ahead of me stopped running and took shape. It was Ryan! I had never been so happy to see him in my life.
“Dude, some guy broke into my apartment and tried to jump me.”
“What? Did you get a good look at him?”
“No man,” he said rubbing the back of his head. “He had a ski mask, but got me pretty good in the back. I managed to grab my kendo stuff from behind the closet door and fought him off with it. The bastard didn’t’ see that coming. The weirdest thing was that he was holding this.” Ryan held out a crumpled piece of paper that brought back all the pain.
I can’t stand being made to wait;
Patience is the virtue that I most hate;
My instructions were a simple scrawl;
But as this goes, more friends will fall;
For each further delay is a tempt of fate
“Dude, you’re not going to believe this,” and with that I explained the evening’s nightmare to Ryan with Corinne by my side.
“Holy shit Tony, what are we going to do!?!!?”
“I don’t know man, but now we can work this through together.”
Stepping forward, Corinne said, “and now that we know this is the killer, you’re our first witness.” Hope started to well within me. As long as Ryan could talk to the police, Corinne and I could be exonerated and find some closure. My mind was suddenly jarred by that all too familiar squeaking. This time the cart was blaring a classic from the Eagles “You can’t hide those lying eyes, and your smile is a thin disguise.”
“That guy is awesome,” Ryan said. Then looking over at Corinne, I saw her scowling deeply in his direction. Regardless, I knew there was hope for us yet and we set off to catch whoever was trying to terrorize us.