Short Story – Written by Antoine Matuttis, Edited by Katharina Hauser
Where do I start?
Well… Michael was a rich kid from Vermont. I knew that his parents were quite wealthy but I wasn’t aware of the fact that his father was a politician.
Michael seemed to have his eyes on me for quite some time. Staring at me from across the classroom with a slightly uncomfortable stare. Well, it would have been more unpleasant if he wasn’t as handsome as he was to be honest.
No, I wasn’t wearing anything… p r o v o c a t i v e. I was never a fan of short skirts. And besides, none of the other boys were staring at me. Michael was the only one.
One day, I discovered this handwritten message in my backpack. Michael must have placed it there while the rest of us hadn’t been in the room. His message told me to meet him after the following maths class.
Uncertain what to expect, I went to the big red oak on our schoolyard to join him there. He already sat in the shade of the large tree with his head leaning against one of the branches. He jumped up as soon as he spotted me. I remained within arm’s reach as I approached him.
His voice was shaky: “Do you… Wanna hang out?”
“Like a date?” I asked.
I’m bad at saying no to guys who aren’t obvious jerks, so I consented to meeting him on friday evening. He wanted to take me out to dinner, which I wasn’t too keen on, as I’ve had my fair share of uncomfortable dates that almost exclusively took place in a restaurant of some sort.
Friday arrived and I began to worry. I believe Michael became quite nervous aswell, as he stopped interacting with me altogether. He didn’t even stare at me in class anymore, which was a plus.
After school I strolled through town with my friend Kelly and we chatted a bit. She told me about a rumor that Michael’s dad was involved in some kind of…
There really was no proof whatsoever for this rumor! I simply decided to ignore it.
Kelly told me to text her if things went south. We gave each other one last hug and parted ways. I was about to meet Michael in a few hours and needed to get ready for the “date” – oh, the wonderful date we were going to have. After going through my extensive skin care routine, I put on a black dress and some makeup.
The doorbell rang.
My mum answered the door for me. I went downstairs and stared at Michael, who was waiting for me in the doorway wearing a tuxedo. He looked good in it, but it was kinda… much. I mean, yeah, I wore a black dress, but it was more casual and you could still wear it whilst just strolling through town or something. My mum seemed a bit confused aswell.
“What are you guys up to?” she questioned me.
“Just grabbing some food.” I replied.
“Casually grabbing something to eat, I can see that.” my mum answered with a smile. I gave her a hug and then I left with him.
“Where are we going? Do you have a car?” I asked.
“Just wait for it.” Michael said.
We kept walking for a bit and then I finally saw it: The f***ing limousine. A driver stepped out of the vehicle and held the door open for me. He wore a black tux aswell. I was confused. We got into the car and drove away.
Sitting next to Michael was strange as he didn’t say a word.
“This is one hell of a car.” I stated. He just smiled at me and nodded.
I tried again: “Where did you get it?”
“Well… Long story…” he answered.
“We have time…” I replied.
“Well… My dad bought it.” After saying that he simply kept quiet. For a while there was nothing but complete silence.
At a certain point, I realized that we were driving through an unfamiliar part of town. Well it almost wasn’t part of town anymore: No houses by the street, just a railroad track nearby. I became a bit nervous.
“Where are we going?” I questioned him again, but he didn’t answer. Suddenly the car came to a halt on an empty parking lot.
“Where are we?” No answer.
“Mike?” My heart was racing. Here I was sitting in a strangers car in the middle of nowhere with two men I barely knew.
“We’re just taking a small break.” Michael replied.
For a moment everything went quiet, until the driver raised his voice: “Should I leave you to it or can I watch?”
A shiver went down my spine.
The fact that Michael didn’t answer my question made the whole thing even worse. What the hell was going on?! My whole body was shaking at this point. I thought about smashing the door open and making a run for it. But there was no help in sight and I didn’t even know where I was. Besides how could I get away if th…
I have to forget!
Was it my fault?
“Let’s grab some food.” Michael whispered into my ear. All I wanted was to get home as soon as possible.
“We’ll visit the best pizza place in town.” he said. At least we wouldn’t be alone there, I thought.
We arrived at the place ten minutes later. Before he could even place an order I informed him, that I had to go to the bathroom. I stayed there for quite a while as I needed to text Kelly my location and waited for her to reply. It sounds stupid, but I felt rude for letting him wait.
Kelly told me she would come pick me up with her mum’s car and we could talk afterwards. But I didn‘t want to have a conversation. There was nothing to say. The damage was done.
I brushed my tears away and returned to Michael only to spent an uncomfortable half hour with him. I ordered some ice tea to calm myself down, but other than that I told my “date“ I wasn’t hungry. He ordered a pizza for himself and I just watched him chew in silence. I informed Michael that I had to leave soon, as I had forgotten about the birthday party of a friend. He asked if he should bring me there, but I let him know that Kelly was already on her way.
Luckily she arrived soon enough and grabbed me without even looking at Michael for a split second. We left and got into the car. Michael’s driver was watching us from the distance. I could make out his silhouette through the tinted windows of the limousine. Finally Kelly and I drove away in silence.
I couldn’t help but burst out into tears on our way back home. She wanted to know what went wrong, but I couldn‘t bring myself to tell her.
In fact I haven‘t told anyone about this…