It was turning into one of THOSE days. Nothing…… when I say nothing that’s exactly what I mean, nothing was going right. The mercury showed hot as heck. I was camped out in my living room feeling quite sorry for myself. My wife Bev had run off for a weekend of fun with her girlfriends. “You’re on your own” her parting words of sarcasm slapped me across the face, as she slammed out the door. Sighing I got up grabbed another beer from the fridge, the cool air felt refreshing as I closed the door. Yes, the Ac had gone out the week before, but I had no energy to fix it and not enough money to call the ac repair man. Guzzling on the bitter liquid I flipped through the channels, throwing the remote on the pillow next to me I gave it a look of disgust “there is not one good thing to watch on TV these days. Snatching the remote I forcibly turned the TV off. Sitting in silence feeling the last bit of energy drain from my body I swilled the dregs of my beer. Heaving another long sigh, I felt my pity party deepen.
I must have dozed off for an hour, waking with a start my heart pounding out of my chest, a noise had woken me “probably the stupid neighbors with their loud mufflers” I muttered as I stiffly got off the sofa needing to use the bathroom. Stumbling through the now dark house I didn’t bother turning on any lights. The night light in the bathroom gave enough glow to get the job done. Not bothering to flush I stripped down to my boxers and sprawled out across the bed. I knew my attitude was worse than horrible, but I didn’t care. I could hear my mom’s voice in my head “Tanner you straighten up that attitude of yours or I will whup your ass”
Bev was probably having the time of her life, no wonder she ran off most weekends I was turning into a slob and a burden to her. Deep down I wanted to change, to be better but desire was lacking on all levels. I was home feeling so sorry for myself and lazy I didn’t even want to feed my own face. Rolling over I had to laugh at the irony of it all. “Where did all my ambition go?”, I wondered to myself out loud. “I was so full of life back in high school” The silence was deafening… staring at the ceiling I drew a blank as to where the romance and vigor had run off too. I was miserable, I knew divorce was coming down the pike but even that couldn’t motivate me to get my life cleaned up. I was barley hanging onto my job as my attitude at work sucked just as much as at home. I had not bothered to go visit my parents either because I knew the ass chewing that was coming from them. I couldn’t deal with another person on my back. Even the fact that I had gained 30 extra pounds did not motivate me to action. A silent tear slid down the side of my face as I drifted off in a beer fog of sleep.
It had to be just shy of 1 am I guessed, when a noise woke me again. I lay in bed motionless. Fear made the hair along my neck bristle. I never gave into fear, but this was different. I still had a slight hangover, so I wasn’t feeling very agile. With great effort I managed to sit up, listening for the noise. There it was again, from the basement. Was someone here trying to rob me. I almost wanted to laugh “good luck with that I have nothing to steal, maybe Bev’s dried out potted plants that littered the basement” I whispered. That noise again, slowly, carefully I got out of bed not wanting to make any racket.
By now my senses were alive and zinging. A feeling stirred inside my chest a combination of fear and anger. How dare someone break into my house in the middle of the night. Carefully opening the nightstand drawer, I pulled out my little flashlight and knife I kept there. I was glad Bev was gone, my chest was pounding and sweat beaded on my forehead. Tiptoeing down the short hall I stopped at the basement stairs, the streetlight illuminated the house with its soft glow. Clicking on the flashlight I shone it down the stairs slowly making my way one step at a time. I could still hear the strange noise emitting from the far corner of the basement…… To be continued