It all began with his roommate's keys.His roommate, Dip, did what he had often done before – been so tired getting home that he left the keys on the outside of the apartment door and locked it from the inside and headed to bed. In the morning as Dip got ready to go to work he shifted stuff from one pair of pants to another and realized the problem. Sometimes the neighbors took pity and held on to othe keys but this was not the case this time. Dip cursed and took his bike and said he'd sort it all out when he got home from work.
Except he never came back home.Or, more accurately, I would not be there to see if he returned.
And I'd be the first of us to see his van again soon.
Next to disappear were my set of keys.
Next installment in 8 hours
Next to disappear were my set of keys. My roommate, Dip, who we joked had a four-letter word for a last name), checked his mail daily and was always bummed about all the bills,
I only checked the mail once a week on the theory that that way I would not be seeing and thinking every day about all the bills inside and how I wondered if there would ever be a day when I was financially solvent. So when I did go to get the mail I had a ton of junk mail to remove. I think it was while dealing with that situation – and the ever present question of whether to go through and check for coupons – that my robber struck, removing the keys from the apartment mailbox.
For when I finished organizing the mail and made to return to my apartment the key was gone. I went to the apartment front office, reported both sets of keys as missing and listened to a long lecture about how irresponsible the “kids of today” are. I'm 35, this lady was 60ish. She gave me a backup key so I can at least lock the apartment door after I handed her a fifty.
As I walked back to the apartment I noticed what looked like Dip's van next to my apartment. I quickened my pace.
I heard someone say “he's returning.”
I heard someone say “he's returning.”
I saw Dip's flat screen tv being moved into the van by one guy while another carried out my game station. These guys were pros, they knew exactly where things were. I later learned this was because they were Dip's friends.
My last thought before being grabbed and having a hood placed over my head was this: What kind of friends takes their so-called friends stuff. This thought was followed by another: For how long had they been waiting for him to leave those keys? Or did they have something to do with him being that tired?
I felt the chemical sense of – and as I faded into unconsciousness I heard a familiar voice nearby, one that I could not quite place. Dad? But he had died ten years ago. That was my last memory for about ten hours.
As I woke I heard someone explaining my presence.
“I'm sorry, sir. His presence was not in the plans.”
“Explain.” This last voice sounded older. And why did it sound like dad's voice?
“We thought he left to walk to work. How were we to know today was 'mail day'”?
“Long story, sir. Put simple he goes about once a week. He saw too much and we had to grab him.”
I started to open my ears when I heard those dreaded words: “What are we going to do with him?” followed by “Destroy him?” I made to close my eyes again so I could hear the response but it was too late.
“He's up. Let's do this.”
They lifted me and I realized – when my body cried out in pain – that I was restrained with handcuffs behind my back.
“Don't bother moving, son,” said the familiar voice. “We'll let you see again,” hood still over face, “When the time is right.”
I had two observations both of which seemed unlikely: That sounded EXACTLY like dad. And yet I saw his dead body and even wrote his obituary. And it seemed like the van – if that's what we were still in – was floating up and up and up.
Both seemed completely impossible.
I heard the two men talking again and I asked “Dad?” I heard them stop talking. “Dad? Is that you?” I heard one of the two walking toward me.
“Son, I have some explaining to do....”