Photo by Keagan Henman on Unsplash
The piercing headlights of oncoming cars intensified my growing headache. The knot behind my ear throbbed and was hot to the touch. I was grinding my teeth and holding my breath to cope with the pain. The drive home seemed much longer.
As I traveled past the neighbor’s house, a parked car looked out of place. It looked familiar, but I couldn’t place where I had seen it before. Now, you’re paranoid. Shaking away the thought, I rationalized why it belonged there. Maybe the neighbors bought a new car or have company. I pulled into the driveway and shut off the engine.
I sat there for a moment to compose myself. If Mom is awake, I don’t want her to suspect something was wrong. As I sat there, the back of my neck prickled. It felt like I was being watched. Glancing in the mirrors and then out the windows, I saw no one.
I kept my footsteps soft on the porch and quietly shut the door. I dodged the squeaky floorboards as I tiptoed towards the kitchen. Halfway across the room, a gasp followed by a shriek near the window made me jump. The pain behind my ear intensified.
“Mikey, what are you doing sneaking around like that?” Mom shouted. She was standing by the window, tangled in the curtain. An engine revved outside. Then headlights tracked across the living room wall before the sound faded.
“Good. They finally left,” she said, shaking her arm loose from the curtain.
“Who’s they?” I walked over the window and peered out.
“Some guy who wanted to sell me a new roof. Told him the one I had was just fine.”
My heart hammered at the thought of her being over powered in her own home. “You let him in the house?” I asked.