I decided that maybe it might be best to wait for a moment or two on Joey before going inside. After everything that had happened tonight, I didn’t know what to believe and honestly I didn’t care. All I knew was that I’m tired and ready for bed; I wanted tonight to be done. What I also knew was that my dear childhood friend was hurt and my friends were hurt, but at no fault of his own. Joey has always worn his heart on his sleeve, so if he had the slightest notion that he did something wrong, it would just kill him.
I sighed, walked to the bottom of the concrete steps across from my car, then sat down. I first decided to text him first. I said, “Hey Joey, are you okay?”… I waited for about 5-10 minutes then heard nothing. “Were you going to come back home or were you going to crash at a friend’s place?” I sent hastily as a sense of dread grew down my spine. ‘Michael, think! Don’t panic, use logic! It’s just been a rough night. Joey will be fine’ I thought to myself, but I didn’t even remotely believe it. Another 5 minutes passed by… then 10… then 15… then 20… I thought that I’ll give him a call after waiting for 5-10 more minutes.
“Nah man, I’m coming back. I just needed to walk around,” I hoped that’s what he would send to me, I prayed that I would hear back from him soon… but still nothing. I sat at the stairs for about 45 minutes before I decided to call him. The wind was starting to pick up and an early winter chill crept up on me, wrapping around my head, neck, and legs. I quickly stood up and dialed Joey’s number. I stood and shivered as the breeze whirred and whistled past me. Sienna colored leaves glided and twirled slightly in the wind then would softly touch the ground. Errrrrrrpuh…. errrrrpppuh… errrrrpuh… Come on Joey, pick up! errrppppuh… then static… Well, the static sounded as if the phone was inside Joey’s back pocket of his pants, like the sounds you’d hear if someone were to accidently butt-dail you. “Hello? Joey?”… no response. The sound of movement stop and then the static went from thin and slow then immediately blasted in my ear along with the sound of sharp ringing and an unearthly guttural, shrill scream. I pulled my phone away from my ear and within an instant, the hellish sounds stopped. Then I could hear some nearly inaudible mumbling from Joey.
“Joey, are you okay?” I said frantically.
“Yeah…” barely audible to the ear and it sounded almost disembodied in a way.
“Joey it’s Mike! What’s going on????” I held the phone closer to my ear.
“Are you sure you’re okay??? You’ve been gone for an hour without a word. This really isn’t like you at all!” I did my best to stay calm, but this was just too weird.
“Where are you man? It’s 1:30 am! Are you coming home or are you going to a friend’s house?”
“Okay, do you mean back at our place or do you mean home with your parents?”
“Home…” he repeated.
“Yes I know but wh-” Then the call dropped. I tried calling Joey a couple times but it went straight to voicemail every single time. I sat back down on the steps and bowed my head down on my folded arms that I put upon my knees.
Part of me assumed that maybe he possibly meant his parent’s home. Joey would visit his parents and sometimes spend the night there on certain occasions such as the holidays or during a family gathering. He would even go to his parents place just for the hell of it. He has always been really close with his family and would always confide in them and his closest friends whenever something is wrong.
This wasn’t like Joey. He wouldn’t do things like this; not even his pranks were this creative. This can’t be happening…
What to do:
Go after Joey and call his parents
Contact other friends
Go to bed and leave the front door locked
Start from the beginning
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