Exert from The Secrets We Keep:  Imperfections

“IT MAKES PERFECT SENSE CALLIE.  You were able to keep the memories of a good grandfather and not remember the bad which he did.”

“I don’t know what you are talking about.  There was no bad.  He was amazing, and I loved him so much.  For the longest time, he was the only respite I had in a world of chaos.  For those few hours I was loved.  I was happy.  I was seen.  He was one the only people in my life who seemed to know what happened with my mom, and he did everything he could to take me away when he could.”

“And you don’t remember any of the bad?”

“Can’t remember something that didn’t happen.” Callie was getting pissed with the questions from Wendy today.

“Ok.  Why is this frustrating you so much today?”

“Because you are making out the best person in my life to be some sort of monster.  I have enough people in my life that hurt me.  He wasn’t one of them.”

“Okay.  I’m sorry, I must have misunderstood something.  We can move to a different topic if you like?”

“Actually, can we just be done for today.”

“I suppose so.  Are you sure you are okay?”

“No.  But I will be.” Callie grabbed her things and headed out the library door.  She walked up the stairs into her room and threw herself down on the bed.  Today has been hard for her. She wanted to scream, or cry, or both.

She heard some noises outside her room.  She got up but didn’t see anything there.  In fact, the farther into the hallway, the quitter the sounds got.   She tried to follow the sounds to see where they were coming from, but it seemed the closet was making a creaking sound.  All of a sudden it stopped.

Callie got out her homework and began studying.  Classes were getting more intense for her this week and she was struggling a lot.  There were parts of classes she didn’t remember at all.  Sometimes she didn’t remember going to school. Somehow the homework and needed books always made it into her bag though.  She chalked it up to V taking care of her, as always.

Creak. Creak. Crash.

The noises in the closet were back.  Callie sprang off the bed towards the closet checking every corner for more sounds.  She was sure there was something, or someone in the wall.  She ran out of her room and to the room next to hers.

Empty.  Just furniture.  No people.  No animals.  Nothing.

She walked back out of the empty room towards her own. She stopped in front of the enormous key that hung on the way between the two rooms.  Courtney and she had always figured that key was an actual door to a hidden room.  Could their suspicions be correct?  Was someone in there?

“Callie be a dear and come help me with dinner?” Sierra was standing at the bottom of the staircase calling to her.

“Sure. Be right there.”  Callie didn’t want to leave her mystery, but she reluctantly started to walk down the stairs as instructed.  Just as she reached the halfway point she heard a very faint click sound.  She started to turn around and head back up, but Sierra called out to her again from the kitchen.  Reluctantly Callie continued down the stairs.

“Hey you.  Didn’t know you were out of therapy so soon.”

Callie turned around to see V headed down the stairs. “Hey. We ended early today.”

“Everything okay.”

“It will be.  Just trying to make sense of a few things.”  Callie started to walk into the kitchen but paused.  She turned to V, “did you happen to hear sounds upstairs a little while ago?”

“Sounds?  What kind of sounds?”

“Creaking sounds, clicking sounds. Things like that.”

“It’s an old Manor Callie.  The house creaks some.  It’s totally normal.”

“I guess so.” Callie wasn’t convinced but she had to let it go for now since Sierra was waiting for her.

V realized she needed to be more of aware of her surroundings in the house.  She thought she was alone while Callie was in therapy.  She did not account for sessions to end early.  Callie’s room being located directly next to her secret room was not a suitable arrangement for V.  In fact, she was finding it complicated things exponentially for her.