With slightly shaking hands, she struck a match. Success! She carried the small flame to a black, Halloween candle, which felt sort of odd to her. Yes, obviously, a candle’s purpose is to light up whatever space they occupy, but she originally bought that solely for decoration! Her boyfriend didn’t care for any festive embellishments, but she liked to bring out a couple of small things whenever he was working. Now she could only pray that wax didn’t drip out and blow her secret…
Lightning cracked unexpectedly, and this abrupt cacophony caused her to drop the taper! She groaned, and as she picked it up, she admonished herself for getting so frightened! It wasn’t as though she had never experienced a blackout before! Plus, the gray skies and howling wind made for the perfect atmosphere during this spooky season, so she reasoned that she should have been enjoying this spectacle, and yet she wasn’t! As she gazed out of her large, penthouse window, she couldn’t rid herself of these nerves! She wasn’t sure if it stemmed from the deserted street of a normally bustling downtown area or if it was the somewhat human reverberations that emanated from the forceful gale, but something felt different that night! The air had the aura of a climatic horror movie scene, and nothing she could say to herself would convince her anxious brain that disaster was not near…
Suddenly, the lights flickered back on, which made her jump! Wasn’t this the outcome she wanted? She tiptoed across her posh living room, and after a visual scan of the terrain, she determined that everything was exactly as it had been preceding this dark experience- so why did it seem as though it had gotten tampered with? She glanced into an ornate mirror that hung on the wall by their bedroom, and her pale, beige skin had somehow become even paler, and her golden-brown irises were surrounded by red lines. Her deep brown hair appeared to have lost some of its luster, and her hunched over posture gave her already thick curves a more round shape. She felt shocked by seeing how much this had affected her! Especially since absolutely no ounce of logic supported her apprehension! She decided to ignore her heebie-jeebies and take more practical steps in this matter!
She picked up her cellphone, but its battery had died. She intended to plug it into the charger by the kitchen’s island when she heard a loud crash outside! She ran back to the window, and she discerned that it came from the direction of the stadium! Now she had a more valid motive to panic! The person she cared about more than anyone else in the world was slated to perform there that night! She grabbed her jacket and dashed out the door! If she couldn’t call him, she was going to check on him in the flesh!
When she got to the arena, she could see the clamor she witnessed had merely been from a billboard falling down! No one had sustained any injuries, and they were still allowing patrons into the venue1 Phew! She was tempted to return to her apartment to take care of business, but her feet wanted to continue on to the concert. She didn’t know why, she had seen him and his bandmates perform a million times, but she figured it couldn’t hurt to give him a quick visit. So, with a shrug, she headed to the megaplex.
She walked over to a backstage entrance, and a burly security guard blocked her admittance. “It’s okay- I’m Tommy Dane’s girlfriend!” she asserted.
“Psh! Do you know how many girls tell me that?” he dismissively responded to her.
“No, it’s true! See?” She held up her device’s case, which depicted her getting kissed on the cheek by a dashing man with a flowy, sable mane, navy eyes, and a trim, well-dressed body, and it stunned the security guard to get this verification! “Can you let him know that Lisa Basset is here?”
He rather reluctantly spoke into a small speaker, “Uh, Mister Bane, Miss Bassett wants to see you.” He listened to a reply, and then he reported to Lisa, “He says to enjoy the show, and he’ll talk to you afterwards.” He handed her a ticket, which puzzled her a bit. Eventually, she reached the conclusion that he was simply busy, and she resolved to watch the performance in peace.
The concert actually turned out to be a fairly fun venture! All of the songs were painfully familiar, but the band seemed extra enthusiastic about it, especially Tommy! Tommy brought a lot of energy into this performance, and the crowd really absorbed it and went wild! Lisa had enough fun that she almost forgot about the trepidation she endured earlier! It was a weird day, but it ended well! Or so she thought…
Once the attendees settled down from the final song, Tommy set down his guitar and took the microphone. This move piqued Lisa’s curiosity- Tommy always held an instrument while he sang because he couldn’t dance to save his life! What was happening? “Thank you, Botwulfshire! This audience means so much to me, every one of you! But someone here is more special to me than anyone else in the world…” Lisa’s heard rose up to her throat! If he was mentioning her, it could only mean one thing… “Now, you know I like to keep my private life, well, private, but I’ve realized I met the woman I wanna spend the rest of my life with, and I want the entire planet to know it!” Her pulse skyrocketed! After three years together, they had certainly discussed the possibility of getting married, but she had no clue he’d pick tonight to put them on the road to the wedding aisle! “Baby, come up here!”
Lisa bolted up immediately, but prior to her setting one foot towards the stage, Tommy addressed her, “No, not you, ma’am! I appreciate the support though!” Lisa’s spirits plummeted from this rejection! Did he just call her ma’am? She could not fathom good grounds behind this move! Was it a cruel joke? She couldn’t comprehend why he would have wanted to wound her in such a callous manner! A blonde woman closer to the front stood up, and Tommy beamed at her. “Come here, my love!” Lisa’s mind reeled- this couldn’t be occurring! Tommy loved her and only her, he’s made this clear! Who was this chick? The woman took an awkward stance next to Tommy, and Tommy romantically regarded her, “Annie, I want you to be my wife!” He got down on one knee…
“You bastard!” Lisa bellowed. Everyone swiveled their heads to face her, but she could hardly pay attention to them at a juncture like this! The shock hit her like a freight train, and anger over his betrayal made her blood boil! It probably wouldn’t have stung so much if she saw any sign of an imminent breakup, but she had the impression that they were happy together! And he chose to end things by popping the question to somebody else while she watched? She never pictured him acting in such a sadistic fashion, and now that he had, white hot rage surfaced, and all she wanted to do was tear him apart!
“Security!” Tommy motioned to some of the guards stationed in her vicinity.
Lisa was filled with too much animosity to go down without a fight! As the guards seized her, she vehemently shouted, “How dare you! After three years, you owe me an explanation!”
Tommy grimaced, and then he snidely snickered to his spectators, “Yikes! I didn’t know a crazy person would ruin my big moment!”
“I’m crazy? You’re gonna act like I’m crazy! You’re the one who-!” Lisa strove to counter that.
“Go home, crazy lady! Go home!” the throng erupted in a chant, and as she got dragged out, they heckled her! Some of them even threw trash at her! She couldn’t wrap her brain around this! Not only did he dump her in a completely vile style, but he had to humiliate her too? Lisa fell limp as they went into the unlit halls of the exit, and she wasn’t certain what to do next!
Later that day, the front door slowly creaked open, and Tommy crept into the pitch black foyer. He cautiously switched on the light, and he was instantly greeted with a pillow violently flying in his vicinity! He ducked, and it hit a decorative vase on a small table by the entryway. A second pillow nailed him in the stomach, and he grunted, “I deserved that!”
Lisa irately agreed, “You’re damn right you do! I gave you everything for over three years, and this is how you repay me?”
“I can explain!” Tommy claimed. Lisa folded her arms in utter disbelief of this statement, but she did not object, so Tommy went on, “My publicist said that sales on our albums went down ‘cause people are over this forty yeard old bachelor thing, and the paparazzi already caught me with her. It had to be her or else everyone would think I’m a cheater!”
“They should think that ‘cause you are!” Lisa yelled. “How could you cheat on me?”
Tommy confessed, “Actually, I cheated on her. I met her four years ago.” Lisa took a second to absorb this fact, and then Tommy apologized, “I’m sorry! I should have told you sooner, but I knew you’d dump me if you knew the reality of the situation! I didn’t wanna lose you…”
Lisa growled, “So, you imagined that I’d be fine with seeing you propose to another girl?”
“I didn’t know you were gonna see the show!” Tommy contended. “I was gonna have a chat with you later, but this seemed a little easier. But now that the cat’s out of the bag, we’ll have to take extra precautions when we go out together….”
“What do you mean ‘when we’re out together?’ You still wanna see me while you’re making plans to marry someone else?” Lisa wondered.
Tommy assured her, “Of course! She’ll be my spouse, but you’ll always be my lady!”
He amorously grabbed her waist, and she pushed him away. “You can’t be serious!” Lisa shrieked. “You want me to spend the rest of my life being your secret mistress? I’d never get to proudly walk arm in arm with my man, I could only hide in the shadows whenever we go out! And… what? If anyone spots us together, I’d have pretend to be your sister or something?”
“Well, since I had to pretend you were a nutty fan today, you’ll have to change your appearance slightly so we can pull that off. Dye your hair, maybe wear colored contacts too,” Tommy instructed. Lisa marched into the bedroom, and when Tommy beheld her taking out a large suitcase, he inquired, “Where are you going?”
Lisa resolutely replied, “Away from here! And I’m not coming back!”
Tommy scoffed, “Where are you gonna go? You relied on my income to survive! The food, the furniture, the utilities, that all came from me! You have nothing to live off of! Your entire existence revolves around me- you can’t go far on your own!”
With her luggage stuffed with as many essentials as possible, Lisa snapped the lid shut, looked Tommy straight into his eyes, and retorted, “Watch me!”
She stormed out of their home without glancing back at him! She didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of viewing the tears currently rolling down her cheeks! She assumed that he would chase after her, but he didn’t. She interpreted this as him waiting for her to turn around and go crawling back, but she was determined not to give him that victory! She sped towards the elevator, but then a strange silhouette forced her to slow her gait! It appeared to have been a very tall female with a raggedy attire and an unusually pointed hat. She recalled the eerie sensation she went through earlier, and she approached the individual with absolute caution! Was this the proponent of the malevolence that befell her this evening? The circumstances were so out of the ordinary that a sinister force might have played a role in what transpired! She took a deep breath and caught sight of the culprit, and it proved to be a mere cardboard cutout of a witch advertising the complex’s upcoming events! She admonished herself for getting so easily fooled, and she cast all of that supernatural nonsense out of her imagination as she stepped inside of the shaft and dialed a number on her phone…