CEASE TO EXIST
Summer McFarland was awakened to the bright ray of sunshine bleeding through the twelve inch gap of the floral draperies that didn’t quite fit her bedroom window. Taking her time, she rubbed the sleep from her eyes then sat up in bed bringing her knees to her chest gently encircling her arms around her ankles.
Despite the violence that had taken place last night along with the lack of sleep she suffered through, she felt refreshed and ready to face the day.
After a few minutes of stretching her back and arms, she climbed out of the twin-size bed--compliments of her furnished apartment—and turned off the alarm clock, for which she was thankful never had the chance to explode with those annoying beeps she detested. Once that small task was completed she made the short journey from the small bedroom to an even smaller kitchen where she started a pot of coffee.
Taking in a breath of the fresh brew as it began to gurgle and drip, she took her favourite chipped mug from a cabinet that had seen better days and set it on the Formica countertop next to the old Mr. Coffee machine, then made her way through the living room to the front door where she unlocked the deadbolt along with a security chain and retrieved the morning paper.
Comfortably seated at the kitchen table she unfolded the newspaper in front of her and then took a sip of the steaming mug of coffee, savouring the taste of the strong brew. Right before setting the mug back down on the wobbly table the shrill ring of the telephone sounded, sending a shock of panic through her body like a sudden jolt of electricity.
Black coffee sloshed over the rim of the mug scorching her hands. Instinctively she let go, where it landed with a thud on the front page of the newspaper soaking the headlines before rolling onto the linoleum floor where it crashed, shattering into several pieces.
“Son of a bitch!” Summer shot up from the table ignoring the telephone and went to the kitchen faucet where she immediately held her hands under the cold water to ease the burn. After a few minutes she turned off the faucet to look at her hands. Other than a little redness and stinging she was fine.
Pulling a paper towel off of the plastic rack to gently dry off her hands, she glanced at the digital clock on the mustard coloured stove noticing the time was just past seven in the morning, giving her more than two hours before she needed to leave for work.
Summer immediately thought back to the phone call she didn’t answer. Suddenly a sense of dread overcame her. The phone had rung for a total of seventeen times before disconnecting. Who in the hell had called so early in the morning? And why did the caller let the phone ring seventeen times before disconnecting? No sooner had she asked herself those questions when all of a sudden it came to her. “Damn him!” She knew without a doubt it was Jake Simmons. Last nights fight had escalated like no other allowing Summer to witness a side of him she had never seen nor wanted to see again. She couldn’t deal with him. Not today or anytime soon. So today after work she decided she would stop at the Dollar General and pick up a cheap answering machine. It was a luxury she couldn’t really afford and would probably result in eating peanut butter sandwiches a few extra days this week. But a few peanut butter sandwiches were much better than another crack in the ribs.
Nearly an hour later Summer emerged from the bathroom freshly showered and shaved. She pulled her blow-dried hair into a high ponytail allowing a few blonde strands to snake down either side of her face. She went to her bedroom after applying a minimal amount of make-up to her face and dressed herself in a pair of faded Levi’s and a simple black tank top, showing off her muscular arms.
Back in the kitchen, Summer poured herself another mug of black coffee and set it safely of the countertop. She then began the difficult task of cleaning up the shards of the earthenware mug she had broken.
The mug to anyone else was no doubt the ugliest. It was a lopsided thing in multiple colours or red, green, orange, and blue. Its handle had broken off several months ago. It was the mug her six-year old daughter had made in kindergarten and given to her four months before she was killed.
Just as she tossed the last piece of the broken mug into the trash bin the telephone rang, startling her. She turned her head toward the ringing telephone hanging on the kitchen wall. Get a grip, she told herself. She couldn’t just ignore it. What if it was an emergency? If Jake is the one who happens to be on the other end of the line she would simply hang up the phone. Pushing her fears aside, she answered the ringing phone.
“Hello.” Summer answered. She held the receiver to her ear with a shaking hand.
“Summer, is that you?” The woman’s voice was vaguely familiar yet she couldn’t quite place it.
“Yes, this is Summer.”
“Hi Summer, this is Kate.” Summer’s surprise was instant. Kate was her boss at work. She had never called her at home unless it was an emergency.
“Hi Kate, Is everything all right? You don’t usually call me at home.”
“Not exactly, any chance you can come into work a little bit early today?”
“Yeah sure, can you tell me what is going on?”
“Without going into great detail I need you here to save Brody’s life.” Summer’s heart nearly sank to her toes.
“What in the hell are you talking about Kate? Did he attack someone?”
“No,” Kate answered. “Please just get here as soon as you can.”
“I’m on my way.” Summer hung up the phone without as much as a goodbye.
Grabbing her purse and cars keys from the kitchen counter, Summer hurried to the front the door.
She unlocked the deadbolt and while sliding the security chain towards the top of the base the door burst open sending Summer backwards, where she hit the floor with a thud.
“You bitch!” The black-footed boot hit Summer on the left side of her head sending her into a world of blackness.