A Suburban Following

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
What happens when a hunch turns out to be true? Follow a young boys obsession with his teacher and the secrets that are created.

Submitted: July 28, 2016

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Submitted: July 28, 2016

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A Suburban Following

Ms. Caprino, a women of 28 years of age and my teacher. I’ve always had a strange likeness to her. I can’t readily explain the attraction I have towards her, other than her nature itself. She was a curvy woman, but never wore anything to accent such. She had chestnut hair that was always pulled in a tight bun, never any other style. The only makeup she ever had on was light lip gloss on her lips or a thin layer of eye-liner. She wore black pants or skirts with a matching black top. Jewelry never adorned her fingers, wrists, or neck. I assumed she was just another creature of habit. I know she has one tattoo on her left thigh when she lifted her skirt to scratch her mid-thigh once. The weird thing was that she always carried a thick military backpack. She carried it with her, everywhere she went. My voyeurism tendencies shocked me sometimes. I found myself absent mindedly following her car one afternoon after a quiz bowl meeting. My friends teased me after I told them about my creepy adventure.

“Oliver, you’re a perv,” claimed my best friend Daniel. I playfully punched his arm as we made our way back to class. I should probably also tell you that Ms. Caprino was my math and science teacher. She took both very seriously. Her tests were excruciatingly hard for 8th grade algebra and chemistry. She never scorned or belittled us into shooting for better grades like my previous teachers, although, my older math teacher’s math classes were easier. The highest grade I had gotten on Ms. Caprino’s test was a 90. The thought struck me in that moment. Is that why I’m attracted to her? Her difficult tests? No, that’s not it. My obsession had started with the first day of school. I thought it was just natural hormones. I was the age of nude mags and ogling at the new curvatures of the girls in my class. That can’t be it, I thought. Ms. Caprino wore lose fitting, black clothes and she never wore her war paint. I must know what this fascination I had for her was all about. I decided to end the secrets and stalk her, but not in a creepy way. Well, I suppose there is no non-creepy way to stalk a person.

“Meet me at the football field after school on Friday,” I whispered to Daniel.

“Why?” He asked me.

“Because I need to do something,” I said hesitantly. Daniel gave me a quizzical look and scribbled something on a piece of paper. He smirked and held the paper up to me. He had written in a jagged art style the word “PERV.” I chuckled and continued working on my assignment for the day. If I just see that she’s a normal woman with a normal boyfriend, I’ll be able to just view her as a normal teacher.

It was Friday and I noticed a very strange mood that was associated with Ms. Caprino. She looked tired and worn. It was November and from our first day, she taught continuously for each class. We even finished working in our textbooks last week for both classes. Now, she was sitting at her desk pinching the area between her eyebrows. She didn’t say anything as we walked in. “Free day, just be quiet” was written on the board.

“What’s up with your girl?” Daniel asked me.

“I don’t know Dan,” I said. I’ve never seen her tired until today. I never even saw her drink coffee to boost her, if she was tired. I always thought she was one of those 7 P.M. sleepers.

“I bet she was up all night with mister special, but she was thinking of you.” He said mockingly. “’Oh Oliver, you’re better than anyone!’” He said in a sing song voice. I punched him in the arm to shut him up. He giggled with a big, toothy grin.

School had let out and Daniel had met me at the football field. We positioned ourselves on the top of the bleachers to scope out the parking lot. As the teachers eagerly got in their cars and left, the only remaining car was for Ms. Caprino. I saw her exit out of the back of the school and lock the door behind her.

“Dude, she’s got the janitor’s keys,” Daniel said. “You know what that means, right?”

I gave him a questioning look and he just smiled his wide smile at me.

“She’s banging the janitor.” He said. I punched him in the arm and shushed him. The school’s janitor was an elderly black man who lost three fingers in Vietnam. A picture of Ms. Caprino straddling atop him passed in my mind and I was overcome with nausea. I felt like burning my eyes out with a lit cigarette than picturing it again, but thinking about it brought it once again in my mind. I rubbed my eyes to erase the image from them. Ms. Caprino got in her car and sat there for a few seconds before starting it. Daniel and I raced down the steel bleachers and hopped on our bikes. It was hard keeping up with the car, being that Ms. Caprino drove over the speed limit on every road. Luckily, Daniel knew about all the shortcuts through backyards and holes in fences. It took us about an hour of constant peddling to reach Ms. Caprino’s house. The sun was setting as we turned down a heavily wooded street. Each house was separated by thick rows of trees and shrubbery. Since it was fall, orange and brown leaves covered every inch of lawn and driveway. We found the last house on the street with Ms. Caprino’s car parked in the driveway. Her house was so…plain. It was plain in the since that it looked straight out of a cheesy sitcom. A white, colonial, two-story house with blue shudders, a red door, and a tire swing out front. We bypassed her house, since there was still people outside. We didn’t want to raise any suspicion. We rode our bikes into the woods and swung around so we were on the side of her house. It was hard to see anything with all the bushes and plant life near the house.

“Let’s climb this tree,” I said. Daniel giggled and I told him to shut up. I knew he was about to call me a pervert again. We climbed and waited for any movement in the few rooms we could see into. We ate candy bars that Daniel had bought on sale after Halloween. At dusk, we saw one of the lights flicker to life. There was a thin curtain in front which blurred the shapes inside the house, but we could see the movement of a skinny black shape. It twitched and wiggled until it had transformed into the color of milky skin. We realized Ms. Caprino was undressing

“Dude,” Daniel said with want in his voice.

“Perv,” I called him. This time he punched me in the arm. As we were not utter creepers, we turned away and only took small glances to see if Ms. Caprino had finished changing or left the room. As night fell completely, we shimmied our way down the tree and snuck around the bushes to follow her figure. We finally found a window with a curtain that was brushed out of the way. Our voyeurism habits had become fully aware to us.

“We’re such creeps man,” Daniel giggled and I punched him as I put a finger to my lips. Ms. Caprino disappeared into the kitchen. I noticed how plain the house was in side. There was black and white furniture that looked as if had not been used at all. The coffee table had a layer of dust on. There were no pictures on the walls, just a lone painting of a black and a white rose above the couch. Ms. Caprino returned wearing an oversized white shirt and a light blue shorts. For the first time, I saw her hair undone. It hung down to her shoulder in long curls. She had in her hand a bottle of whiskey and a glass. She sat at the table and poured a glass. For 10 minutes, she just drank and poured glass after glass. She sometimes scratcher index finger into the wood, but that was it. She just sat and drank.

“This is so boring,” Daniel droned.

“Dude, shut up. You’re going to get us caught.” I whispered.

“Listen Olive, I’ve seen my dad drink enough to know that one more glass is going to knock her butt out.” He said. Daniel’s dad was a cop in the bigger city next to ours and Daniel frequently told us about how his dad would drink on the harder days. He was a nice man though. I think it was just his way of coping.

“Still, she’s not out and we can’t get caught or else she’s going to call our parents.” I told him.

“We can call them for her,” whispered a voice from behind us. We jumped back against the house to the sight of two men in suits holding up badges.

“Well, you got us.” Daniel said. “Now all we have to do is, RUN!” He screamed he bolted towards the woods where we stashed our bikes. I ran behind on his heels, but I noticed out of the corner of my eye, Ms. Caprino staring towards the window we were just looking through. We made it into the woods and ran for a good distance and ducked behind the tree where our bikes were. We listened for any movement behind us, but didn’t hear anything besides our panting.

“That was a close one,” I said. I looked towards Daniel who was in deep thought. “What’s the matter?”

“Huh, oh nothing,” He retorted. “Let’s get home, fright night movies are starting in an hour.”

We got our bikes and found another street that joined the woods. We made it back to Daniel’s house within the hour.

“You guys are missing fright night!” Exclaimed Daniel’s mother. She was curled on the couch vigorously munching on popcorn with wide eyes. She was the one who introduced us to fright night in the first place and we never missed a night. It was our ritual. As long as we were back by the time it started, she didn’t question our whereabouts. We watched the movies, but I was more concerned with those men in suits telling Ms. Caprino about us. I don’t think Daniel cared as much as I did. He was too busy recreating the creature’s last kill on his mother. They laughed and threw popcorn at each other. I wish I wasn’t caught up on my thoughts.

The weekend passed and I met Daniel outside of school Monday morning. He ran up to me with determination in his eyes.

“Dude…I have…to tell you something,” He said in between deep breaths.

“What is it?” I asked.

“Those guys in the suits.” He breathed out. “They’re special division.”

“What does that mean?” I asked. I didn’t know what he was talking about.

“They work at the same office as my dad.” He said. “They handle special cases for the government.”

“Why were they out there then?” I asked.

“Jeez Oliver! They are obviously doing something special and I think it has something to do with your girlfriend.” He said.

The school bell rung and we scrambled to get to class. As we walked in, there were was an envelope on each of our desks. Each had our name on them and I didn’t see anyone else with anything similar. I opened it up and it read, “Stop spying on me.” I blushed and my stomach dropped. I showed Daniel mine and he showed me his. It had the same thing on it. We looked towards the front of the class and saw Ms. Caprino with folded arms looking directly at us. Me and Daniel quickly looked away. In that moment I felt extreme embarrassment. The day went by as normal as it could have. I avoided Ms. Caprino’s gaze as often as possible. Me and Daniel made our way to the bike racks after school.

“We need to go there again,” said Daniel.

“Are you crazy?” I blurted.

“You’re the one who wanted to go there in the first place,” He responded.

“Yeah, once. I never said let’s go again. We almost got arrested the last time.” I said.

“C’mon just once more, please?” He whimpered and begged.

“Fine, but just once more.” I sighed.

“Yes! Let’s do it, same time Friday.” He said as he unhooked his bike and drove away.

The next day, there stood a very strange girl outside of class. She stood next to the door with a goofy grin. To be honest, everything about her was goofy. She wore a puffy, blue jacket, pink leggings with a black skirt, combat boots, and a red beanie. As Ms. Caprino turned down the hall of our class, the girl skipped towards her and hander her a piece of paper. Ms. Caprino read the paper and unlocked our classroom door. After everyone was settled. Ms. Caprino addressed the class with the girl standing next to her.

“Class, this is Samantha Kearney,” Ms. Caprino said. “She is from,” she trailed off and looked towards the paper she was given earlier. “Washington D.C. Say hello.”

The class responded all at once, but Samantha only waved. She still wore her goofy grin. I thought maybe her face naturally rested that way.

“Would you like to say something to the class?” asked Ms. Caprino. Samantha shook her head and walked back to her desk and pulled out a paper and pencil.

“Yo, she’s pretty cute,” whispered Daniel. “And mysterious. Daniel likey”

“She’s pretty weird dude.” I told him.

“You’re the one who loves a drunk, funeral goer. I like the mysterious weirdo.” We all have our kinks.

“I don’t love her,” I blushed.

The rest of the week played out how it usually goes. I made low B’s on the Ms. Caprino’s tests and Daniel laughed at the C and D that were on each paper. He wasn’t going to be a doctor anytime soon. The strangest thing was that Samantha never said anything. She never answered questions in class. She only worked on the lesson and ate lunch by herself in the library. Daniel’s infatuation with grew each day with her lack of audibility. Friday came and we waited atop the bleachers. All the teachers left for the day except Ms. Caprino. She was taking longer than she usually does. Daniel suggested we go and find her in the school. We entered the empty school a made our way to our class. The echoes and dim lighting of the school made it creepy during the twilight hour. We heard voices coming from the class and we crept a little quieter. We peered through the window and saw Ms. Caprino and Samantha sitting at a desk. I assumed she was tutoring.

“Look at our girls, working together.” Whispered Daniel. He sighed and placed his arm around me. I faked a gag and pushed him off of me.

Ms. Caprino turned away from Samantha and rummaged through her purse. Samantha got up as well and pulled a knife from her jacket. She held it up over her head.

“Ms. Caprino!” I yelled as I burst through the door. Ms. Caprino turned around and caught the Samantha’s wrist. The girl continued her assault and jumped causing both her and our teacher to fall to the floor. Samantha pushed down on the handle while Ms. Caprino struggled to keep the knife from advancing any further. I saw Samantha push a button on the hilt and the blade shot out. Ms. Caprino dogged but was still knicked on the cheek. They each struggled until Daniel rushed pass me and hit Samantha on the back of the head with one of our textbooks. She slumped on top of Ms. Caprino, who pushed the body off and scrambled to her feet.

“Whew!” Daniel exclaimed. “I never thought I would have to put down the one I loved. He giggled as if these circumstances were normal. I was confused at everything. The fighting, the knife, and the act Daniel exhibited.

“What the hell is going on?!?” I shouted. Ms. Caprino was taking deep breaths through her nose and out of her mouth.

“Thank you Daniel,” she said. She sighed and wiped her forehead. She continued to rummage in her backpack as if I had said nothing. Did I say nothing? I didn’t have time to ponder before Samantha jumped back up.

“Look out!” I said. Samantha turned Daniel around, grabbed his arm with one hand, and punched him in the face with the other. She then took Daniel’s arm, twisted it, and brought it down hard on her knee. I heard a crack and Daniel shouting in pain. Ms. Caprino moved quickly and put the girl in a weird choke hold. I rushed to Daniel’s side as he lay on the ground twitching and screaming.

“Oliver!” Ms. Caprino yells at me. “Look in my bag.” She grunted as she struggled holding the girl. “Get the syringe!”

I moved for the bag and pulled item after item until I found a small syringe with a greenish, yellow liquid. I hold it up to show to Ms. Caprino.

“Stick it in her leg!” She said as she struggled and rolled on the ground with Samantha. I remove the cap and shove the needle into Sam’s thigh. I pushed the plunger down and ten seconds later, she passed out. Ms. Caprino huffed and lay on the ground. I offered a hand to her and she took it. I helped her up and rushed to Daniel’s side. He was moaning and holding his eyes shut tight. Ms. Caprino came up behind me and took me jacket off. She tied it around Daniel’s neck and carefully placed his arm through the opening. She sat him up lightly slapped his cheeks.

“Hey Dan, you alright?” She asked. “Can you hear me?”

He nods and his eyes opened just enough to see a glint of pupil through the slits.

“Alright come on. We don’t have much time.” She helped him to his feet. He wobbled and I steadied him. Ms. Caprino put all the items I threw out, back into her pack. It looked like a bunch of papers and folders until I noticed a sheathed knife and gun. Who the hell was she? Who the hell was Samantha? What the hell is going on?

She picked up Samantha’s limp body and carried her through the classroom door. I put Daniel’s arm around me and helped him walk. We chased after Ms. Caprino. She moved suprisingly quick with all of the added weight bearing down on her shoulders. She opens the back door and places Samantha in the backseat. I go to put Daniel in the backseat as well, but my teacher stops me.

“Put him in the front seat. You stay in the backseat with her.” She says as she opens her backpack and rummages through it.

“Why?” I ask.

“Just listen to me and get in the backseat.” She barks at me. I back away at her over bearing tone. It’s the first time she’s ever snapped at someone. She wasn’t the calmest person, but she never yelled at anyone.

“Please,” she begged with me, calming down a bit. “Please, this is bigger than you or me. I need you to stay back there. I don’t want her to hurt Daniel anymore.” She sighed and pulled the gun from her pack. She unloaded the clip and replaced it after. “We don’t have much time. The serum will wear off soon.”

I place Daniel in the front seat and climb in the back. Samantha slumps across two of the three seats. I put my back against the door and my feet against my chest. I’m prepared to kick Samantha if she tries to lunge at me. She broke Daniel’s arm with such ease. I shiver, remembering the sounds of crunching and grinding. Ms. Caprino carries the gun in one hand and the steering wheel in the other. She accelerates fast and with precision. She ducks and weaves out of traffic as I realize we are driving towards her house. The tires screech and squeal as we take neighborhood curves sharp, without slowing down. We grind to a halt outside of the house we had visited last Friday. Ms. Caprino moves to the door opposite of me. I see Samantha start to stir as Ms. Caprino opens the door, places the young girl in a choke hold, and holds the barrel of the gun against Sam’s head. My breathing is accelerated and my chest rises and falls. Ms. Caprino walks her captive to a black van a couple doors down. The men that me and Daniel met last Friday night come out, handcuff Samantha, and place a black bag around her head. Daniel moans and whimpers. I look towards him. I realize he hasn’t opened his eyes since we started the drive. His broken arm must have hit against the car with the sporadic driving. I turn back around to see the black van driving away and Ms. Caprino walking back to the car. She huffs and puffs. She climbs in the back seat and puts her into her hands.

“H-hey,” I say. I move towards her and place a shaky hand on her back. She flinches and looks towards me. Her eyes seem to be lost. Almost as shaky as my own nervous hand. Daniel moans and she looks towards the seat he is sat in.

“Oh damn,” she speaks low. She exits the car and opens the front door. She gently helps Daniel on his feet and motions for me towards her house. We enter and she sets Daniel at the kitchen table. I sit next to him and notice large cuts and abrasions carved into the wooden top. Ms. Caprino runs upstairs. The house is quiet. The plainness of the atmosphere is almost haunting. I feel a sense of claustrophobia come over me even though Daniel moans the whole time. I run my fingers over the scrapes and gashes. I notice small drops of dried blood on some of the spots. Ms. Caprino returns with another military pack, but it’s smaller than the other one. She sets it down on the table and makes her way towards the kitchen. She returns with the same bottle of whiskey and a glass. Friday night plays in my head again. She pours a small amount and puts it in front of Daniel.

“Get him to drink that,” she says as she opens the pack and throws stuff on the ground.

“We’re not old enough,” I say.

“Broken arms warrant a law to be broken as well.” She says as she pulls large rolls of gauze and a smaller roll of white tape. I motion the glass to his lips and tilt until the brown liquid is barely touching his lips. He opens his mouth and has a coughing fit as his throat convulses as he swallows.

“Well at least you’re alive.” Ms. Caprino says. She carefully takes his arm out of his jacket sling. She slowly removes his own jacket and holds his arm up to the light.

“Put this in his mouth.” She says handing me the sleeve of my jacket. Not wanting to argue, I place the sleeve in his mouth. He mumbles through the fabric in protest. He reaches to remove it from his mouth, but Ms. Caprino bends and snaps the arm. The horrible cracking has returned along with Daniel’s high pitched scream, muffled through the cloth. He passes out and his head slumps to the right.

“What did you do that for?” I scream at her.

“I needed to reset the bone. We’re going to be waiting here for a while and he needed some medical attention.” She says. She unravels the gauze and tightly wraps Dan’s arm. She makes a sling and carries him to the sofa. She removes a decorative, black duvet and drapes it across him. She returns to the table and pours a full glass of whiskey. She takes a long drawn out swig and pours another.

“Dan’s dad drinks like that.” I say. The silence was annoying me, so I speak up.

“Really?” She asks as she takes a smaller gulp. “What does he do?”

“He’s an officer,” I say.

“So that’s where Dan gets his bravery.” She says. “Sad thing is; his dad might kill himself if he did the things I did.”

“Who are you? You’re clearly not a teacher.” I say.

“Very observant.” She says. “I can’t tell you who I am.”

“Why?” I ask.

“Because I’d have to kill you,” she says, snickering. A thin line of red appears out the corner of her cheeks. I blush as well, but more out of fear than anything else. She laughs a bit and stares down in her glass. A smile appears for a second and is quickly replaced by grimace.

“Can you tell me anything? Some kind of answer to what happened today.” I beg. She looks at me and hands me the glass. I take it in my hands and drink the rest of the contents. The burn starts immediately. I don’t want to seem weak so I hold back the coughing, but I cannot stop the tears from forming at the corners of my eyes. She takes back the glass and pours another full glass.

“You make a confident drinking buddy,” she says. “I’ve killed a lot of people. I’ve been robbed of my life in order take the lives of others. Sworn by birth to kill for another person. I must’ve pissed somebody off for them to rob another life to take mine.”

She says all this to me, but the alcohol is making it hard to focus. She begins scratching at the wood again. It’s the first time I notice her fingers. Each nail jagged and mangled. Her finger tips are blue with bruises. I test this out by scratching at a part of the table that is untouched. I have to press very hard just to make a mark in the veneer, but I notice all of the wood underneath that has been scratched in. Ms. Caprino looks up to me and smiles.

“Is your name even Caprino?” I ask.

“I have a lot of names, but I don’t know what my real name is. They called me H33 at academy, but I like the name Marie.” She says. She continues scratching. She easily passes the veneer and starts scratching into the actual wood.

“Marie,” I start, but the clock on the wall chimes in. Fright night, I think. I make my way to the living room. I shake Daniel awake.

“It’s fright night,” I tell him.

“Fright night?” He asks weakly. His face shifts as he ponders the words. A smile forms on his face and he screams, “Fright Night!”

I motion for the television and flip through the channels until the familiar red, bloody words appear on screen. I jump on the couch next to Daniel and we are giddy with excitement. It might’ve been the small amount of alcohol in our bodies, but I don’t think we cared. Marie walked in a looked towards the screen then us. She shrugged and took a position between us on the couch. She places her arms around our shoulders and we relax into them. It feels like our usual Friday nights. I think about Dan’s mom. She’s probably freaking out right now. A monster suddenly appears on screen and me and Dan jump back. Marie is indifferent and laughs. Either at our reaction, the creature itself, or both.

“Hey Dan,” Marie speaks. “Thanks for saving me.” She finished by kissing him on the top of the head. Dan Smirks and points and laughs at me.

“What?” I ask. “What’s so funny?”

“Dude I got a kiss from her before you did.” He laughs some more and I blush with embarrassment. Marie smirks and shakes her head.

As the last movie started, we heard sirens approaching from down the street. They park in the driveway, but we don’t move. I don’t think we even much as twitched until there was a knock on the door. Marie sighs and goes to open it. Two paramedics enter the living room and help Daniel up. They ask him questions and Daniel cracks jokes. The men in suits are back and they converse with Marie. She looks distraught and pissed. She comes back and sits on the couch. After the paramedics take Daniel away, multiple men in black suits storm through house. They tear through the wall paper, break furniture, and tear apart the cabinets.

“What happens now?” I ask. She drapes an arm across my shoulder and pulls me in. She sighs.

“They’re going to take you to the police station, ask you a bunch of question, and make you sign a piece of paper stating that everything that happened today, didn’t happen.” She says. I fear the tone in her voice. It sounds broken sorrowful.

“Will I see you again?” I ask.

“Probably not,” She says. She runs her hand along the length of my upper arm. “Even if you did see me again, you won’t recognize me. Don’t worry though. I’ll remember. It’s the only that is mine. My memories.”

We sit there while the house around us falls apart to the men in suits. One of them takes a sledge hammer to the television. They tell us to move from the couch and we walk outside to sit on the stoop, all while captured in her embrace. One of the men comes and asks me come with him. I go with him to a black sedan. I enter the back seat and slouch. Before the door closes, Marie leans down a places a kiss on my cheek.

“See you around drinking buddy,” She says. A big toothy grin spreads across her face. I smile, but I’m scared of never seeing her again. Questions soar through my mind. Questions that will never be answered. I stare out the back window at the shrinking image of Marie. She vanishes from my life as the car takes a turn. We had substitutes for the rest of the year. I missed the excruciatingly hard tests.


© Copyright 2017 Voskie. All rights reserved.

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