In the Affections of Walter Regan

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
--------------------------------------NOT FOR ANYONE UNDER 18-------------------------------------------
Walter Regan is a nice guy. He has a frustrating job and he's not the best looking person in the world. Maybe dinner with his neighbour will change things?

Submitted: April 05, 2016

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Submitted: April 05, 2016

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Walter Regan was a nice guy. He left milk out for the neighbourhood strays, he consoled his neighbour when her suitors disappeared and he loved with his whole heart. He was also very good at his job and he even let people stay in his house for free.

Every morning he gets up at six thirty, has a shower, eats his breakfast and then brushes his teeth and moustache (not with the same brush, mind you). On this particular morning, he followed his routine as normal and said goodbye to his current house guest on the way down the stairs. He moaned a reply. Walter understood, it was early.

As he was walking down the pathway to the bus, he ran into his neighbour who was, once again, distraught.

“He left me. He just disappeared last night. I’ve been calling and calling but he hasn’t answered.” She said.

Walter looked empathetically sullen for her. “I’m sorry, Jodie. You don’t seem to be having much luck lately, do you? How about you come over tonight and we’ll have dinner and talk through it, okay?”

She nodded a reply but didn’t speak as she was on the verge of tears. Walter really felt bad for Jodie. All of the boyfriends she’s had have gone after a week at the most; at least since Walter had known her anyway. She’d just moved in a year ago and five different men had all just gone. They had sex and then they left. That’s enough to make anyone cry but Walter felt especially sorry for Jodie as he had admired her since the moment he met her. Her long, flowing, ginger hair and her beautiful blue eyes caught his attention immediately. Soon his admiration had grown into love and he hadn’t been able to shake the feeling since. While he was happy her suitors had gone, he felt sad for her. He had never had much luck himself in the romantic department so he knew how it felt. He hoped he could cheer her up that night.

His train of thought was interrupted by the bus and he stepped up to the driver and told him where he needed to go. The driver took the money Walter had presented, gave him back his change and printed a ticket; all without a word to the cheerful passenger. Proceeding up the aisle, Walter caught the attention of two school students, each about fifteen. One of them tapped him on the shoulder.

“Are you a paedophile?” He asked.

“I beg your pardon!”

“You look like a paedophile with that moustache. Are you a paedophile?”

“You know, you should really learn to respect your elders. That’s very rude.”

“So…you are a paedophile then?”

“Wha-No, I…No, I’m not.” Said Walter, positively flustered.

The two students laughed as he took his seat a few rows from the back. The whole trip to work, the boys kept looking at him and mouthing ‘paedo’ from across the bus. Walter was very glad when he had reached his stop. As he walked past the two boys, he ‘accidentally’ hit them with his bag. He faux-laughed an apology and got off the bus before they could retaliate.

Walter worked at a call centre for an insurance agency. Every day he was berated by the people he had called and every day he made an effort to come back. He needed the money. It was the least pleasant experience of his life; which gets disheartening when it occurs day in and day out.

Entering the building, he smiled at the beautiful receptionist who pretended not to see him. He felt a little hurt the first time this happened but after two years, he had gotten used to it. He knew she saw him but he guessed she was just a bitch. Brushing off his experience with ‘the bitch/slut’ (depending on his mood toward her virtue, he would occasionally call her ‘slut’ instead of ‘bitch’), Walter entered the lift and pressed the button for level three. The lift stopped at floors one and two before Walter’s and by the time he’d reached his floor, he was too far in the back to get out in time and had to ride all the way up to floor six and back down again before he could get off.

After finally reaching his floor, he sat down in his cubicle and looked at the list of numbers he had for the day.

“Regan!” It was his boss. Walter sighed in frustration and turned around.

“Yes, boss?”

“You’re ten minutes late again. Why are you always late?”

“I’m sorry, sir but there was trouble with the lift and I had to go three floors up before I could get out and I promise it won’t happen again.”

“You’ve been promising that for two years, Regan. Why do I even keep you on? You’ve got the lowest sales of anyone in the office. You’re pathetic.”

“I know sir, I’ll try and do better.”

“Good. If not, you’re fired.”

Walter’s boss had been telling him that for the last two years so he figured if sounding like a broken record was a competition then they’d be even. He picked up his phone and dialled the number on his screen.

-

His first and the five proceeding calls all ended in less than one minute without even a whiff of a sale. Walter decided he needed a break and headed to the kitchen to make a coffee. The closer he got, the stronger the smell was of the most beautiful of God’s creations…unfortunately, the machine that brought forth this heavenly concoction of coffee beans, milk and sugar was out of order so he had to use the instant coffee that had been in the cupboard for the last two years. He clicked the ancient, rusty kettle and waited for it to boil.

“Hey, Walter.” A thin, blonde woman by the name of Christine came up behind Walter and placed her mug next to the kettle. “How’s it going?”

“Hi, Christine. Not bad; how about you?”

“Good, thank you. I’m glad I caught you actually because I was wondering if we could have a talk in private.”

To Walter, it sounded as if she emphasised the word ‘talk’ but he was unsure. Suddenly, it clicked. “Oh of course, that’s right. I’d love to ‘talk’. I thought you’d forgotten.”

“I’m sorry?”

“The Christmas party. You said we could have sex.”

“I was drunk, Walter. We both were. I’m sorry if I’ve hurt your feelings but I don’t think we should have sex.”

“But you said that we would. I mean, you can’t just go back on it.”

“Well, once again, I’m sorry but I don’t want to have sex with you, Walter. You’re a nice guy but I-”

“Exactly, I am a nice guy.”

“No, Walter. I’ll talk to you later.” She picked up her empty mug and left. ‘Slut’, Walter thought as he watched her walk away.

He finished making his coffee and sat down at his desk. His headset was glaring at him with all of the intensity of his boss screaming for him to get back to work. He reluctantly picked it up and began his calls again.

-

The day went by incredibly slowly after that. He called house after house and each time, he was screamed at and abused by the residents. Throughout it all, though, he remained as polite and calm as he could. If he was being courteous, he had the moral high ground.

He finally made it home and got another shower ready for the night. He made a quick snack for himself and the other guy staying at his house and then got ready for dinner. Walter searched through his wardrobe for his best shirt. He picked it out, ironed it and put it on carefully so as not to crease it. He threw on a pair of jeans and began preparing dinner. Tonight was Spaghetti Bolognese, Jodie’s favourite. He placed the pasta in the pan and let it get all curly in the hot water while he put the mince on.

Just as he was putting the finishing touches on the Bolognese, the doorbell rang. Walter removed his apron and opened the door for Jodie. She was wearing some very skimpy mini shorts and a singlet. He thought she looked amazing and told her so when she entered.

She scoffed, modestly. “Thanks, Walter. So do you.” He smiled as they walked to the dining room. With Jodie sitting down, Walter grabbed their plates and their wine, already in the glasses. They began eating and Jodie talked about her ‘boyfriend’.

“We’d just slept together for the first time and he said he was going outside for a cigarette and he never came back. I checked outside and his car was gone. I didn’t even call the police this time.”

“That’s horrible, I’m so sorry. He’s an arsehole for doing that to you. Just like all the other ones.”

“Is that all I am, just something to screw? You’d think at least one of them would stay longer than a week. I thought Justin could have been him. Maybe all the guys here are just arseholes. Except you, of course.”

Walter muttered a spaghetti filled ‘thank you’ and the conversation was interrupted by a loud whining sound.

“What’s that?” Jodie asked, looking puzzled.

“It’s probably just my new lodger. He plays video games a lot and I’m always having to tell him to keep it down. I’ll just let him know I have company.” Jodie smiled and Walter walked up the stairs to the second floor. He slipped inside a dark room and closed the door behind him.

“What have I told you about keeping quiet? I’ve got company downstairs.” He switched on the light. “Now, Justin, you need to please be quiet. I don’t want you interrupting my night.” Walter checked the tape on Justin’s mouth and the rope that bound his hands behind his back. He then reached down to his own boot and pulled out a small knife. Almost gracefully, he dragged the knife up and across swiftly, slitting Justin’s throat. “Thank you. Finally.”

Walter left the room, careful to avoid the months old blood stains on the carpet.

“Sorry about that. He was just getting a little too enthusiastic about his Call of Duty match.” He said when he returned downstairs. Jodie smiled and they continued their meal and conversation. They had moved on from the subject of romance and were now talking about Jodie’s job as a jeweller.

“So my boss comes in and says that I’ve lost a pair of twelve carat diamond earrings and she’s screaming at me for a good ten minutes before she realises they’re in her pocket!” They both laughed. “She didn’t even apologise.”

“Well, after a day like that,” laughed Walter, “I think you could use another wine.” He picked up her glass and took it to the kitchen. While he was there, Jodie picked the remnants of her dinner from her plate and sat awkwardly in her chair, waiting.

Walter returned with the wine. “So, apart from that little mishap, your day was alright?”

Jodie took the glass from Walter and drank deeply from it. “Yeah, it was alright. I nearly fell asleep just before the end of the day but I made it through.”

Walter laughed. “I did that once. I fell asleep in the middle of a call.”

“What?!” Jodie laughed. “What happened?”

“The person stayed on the line. It was about twenty minutes and he didn’t hang up.” The both cackled at each other. “I think it was the longest call I’ve ever had.”

“Oh my god, that’s hilari…ooh, wow.” Jodie swayed a little in her seat but composed herself.

“Are you alright?”

“Yeah, I think the wine’s making me a little dizzy.” She began to chuckle but stopped and slammed her head down on her plate. Walter was surprised. He’d chosen that particular sedative for its reputation as a fast acting drug but he thought it would be at least another ten minutes before the effects took hold.

He hoped Jodie would understand when she woke up. He just felt their relationship needed a little push in the right direction. She’d surely be reasonable; she owed him that. After all, Walter Regan was a nice guy. 


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