Put your white tennis shoes on and follow me
Why work so hard when you could just be free?
- Lana Del Rey, "Swan Song"
August 5th, 2017
Rolling thunder rouses you from darkness.
You roll over your on your side, letting out a heavy sigh as your eyes shift through the darkness. Your hand reaches past the covers that wrap around your body, reaching for your phone—that you always left on your nightstand—to check the time. The brightness prompts you to squint, your eyes adjusting to the light. The time read 8:43 a.m., which was your sign to roll back into bed to catch a few more winks of rest.
Outside, the rain continues to pour; lightning provides brief comfort.
And then, someone’s knocking on your front door.
Letting out another groan, you shrug out of your tight blanket cocoon—slipping on shorts and a shirt. Sure, it was raining and freezing as hell outside, but you preferred the comfort in sleeping in a sports bra and underwear. Besides, the blankets made up for whatever contact you lacked. Running a hand over your face, your eyes briefly glanced over at the glass enclosure near your desk, before turning away with disinterest.
One by one, you flick on the lights of your two-story, feeling slight annoyance when you hear frantic knocks on the door again. It’s a Saturday, nearly nine in the morning, and someone’s knocking on my door...but who? you questioned; though, you already had your answer.
Past the closed shutters beside the door, you watch as a small silhouette bounds happily on the balls of their feet. Despite your annoyance and exhaustion, you can’t help but smile and feel comfort rise in your chest. Upon opening the door, your suspicions are confirmed and you’re met with a boy wearing a bright yellow rain slicker, and a wide smile. You cross your arms, furrowing your brows despite the fact that you were grinning.
This boy was none other than George Denbrough, Georgie to his friends.
You, being his parents’ newest neighbor, were given that sentiment. Since he was seven and had plenty of free-time, you often saw him outside with his friends (though, sadly, he didn’t have much except for three other boys and his elder brother) when you were taking care of your garden.
Being friendly with Mr. and Mrs. Denbrough had led you to becoming Georgie’s pseudo-caretaker.
Since both parents worked long hours, and their son was often out with his friends, you were given the opportunity to watch over him. It wasn’t so bad though, considering the fact that you worked at home, and Georgie was always the best company there could be. To top it off, the Denbroughs did pay you (bi-weekly in large amounts) for your work. Being twenty-two (turning twenty-three in December), and fresh out of UNI, you took any chance at earning cash.
“Georgie?” you ask, tilting your head. “Why are you here?”
“I’m sorry!” he apologizes profusely, fiddling with his fingers. “I was just...wondering if you can,” He paused when the tell-tale rumble of thunder startles him, leaving him caught off mid-sentence. He doesn’t need to finish though, because you already know what he wants.
“...make you a paper boat?” you finish for him.
“Yes, please! Billy says he’s sick, and didn’t want to make one.”
Feeling bad that he came to your house just for a paper boat made you feel bad, so you allowed him to enter your home, stepping aside. “Come in,” you order softly. “It’s cold outside and I don’t want you getting sick from waiting in the rain. You can wait in the living room while I get the things. You can help yourself in the kitchen for some cookies I made yesterday. They’re in the fridge.”
Georgie’s reply is quick with a cheerful, “Okay!”
And with that, you’re passing the kitchen and down the hallway, stopping in front of a table—pulling the drawers open. Old pens and markers inside rolled from the sudden movement, an old drawing notebook collecting dust catches your eye. Making sure that nothing important was in it, you tear a page from the back and grab a tin of paraffin wax from one of the pantries near the stairs. You would’ve gone down to the basement to get your stored art supplies (which haven’t been touched in years), but you didn’t bother.
The basement had always terrified you, even if it was near spotless and organized, the broken light down there and the wetness of the room...you were more than adamant on avoiding the basement at all costs. Funny, out of all of the things that you had been through in your life, a basement scared you more than the things you’ve endured.
You didn’t linger on the subject any longer, plopping next to Georgie on the couch while you set down your things on the table. The wax you had heated up was still hot, but it wouldn’t be long until it cooled off—so you had to make the boat as soon as possible. As expected, Georgie was munching on some chocolate chip cookies and downed a glass of milk—having been watched over by you, he remembered where everything was in your home.
Putting on a smile on your face, feeling the muscles ache and strain from doing it so much, you avert your gaze to Georgie; holding the TV remote to him. “Did you want to watch cartoons?” you ask, already knowing what his answer was. Still, you liked asking Georgie for what he wanted, and taking his wants and needs into consideration taught him to do the same.
He nods, his voice muffled by the cookies in his mouth and takes the remote from with in his hands, turning on the TV with the simple press of a button. Since you didn’t use your television much (Truth be told, you never wanted a TV, but it was a gift from your uncle, so you couldn’t object.), it was automatically saved to the children’s channel that Georgie always loved. While he watched the morning Saturday cartoons, you quickly went back to your task at hand: making a paper boat. While you were doing this, Georgie began to happily talk about his day; even though you had a good sense of what his daily routine was.
“School’s soooo boring!”
“Really, now? Can’t say I disagree, buddy.”
“—but at least I have Billy, Ava, Eddie! Oh! Do you remember Eddie? He’s Dorsey Corcoran’s brother.”
“Mhm. I remember him. You said that he plays baseball, right?"
Georgie nods eagerly. “Yeah! Yes! That’s him! We play hide and seek a lot at school at recess.”
“So, school’s not all that bad.”
“No, I guess not...but the classrooms smell like piss sometimes—”
“Georgie!” you scold, eyes bulging at his word use.
Where the hell did he get that from? you wondered, horrified.
You never swore around him, you’d never allow yourself to do that, so hearing him say that was like a slap in the face. Said boy turned to you sheepishly, tilting his head with wide puppy dog eyes. Oh hell, you groaned internally.
He doesn’t even know that it’s a bad word.
“Did I do something wrong?” he asks, his tone fearful.
“No—” you cut yourself off, letting out a sigh. “Well...Georgie, piss isn’t a word you should use.”
“Wait, it isn’t? But Billy and his friends use it all the time!”
Of course he picked it up from his big brother.
Bill Denbrough, in the few times you had met him, was a quiet boy with a stutter but a heart of gold. Even though he was in eighth grade and turning thirteen soon, he had more leadership skills than the assholes you met at UNI. Other than what you had seen for yourself, you had to use everything you heard from Georgie to build Bill’s character. Still, you might have to talk to the brothers’ parents on how Bill watched his mouth, especially around Georgie.
“No, it’s not,” you explain. “But...I can’t stop you from using it, but please, don’t say it around your parents.”
Georgie frowns. “Will you get in trouble for it?”
“Yeah,” you snort, biting down a humorless giggle. “Really big trouble.”
“Then I won’t say anything!” Georgie claims, holding out his pinky to you. “I pinky promise!”
Indulging in his childish antics, you bring out your own hand to link your pinky with his—reaffirming his ‘promise’. You wouldn’t doubt him now, because Georgie was always so set on keeping all promises that he made. Satisfied, you return back to making the paper boat, using your index finger to coat the paper boat with wax. Georgie, as always, watches curiously as you don’t flinch whenever you dip your finger into the wax—which was still seething hot.
“Doesn’t that kinda hurt?”
“No,” you shake your head. “It doesn’t...I have a high heat threshold.”
“What’s a thresh...threshold?”
“It’s basically how much, my limits, that I can handle something,” you say. “So I can handle a lot of heat.”
“That’s so cool!” Georgie fawned. “You’re like...a superhero!”
“I wouldn’t go that far,” you laugh.
You were more of an oddity than a superhero in simpler terms.
You finished the boat and quickly scrawled “S. S. Georgie” in cursive penmanship. You handed it to him with a smile, ruffling his hair. “There you go,” you say, laughing. “Don’t be out for too long. You know your mother doesn’t like it when you’re out in the rain for too long.”
Hopping off the couch to slide on his yellow slicker back on, Georgie slides his green galoshes on and makes way for the front door without a second to spare. The cold draft that comes into your home doesn’t bother as much as the worry at the bottom of your heart. Georgie was a smart kid, but for him to always be out and about on his own...it left an uneasy feeling in your gut. He knew to not talk to strangers, but still—Derry, Maine was not a good place. Before he can shut the door, you call out.
“Don’t talk to strangers Georgie!”
“I won’t!” Georgie replies. “Thank you Miss King!”
The rest of your day is uneventful, and rolls by smoothly.
Georgie drops by every now and then—since the Denbroughs are off of work for the day, they spent their time together in the house—and told you about his day. There was a big of sadness in his eyes that made you frown and question about his behavior. “The boat fell in the sewer drain,” you remembered Georgie explaining to you with a frown.
“I couldn’t keep up with her.”
“That’s alright,” you replied, ruffling his hair. “We can always make more.”
And that’s how found yourself folding an ungodly amount of paper boats with Georgie.
Bill had also tagged along, but since he was “sick”—you could tell that he was faking it; you had done it yourself when you were a kid too—he simply sat on the couch, messing with his phone with headphones in his ears. You wish that he was more open when he was around you, but you couldn’t complain: he was a good kid, judging by what Georgie and his parents had said about him.
You were on the...twentieth(?) boat when Bill said that he and Georgie had to go home. Nodding, you gathered what you and Georgie had made, and neatly packed it in Georgie’s backpack so that he could take it home—since it was still raining, and you didn’t want the boats to be soaked. Having baked more cookies (it was a specialty and hobby of yours), you offered some to the boys. Georgie always accepted them, while Bill was the shyer one, surprisingly, out of the two.
“T-Thanks,” he stammers out, smiling. “I’m really h-h-happy that y-you’re here to watch o-o-over m-my brother.”
“It’s no problem,” you reply. “It’s the least I can do for you guys. If anything, I should thank your parents...getting by in Derry is easy, but when you’re an adult like me—it does get kinda hard,” You shuffle on your feet, watching as rain continued to downpour outside the window. “Tell your parents that I’m grateful that they’re giving me the opportunity to make a living by watching over you guys.”
Bill nods. “I-I-I will...” Just as he’s about to leave with Georgie in hand, he pauses in his step, turning around to look at you curiously. “Y-You lived in the N-N-Neibolt House...right?” he asks, making sure that he didn’t step on a nerve.
You couldn’t blame him, after-all, that’s where your parents had passed...murdered, was the word you tried to avoid as much as possible. It was the classic breaking-and-entering crime that ruined your life, as well as the suspect’s (not that you cared for him anyway). Your parents just so happened to be downstairs when it happened. The suspect didn’t get far in the house because the neighbors had called the cops.
You were oblivious to the whole thing, having been asleep upstairs the entire time that it happened. It was a devastating blow in your mind, and even though it happened when you were young—at six-years-old, a year after you moved to Derry—you still found it hard to accept the reality of it all. Thankfully, your uncle Howard had been gracious enough to take care of you, where you moved back with him to Maryland with his wife and two children; your cousins.
Moving back to Derry was both a breath of fresh air, and a stale memory gone cold.
Reigning in yourself from your thoughts you nodded, a grim expression taking hold of your features. “I did,” you confirm, leaning against the door-frame. In the corner of your eye, you watched in amusement as Georgie messed with Bill’s umbrella outside, jumping in puddles. Averting your gaze to meet Bill’s, you continued. “Why...? Did you want to know something?”
“N-No,” he pauses, a cautious look in his eyes. “Did you h-hear th-th-that someone’s m-moving in th-th-there now?”
“Wait, really?” you ask, eyes widening. “Who is it? Do you know?”
“Some r-r-r—rich guy?” Bill says helpfully, though his tone is unsure. “He used to l-l-live on W-West B-Broadway...a R-Robert Gray, I think?”
Robert Gray, you mused thoughtfully.
You have heard the name before, but you’ve never met him in person. He, just as Bill had described, was a “rich boy” who was given the chance to go to Harvard University at fourteen (Jesus Christ! You were still in fifth grade and learning about onomatopoeias!). From what you heard from people in Derry, he was described as a really smart and nice; knew what to say and how to act. But then again, just as perfect people were, there was something...off about him.
You only heard from rumors, in the brief time that you were in Derry as a child (and now; having lived here for nearly a year)—that Robert Gray was a bit of a “crazy”...that he was arrogant and spoke highly of himself like he was God, but hey, you couldn’t judge. You’ve never met him, and it was wrong to judge a person off of rumors alone. If he really was good enough to be a Harvard student, then how bad could he be?
“Thank you for telling me this,” you say to Bill, waving him off. “I’ll check out the place when I can.”
Social media search, here we go.
...It turns out that Robert Gray didn’t use social media.
Which to you—being an owner of several electronics, and being extremely active on one social media platform—was absolutely shocking. He was only what? Four years older than you? And he didn’t even have a Facebook account!
He either had old fashioned beliefs, probably from his parents (whom were both known by the town, even though they passed a few years ago), or just lived under a rock from studying too much. You hoped that it was just the former, because there was no way someone could live today’s age without technology or media. At least, that’s what you thought.
Maybe you were being weird by searching him up, but anyone who dared to move into your childhood home (which was dubbed the “murder house” by a lot of kids and teenagers in Derry), was someone listed as “strange” on your nonexistent list of people you were suspicious of. The Neibolt House, which was refurbished by your parents when they moved here, was beautiful; painted with a shade of French Gray—how ironic, given the new owner’s surname—and had an overgrown garden that gave the Victorian house a vintage vibe.
Once you had fallen too deep in your thoughts, you closed your laptop and distracted yourself with the glass enclosure nearby, a smile reaching your features. With careful hands, you slide the glass lid off and carefully lift the spider out of it, eyes softening. This is Holland, your pet Desert Blonde Tarantula of sixteen years, and you loved her with all of your heart.
She was a rarity to you, with her light legs and body contrasting heavily to her dark abdomen: she was a perfect balance between light and dark. Holland was always docile and compliant whenever you handled her, and her company was great compared to the awful people of Derry (minus the Denbroughs and a handful of other families). You indulge in allowing Holland to wander your bed, snapping a few pictures of her to save as your phone wallpaper before putting her back in, and feeding her.
You found her to be your best friend and companion since childhood.
When the rain gave in, you showered and dressed into a pumpkin brown turtleneck and blue jeans, slipping on sneakers on your feet. Just in case the rain would come back, you threw a hoodie on, and give yourself a once over in the mirror. Although having long hair was a hassle, you enjoyed styling it in different ways—and a simple middle part always did the trick. You glossed over your eyes, which were comparable to dull red diamonds, and grabbed your essentials; leaving the house.
“Morning!” Mrs. Denbrough, Sharon, called your name from her porch, flashing a smile at you.
“Good morning,” you reply. “I’m heading out for the day, but if you need me to watch over the kids, just call me.”
“Alright,” Sharon nods. She looks like she’s ready to head back in the house and call it a day, even though it’s noon and the day—despite the rain—was still young. She continues with an apologetic smile, seeing as though she was taking up your time. “Thank you, by the way. I know you’re young and busy, but Zack and I are always out of the house, and I’m really thankful that you’re putting the time and effort to take care of them. I know Bill can take care of Georgie on his own, but still, sometimes the two alone are...”
“A disaster?” you add helpfully.
“You could say that. Kids are such a hassle to take care of.”
“Can’t say I disagree...I’ve never had any of my own, and Georgie’s a great kid.”
“I think you’d be a great mom,” Sharon comments, nodding.
You take her compliment gingerly, entering your vehicle without another word.
You’d just do a drive-by your old home and continue the rest of your day, nothing special—or maybe, you’d actually meet Robert Gray in person. For someone so successful (you had found only one article about him, regarding his success as a young, aspiring man with “dreams”), it was a strange decision for him to move to the shittiest town in the world...sans Castle Rock, which you had visited from time to time.
Passing through West Broadway and then down Kansas Street, you could feel your hands grow clammy in anticipation—over a million thoughts running through your mind at that moment. None of your thoughts could ease your curiosity, and was a relief to see that the house on 29 Neibolt Street was still standing.
There were several things you noticed as well.
Unsurprisingly, there was a brand new car parked on the side of the road (given that the house was old, there was no garage) and the lawn was given a rework. In addition to the sunflowers that covered the expanse of the lawn, there were some birch trees planted in both the front and backyard. The vines that had overgrown on the side of the house were still though to give the home the sensually ancient appearance, alluring everyone to enter even though it had a grim history. Much to your chagrin, the tire swing that your father tied to the oak tree in the front was no longer there.
Parking your car across from the house, you walked towards the front entrance, pushing the gate out of your way. A heavy breath passed your lips, and you could only do everything but calm down when you rang the newly-installed door-bell. If the new owner of the home wasn’t here, then you would’ve felt like an idiot driving all the way here—but you were hopeful.
After an agonizing five minutes the door opens: revealing the owner.
You try not to stare, but it’s hard to—especially when he towers over you, lowering his frame so that his head doesn’t hit the doorway. He’s casually dressed in a black t-shirt that’s tucked into his jeans: revealing a lean frame. The new watch and designer brands aren’t what surprises you the most. It’s his eyes that do the trick. His eyes are dark brown, so dark that his eyes almost look like wide black holes that take in your appearance—and more. His hair is soft, un-gelled, and casually parted away from his face.
Holy shit he’s gorgeous, you think in awe. Really, what the hell is a guy like him doing in Derry, Maine?
You give him an apologetic smile, trying your best to look like you know what you’re doing. In the presence of this man, you suddenly lose all of your thoughts, and it’s hard to focus when he stares at you in a way that makes you feel so small and important at the same time. “Hi,” you greet softly. “I—Uhm...I used to live here, and I was just uh—...I wanted t-to uh, I wanted to say welcome back to Derry!”
God, you felt like an idiot but at least you got your words out.
Robert looks, more or less, like a statue: with wide eyes and a slightly parted mouth. There’s a lingering doubt that fills the back of your mind, that you said something wrong, and that the new owner of your childhood home thinks that you’re the crazy one here. Robert looks nothing like someone people would spread rumors about, in fact, he looks like he’s well off on his own. When Robert doesn’t reply, still stuck in his silence, you try to fill it in with your voice.
“Are you alright, sir?” Why the fuck am I calling him sir? We’re nearly the same age.
...Fuck me, and my manners.
Your question gets him to finally break through whatever thoughts he had been thinking about. A calm, neutral expression passes his features as his reply comes out cool but with a trembling voice. He almost sounds...nervous?
“It’s you,” he whispers.
“It’s...me?” you question, confused.
“It’s you,” Robert nods slowly.
The way he looks at you is full of longing and something else that you can’t pinpoint down, and the way he inches just a tad bit towards you prompts you to shut off your mannerisms and stay quiet. It’s intimidating and scary in the way that he stares at you—and you now understand why some people had sprouted rumors about him. Before things can grow anymore awkward, you smile again, this time out of nervousness, and tell him that you’ll be on your way now.
You feel uncomfortable in his presence.
“Wait,” he chokes out.
To your surprise, followed by that he also says your first name—which you hadn’t told him yet—which immediately grabs your attention. You turn your head to catch his gaze, a step away from the porch. Robert exits his house, his eyes briefly analyzing the weather before returning his gaze back to you.
If looks could kill, his would kill you out of intensity.
“I just moved here recently,” he explains, “...from Castle Rock after staying there for a year. Do you mind if you can give me a ground tour of Derry? I-I mean...I have lived here before, but I think it’s nice to have someone to guide the way.”
You’re still on edge, but his request sends a rush throughout you.
You’d only known him for a good six minutes and fifty-five seconds, but he’s already asking you on the equivalent of a...meeting? Date? Something else? Still going by the notion that this man might’ve been a bit odd, judging by what you have seen yourself and his choice of housing, you reconsider. Couldn’t he just drive around himself around town? He’s smart, evidently from his educational career, and smartly dressed—obviously, he doesn’t need your help.
Still, you’re too nice for your own good and give in.
“Sure,” you reply nonchalantly, shrugging. “I’m a bit busy though,” you lie, holding up your phone. You want nothing more than to sleep and watch movies, but the way that Robert holds himself makes you want to forget everything and just talk. You trailed off in a happy, optimistic voice—to lift the mood. “...but tomorrow I’m free to do whatever. We can exchange numbers, if you want.”
“Please,” he interjects quickly, bringing out his phone as soon as possible.
Just as expected, his phone is new and you wonder what he did for a living—maybe he just lived off of whatever money his parents had granted him before their deaths. From what you could tell, he survived Harvard via grants and scholarships. You couldn’t relate to that part, sadly (having your uncle help with payments, as well as federal aid), but such things were the way of life. You and Robert exchange numbers, and before you go—you ask for his name just to be polite.
“Robert Gray,” he says with a laugh, taking your hand in his for a hand-shake.
Jesus, his hands are large.
You reply with your name, and it seems as though Robert never noticed that he slipped your name earlier; he nods idly. “King?” he repeats your surname curiously, tilting his head. For some reason, he’s staring directly into your eyes as if he found something extraordinary (or horrifying; the two facial expressions were always interchangeable to you).
“Yeah,” you huffed, “my parents had weird naming habits.”
“It suits you,” he says, cautiously. “Like royalty.”
“So I’ve been told,” you trail off, checking your phone for the time.
Just as you do this, you get a text from Sharon.
I’m so sorry! Can you watch the kids tomorrow? Zack and I have a family emergency, and we’ll be heading out of Derry for a couple of days! No later than next Saturday. Please? I’ll even pay you double! Thank you! - Shar.
...Well shit. Sorry Robert, but you can wait.
“What’s wrong?” Robert asks, prompting you to look back at him.
“Shit,” you apologize. “I can’t go with you tomorrow...I have to watch my neighbor’s kids for the week. Maybe, next time?”
A blank look crosses his face before it fades into one of understanding.
He nods without another word, deep in thought.
Thanking him, you share a few more words before you’re heading towards your car, and driving back home. The remainder of your day is spent watching as the Denbroughs pack their things (though you can’t help but feel that the two adults are preparing for a vacation rather than an emergency), before they’re off.
You grab a few of your things, in addition to Holland, and settle them in the living room of the Denbrough home. You don’t have to worry much about Bill, since he’s often out with his friends, so you leave yourself to amuse and humor Georgie: baking cookies for the rest of the day. Every now and then, you can’t help but think about the man you met earlier in the day.
He’s interesting, you conclude. Weird...but interesting.
The rest of the week goes by in a blur.
You receive no word from Robert (and you don’t intend to initiate any texts, barely knowing him), which only confirms the notion that he rarely uses his electronic devices—or he’s busy doing other things. Driving to and from Derry Elementary to drop off, and pick up, Georgie is a mundane routine that feels normal, calming, even. Maybe, when you’re older, you’ll even have your own kids and live happy with whomever you found love with one day.
...Nah, screw the pregnancy part.
It wasn’t that you didn’t want children, it was just that you didn’t want to be pregnant; if that made sense. Donors were a thing, but the dissatisfaction of calling another’s child yours was odd, and adoption was great but draining. Georgie and Holland (even if she was a spider) were the closest things you’ll ever have to having kids.
It’s the following Saturday, the 12th, and you’re eagerly awaiting for the Denbroughs to return home. Truth be told, Bill and Georgie were easy to take care of but you were getting tired. Some time to yourself would be nice, and you were starting to feel back sores from sleeping on the couch. True, the Denbroughs did say that you could sleep in the master bedroom (Sharon and her husband’s room), but you didn’t want to intrude too much.
Your attention is grabbed when the front door unlocks and opens—tension rising. Georgie was upstairs and Bill was out with his friends (who called themselves the “Losers Club”), so there wasn’t so much unease as there was surprise. It soon fades when you hear several voices resonate throughout the house, namely that of Derry’s local trashmouth: Richie Tozier. The kid had a mouth on him, but his jokes were funny, and he seemed caring enough for you to tolerate him.
Followed by Bill and Richie are the other two members of the Losers Club: Stanley Uris and Eddie Kaspbrak. You didn’t know much about them so you simply greeted them and offered cookies, being the nice nanny that you were. After that, you return to watching Georgie upstairs, playing “circus” with him.
Georgie had a series of figurines and mini-props that created a small circus, and you found that it made Georgie happy to play with them. He always picked the more athletic and strength-based figurines, like the strongman or the acrobats; while you (unironically) picked the fortune teller and tarot card readers. Every now and then, you could change it up and pick the clown figurine—happily chatting with Georgie.
The kid was so energetic and happy that it nearly made your heart melt.
“I always love playing with you, Miss King!”
“I’m glad that you do...You’re not too bad yourself, Georgie.”
“Hey! What does that mean?”
You giggle, shaking your head. “Nothing, kid. Now, what am I doing?”
“Okay, you’re the clown,” Georgie says with a straight face, guiding your hand towards the opened big-top. He hands you the tiniest circus props, three balls with holes in them—presumably where you connect the clown to. He continues his explanation, his eyes focused. “So, you connect the clown into there, and pretend that you’re juggling.”
“I can juggle,” you trail off. “Like, in real life. I can juggle.”
“Really?! You can?!”
Christ, there’s practically stars in his eyes.
You’re gonna be the death of me kid, you think humorously.
You nod, getting up on your feet and head towards his toy box, shuffling inside to bring out three plastic balls. “Are you ready?” you ask, a smiling reaching your face. When Georgie nods, you’re about to begin your juggling “act” when one of the boys, Eddie enters the room, a frantic look on his face.
“What is it?” you question.
“It’s uhm, it’s—like a...like there’s a—”
“Slow down,” you chuckle nervously, holding your arms out to calm him down. “What is it?”
“Uh,” Eddie pauses, inhaler in hand. “Me and the others were just playing outside, right? A-And I don’t know what was going on, because Richie’s an ass and always tells me to tell the adultseventhoughhecandoithimself—”
“Breathe,” you coax patiently. “Let’s just...calm down and—”
More footsteps bound up and Richie enters the room, smacking Eddie’s arm playfully. To your surprise, the two enter and endless banter between each other. When the profanity comes out, you drop the plastic balls and cover Georgie’s ears and try to dull his senses with your thoughts—discreetly though, to not raise suspicion in the young boy.
“Hey, did you tell them yet?”
“Wait, well. I was going to but...”
“Ugh, you’re worse than Bill, Eds.”
“Shut the fuck up asshole...and don’t call me Eds!”
“I can do whatever the fuck I want—”
Holy shit, you gape at the two teens.
Do they always do this?
Not even you and your friends were as vocal and foul-mouthed as them, maybe on some occasions, but not as the two boys in front of you. You rarely saw the entirety of the Losers Club, so seeing them interact so...boldly, in front of you was a big surprise to see. Thankfully, Georgie seems unaware of what you’re doing and you have to break the conversation before your head starts pounding. Unfortunately, the movies made having powers look so much easier than it was in real life—and you had to deal with the tiredness from using them. It was one of the reasons why you rarely used your powers, to be honest.
“Please stop!” you yell.
That gets them to shut up, and finally you uncover Georgie’s ears and stop blocking his mind. You give the two teenagers a stern look, crossing your arms while trying to make yourself taller. Given your height, that’s easily possible. “Alright,” you start off slowly. “No yelling. Just tell me, straight to the point...What happened?”
Richie’s the one to answer first, practically blurting it out.
“A man tried breaking into your house!”
“What?!” you exclaimed.
Not giving a second thought to spare, you’re already leaving the room and out of the house. Bill and Stan are outside, much to your horror (Weren’t they afraid of being kidnapped?), with their phones—ready to call. You glance at your house, seeing nothing broken; and the alarm hadn’t gone off. You turn to Bill for an explanation, arms crossed once more.
“W-W-We saw a man,” Bill stammers, “a-at your h-house...He tried removing your front w-w-window to g-get inside.”
“Fuck,” you mutter under your breath.
Running towards your home and giving it a once over, nothing looks out of the ordinary and you’re left to wonder where the intruder was. “Did he get inside?” you ask, searching the entire perimeter of the outside. “What did he look like? Where did he go?”
“He was wearing all black, and his face was covered,” Stanley states. “He was tall...when he saw us, he ran down the street and towards West Broadway. I’m sorry that we didn’t notice sooner.”
“It’s alright,” you comfort Stan. “You didn’t know.”
“Sh-Should we call the police?” Bill asks.
“Leave that to me,” you mutter, running a hand through your hair.
A quick police call and brief interrogation from the boys and yourself (though, you hadn’t witnessed the event, it was still your house) leaves you drained and left to clean up the mess. In actuality there was no mess, the intruder left no clues, which left you paranoid for the remainder of the day. This was not how I was expecting my week to go, you think bitterly.
What kind of shit luck do I have?
Thankfully, the boys were forgiving enough to not tell their parents, and when the Denbroughs came home—you merely put on your go-to smile, and told them everything was alright. As always, they believe you and you’re allowed to return back to your home. Hey, at least you got double the pay, and met an attractive man the week prior (who still hadn’t texted you yet).
That night, you slept with all your doors locked and your mind alert.