The Boy Outside My Window // by Bailey C. (April 2018)

I'm sure that I seem crazy. I probably seem like I belong in a mental institute, but I can't bring myself to care. Not in this situation with the creepy, mysterious boy, Jason, sitting next to me. I can't even focus on Mr. Brown, the biology teacher. I have heard rumors about Jason. People say he came from juvenile detention. Others say he was raised on the streets. Some people believe he’s a serial killer. I honestly don't know what to believe, but I get a weird feeling about him.

"Do you understand anything he is saying?" I ask him. Maybe I can get some information about his past.

"Yes, we are supposed to be getting to know each other," He responds. "So let me guess, you keep to yourself, you have a few good friends but aren't popular, you are artistic, and prefer the 'lived in' style but keep yourself very clean and organized." He says. I stare at him shocked.

"How...how do you know this about me?" I ask.

"All in good time, Catalina," he says then quickly leaves when the bell rings. I sit there with a million thoughts running through my head. Who is this boy? What does he mean by all in good time? After a few seconds, I get up to chase him. I know he’s bad news, but something draws me to him. I want to know more about this mysterious boy.

After school, I decide to go to the library. I need more books for class. Plus, I am a complete nerd who loves to read.

I pull into the parking lot. As I get out, I see a familiar face. It's Jason. Why is he here? I’ve never seen him here before. He creeps me out so I walk past quickly, hoping he doesn't see me. I find a book and sit down.

"Interesting book you got there," a voice says behind me. I gasp and as I look up, I see that it’s Jason.

"Is it your goal to come across as a creepy stalker?" I ask, annoyed.

"No, I thought I came across as more charming than creepy." Yeah right.

"No. Anyway, what are you doing here? I have never seen you here before."

"I am doing what normal people do in libraries, looking for books."

"I didn't take you to be the type to read," I say suspiciously.

"Don't judge a book by its cover, Miss Montgomery." He says. He left with that. I didn't know he knew my last name. He knows so much about me.

After the library incident, I head home. My mom is away on a trip and my dad passed away years ago, so it's just me and my cat. After I get home, I change into pajamas, feed my cat, and settle down to watch a movie. As the movie starts, I see a silhouette in my window. Startled, I turn around. I look out my window but see nothing. Maybe it is just the trees? But I have a strange feeling that Jason is stalking me. He knows too much about me. Because I am scared, I call my friend, Nova.

"Hello?" She answers.

"Hey, Nova, it's Catalina!"

"Oh, hey Cat." She responds. Nova and I have been friends since birth. I want to tell her everything, but maybe I shouldn’t. People might think I am crazy. I decide to instead tell her about Mr. Brown's boring class. We hate biology.

"Biology is so boring. All he does is go on about mitosis this and mitosis that," I say.

"Yeah, but I heard there was a new boy in your class," she says, sounding intrigued.

"Yeah, he kind of keeps to himself. He is very quiet and mysterious," I say in response.

"Did you meet him?"

"Yes, he's my biology partner."

"Is he cute?" She asks suggestively.

"Nova!"

"What? It's an appropriate question," she says while laughing.

"No it's not! Plus, I didn't look..." I say. The truth is, I did, but I will never admit that I found him quite attractive.

"Oh yeah, sure you didn't. I'll have to walk you to biology tomorrow." Great. More pestering is to come.

"Whatever. Hey I have to go. I'll see you tomorrow." I told her.

"Okay, see you then." After I hang up, I clean up the mess on the floor and head to bed. The next morning I wake up late. I rush out of bed and throw on some clothes. I arrive at school just minutes
before the bell rings and run to my first class, Reading.

“You’re late.” Ms. King says in a stern voice.

“I’m sorry,” I respond. I go to my seat beside Nova and I pull out my book.

“Why are you late? Talking to lover boy?...” she asks.

“No, I overslept and he’s not my lover boy.” I snap. She’s never going to drop the subject. She turns back to her book. Reading class goes by painfully slow. The teacher drones on about grammar and theme. I’m ready to get out of class but I am scared of seeing Jason again. I want to but I don’t want to. He’s creepy but...no I can’t think that. He’s no good.

Finally reading ends and biology starts. As promised, Nova walks me to class.

"Nova, please you don’t need to do this."

"Yes, I do. Oh! There he is. He's staring at you!" She says excitedly. I turn around and sure enough he is staring. He creeps me out. Nova leaves and I walk over to my seat.

"Why are you staring at me?" I ask.

"I am staring at you because you are beautiful." He says. I can't help but blush.

"What do you want from me, Jason?" I ask.

"You." He says. Class starts right after he says that. Again, I feel awkward beside him. What’s going on here?

"Why are you stalking me?" I ask.

"I'm not the one you need to worry about, Sweetheart."

"Don't call me that!"

"Miss Montgomery! If you have something you'd like to say, say it to the class! Otherwise, keep quiet!" Mr. Brown says. I blush and hide my face with my hair.

"Meet me after school at the club across the street. 6 o'clock. Don't be late." He whispers. Then the bell rings signaling the end of class. I sit there for a few seconds debating if I should go. If I do, maybe I can get some answers. He told me I should be worrying about someone else. Is someone else out to hurt me?

"Miss Montgomery, is something wrong? You have haven’t moved for five minutes."Crap! I have five minutes to get to my next class, which is across the school.

"I apologize. I got lost in thought." I say and rush out. The rest of the day is a blur. I still haven't decided if I am going to meet him. Maybe I should...we will be in a crowded place so I doubt he's going to try anything.

If he's even the one to worry about. A small voice in the back of my head whispers the pros and cons, but in the end, I decide to go. What's the worst that can happen? He'll kill you. A tiny voice says. Jesus, now I’m hearing things. I need help.

It is now 4 o'clock and I am pacing around at my house. The club is a 20 minute drive so I will leave around 5:40 p.m. My heart is racing, I am fidgety and close to hyperventilating. I try to watch TV but nothing stops the raging war inside me. I really want to go but the rational side of me says I shouldn't. But, it’s almost like I need to go even though that's crazy. I guess I am going to follow my gut.

It is now 5:35 and I am climbing into my car. As turn the engine on I get a call. At first I freeze up. I have been very jumpy since Jason's creepy message. I look down and see that it's my mother.

"Hey honey, guess what?" I hear the voice of my mother say over the phone.

"Oh hi Mom! What?"

"I'm coming home tonight! My client cancelled so I am coming home early. I will be home around 9pm" See, my mom was supposed to be home in a week so this is good news. The only issue is, I'm on my way to the club.

"That's great Mom! I am meeting my friend later but how about I pick up some food on the way home?" I say excitedly.

"Okay honey, that sounds great! I'll see you later."

"Okay Mom, love you!" I say back. My mom is always away on trips, so it is good to have her home early. Now I’m in a good mood so I turn on the radio and start singing along all the way to the club. This place is crazy. Teenage girls walking in wearing skimpy dresses, loud music which is almost deafening, flashing strobe lights and people screaming. This club is meant for teenagers, so it has no alcohol but I’m sure people sneak it in. I climb out of the car and see Jason standing around the entrance of the building.

"Hi," I say timidly.

"Hello. How are you?" He asks.

"I'm fine. So why did we meet here?" I say getting right to the point.

"Am I not allowed to want to hang out with a beautiful girl?" He says as I turn five shades redder.

"Well, you seemed very persistent about this. I was wondering if there is a specific reason."

"Nope. I just thought I'd get to know my biology partner better."

"Okay so do you want to go in..." I ask, my sentence trailing off. I'm not sure what he wants from me. I can't decide if I should feel scared or safe.

"Whatever you want to do." He says. I turn around and start walking towards the club. He follows. I stop suddenly and turn around.

"So, who is trying to harm me?" I ask, feeling brave, if only for a moment.

"Why would you think that?" He asks in a calm tone. I noticed, however, his eyes twitched.

"I saw someone in my window the other night, I feel like someone is always watching me, and you told me I had someone to worry about. You know something about this and I want you to tell me."

"Oh Catalina, you are so naive."

"W-what do you mean?" I stutter.

Jason winked and walked away. I followed him.

"Okay, I won't talk about this but I didn't come all the way out here just to be ditched," I say. Jason smiles and motions me to follow him. He drives me around the city and then to dinner. Finally, at nine-thirty I decide to go home. I haven't heard from my mom yet so assume her flight is delayed. As I climb in the car, I receive a call from a random number. “Hello?”

"Hello, is this Diana Montgomery's daughter?" the man says.

"Yes, it is, What's going on?"

"This is Officer Jones. I am at you house where there has been a break in. Your mother was injured.

"I am on my way." I say, driving as fast as I can. I need to get to my mother. Part of me isn't surprised. I saw this coming. I want to know who did this and how Jason knew. He protected me by getting me away from my house. I want answers. For now though, I need to see my mom. I walk upstairs and see a note on my medicine cabinet mirror. The handwriting seems oddly familiar but I can't put my finger on it.

Your boyfriend can't protect you forever. I'll be back for you Miss Catalina Montgomery. -A friend.