It was close to three a.m. as Timmy crunched through the snow, down the endless line of sidewalks. Every block looking the same as the last. Not much activity at this time of night, in this part of Chicago. Only a few miles from the city, so full of action. Yet it seemed, it might as well be a hundred miles away. Even amidst the relative sameness, Timmy knew exactly where he was going. He had the route saved to memory, from so many lonely trips. He could navigate it with his eyes closed.
‘Somehow we need to warn him,’ Jasmine said, but the conversation ended there. Every attempt Timmy made to bring it back up, was unceremoniously ignored. ‘We have bigger issues to worry about right now,’ she would say. ‘Like keeping you safe.’
Timmy was growing impatient. Nearly a full week had passed since the incident with Skyler. Jasmine hadn’t even let him leave the apartment. She was certain Skyler was out there somewhere, plotting his revenge. She knew he wasn’t above using Timmy as a pawn. Hurting him, or even killing him, to draw her out. She also knew she needed to deal with Skyler swiftly and quietly. She needed to see it through to the end, and not let Timmy find out. She had a network of friends keeping their eyes peeled for any sign of Skyler, to see where he’s been, and see what he’s up to. So far, no one had seen him at all. He was laying low somewhere. Planning his next strike. Jasmine was determined to be ready for whatever was to come, whenever that might be.
Jasmine locked the apartment before leaving for work, the same way she had every other night since her brother moved in. She felt guilty about locking him in there alone, but it was for the best. Above everything else, her brothers safety was most important to her. What she didn’t realize, was that Timmy had figured out a way to escape, and not long after she went into work tonight, he slipped out into the cold himself.
And now, here he stood, behind the familiar sturdy oak tree. Across the street from the house of the boy he couldn’t shake from his mind. He’s spent many long hours trying to figure out why he couldn’t stop thinking about him, but no answer was readily available. He knew he felt ‘something.’ It was at that moment, on that fateful night, when their eyes locked. Why did it have to be then? At the moment of his most savage act. When he had no choice but to steal that life, in order to preserve his own. It was in the boys eyes. They didn’t reflect the horror that his brain must have been interpreting. Nor did they pierce right through him, passing so much judgement. There was sadness there, and maybe pity. A loneliness that rivaled his own.
And then, the standoff back at his house. He didn’t show fear. It was indifference. Defiance. I went there with orders to kill him, and he didn’t even seem to care. Like he knew what I was there to do, and he dared me to try. Why wasn’t he scared? Why didn’t he run? After seeing what I was, he just stood there. Just like me.
Timmy saw that the house was completely dark. He’d been around the house enough to know that his mother gets home late, and sometimes lurks around for a while, before retiring to bed. Timmy knew the dormer, that jutted out on the left side of the roof, was the room Tyler slept in. He’s seen him sitting near the window before. Accented by the soft orange glow of his desk-lamp. He knew he stayed up later than most of his neighbors, but he likely went to bed a few hours ago.
Timmy needed to get up there, into his room. He decided his best option was to leave him a note. Tell him his life would be in danger if he kept going out at night. He didn’t want to scare him too much, but he wanted him to know this was serious. All he needed to do was climb to the roof and pry open his window. Sneak in silently, and leave a letter on his desk. He’s broken into plenty of buildings and windows, hiding out or looking for a place to stay, so this should be fairly easy.
Timmy found a foothold and effortlessly scaled the side of the house. He swung himself onto the roof and quietly crept to the window. He soon discovered this was going to be easier than expected. The window wasn’t even latched. He simply pried his fingers under the bottom edge and pulled it up. He looked inside and immediately saw Tyler, sleeping soundly, on his back. His bed was no more than five feet from the window, off to the side, in the rather small room. He took a glance directly below the window, and noticed a desk pushed up against the wall. It would make it a little difficult to get into the room quietly and cleanly, but he wanted to act fast, as so much cold air was coming in from outside. He didn’t want the temperature to change too much, and be caught standing in Tyler’s bedroom.
He swung his legs over the desk, dangling them over the front edge. He pulled himself through the window and sat on the top of the desk. Quickly, he eased his feet to the floor, spun, and pulled the window closed. He wanted to work efficiently, and be out of here as soon as possible. Now that he was here, he couldn’t resist the urge to look around. His eyes fell onto the sleeping boy.
He slowly walked right up to the edge of his bed and kneeled down beside him. Those familiar feelings returned as he felt light headed and his heart rate speed up. Nervous butterflies tickled at his insides while he took his first close up look at Tyler. He studied right from the top of his disheveled mop of soft hair, down to his smooth chin. He followed the arc of his relaxed eyebrows and long, dark eyelashes. He studied the shape of his small, upturned, narrow nose. The perfect curve of his reddish cheeks. He listened to the soft exhale, escaping his slightly parted, full pink lips.
He was even more beautiful than Timmy had imagined. Timmy had never admitted to a particular sexual preference before. Given his age, he was just starting to figure those things out, but the boy lying before him now, was affirming what he had already suspected.
Feeling bold, he reached his hand toward Tyler’s face. He gently swept his hair off his forehead, so he could see his entire face. His hair felt like the softest of silk. He didn’t want to let it go. He wanted to touch his skin. Caress him. But he didn’t dare.
He let his gaze move down. His thin neck. His narrow shoulders. A thin white sheet was partially draped over his flat chest, with the majority of it pooled on the floor, beside his bed. His naked arm was draped across his midsection, holding what little blanket was left, in place.
One of his legs was mostly covered, coiled in a different blanket, somewhere on the bed. His other leg was bent slightly at the knee, completely uncovered. Timmy giggled to himself. It looked like Tyler must thrash around a lot while he sleeps. He refocused his attention on studying the form before him. His exposed leg was almost taboo. Timmy couldn’t contain the blush that was heating up his cheeks. His lean, short leg was very exciting to see. His boxers had bunched up, offering a view of his ivory white groin and upper thigh. The entire leg was devoid of hair, except for some stubbly dark hairs growing in on his sleek calf. Even his feet were cute, if not a bit small.
Naturally his gaze moved back up to his most private region. His navy blue boxers, being the only dark color, in contrast with the rest of the scene. Just enough moonlight was pouring into the room to allow Timmy to see the mysterious peaks and valleys of wrinkled fabric. The shorts were not tight enough to accurately define his exotic landscape, but they did offer something for the imagination. Timmy scooted in closer to study the tubular bump. Hundreds of naughty thoughts consuming his mind. He was becoming overdriven with lust, brought on by his brand new sexual awareness. All his questions were getting answered. His confusion becoming clear.
Then, a quick movement and a cough. Shit! Tyler was awake. Timmy flattened himself on the floor, beside his bed, while Tyler tossed and turned in his semiconscious state. The blanket on the floor prevented Timmy from crawling under the bed, but with a little luck, Tyler wouldn’t sit up, revealing his location. After a little while, Tyler seemed to settle back into a comfortable sleep, but Timmy held still for a good five minutes to be sure.
After his close call, Timmy refocused his attention to why he was here to begin with. Fighting his impulse to go back to Tyler’s bedside and drool, he instead quietly went over to his desk. He figured he would be able to spot a pen and paper somewhere without too much trouble. Aside from a laptop, the top of the desk was completely bare. Timmy rolled the swivel chair back enough so he could open the center tray to see if he could find what he needed in there.
As soon as he opened the drawer he gasped as a chill swept over him, driving him back in his chair. The chair creaked a little louder than he would have preferred. He quickly fixed his gaze over toward the bed, hoping he hadn’t awoken Tyler. Once satisfied that all was still ok, he turned back around toward the open drawer. Sitting on top was a drawing with a haunting likeness to himself. He tentatively reached for the thick paper and removed it. He delicately set it on top of the desk and glared at it in true wonderment. It looked like a photograph. It was the work of a remarkably talented artist. Tyler? It had to be…but how? How could he have picked up in so much detail from such a brief encounter, and from such a great distance? In the dark, even.
Timmy sat and stared at the sketch for a while. His heart was working overtime, while the rest of his innards twisted in confused knots. He tried to put together the significance of finding this treasure. What does it mean? What does Tyler think about him? Why did he draw this? Why did he draw him so nicely, and not savage and evil. The questions kept coming, one after the other, stirring him into a torrent of emotions. Timmy was so deeply touched by this drawing that tears started to well up in his eyes. Soon they started to streak down his cheeks, pooling on the table. The situation was out of his control and escalating. He knew he had to get out of there, fast, before he completely lost it. He tucked the drawing back in the drawer and climbed up onto the desk. He opened the window and crawled back out into the frozen early morning air. He shut the window and slumped next to the dormer.
It wasn’t long before he realized he hadn’t done what he came here to do. He didn’t want to risk going back inside, so he crawled up to the window. He blew out to fog up the glass, and wrote with his finger: Please Stay Home.
Realizing this all took a lot longer than he expected, he leapt off the roof and headed back to the apartment. He needed to get back before his sister.