It was dark by the time everyone left Kristy’s, and I spent a good 20 minutes watching the shadows play across the wall and thinking of nothing. Sometimes I would hear a car ride by and slow down, and it always sounded like the same car, something heavy and ominous, like Stacey’s mom’s minivan. A couple times I heard footsteps on the stairs, and I braced myself for the tentative knocking of Kristie’s brother, David Michael, but that never happened either. My stomach hurt.
When the phone rang, I tried to ignore it, but that was against the Baby-Sitter Club rules. What if it was Mr. Brewer calling to check up on his future step-daughter? I know Kristy talked to her mom’s boyfriend a lot: she told me all the time in this breathless voice how he would call her late at night and search for an excuse not to talk to her mom. Mr. Brewer was one of the richest guys in StoneyBrook. I can’t say I really blame Kristy for talking to him, though some of the stuff he says to her gives me the creeps.
I had figured the phone would have stopped ringing by the time I made it downstairs, but it hadn’t. I picked up the receiver, “Hello, Thomas residence?” Someone was breathing on the other end. “Hello,” I asked again, stupidly, while the headlights of a car rolled slowly past the Thomas’ bay windows before speeding up and racing down the street. I could strain and hear something else on the other end of the line…something that sounded like muffled music, or crying. “Logan?”
Logan Bruno was my boyfriend, sort of. He looked like Cam Geary, which is to say he looked perfect: like a Ken doll with not one hair out of place. Probably just as anatomically correct, though I’d never know it, he never let me put so much as a hand under his polo shirt to feel his still-developing six-pack. Logan ran every day, looked 16, and was so tan that his teeth shone out of his face. I had started to dream that he actually was a Ken doll, that his skin was just hard plastic, and that empty space I felt between his legs when we would french meant that he was as smooth sculpted down there as his chest.
We’d been getting into more and more fights recently: I knew he was sleeping with Cokie Mason, who I hated and who lived up to her first name like a vengeance. I had also caught him once on the phone with Kristy’s older brother Sam, who was a junior in high school and on the boy’s basketball team. Logan got really red in the face when I asked him what on earth he could be talking to a StoneyBrook HS athlete about, and he mumbled something about a party down by the quarry that some older kids were going to this weekend. Logan know I would never break curfew. I’ve also caught Logan sneaking furtive glances at Sam’s room when he comes over as an unofficial member of the BSC. I knows I should be worried, but these days its harder to bring myself to care. I had a queasy feeling of my own boyfriend at the other end of the line, taking those deep, ragged breaths.
The phone clicked dead. I looked around and called out “David Thomas?” I could have sworn he was here when Kristy and everyone left, but now the house seemed eerily empty. My stomach made a noise, and I was suddenly, savagely hungry. I went into the kitchen and scarfed an entire bag of Dorritos, some Icy-pops Mrs. Thomas kept for the kids, some celery and ranch dressing that had been left in the sink after no one touched it during the meeting, and, after five minutes of guess-work, half a handle of Bailey’s that I found hidden behind the pots and pans under the sink. Then I went to the bathroom and threw up. The phone rang again. Outside, not so far away, a giant car -a truck maybe? – with sweeping headlights rumbled by Kristy’s house. My boyfriend was sleeping with Cokie Roberts and Sam Thomas, I was sure of it. For a moment I remembered the sound in the background of the phone…was that David Michael crying?
I came out of the bathroom and the phone stopped ringing as suddenly as it started. The big car sped off. I was alone.
(Bret Easton Ellis is the acclaimed author of American Psycho, Less Than Zero, and Rules of Attraction. His books have been published in over 40 languages, and banned in 8 countries. This is his first attempt at writing young adult fiction.)