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Bonnie

Ireland

Sixteen, Irish, I love writing fiction and adventure stories. I'm very passionate about my writing, I want it as a career and it means a whole lot to me.

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Any sort of feedback would be appreciated!

The Oddity of Stephan Foster

May 7, 2016

FREE WRITING

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Stephan and I had never quite been friends. Now, I'll admit, we were very close to becoming it. At one point. But then...Of course, something happened. Just to mess my life up even more.

At the time, my name was Benjie. I'd always liked to change it around, switch out different parts of the name on a whim. One week I'd be Benjamin Stanley, the name I was given at birth. The next I was just Ben. Benjie. Stan. Lee. Benjamin Stan. Benjamin Lee. Or, as Stephan liked to refer to me as...'That annoying boy who lives in my basement and is more trouble than he's worth'.

When I was nineteen years old, fresh out of school, I decided I didn't need college. I had this wonderfully blissful dream, of travelling the world, earning money in numerous different trades, uncovering countless cultures, and becoming a learned, trusted and well-respected individual. I wanted people to look to me, and see a man who was where he wanted to be, And where I wanted to be was anywhere but home. I wanted to be out there, doing things, having the best time of my life.

But then, of course, I was nineteen. And well-paying jobs weren't very plentiful. Neither were apartments to rent.

An ad caught my eye that had been floating around the neighbourhood- a training lawyer, renting out one of the rooms in his flat. The rent wasn't huge, and working at a fast food place only really barely got me enough food. So I said goodbye to my parents, took the interview, and prepared to get comfy with my new room mate, Stephan. I remember when I first stepped into his hallway, the look on his face. His dark hair was slicked back off of his face, and his thin lips curled up into a sour expression. His beady eyes darted up and down, as he sized me up. I was his complete opposite. My wispy, light hair standing almost vertically off my head, my grin wide and welcoming, I too a firm grip of his hand, and shook.

“Benjie. Nice to meet you!” I remember saying. And I recall the small ghost of a laugh that followed.

“Stephan Foster. Your room is downstairs, and to the left. Do whatever you want with it, but no loud music, no parties, and no doing your laundry with mine. And don't cook in my kitchen unless you have sufficient talent and are capable of cleaning up after yourself. Understood?” His cold eyes looked into mine, and my smile faded. My images of Stephan and I sharing a drink and laughing at each other's jokes was slowly fading. I nodded, slowly, and made my way downstairs.

The first few months were ice cold. I didn't speak to Stephan; Stephan didn't speak to me. I went out to work, and came back, and sometimes he wasn't even there. He'd sometimes leave at six in the morning, and only return late at night. A playful 'where were you, man?' and an awkward chuckle never really seemed to get an answer out of him. I used to make him dinner, and leave it in the oven for him, but I stopped once I realised he wasn't touching it. Sometimes, when he wasn't here, my curiosity would get the better of me, and I'd go snooping. He didn't have pictures of family or friends anywhere in the house. Just notes upon notes upon notes...

After those first few months, I'd noticed small gestures from Stephan that I'd thought were virtually impossible. I had almost accepted the fact that he was an emotionless robot with no regard for us human beings. It was very small things at first. He'd give me a small nod once I came in from work. I'd nod back, and smile, as politely as I could manage without looking surprised. He'd knock on my door, instead of just walking in and demanding the rent, like he used to. Naturally, I returned his “kind” gestures by trying to start little conversations with him, asking him about his work, telling him about mine. The only thing I ever found out about his job was that 'It's busy.' As if I couldn't already tell what with the late nights and frantic text laying about his house.

It was after six months living with Stephan Foster that it happened. I'd saved up enough money to take my dream trip to South America, and I'd be gone for at least a couple of months. I quit my job, my confidence getting ahead of me. You'll make bucket loads in South America, I told myself. You'll sell your own artwork, or busk in the streets and become a local star, or teach English to Brazilians, or...or...

Or be stuck in a cold, cramped hostel and work part-time in a supermarket where you didn't know how to communicate to the locals. Now, I could say the trip wasn't ideal, and I didn't really make as much as I'd hoped- but I'd learned a lot of things by the end of it. One of them: I was completely and utterly broke. I returned back home, to of course, Stephan's flat. And none other than the man himself awaited me at the door. A smile flitted onto his face for half a second, and he asked me how my trip went.

Two hours later, we were both seated at the kitchen table, as I shared with him tale after crazy tale, only ever getting a weak chuckle or a phantom of a smile after each one. But that was enough for me. We weren't strangers any more. We knew each other. And although Stephan was a little too mysterious for my liking, and we had absolutely nothing in common...I liked him. And I don't think he particularly disliked me. He just pretended to, to mess with me. He'd talk obnoxiously loud about me when he had guests over to make sure I heard, then that night leave a couple drinks outside my door. Talk trash about my busted up old car, and the next month, not ask for the rent, and refuse to take it when I tried to give it to him. It was the first time since leaving home that I actually felt...Well, at home.

And then, of course, something went wrong.

It was ten months since I'd moved in with Stephan. I'd managed to pick up another job, working as a barrista, and my bubbly attitude got me more than enough tips to get by on my low wages. I returned home at eight o'clock, tired, but still pretty happy. I unlocked the door, and called out, but Stephan didn't call back. I shrugged, and presumed he was on one of his late nights again. My stomach groaned at me for nourishment, and I threw my key on the table in the hall and hung my jacket up, stretching and making my way into the kitchen. I froze in place when I saw a motionless body on the floor.

Stephan's body.

My heart started beating at twice its regular speed. Oh God...What had happened? Stephan wasn't one to get drunk, and he'd never told me anything about him having an issue with fainting. What if he'd had a seizure or something? Should I call an ambulance?

“Stephan?” I tried asking, softly, then a little louder. “Stephan? Buddy? You all good?” I got no response. I felt the fear squirm around in my chest, and ran to his side, kneeling by him. His head was turned away from me, into his side, his body on its back, his usually flawless blazer crumpled and creased around his chest. I noticed a small pool of blood around his head. Oh, Christ...Had he hit it? I took Stephan's head gently, and turned his face to mine. His head lolled limply over to me, eyes wide open and staring into nothing, and I recoiled and shrieked, grabbing the nearest phone and shakingly thumbing in the digits for the police. Stephan hadn't his his head...

There was a giant slit across his throat.
 
This is unfinished, wrote it from a short idea I had in school. Enjoy!

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