How I Live Now

Day 50

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Day 50


Matias slept most of the evening until he woke up early, around 6PM, thirsty, looking for a drink. I must have drifted off not long after finishing my entry last night; nothing else got jotted down, and I don't recall moving from the chair either. I woke up because Matias was moaning as he tried to sit up on the mattress. Evident that he was in agony from the now presumably cracked rib, I offered to fetch a glass of water from the kitchen faucet. If he moved as little as possible, it would help with his healing, and it wouldn't be as torturous.


As Matias drank, he kept peering over the tip of the glass, his eyes brooding. He must have sweated profusely over the night because he looked a mess. His face looked greasier than usual, and all that tawny hair was lopsided. Seeing him with messy bed hair was like… an instant turn-on. Draining the glass, he let it dip, and he smirked at me. When his dangerous smirks and smiles are projected my way, they instantaneously turn me into a mush of emotions. Even the simplest functions are hard to comprehend; all I can do is beam back like one of the bedlamites, who is one sandwich short of a picnic.


I didn't mind in the slightest watching over him; there is something neat about Matias sleeping. It's like he can't cause more problems, but at the same time, he's safe. Both are equal positives as nothing can go wrong. Plus, I wouldn't have been able to stomach working; I'd have Matias on my mind all day, wondering if he'd be in pain. Also, it would suck if I came home to find that he had left. The apartment halls were silent, the occasional tap dripping, and the eerie subtleness of a quiet place would creep up with savage torment. After the smack I got from the SUV, my hip has been incredibly sore. It didn't cause me agony, but now it's tender, and I'm waiting for a bruise to show up. The Copeland woman got me good with her reckless driving. It all went sideways so quickly; it's crazy to think about it at all.


Why was that kid… eh… Austin even home?


What a fucking stupid bit of blind faith; now things have gone from bad to terrible. I wonder what Salvatore will do now that he's learned about the screwup. All the waiting for Matias seemed like a dream until he woke up, and the first sentence out of his mouth was a question.

“Did Salvatore contact you?” Matias added, trying to stifle his pain.

I guessed; Matias clearly looked distraught, realizing what would be coming our way. I don't know what that something is, but eventually, it can't be anything good.

“No… I just brought you here. You slept for a few hours,” I said.

Matias sighed; he immediately regretted it, grimacing in the process.

“I better… Ah…” Matias began, attempting to stand, but he fell back to bed. The mattress wobbled with his body weight, similar to a boat on a docile lake when the wind suddenly took up.

"Take it easy…," I mumbled, shooting from the chair I fell asleep in.

Matias grimaced, "I… I need to call my mom. Let her know where I am… and I… I just wanna know that they are okay."

Somehow, I sort of understood. Yet, what I didn’t understand was his sudden fear for his family, and it somehow rubbed off on me.

"What do you mean, to find out if they are okay? I asked.

Matias cast me a questioning stare, then peered down at the balled-up bedsheets under him to escape. His hand went to the sensitive area on his chest, almost afraid to touch it and wanting to hold it to make the pain disappear.

Matias's eyes gazed ahead; a pleading look of insecurity lingered in them.

Matias said, "I dunno… I just… we… If Salvatore can't find where we are, he'll go after people we know."

I helped Matias pulled his cell phone from his pocket, he winched once again. Seeing that his phone died at some point, I went looking for my charging cable. Thankfully, both charging ports on our phones are USB C, so I plugged his phone in, and when he booted it up, there were four or five missed calls and a few messages. He read over some of them, most of them sent earlier today. The IMs showed some concern by his family, his mother asking if Matias was okay and to come home. Yet this was before the large bundle of messages came in a bunch around lunch. There were some missed calls by Hudson, and even a voicemail, so Matias decided to listen to it on loudspeaker. It wasn't the contents of the message that unsettled me, but how Hudson happened to be whispering, apparently nervous.




You have one new message:

At: 12:47 PM

By: 077 555 3321


“Matias… A man is at the front door looking for you. He won’t stop calling your name. I didn’t open up, but he won't go away. I'm alone… Mom is gone to the corner store for milk, and I don’t know what to do. She left her phone on the kitchen table. I... I called the police from her phone, but…."


There was a pause; Hudson audibly gulped, then swallowed saliva. The banging that followed the silence drew us closer to the mobile. We both wondered what the pounding sound was coming from, and then Hudson filled in the blank.


"Shhittt… He… they're trying to break down the door

," Hudson cried.


It seemed like Hudson dropped his cell phone but then picked it back up. Some woman started talking on Hudson's end, and I assumed it was an emergency dispatch caller.


“They’re trying to get in the house, right now?” the dispatcher asked.


"Yes. I can hear them. They are banging on the door. Trying to get in," Hudson responded, his voice barely above a whisper.



“Yes,” the dispatcher said, more so a mumble. She was a woman for sure, and it sounded like she was typing on a keyboard.


Stillness ensued as the typing in background filtered in from the dispatcher’s end, and the panicked breathing of Hudson crept in, almost as if he was in the same room as us.


“Okay. Can you see them? Sweetie, can you see them?" The dispatcher asked.


“No…” Hudson murmured.


“Do you think they have weapons? Are they trying to kick in the door?” The dispatcher said.


I was getting a little agitated as I listened along. What part of… 'man kicking in the door means they are not?' If Hudson said somebody was kicking the door, I believed him. Yet, what kid calls up, asking for help with an excuse of a door being broken down?


"I don't know…," Hudson added, panting heavily.


“Ok, I know this is difficult, but are they still trying to kick the door open? The dispatcher asked.


"I don't know, and I think they might be inside," Hudson said, his voice almost inaudible.


It made my blood go cold. Salvatore was going to pay for this, and although I don't know-how, he will be begging for mercy by the end. How could he swoop so low and target Matias’s family?


There was a crash further off in the background, and Hudson’s breathing accelerated.


“Do you hear them in the house?” the dispatcher asked.


“Yes,” Hudson whispered.


“Do you hear them? Where do you hear them? The dispatcher said.


“I… I ca… t…,” Hudson stuttered.


“Ok, don’t worry. We have officers on the way,” the dispatcher announced.


There was quiet, some ruffling on the other end. Maybe Hudson moved in the closet, attempting to get further back in among the clothes and plush toys.


“Does it sound like they are in the bedroom with you?” the dispatcher added.


“No, in the kitchen?” Hudson responded, his voice squeaked.


“Okay, sounds like they are in the kitchen. Can you tell how many there are?” The dispatcher said, and some more typing perused on her end of the line.


“No…” came Hudson’s response.


“Do you have any weapons at home they can get access to?” Hudson muttered.


“No…” Hudson wheezed.


I glanced across at Matias, wondering if he had any guns or drugs stored in his home.


"Okay, the police are almost on the scene. Just stay on the line with me, and I will let you know what the police want you to do, okay,” the dispatcher said.


“Ok…” Hudson said.


“Do not hang up. If you have to, don’t say anything, but just leave the line open, alright?” the woman said.


“Okay… I hear them coming,” Hudson whispered.


“Okay…” the dispatcher added, her voice monotone and calm.


Hudson let a sigh of relief go; it must have meant they didn't enter his room.


“Are they still in the house…” the dispatcher asked after a moment of silence.


“Yea…” Hudson claimed.


We heard some destruction happening. The intruders might have been smashing up Matias's home to send a message. I took this time to peer over at Matias, and he looked worried; he was on the verge of crying, his eyes darting back and forth in his head. All of this seemed to be a lot to take in.


“Ok, and how old are you?” the dispatcher asked.


Our eyes went back to the cell phone.


“I’m almost 12…,” Hudson stated.


“Ok, just a moment, okay,” the dispatcher responded.


“Ok…” Hudson added, his voice full of stress, but the stillness between the dispatcher and Hudson added more worry and anticipation.


“And you’re home by yourself?” the dispatcher said.


“Yes…” Hudson whimpered.


“Ok…” There was typing again on the other end.


Hudson’s end grew inaudible for a second, but I could still hear the dispatcher. It must have been a ping on somebody's GPS as to where Hudson was hiding. If we could hear her voice from our end of the line, it must have sounded like a goddamn speaker on Hudson’s end. Hudson began whispering again, but it was difficult to make out any words. The dispatcher also had a problem understanding Hudson, so it wasn't just us.


“I’m sorry, what? The police are outside. Just one moment. Stay on the phone with me,” the dispatcher said.


“Ok,” Hudson said.


“They’re here…” Hudson whispered.


“Ok. Does your closet door have a lock on it? Can you lock yourself in?” the dispatcher asked.


The conversation drew us in like a lion getting ready to pounce on its prey. Every sound was amplified, and with every breath and bang on Hudson's end, he edged us closer to the phone, hoping he'd be okay. I felt like jumping up and running all the way to Matias's house to help Hudson, but perhaps that's what Salvatore wanted.


“No, no, no, no,” Hudson whispered in panic.


There was a second silence, then I heard what sounded like the closet door opening.


"Please don't hurt me…," Hudson sobbed.


There was a silence, then the dispatcher cleared their throat.


“Did they open the door? Did they see you?” the dispatcher asked.


“He’s not here. We have company,” some man said.


There was a thick silence on Hudson’s end.


“Yes, help me,” Hudson replied.


“Ok…” the dispatcher added.


Why wasn't anybody helping Hudson? Where was the police this emergency call dispatcher promised?


“What do I do? What do I do?” Hudson repeated, and the panic rubbed off on Matias. Matias crawled off the bed and began to pace the room, holding his hand on his side to stem the pain.


“Ok, did they leave?” the dispatcher asked.


"Yes... Oh my god… Oh my god... I don't know what to do,” Hudson murmured.


“Okay, just stay put… don’t hang up,” the dispatcher said.




“Are you still in the closet in your bedroom?” the dispatcher asked.


“I’m still in the closet,” Hudson said.


It was good that he was still talking; maybe that meant they left. They didn't hurt him.




“Do the officers see them?” Hudson whispered.


Thank god… he finally asked the question I was hoping to hear.


“Ok, the police are looking for them. I want you to stay right where you are. I’ll let you know what the officers want you to do, okay? The dispatcher said, again with that robotic voice. Is that a thing they have to do? They can't panic or show emotion, so you don't panic even more?


“Ok,” Hudson answered.




That’s when Hudson hung up on his brother, and I’ll admit, I felt annoyed and certainly panicked for the little guy. Matias' paced around for a while longer, and he rechecked his cell phone to see what time the call was made. We listened to the recording again, then Matias decided to text his mom.



“Mom… is Hudson okay? Are you all okay?”


His mother sent back a message moments later.



"We are okay, honey. Are you okay? Are you in some kind of trouble? I'm not mad; just let me know that you are safe?”


That message was a few minutes ago, and well, we are still trying to decide what to send back to his mother. I think going back to his home would be a bad move, plus it might be a good idea to get out of Doug's apartment. So, I'm going to pack some stuff again. I'm not sure what’s going on, but we don’t think we should stay here. So, I’m just going to see how things turn out.


Talk soon,




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