NEW YEAR'S NIGHT
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June 11, 2016 at 11:13 am #657593
DIDI LA PEZParticipant
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Dan had just moved back home with his parents. He
had been away for almost ten years. He and his
girlfriend broke up recently. He wanted to clear his
mind. Dan was twenty-five and did not mind living with
his parents again.
He worked at the hospital which was walking distance
from his parent’s place. But it wasn’t just the
convenience. He had missed his mother’s home
cooking and could help his parents care for the house
and the mortgage. After all he was their only child and
his parents were getting old. He slept in his childhood
room. On weekends and holidays he would hang out
with his dad in the basement. They would drink and
watch ball games. Just like old times.
After dinner Dan went for long walks around the
neighborhood. So many things had changed in the
neighborhood. His school friends had moved away.
There were newer, younger families. The School looked
the same though. As did the church and the cemetery
behind it. Although the manager of the cemetery had
passed away. Dan remembered how he and his friends
spent their time in the cemetery after dark and how the
old cemetery manager chased them away.
Dan’s mom was friends with the new cemetery
manager’s wife, Mrs. Hill. They visited each other’s
homes. The Hills had five daughters. They all visited
Dan’s parents on the weekends after the Sunday
One evening when Mr. and Mrs. Hill and the kids were
visiting his parents, Dan went to the graveyard. It felt
kind of sinister now, visiting the graveyard for no
reason. Not like when he and his friends spent hours
here at night telling each other spooky stories and
trying to scare each other.
He went outside and stood leaning on the railings of
the cemetery. There was a restaurant across the street
from the church. It was lit very brightly. He saw a young
blonde in the restaurant. She took a sip of her drink,
looked up and stared at Dan. Five minutes later she
was out there next to him asking him for directions.
She said she was not from here and was looking for a
job. She told him she got off the bus at the wrong stop.
Now she was looking for a place to spend the night
because it was late. She asked Dan if he knew of a
decent, reasonable place. Dan told her about the motel
that was about two blocks away and volunteered to
walk her there.
On the way she tried to walk close to Dan a few times.
He kept his distance. He was not ready for a
relationship yet. When they reached the motel she
said, “Thank you,” and paused. “Dan,” he said. “My
name is Dan.” He extended his hand. “Mine is Annie,”
she said and shook hands with him. “Good Night
Annie,” he said and quickly walked away.
The next day at the hospital Dan was at the cafeteria
checking his phone and eating his breakfast. He heard
someone say, “May I join you?” He raised his head and
saw Annie standing there with a tray. “Sure! What are
you doing here?” he asked. “Oh, I just came here to
check out the job postings,” she said. “The clerk at the
motel told me there was a job available at the hospital
cafeteria.” “I decided to have breakfast before I talk to
the manager.” “Well I am almost done and am late for
my rounds,” Dan said and excused himself.
It was a busy day. He forgot all about Annie.
As he walked back home in the evening, he bumped
into Annie again. “Did you get the job,” he asked. “They
tried me out today,” she replied, “I am afraid I wasn’t
any good.” “I’m looking for a place to crash tonight,”
she said. “What’s wrong with the motel,” he asked. “I
don’t have the money for the rent,” she said. Dan
checked his wallet and gave her a fifty dollar bill.
“Thanks,” she said and hurried away.
Dan was busy the next day. But on his way back he
heard Annie shout out to him, “Hi there!” “I got a job
and they advanced me some money,” she said. “Here’s
your fifty.” “Thanks,” Dan said. “Would you like to have
a drink with me,” she asked. “Why not,” he said and
they walked to the restaurant in front of the church.
After his first drink Dan noticed Annie was a pretty girl.
He asked her where she was from and wanted to know
all about her folks. She told him she was not on talking
terms with her family and did not want to get into it.
They both had a few drinks and Dan walked her to the
motel. He kissed her on her cheek and said, “Good
Night.” “Good Night,” she replied sweetly.
That night in bed Dan thought about Annie. She was all
alone in the city. That worried him.
They met for a few more evenings. Every time she just
appeared next to him at the same spot as he walked
home. They would have a few drinks, chat and he
would walk her back to the motel.
Slowly they started going out to the parks together.
Then to the movies. She would always politely refuse
when he asked her to come meet his parents.
As Christmas came the store windows on the way from
work were decorated. Dan noticed Annie loved to gaze
at the windows. “Window shopping,” she would say.
Dan invited Annie to come spend Christmas with his
family but she politely refused, saying she had made
plans to visit her friends back home. When Dan asked
about her friends and where back home was she
changed the topic. He made plans with her to meet on
New Year’s Eve. Dan spent Christmas with his parents.
Strangely he missed Annie. He waited eagerly for
On that morning he got a haircut and bought a gift for
Annie. He got her a pair of boots that he noticed her
eye in the shop window when they were strolling back
from work one evening. He wrapped up the box and
put his clothes out, showered and got ready for the
evening around 7 PM. He offered to come to the motel
and pick Annie up but she said she would meet him at
the restaurant opposite the church. So he walked to the
church and across to the restaurant. There she was.
Waiting for him. He thought she looked prettier today
with her hair up. He walked up to her and kissed her
on the cheek. They ordered their drink and talked
about how they each spent Christmas. Both tried to
hide their emotions and not mention to how much they
missed each other. Dan gave her the gift he had
brought for her. She quickly tore the wrapping, opened
the box and tried the boots. “They fit,” she exclaimed.
She stood up and walked up to the bar. “Perfect,” she
said when she strutted back to the table. “They are just
perfect,” she said and kissed Dan on his forehead. They
decided to go dancing. She left her old shoes right
there under the table, put her arm in Dan’s and said,
“Let’s go. I love dancing!”
They danced the whole night. At midnight when the
church bells rang, they kissed and Dan thought this was
the woman I was waiting for. They kept dancing.
Around 4 in the morning Annie said she was starved.
So they went back to the restaurant opposite the
church to eat. They sat at the same table. Annie said,
“Look my shoes are still here. This is a city with honest
people.” Annie ordered pancakes and Dan asked for
omelets. Annie finished her pancakes within five
minutes and excused herself to go to the ladies room.
Dan dreamily sipped his coffee waiting for her. An hour
passed but Annie was not back. He asked the waitress
to check the stalls. The waitress came back saying all
the stalls were empty.
Dan was surprised. He thought everything was going
well. He noticed her old shoes were still under the
table. He looked outside the window and could not see
her. He paid for the breakfast, took Annie’s old shoes
and left the restaurant. There were some people
outside the restaurant. He described Annie to them and
asked if they had seen her in the last hour. Nobody saw
anyone like that.
Then as Dan approached the church he saw an old man
smoking outside the church. “Looking for somebody,”
the man asked Dan. “Yes, a blonde. She’s about 5 feet 6
inches with a red dress,” he said. “Oh I saw her walk to
the graveyard,” the man replied.
Dan rushed to the graveyard. He did not see anyone
there. As he kept looking, he thought he smelt Annie’s
perfume. He followed the scent. Eventually he saw the
boots he had bought her on top of a grave that had an
angel on it. There was another grave exactly identical
next to it. He was furious. What kind of games was she
Dan slept all of the next day. When he woke up it was
four in the evening. His parents had gone out. He saw a
note saying, “gone to visit Mr. and Mrs. Hill.” He
checked the fridge and found some leftovers, warmed
them up and ate. After finishing his meal he quickly
dressed up and went to the graveyard. The boots were
still there on the grave. There was a note under one of
the boots. It said “Sorry buddy. Carol said I couldn’t get
the boys anymore. So I had to check it out myself!”
He moved the boots and looked at the tombstone.
Engraved on the tombstone was “Annie Isabel Hill. May
14, 1988 –January 1, 2005.” He looked at the tombstone
next to it. It had “Carol Alex Hill. May 14, 1988 –
January 1, 2005.”
Da called his mom. “Mom what were Mrs. Hill’s
daughters named,” he asked. “Annie and Carol,” his
mom said. “Could I come over to Mrs. Hill’s, “he asked
his mother. “Sure,” she said. “I am sure the Hill’s won’t
When he reached the Hill’s home. All five girls came to
the door and welcomed him. This was the first time he
visited them. They ushered him to the living room and
there on the piano he saw a framed photo of two
identical young ladies. They looked exactly like the girl
he danced with all night long. Dan could not believe his
eyes. He stood there staring at the photo. Mrs. Hill
walked over to him and whispered softly “my angels.
They passed away on new year’s eve two years ago in a
freak accident”.June 11, 2016 at 11:38 am #657609June 11, 2016 at 11:38 am #657610June 11, 2016 at 11:39 am #657611June 11, 2016 at 12:00 pm #657626June 11, 2016 at 1:25 pm #657724June 11, 2016 at 2:47 pm #657789June 11, 2016 at 5:22 pm #657926