I’ve just had an experience that I’m not sure was real or not. The blood on my hands suggests otherwise, but I’m still in too much shock to really think straight.
I have this friend Tracey, I’ve always been jealous of her as she’s drop dead gorgeous with a slim, tall, toned body, blonde hair the colour of sand and deep-set blue eyes that look like a storm is brewing within.
She’s the only one of my girlfriends that hasn’t settled down yet. Having two kids and husband of 10 years and not enough time to get down the gym or even wipe my ass has warped my body to a lumpy mess. I loathe my wide child-bearing hips, big ass, dirty coloured hair and tired, baggy eyes. I’m always been jealous of her and when we meet up she makes me look older than I should be.
Tracey invited me out for a coffee two weeks ago, and before the meet-up, I decided to go and get a manicure, after that I had my hair cut and went in search of an outfit to wear. I was determined to look my best.
The next day I put on my cute new clothes and makeup, gave Tom – my husband – a quick kiss and the kids before I headed out. The moment I stepped into the coffee shop I knew she had outdone me again without even trying. She looked stunning in a little black number that was better suited to a jazz bar than the grungy coffee shop, but she could wear a garbage bag and make it look great. A guy had just sat down at her table and was starting up a conversation when I walked over. Tracey bounced out of her seat and hugged me with a squeal of delight.
I looked at the young man as for an introduction, but she just smiled and leaned down to him as he looked up with a stupid grin on his face.
“My friends here now so, if you will excuse us?”
The guy’s smile faded, and I realised that he was trying to pick her up. I laughed a little at his discomfort, and Tracey picked up on it and burst out laughing too. The poor guy slumped off to his table defeated.
It felt terrific to see Tracey, and the jealousy fell away instantly as we continued to laugh and catch up on the things that had happened to us since we last saw each other. Tracey told me that she had just broken up with her banker boyfriend over some petty argument and was back on the market – as she liked to say. I really couldn’t keep up with her romances as she seemed to be on a new one every few weeks. The longest I think she had a relationship for was two months, but I could be wrong.
She told me about this dating app that appears to be all the rage with the youngsters. She called it Tinder. Apparently, you put up a profile and do something with swipes that I didn’t really understand, and the app matches you up with potential partners. It all sounded a little dangerous to me, and I expressed my opinion to Tracey. She agreed but really wanted to try it. She told me that she had already set up her profile and got a match.
She showed me a picture of her date, a guy called Jake, and I was surprised to see a well-groomed man staring back at me. To say he was handsome would have been an understatement. Dark, smoldering eyes captured my attention, and even when I flickered to his chiseled chin and small thin smile, I found myself springing back to them. I passed the phone back to her and blew out my cheeks.
After discussing what the night might be like we settled on pre-writing a few different text messages, each for a different outcome.
One to let me know that everything was going well and not to worry. Another for me to call her so she could make her excuses and leave, and a final one for me to call the police and get to her as quick as possible. We laughed a little at the last one, and I teased that it would probably be the one Tracey would use.
I had just finished cooking dinner when I got a text from Tracey and rushed to the phone to see which text she had sent. To my surprise and relief, it was the first message. She was currently enjoying her and I was not to worry. After I had cleaned up after the family, I poured myself a glass of wine and relaxed on the sofa. Tom was snoring slightly, and I marveled at how lucky I was to have found my man early and hadn’t had to worry about the dating game anymore.
The next day I called Tracey to hear all about the date and – not to my surprise – the activities that followed. I found myself smiling and blushing when she told me all about how he was a gentleman throughout dinner and how wild he was in bed. We agreed to meet the next day for coffee and a potential shopping trip as the kids needed new clothes.
The problem was that Tracey never showed. I tried calling, but she didn’t answer so as a last resort I dropped the kids to Tom and went to her home. She lives on the second floor of a small complex of six apartments. As I approached the door, the smell of pizza hung heavy in the air as if I had just missed the delivery boy. I knocked on the door, and Tracey’s voice sounded from behind.
“It’s me,” I called.
I heard her shuffle to the door and pulled at the latch. When the door swung open, I grabbed at the wall to steady my legs. Tracey looked horrible. Her hair was lank and greasy, and her face was pasty white and clammy like she had been sick for days. But, what really shocked me was a small pot belly poking out from her tight care bear pajama top.
I couldn’t believe what I was seeing as Tracey crammed pizza into her mouth. I voiced my concern, but she just shook it off and said that she felt like she had the flu or something ,because she was always hungry and felt drained all the time. She didn’t let me in her apartment because she said it was a mess and reassured me that she would be all right in a few days and that all she needed was rest. I told her to call me if she needed anything and left.
That was two days ago, and this afternoon she called me in a panic. The fear in her voice made me drop the vase I was carrying, and it shattered around my feet. Tom was at work, and the kids were at school, so I grabbed my bag and ran to the car. Ten minutes later I was banging on her door.
She didn’t answer so I tried the handle expecting it to be locked but it opened, I took a deep breath before pushing at the door. The heat and smell hit me as if Floyd Mayweather had just stepped up and punched me square in the face. The pungent decay of rotting food and something else made me cover my nose with my hand. As I walked through the apartment I could hear Tracey’s labored breathing; I first thought that maybe she was doing some exercises to shift the belly she had gotten from the illness. But as I crunched yet another fast food container with my foot I knew that something was amiss.
Tracey had always taken care of her appearance and was incredibly house proud too, so I was shocked to see that the apartment looked in such an abysmal state. All the curtains were closed, and everywhere I looked I saw sweet wrappers, old food containers, and plastic bottle, and the heat was starting to become unbearable until I rounded the corridor to the living room and saw Tracey squatting by the couch. The air escaped my lungs as if an elephant had stepped on my chest.
I initially thought that someone else had taken over Tracey’s home until my friend looked up at me with tearful eyes. Her stomach had swollen so much that she looked like she was in the later stages of pregnancy, I’ve had friends that have had twins, and they looked small compared to Tracey. I couldn’t wrap my head around the size of her belly; it seemed truly bizarre. I rushed to her side, and she held out a hand toward me but snapped it back to her swollen stomach, and she groaned in pain.
Her care bear pajama top had been forced up by her belly. The skin around her bugle stretched so taut that it appeared dry and flaky and almost as if it would tear. I didn’t know what to say or do and stood like a zombie until she grabbed at my sleeve and pleaded for me to help. I couldn’t think, couldn’t breathe as I watched her stomach move as something moved within. Tracey screamed, and I stumbled back falling hard on my ass. I watched my friend in dismay as a face pressed against her skin; I could clearly see the outline of the chin and eye sock.
Tracey panted heavily and screwed up her face in pain. As she let out a shrill scream, my blood froze as her eyes rolled back to whites and her head tilted back to the ceiling. She clawed at her clothes and torn off her pajama top. Her breasts were enormous and swollen just like her belly. Without her clothes her stomach looked even more grotesque, she screamed again as a small tear appeared at her breastbone.
I watched in horror as the skin tore apart and two hands push through, the rip reached down to her pubic hair as the arms stopped and a slimy black head followed. I kicked back from the floor as Tracey groaned and slumped to the side. The child thing landed on the ground in a pool of blood, and amniotic fluid. My eldest son is seven years old, and I swear this thing was bigger than him. I didn’t think my blood could freeze anymore until the child thing moved than sat up.
As it combed fingers over its bald head, a noise startled me into turning around. Jake, Tracey’s tinder date stood smiling in the doorway. He extended a hand out forwards me, and I scurried back into the TV unit. I started to cry and whimper as a wet smash made me turn again to the child thing. It had gotten to its feet and stumbled its way over the dirty wooden floor toward Jake. When it reached him, it took his hand and it’s leg grew steadier. Jake looked up from his child and smiled at me, the same thin smile that Tracey had shown me four days ago. Jake winked and turned around, and they slowly walked down the hall and out of the building.
I sat there for what seemed like years trying to comprehend what had just happened until a small gasp sounded by the corridor. I instantly shrank back in fear that Jake had come back but it was the old lady who lives across the hall from Tracey. She called the police, and when they came, I had to relive the whole traumatic event over again.
The police have said that they are looking into the case and with Tracey’s phone and camera at the restaurant, they may have enough to find this Jake and bring him in for the murder of my friend. I not too sure if the police will ever find Jake because after what I saw I don’t think he’s of this world or even from it.