Short Story: The Pact

She watched her boyfriend Peter push the door open and walk into his best friend John’s house. The door was slightly ajar which made her stomach feel hollow. Remembering the haunting and creepy texts he had sent Peter earlier and now finding the door open at three in the morning didn’t give her any comfort at all.

She followed Peter as he called out, “John!” over and over again.

They went through the first door on the right into the living room.

‘John!?’ Peter said again, and again no reply came.

They walked back out through the door they had come from and turned right to head down the hallway. There were only two rooms left, the bathroom and John’s room.

Peter walked up to John’s door and reached for the handle. Something sharp dropped in her stomach and she nearly made to stop him, but she just stood back and watched.

The door opened, Peter’s large body disabling her from seeing the entire scene before them. But it wasn’t the scene that shocked her most. It was the noise coming from Peter as he slumped to his knees revealing John’s full body floating in mid air. At least, it looked like it was floating until she focussed in on the white power cable attached to the ceiling beams and wrapped about John’s neck.

The deep, harrowing and full body sobs coming from Peter sounded more animal than they did human. Her stomach wretched as she watched Peter’s giant body go weak at the agony of discovering his best friend like this.

She wondered why Peter didn’t attempt to bring John down until she saw the ashy blue tone of John’s skin; it was far to late for that now.

The bed was unmade, had no sheets and was stained from various spilled drinks, and given the marks that lined John’s cold arms, probably blood as well.

The room smelt musty and old like it hadn’t been cleaned or even tended to in a long time and paper was strewn all over the ground.

She realised now that these “lazy” and “careless” behaviours should have all been warning signs.

By now she was already on the phone with emergency services, one arm around Peter and trying to hear what they were saying through the still heavy animalistic sobs.

His sobs had grown weaker but still made her stomach twist as she heard each one.

Her stomach twisted even more when she glimpsed the lines that marked Peter’s wrists and forearms as the sleeves of his jacket moved up his arms with each anguished cry.

Was Peter more “lazy” and “careless” than usual lately? She thought. Is he displaying the same warning signs as John was?

Her concern for John completely replaced by her concern for Peter as she now realised that something like this might be what would push him over the edge. His mental health had always been an issue but she never worried that he would actually take his own life. But now seeing, and feeling, his deep agony at losing his one and only best friend made worry erupt within her.

‘The police and ambulance are on the way.’ She said.

Peter didn’t reply. He didn’t even acknowledge that he had heard her.

‘Peter…” she said while wrapping both arms around his large back.

Still, Peter gave no indication that he was aware of her presence at all.

All at once, Peter stopped sobbing, stood up and left the room. His eyes glazed over and he didn’t even look in her direction.

He walked straight out the front door, down the driveway and then started walking down the pitch-black street.

There were no streetlights in John’s area so without using some external light source, like a phone, Peter wouldn’t be able to see anything. Yet, he walked.

She trailed behind him calling out his name while shining her phone light in his direction.

‘Peter! Stop, please!’ she pleaded with him, but he made no effort to stop or slow down. There was nothing to gauge whether he was even hearing her at all.

She tried pulling on his arms and coat but he was so big it didn’t slow him down at all.

Peter walked for several minutes until he came to a small park with some monkey bars. She remembered this park from when they first met. Peter and John used to do pull ups on the bars here for exercise when they were younger.

Finally Peter stopped walking and sat on a bench underneath the bars.

He looked down and pointed to a small picture carved on one of the benches’ planks of wood. The picture looked like a circle with a line above it. In the middle were initials PS and JT. She guessed they were Peter and John’s initials, Peter Smith and John Trackson. Underneath the small picture were the letters SP.

Peter moved his forearm next to the picture so that one of his scars was next to his initials.

‘This is where we did it.’ Peter said.

‘Did what Peter? You’re scaring me.’

‘This is where we made the blood pact.’

The picture was now starting to make sense. Not as a circle with a line but rather a badly carved noose. She went cold.

What pact Peter?’

‘The suicide pact. This is where we mixed blood and promised that if one of us goes than the other must go too.’

‘Peter, NO! You must have only been in your teens then. You were children! You’re in your thirties now. Surely this doesn’t mean anything. Please.’

Peter looked up from the carving and looked her in the eyes. His eyes full of compassion, but also a knowing. A knowing that she would never understand, and she wouldn’t. And he got up and walked away.

She pleaded with him and cried to him and tried to hold him back. But he merely removed her grip every time. She yelled that she loved him and screamed that if he loved her he would stop doing this. But he continued walking back to the car and locked himself inside of it.

She screamed, she called the police and she bashed on the car window. She picked up a rock from the gutter and tried to smash the same window. But he wouldn’t stop.

Then finally, Peter turned his head to look at her, smiled sadly, and drove away.

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