4 The Burden I Carry...(Joey)

I grab a mop and a bucket from the storage room. The same I'm forced to carry when this happens. When he makes it happen…

I sigh, filling the bucket water with the kitchen faucet.

Ok. I'm ready.

I start pacing outside the apartment and into the motel. Everything's quiet. So I'm guessing it's done. A quiver runs down my spine as I climb the stairs to the man's room. The bucket of water is heavy and it takes a while for me to reach the first floor.

"We can really use elevators." I mutter, heaving with the effort.

When I finally reach the room, I take out my mask. I just can't handle the stench. Slowly, the door creaks open as I gently push it, revealing the horrors inside.

I gag in my mouth. Ugh.

The room is a mess. Blood splattered on the walls and on the floors. The ornaments are broken. And some even have blood on them as well. I stare at my surroundings.

That guy really put up a fight, huh?

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That brings a dark smile on my face. I hope he tried to fight back. I hope the man resisted. I hope the man hit him so hard that he got hurt.

I can only hope.

I place the bucket on the floor, grasping tightly at the mop.

This may take a while…

I dump the mop in the water, soaking it completely. I want this cleaned up before I go to school, so that when I come back, I'll be able to study for the English exam. I hate learning grammar. I honestly wouldn't care less about it. I can speak English, so who cares about the rest? But apparently this town – not matter how much shitty – cares about education. Or at least tries to.

It takes about fifteen minutes to clean the floors, the large puddle of blood was the hardest part though. There was a trail of it leading to a wall at my left. It's not really a wall. It's a sliding door. I don't know how he opens it up. But I'm certain it's where he keeps all the…all those bodies. I don't even want to know what happens in there.

Secretly, I'm glad I'm not the one to dispose the body. Call it a small blessing, but I won't argue about it.

This is the first time there's blood painted on the wall. I don't have anything I can clean it with. I frown, looking at the dirty brownish-red water in the bucket.

Shrugging, I start rubbing at the walls with the bloody mop. This won't work, but I don't have a choice.

Sometimes, I think to myself while laying in my bed and staring at the ceiling, I wonder why I didn't hesitate that night. I wonder why I offered to help him. I wonder why I was so willing to let the monster go closer to its prey?

Wasn't it better for him to kill me?

And why did he agree?

Why did he not kill me when he had a chance to? Am I really that useful for him? Or did he pity me? No...He can't feel for others. Maybe he enjoys it.

Enjoys seeing me quiver away from him. Enjoys how I sulk and regret after I lure the victim towards him. He feeds off it.

Maybe he wanted it to be this way? Maybe he killed someone with such a noise, hoping for me to wake up. Hoping that I'll find out about it.

Did he want this?

It disgusts me, you know. I let him kill people. I help him kill them. I don't have any blood on my hands...But somehow I just feel like I'm worse than him...I'm a coward.

I should have reported about him to the police. I should have let them deal with this. I don't think he's a serial killer. He needs help. He's mentally disturbed.

My eyes widen when I realize that if I rub vigorously, the stains on the walls really do fade away. My arm's aching a bit because of it but at least it's worth it.

I want to run away from here. I really want to. I have a reason to. A right to. But he watches me like a hawk. Somehow he knows my every move. He's got people watching me wherever I go. The only problem is, I don't know who are 'his' people. That's why I don't talk much. You never know when you're trusting your enemy.

So I can't run. I can't hide. But...

I'm not as strong as him. He won't let me be. But what if...what if the one he's killing is stronger than he is? A person who can defend himself?

I brought that man because I thought he was a bit...thicker than him. But I was wrong.

Ever since I started 'helping', I'm trying to find someone brawnier than him...

My search goes on...

I fall on the floor, worn out as I wipe the sweat off my brow. I stare at the mop and the bucket and then, at the room. No trace or evidence to show anything ever happening here. Just the way he wants it.

I get up, taking off the mask and shoving it inside my hoodie's pocket.

Time for school. I look at my wrist watch . I've only got an hour left.

I walk out of the room and back to my apartment through the reception.

I go to my bedroom, and change into cleaner clothes. I brush my teeth and run my hands through my hair several times to get them away from hiding my eyes. Grabbing my backpack and my assignments from the study table, I head outside with the keys. I open the front door and just as I do, there he is, standing in front of me with this eeriness in his dark eyes. And all of a sudden, I start shivering.

He gazes down at me, harshly.

I grit my teeth, trying to control the fear I was feeling.

There's a long silence before he says,

"Move."

Within a flash, I step aside for him to enter. I look down at his hand, to see he was holding the rose I got earlier.

Whenever I bring his victim. I also bring a rose. He says it's for him to keep up with the number. He pastes them in an album book. He collects them. He isn't normal, is he?

That sends chills down my back.

He doesn't say anything, so I start to move away from him, already mumbling that I'm probably going to be late for school if I don't hurry.

"That man…"

I freeze when I hear him talk.

"Yes, sir?" I ask, turning my neck but not the whole way around, gripping tightly at my bag. Yes…I know. I call him 'sir'. What else am I supposed to call him?

He looks at me, bluntly, but I still feel a threat.

"That man, He was quite… hard to handle." The way he says it…I despise how casually he says it.

"Was he?" I mutter, trying to keep my composure.

But my head is rushing.

He found out...

Did he find out?

No. no. I never gave him a chance to find out.

Did i?

"You don't seem surprised." Now he's starting to walk towards me.

I gather the guts to face him.

"Is it really a big deal?" I say.

That menacing look…

"Did you know he was strong?" He asks, eyes not blinking, "Did you know he was capable of doing this?" As he says this, he rolls up his sleeve to reveal a gash on his arm. A deep one.

For the first time, I feel myself lighten up.

I feel like I won.

I small victory. But still..

He gapes at me.

I look at him, trying my best to take nothing in. Feel nothing.

When I'm bringing a person to him. I always tend to act the way that person wants me to. If he or she wants to be helped by someone friendly. I do that. If he or she wants someone rough, I can do that too.

I guess, by now, I'm the better actor.

"You're not…" He whispers, "You're not trying to act smart, are you?"

I stare at him. "Can I ever be smarter than you?"

That lowers the heat. He clears his throat, leaning closer to my face, "Never try and act like you're better than me. Never say it or think it. Just do what you have to do."

I scowl, clenching my fists, "Isn't that what I'm always doing?"

He smirks, "Just remember: I'm watching you. I know your every step." He stands up straight and turns away from me. I'm just about to do the same when he says, raising the rose in the air.

"By the way, this rose is too…light for my liking. Next time be careful to choose a darker one."

He closes the door behind him.

But I still stand there, lowering my head to whisper,

"I'll make sure to never keep that in mind…"

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