8 in Stepping into Psycho

  • June 26, 2022, 3:40 p.m.
  • |
  • Public

Carissa sat on the couch staring out the window the following weekend. She felt a mix of emotions, none of which were good. She felt trapped, she felt hopeless, and now she felt depressed.

“Hey,” said Flora, jarring her out of her thoughts. “What’s up, babe?”

“Well,” Carissa began hesitantly, “I’m not exactly happy with you at the moment.”

“Aw, why is that?” Flora said in a part whiny, part seductive voice Carissa had come to know was meant to manipulate her. Especially when she wanted intimacy.

“I told you why. You’re smothering me. I appreciate all that you do for me, but I would like to have a life as well, and that includes friends of my own.”

“Okay, how about this?” Flora’s tone turned serious yet not angry. “Why don’t we go on a little drive together today and then you can come back and make all the friends you want.”

Carissa looked at Flora, wondering what the catch might be. “What drive? To where?”

“I thought maybe we could go out to eat and then I have to go to someone’s house.”

As they were pulling out of the driveway not much later, Carissa asked, “Where are we going to eat and who are we going to see?”

“What are you in the mood for?” Flora asked pleasantly, keeping her eyes on the road.

Carissa considered her options and realize she really wasn’t very hungry to begin with. Flora had a way of snuffing her appetite lately. “I don’t know,” she finally said. “I’ll pick my friends but you can surprise me with the food.”

Flora agreed, reminding her once again that her only hesitation about friends was that she didn’t want to see her screwed over or taken advantage of in any way. While Carissa told her she understood her concern and that she would be as careful as possible and exercise her best judgment, she believed Flora’s primary issue was really jealousy. She didn’t want anybody coming between them or stealing their time together. So much so that she noticed that Flora was seeing less and less of her own friends as it was.

Flora took them to an Italian restaurant and it was pretty good. Flora had a spaghetti dinner while she had tortellini. They didn’t talk much while they ate, but as they sipped their coffee afterward, Carissa said, “You didn’t tell me who we were going to see after we leave here.”

“Just someone who screwed over a very good co-worker of mine.”

Carissa felt her heart rate speed up. “Uh… should I be worried?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, I don’t know the situation but it sounds like you may have revenge in mind.” Carissa thought Flora might get angry or defensive. Instead, she flashed a grin. That knowing kind of grin that suggested she definitely had trouble in mind.

Flora finished her coffee and popped a stick of sugarless gum in her mouth. She offered her a stick which she declined.

“So what happened and what are you going to do?”

“You’ll see.”

“I don’t want to see. I want to know and then see.”

Flora’s eyes flashed her a warning. “You’re getting pushy again.”

“And you’re getting worrisome again. You want to be a couple, so if we’re a team then we shouldn’t be keeping anything from each other, should we?”

“Oh,” Flora said in mock surprise, “is that how it works?”

“Isn’t that how you want it to work? Or am I only supposed to be sharing everything with you?”

Flora studied her a moment. Finally, she said, “Do you remember Nurse Arabella?”

Carissa nodded.

“She was in the breakroom and when she went to use the bathroom she left her laptop open and sitting on the table. She was on Facebook and another coworker, a guy that takes care of stocking supplies, saw some nasty comments she left on her wall in regards to him and one of the supervisors. He took a picture of it with his cellphone, gave it to the supervisor and got her fired over it.”

“How terrible! So much for freedom of speech.”

“Yeah, there’s no such thing in this country,” Flora said dubiously.

“But how can they legally do that to her? Was the post even public?”

“Nope.”

“God, that really sucks. Nurse Arabella was a good nurse and a nice lady.”

“Yeah, she was.”

“But what can you do about it that she can’t? Go over and beat him up?”

“Better. Come on, let’s go.”

Wordlessly, they made their way to the car, Carissa still worried about what may transpire. “Please don’t do anything illegal that could get you arrested.”

“Don’t worry about it, babe. Remember, life is about taking chances and living in the moment.”

“Yeah, look where that once got me,” Carissa said.

The sun was setting as Flora guided the car onto the road. When she didn’t offer up any more information Carissa asked, “So where are we going?”

“Just a little way beyond city limits.”

“But what exactly are you going to do?”

“Carissa, why don’t you just sit tight and relax?”

Now Flora was getting angry. Carissa could tell but she knew there would be no point in trying to find out any more until it was too late much less try to talk her out of doing whatever it was she was about to do. She felt her own anger growing as well.

She was sorry for Nurse Arabella. She was a great nurse and she’d always been very friendly and professional. But why should it be Flora’s responsibility to get involved in a way she knew she probably shouldn’t? Carissa was more worried about herself, to be honest. She was more concerned with being implicated in anything than she was concerned with Flora going to jail. Then again, Flora going away for a long vacation may actually be a good thing as it would give her a chance to get away. How she would get away, she didn’t know, but it would give her the opportunity to find out if Flora wasn’t around to get in the way of things. So fine. Let her get her ass in trouble as long as she didn’t take her down with her.

They drove a little while longer and then Flora pulled the car over to the side of a residential street. Before Carissa could say anything, Flora told her to stay put. She then grabbed something from the back seat that she couldn’t see and went around to the back of the car.

My God, Carissa thought a moment later. She’s covering the license plate.

Flora got back inside the car. Her hair, ever so slightly past her shoulders, was now gathered back in a ponytail. She drove another block, pulled her hoodie over her head and told her to wait in the car.

Carissa felt her heart begin to flutter as she watched Flora exit the car and reach for something else in the backseat. It wasn’t until she stepped in front of the car that Carissa could see that it was a can of paint.

“This can’t be good,” Carissa said aloud.

She watched the nurse walk about fifty feet ahead of them to a sporty-looking silver car. Painted on the car in blood-red letters was its make, a Subaru. It was parked at the side of the road. She quickly poured a can of what looked like bright yellow paint over the car, concentrating on the windshield and driver’s door.

Carissa watched with dumbstruck horror. She couldn’t believe her eyes. She just couldn’t. She would never have guessed Flora to be the type to have it in her to do such a thing whether the guy deserved it or not. It went to show that no matter how comfortable you may feel with someone initially, you could never really truly know them.


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