The next morning Dave was awoken loudly to his alarm that he set at ten am, he didn’t sleep well, he could never sleep well in other people’s houses, he missed home even if he wasn’t sure what home was yet, he just knew that this wasn’t it. He washed up and then went downstairs expecting breakfast but instead the house was empty; laying on the kitchen table was a note that read “Dave, sorry you slept through breakfast but we didn’t want to wake you, there are some eggs in the fridge, feel free to cook yourself breakfast. We’ve gone to run errands, be back soon, Iris” Dave smiled and poured himself a cup of coffee that had already been brewed, he was never much of a breakfast eater, his stomach always bothered him in the morning and he usually didn’t even drink coffee but he needed something to wake up with. Dave sat down in the living room and turned on the television. It was a local news report about a local crime wave that hit the city and police officials inability to prevent crime in the area, there were protests and called for the police chief and mayor to resign after a series of armed robberies left several people dead. Dave sighed, it seemed like the world is falling apart and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop it, he thought.
The hours passed by and it was now 1 pm, he had been up for 3 hours already. Dave grew concerned as he didn’t think it would take that long to run errands and he had no phone or ability to contact Iris. Dave found a home phone and picked up but then realized that he didn’t have Iris’s number. Dave told himself to be patient and he sat down, found some DVDs and watched movies, trying to take his mind off of his worries until Iris and her parents came home, he was sure it would be soon. But by the time the movie was over, they were still gone, it was almost 4 pm, Dave didn’t know what to do. He was once again in a city that he didn’t know, staying in a stranger’s home with no way to contact them, he had no identification or memory of who he was, he was at the mercy of the people around him. Dave paced around the house, trying to figure out what to do next. Ok, it had only been 4 hours, no reason to panic but for some reason he had anxiety.
By the time 6 om rolled around and it was dusk, Dave was worried sick. He went out on the back porch to smoke a cigarette and suddenly noticed an older man in his backyard playing fetch with his dog. Dave called for the old man but he continued playing with the dog. Finally, the man looked up and acknowledged Dave. He slowly approached the fence with a smile on his face, Dave “Excuse me sir, do you know Jennifer and Bill that lives here? The old man pointed toward his ear and shook his head no. The man was deaf and trying to communicate in sign language but it was lost on Dave. The man motioned for someone in the house to come to the yard. A young teenage girl about 15, ran into the yard and spoke to the man in sign language as she signed, she spoke as said “ Yes, Grandpa what is it? Oh, he has a question?” The girl asked Dave “ What are you doing in this yard and why are trying to talk to my grandfather” “Well, I am staying with my friend and her parents and they left and haven’t come back yet, do you happen to know a phone number that I can contact them with?” said Dave. The girl’s face filled with confusion and said “ I don’t know who you are or if this is a joke but no one has lived here for years, I remember the family that lived here, they were nice and one day in the middle of the night, they packed up all their suitcases and left their house with everything in it, it was really weird” Dave was in shock and thought the young girl must have been pulling a prank on him or something, He said “ Listen, that can’t be true, my friend’s parents live here, I stayed with them last night and I don’t know why you would be saying all this” The teenage girl retorted “So, you are calling me a liar?” I don’t know you; I have no reason to lie to you, believe what you want” Suddenly the girl saw some neighbors passing by and yelled to get their attention. “Hey Mike, Joan, this guy here showed up at the Erikson’s old house saying that they still lived here and was friend’s with their daughter” Mike looked very puzzled and got closer to the fence and said “What are you talking about, Rebecca?: She replied, “Yeah this guy says he knows the Erikson’s” “What the hell,” said Mike. He turned to Dave and said “Look, I don’t know who you are and how you ended up here but the Erikson’s don’t live here and in fact, they only had one daughter and she died years ago and that is the reason they all left, it tore up the whole neighborhood up” “So whoever you are, it is beyond to cruel to come here and stir up past wounds, in fact, I’m tempted to call the police on you for trespassing” Dave visibly nervous said softly “I’m sorry I caused any trouble, I’ll be leaving now” Mike walked back toward his wife on the sidewalk, saying quietly “And don’t come back” When Dave turned around, Mike had a huge grin on his face and Rebecca quietly stifled a laugh as she ran inside.
Dave felt a wave of anxiety rise and questioned his own sanity. “Iris wasn’t real? He thought. Was he going mad? Dave didn’t know what to do, he didn’t want the cops there and knew he had no choice to leave but he had to at least get his stuff. He walked back inside and saw the phone with a missed call from the caller id and someone had left a message, Dave was confused as to why a house that seemed lived in and was receiving calls was said to be abandoned. I mean, it made no sense, he had amnesia but he wasn’t crazy and he was for certain that this wasn’t an episode of the twilight zone. Dave was hesitant to listen to the answering machine but maybe it was Iris and the neighbors were lying about her family and the missing child. “But why?” he said to himself. Clearly, he was stressed and overthinking, by this time it was 8 pm and still no one home. Dave finally hit the button on the answering machine…