Closer Ch. 06


Kim drove with the small sound of the car’s radio keeping her company. She was so exhausted and the ride to her small apartment seemed like it was taking forever. She mindlessly tapped her fingers against the steering wheel to the tune on the radio. Anything to keep herself from nodding off while the car was in motion. Finally, she thought as she pulled up to the building. She rushed out of the car and was barely able to walk upstairs, but she mustered all her strength and got to her floor. I hate those stairs, she told herself.

She could hear the hallelujah chorus in her head singing when she finally got inside of the apartment. She quickly undid her shoelaces and kicked off her shoes. A powerful yawn rocked through her as she made her way into the bathroom. God, she just needed a nice, hot shower. If the hot water was even working this evening. She turned on the shower and climbed inside, sighing at the comforting feel of the warm water. Just what the doctor ordered, she thought to herself.

Work had been a complete bitch today. Well, her boss was a complete bitch today. Kim believed he actually enjoyed making the employees suffer. Tom was crazy and there was nothing they could do about it considering his father was the owner of the store they worked at. She would just have to suck it up and deal with his little power trips until a better opportunity came along. Work had completely wiped her out and she wasn’t even able to see Anita, who seemed to be wasting away.

Kim hadn’t even lathered up her favorite body wash when she suddenly heard a noise coming from somewhere in the apartment. Her imagination? No, because she suddenly heard it again. What was that? Voices? Maybe it was her neighbors. No, because the noises sounded closer.

“Hello?” she yelled out, suddenly feeling like she was in some slasher flick. She heard some more noises coming from a room close to the bathroom. She turned off the shower water and quickly reached over to grab her large towel. She wrapped it securely around her body and slowly opened the bathroom door. She felt like the stupid victim in a horror movie who went somewhere to investigate a strange noise.

“Hello?” she asked again but quieter. Suddenly her throat felt really dry. She crept cautiously out of her bathroom and walked down the hall and into the living room. Her eyes suddenly bulged out when she saw the figure sitting on her couch like he owned the place.

“Hello there, sweetness. You don’t look so happy to see me,” he chuckled, tilting his head and inspecting Kim’s wet body.

“Reaper?” she said staring at him in disbelief. Why the hell was he here?

“In the flesh,” he replied, raising his arms and pointing to his body.

Kim walked into the kitchen and grabbed a butcher knife from one of the drawers. She spun around and pointed it in his direction. She was breathing heavy, scared of what she would do with that knife in about twenty seconds if he didn’t leave.

“Whoa, whoa, sweetness calm down.” Reaper hurried to his feet, watching her closely. He held up his hands and waited for her to lower the knife.

“What the fuck are you doing in my apartment, Reaper? How’d you get in here?” she rushed out.

“Kimberly Monee Barns, I didn’t raise you to use that kind of language, or to threaten our company,” a familiar voice scolded. She looked behind the man with the doo-rag on and then at her mother. She dropped the knife and walked into the living room.

“Mommy?” She didn’t even give her mother time to respond because she rushed into the living room and into her mother’s waiting arms. She squeezed her mother tightly, fearing she’d disappear if she let her go. She didn’t even realize she was crying until she felt her mother wipe her tears away.

“Hey, what’s all this about. I’ve only been gone for a couple weeks,” her mom said, rubbing Kim’s back.

Kim loosened her grip and looked at her mother like she was crazy and whispered, “Mom, you’ve been gone for almost six months.” She held onto her mother for a few more minutes before finally letting go.

“Isn’t that sweet? Kimmy, Miss Independent, missed her mama,” Reaper mocked with a small laugh. Kim looked at him and rolled her brown eyes.

“I bet you can’t even spell ‘independent,’ Reaper,” she spat back at him. Kim looked into her mother’s eyes and asked, “Why is he here, mom?”

Kim’s mother smiled and looked at Reaper. “Because I invited him, silly. Actually, he’s moving in,” she replied nonchalantly.

“What? No, he can’t move in here. This is our place and the last thing we need is him bring a bunch of crack heads and junkies in here!”

“Kim, I’m sure we can work this out. I know we’ve never really gotten along…,” Reaper started.

“Yeah, no shit Sherlock, it might have something to do with the fact that you treat my mother like your fucking doormat.” Kim was pissed. She couldn’t believe her mother was letting him move in. Not only would he bring junkies but he’d also bring cops.

Kim’s mother slapped her mersin escort arm, not hard but enough to make the flesh sting. “Watch your mouth, young lady.”

Kim’s little outburst had apparently pissed off Reaper because he took a few speedy steps and was inches away from her. He grabbed her face with his fingers and pointed at her. Kim tried to put up a good front and pretend like she wasn’t scared, but her tears were giving her away. Reaper was a psycho and that was a fact everyone knew.

“Now you listen to me, I’m moving in whether you like it or not. We will be civilized to each other for your ma’s sake and we will act like a happy fucking family. So, you keep your rude fucking comments to yourself, or I swear to God I’ll beat your ass so badly you’ll be feeling pain til your thirty. Clear?”

Kim looked at him with so much hate. If she could, she’d be like Carrie and crucify his ass mentally like Carrie did her crazy mother. If only she had telekinetic abilities or whatever Carrie had.

“Crystal,” she said through clenched teeth. Reaper pushed her down to the ground and Kim knew that he could probably see her underneath the towel. She quickly closed her legs and got to her feet with as much dignity as she could.

“Go make me a sandwich, baby,” Reaper commanded, slapping her mother’s ass. “And you,” he said, pointing at Kim, “can call me your new daddy,” he said with a small smile.

Kim rolled her eyes and walked away in a hurry. She practically ran into her bedroom and slammed the door behind her. She quickly got dressed and sat down on her bed. She buried her face in one of her pillows and without holding anything back, she screamed. She screamed over and over again and finally cried. God, she hated him and she thought her mother was stupid for being involved with him. This night was the worst.


Justin walked the halls leading to his dorm room, barely keeping his eyes open. He was so freaking exhausted and couldn’t wait to get some shut eye. He’d been up all night preparing for an exam –that lasted until a quarter after noon– and got less than an hour of sleep. He was so tired that he didn’t even bother changing his clothes before he left. So, instead he took his test in his Homer Simpson pajama pants and white shirt displaying someone’s middle finger. His attire earned him a few snorts and giggles but he honestly didn’t care. He just really wanted to go to bed.

It was only the end of October and college was already kicking his ass. The courses were tough and the professors were demanding. It was always assignment after assignment and he barely had time to himself. Sometimes he just felt like quitting and going back to Cali but he could always count on Kim to encourage him to stay in school and stay strong. She was his little motivational speaker. The thought of Kim brought a small smile to Justin’s tired features.

When he actually had time off, he spent it with his new roommate, Cole, and some other people he met on campus. They would go to some of the parties that the upperclassmen were throwing or hang around any place that could keep them entertained. Justin found that most, if not all, the parties were mediocre compared to the ones back home, but they kept his stress levels down a few notches.

Justin walked into his room following his afternoon class and immediately kicked off his slippers. He got so excited at the sight of his bed that he breathed out an audible sigh of relief. He wasted no time in climbing into bed and under the warmth of his comforter. God, it was chilly in his room.

He thought about Kim and wondered if she was thinking of him too. It was probably ten o’clock back in California and she had the day off. Maybe she decided to sleep in like she normally did when she wasn’t working. What was she dreaming of? Was she dreaming of him? Those were the last few things that ran through his head before sleep finally conquered him.


Kim felt like her stomach would erupt from laughing so hard at Justin’s mom. She was relaxing on the couch, writhing and moaning while Kim massaged her pedicured feet. Since she was in her third trimester her feet were semi-swollen and Helen couldn’t stop complaining about them. She was frustrated that nothing would help the pain she was feeling. So, trying to be a nice person, Kim decided to give her a good ole’ fashion foot rub.

“That feels sooo good, oh right there. That’s the spot,” Helen groaned out while leaning her head against the cushion of the couch. “You should be a massage therapist,” she exclaimed.

Kim laughed at the small compliment and said, “Nah, I’m only massaging your feet because you had a long day. No one else gets the ‘Kimberly Barns Foot Rub Special’ except you.”

“What about Justin?”

“Ummm, nope, I won’t go anywhere near those things.”

“I feel like I’m getting the royal treatment,” Helen groaned, wiggling her feet deeper into Kim’s hands.

Kim laughed again kocaeli escort at the expression frozen on Helen’s face. It was too comical and she couldn’t help the urge to chuckle at the woman.

“You want to know something?” Helen asked.

“Sure,” Kim replied, switching to the other foot.

“Lately, I’ve been thinking that maybe you should, you know, move in.” She said it as more of a question than a statement.

Kim looked away from Helen’s foot and into the woman’s hopeful eyes. She was shocked by the question and her mind was trying to reel in the nicest way to say ‘no.’

“You know Steve and I wouldn’t have a problem with you moving in because we’ve got plenty of room. That neighborhood you live in is not safe at all and when you leave from here, I’m always worrying that something bad will you happen to you.”

“I-I-I-I don’t k-know,” Kim stammered. What else was she supposed to say?

“You’re here all the time anyways and if you move in it would kind of make it more, I don’t know, permanent,” Helen argued.

“Can I think about it for a while?” Kim asked after a moment. Yeah, things were a little off at home, but she couldn’t just leave. Could she?

“Of course, honey.” Helen smiled at Kim and Kim knew it was completely genuine. Helen was always like a mother to her, and her real mom only seemed like a roommate at times.

Kim continued to pay attention to Helen’s feet for a few moments. They continued making small talk until Helen sighed in frustration and grabbed her protruding belly.


“All day, everyday. This kid doesn’t believe in time outs and I am counting down the days until she’s out of me,” Helen huffed out. Kim smile and leaned over to touch Helen’s stomach. She smiled even harder when the baby kicked her hand.

“Are you still taking Lamaze classes?” Kim asked, still interacting with the baby.

“Yeah, I took breathing classes when I was pregnant with Justin, so it only feels right that I do it with this baby too,” Helen replied, mindlessly rubbing the swell of her belly.

“We should get ready to go if we want to get to your appointment on time.”

Helen groaned and looked at Kim with puppy dog eyes, “Do I have to get up?” Kim nodded her head and helped swing Helen’s legs off the couch.

She stepped in front of the heavily pregnant woman and grabbed both her hands. Kim used all her strength to help her off the couch. They both laughed as Helen had to change positions twice in order to get up.

“That’s the one thing I actually hate about being pregnant. Once I go down, it takes an army and a whole lotta to get me back up,” Helen exclaimed, wiping the imaginary sweat from her forehead.

“Ready to go?” Kim asked.

“Ready when you are captain,” Helen replied as she and Kim made their way into the room connecting the garage to the house.


Justin walked into his dorm room following his pig out at one of the school cafés. He looked down at his gut which was sticking out because of his large meal. He hadn’t gained the “Freshmen 15” yet and didn’t plan on it. He sat down at his macBook Pro and cracked his knuckles as he got ready to do work he considered pointless. He saw that Kim’s iChat icon was lit up and immediately clicked her picture. Her face instantly brightened when she saw him.

She was sitting in his parents’ dining room reading some Stephen King book when she noticed him pop up on the screen.

“Hey you,” Justin said with a broad smile. Kim set her book down and eagerly scooted closer to the screen.

“Hey, how are you?” she asked, unconsciously smoothing down her clothes.

“I’m fine. I just got done eating the best lasagna ever made and now I get to talk to you, so I’m all smiles.”

Kim was just about to respond when she suddenly jumped in her seat as if she just remembered something. Justin had to hold back a laugh as she launched towards her purse and searched for the root of her excitement.

“What’s going on?” he asked, watching her search through the contents of her small, black handbag. She smiled up at him and pulled out her wallet and searched inside, finally pulling out a small rectangular item and waving it around excitedly.

“I got my driver’s license,” she squeaked.

“Really? See, I told you my lessons would pay off,” Justin said conceitedly. “So, are you confident behind the wheel of my baby?” he asked.

“Yeah, I’ve been volunteering to drive people around all week. I took Maria to work, your mom to her appointment—speaking of which,” Kim stated before digging into her bag and pulling out a photo.

“She got this 3D ultrasound and let me have a copy of the picture,” she continued, holding the photo up to the screen. “Pretty neat, huh?”

“That’s wicked cool. The baby doesn’t look all alien-ish anymore,” he replied, leaning in closer to get a better look.

“She’s going to be sooo adorable. I can’t wait to babysit her.”

“It samsun escort seems like it was just yesterday when they told us they were having a baby and now she’s about to be eight months. It’s kinda weird,” Justin replied.

“I think your sister is going to be into soccer or something because she’s kicking your mom’s ass all the time,” Kim laughed. Justin joined in and a moment later snapped his fingers as if a thought just came to him.

“I have a present for you,” Justin exclaimed.

“What is it?”

“One second, you’re gonna love this,” Justin replied, holding his finger towards the screen and then traveling to his side of the room. He walked over to a small stand and picked up his blue guitar.

Kim loved it when Justin sang because his voice was incredible and had the ability to touch certain emotion inside of her. She giggled to herself as she remembered the time they auditioned for the school talent show in fifth grade together. She couldn’t even remember the song they picked out, but she remembered all the teachers loved it. They even sang along during practice. Unfortunately, they both got chicken pox from a sick classmate and were unable to perform.

Justin sat back down in his chair and strummed some notes on his guitar, tuning it until everything sounded ripe and polished.

“I know this is kind of corny, or whatever, but I wrote you a song. I think about how much you mean to me as a friend and as a girlfriend, and how special our relationship is so I wrote down all these feelings swimming in my head. This song is about our history together and how I wish I could be closer to you. Hence the name ‘Closer’,” he explained.

Kim turned up the volume on the computer so she would be able to hear him better and she couldn’t help but smile in anticipation. He didn’t even sing yet, but the fact that he made her a song made her feel so…cherished and loved.

“Okay, here goes,” he said, clearing his throat before he began.

Kim waited for a moment before he started strumming notes on his guitar. When he began to sing, it was so sensual and emotional that it rendered her speechless. He closed his eyes as he sang soulfully; only opening his eyes once in a while to gage her reaction. The melody he came up with was so astonishing and creative, and he pitched his voice against every note in a way that only he could pull off.

Kim unconsciously swayed in her seat as he played the guitar like a true pro, running his fingers along the strings and changing the chords on the fret board. He did all this just for her. The lyrics of the song made her completely melt.

Justin opened his eyes when the song was finished and looked at Kim. She smiled at him and placed her hand on her heart as she tried to figure out what to say.

“Any thoughts?” he asked with a smirk.

“It was…beautiful. Not, it was phenomenal,” she stressed, still trying to come up with a better word to describe it.

Justin’s face swelled with pride as he watched her stumble over words to explain how much she liked the song. He has to admit that he even shocked himself with how emotional the song had turned out. Writing the song had been easy, but coming up with the tune on the guitar had been difficult. Every single tune he came up with didn’t see, right for the song.

Then, one day while he was just relaxing and playing guitar, the random melodies he came up with made him curious and he sang the song to them. They went together like peanut butter and jelly.

“I’m glad you like it,” he said, setting his guitar back on its stand.

“No, I didn’t like it. I loved it.” She meant every single word. The song was amazing and it was their song. That alone made it incredibly special to her. She was about to say something else when she noticed the room door open in the background. His roommate was home and apparently he brought company.

“Yo, Justin, there’s gonna be a bitchin’ party tonight. You down?” his roommate, Cole asked as he and some other guy barged into the room. Cole immediately plopped down on his small bed and removed one of the earphones to his mp3 player.

“Dude, kinda busy here,” Justin replied, motioning towards his screen.

The other guy, who had entered, Barry, walked up to the screen and pointed with a big smile. His eyes were bloodshot and he was eating a big bag of Cheetos. He was most likely blitzed out of his freaking mind.

“This is your girl, bro? Dude, she’s sexy as fuck and she’s got some nice titties. She got a sister?” Barry said, waving at Kim.

“I can hear you,” Kim announced, waving to him.

Her news caused Barry to chuckle and say, “Dude, this chronic is the shit. I can hear her talking through the screen.” Kim laughed at the boy’s stupidity.

Justin shook his head and mouthed the words ‘I’m sorry,’ to her through the screen. ‘Get rid of them,’ she mouthed back. Cole jumped off his bed and rushed over to the screen. He pushed Barry out of the way to get a better view.

“Why are you always putting your hands on me, Cole?” Barry complained.

“Hey, Kim, it’s finally good to see you. I’m Cole. We talked on the phone way back when. It’s nice to talk to you without a phone. I knew your voice and now I get to see your beautiful face,” he said. Kim smiled and waited for him to finish what he was going to say.