Page 59 of Don't Look Back


I twisted out of Scott’s arms. “I couldn’t see his face, but he must’ve gone out the windows or something.”

His face pale, my dad lowered the pistol. “Oh, Samantha…”

“What?” My voice pitched. “He was in here! He was standing over my bed, touching me.”

Mom stood, pulling the knot on her silk robe tighter. Her eyes met my father’s. “There’s no more waiting, Steven. She needs to see a doctor.”

I sat back, fingers digging into my comforter. What were they talking about? Who cared about a damn doctor? There had been a man in my bedroom.

“She’s fine. She just had a nightmare.” Scott rushed to my defense. “There’s no reason to bring out the straitjacket.”

“What?” I shrieked. Straitjacket? My pulse sped up.

“Scott,” Mom said, sighing, “go to your room.”

He ignored her.

Dad sat down on the other side, catching my hand in his free one. “Baby, the windows and the balcony door are locked from the inside. The alarm is set. It didn’t go off.”

“No. No! There was someone in my room.” I pulled my hand free, scooting back from him. “You have to believe me. I was awake. He was standing over me.”

He shook his head. A sad, tired look pierced his eyes. “There wasn’t anyone in your room. You were dreaming or—”

“Or I’m seeing things? Like the guy in the backseat?” I yelled. Terror dissipated, replaced by rage. “Is that what you think?”

Mom wiped at her face. It was the first time I’d seen her cry, but the tears only infuriated me. “You’ve had a stressful night, sweetie. We’re not judging you, but you need—”

“I don’t need help!” Okay, maybe I did, but I scrambled under Scott’s arm. He grabbed for me, but I was quick when I wanted to be. Maybe some of the things I had been seeing weren’t real, but this…this had been real.

“I think you should sit down,” Dad suggested as he rose. “We can talk about things in the morning.”

Ignoring him, I grabbed my bag out from under my desk and dumped it onto my bed. Among the books, school papers, and pens, four yellow notes fell onto the bed. All of them except the one I’d found in the car.

“What are you doing?” Scott asked, eyes bugging out as he saw the notes.

I had the most horrible thought then. What if Scott was leaving those notes? I looked at him, really looked at him. He hated Cassie, but…but no way. I dismissed the notion.

I spread the notes across the bed. “There! See! I’ve been getting these damn notes on and off. Someone has been trying to talk to me, to warn me.”

Mom stepped forward, peering over my shoulder. She clamped a hand over her mouth and whipped around. Her shoulders shook.

“What the…?” Dad picked up one of the notes—the one that read Don’t look back. You won’t like what you find. “Jesus.”

“See!” I almost clapped and jumped. The notes were my only way of proving that I wasn’t a hundred percent insane. “They’re proof that someone knows what happened. Maybe whoever is leaving those notes is the person who was with us that night.”

My father’s fingers curled around the note, damaging the already crinkled paper. “Why didn’t you come to me when you first got one of these?”

“I...” My gaze darted to Scott. He ran a hand through his disheveled hair and lowered his chin.

Dad swung around, a vein pulsing across his temple. “You knew about this? You knew this was happening and you didn’t tell me?”

“It’s not his fault,” I defended him. “And really, that’s not the issue here. Someone has been sneaking in here, leaving me notes on my bed, in my locker at school, in my book bag.”

“I’m calling the doctor in the morning,” Mom said, rubbing the skin around her neck until it was pink. “That is the end of it.”

I threw up my hands. “Call the doctor! Fine! But can we focus on the important stuff?”

Scott looked up, pressing his lips together. “I should’ve told you when you first showed me the note, but I just…didn’t want to upset you. I’m sorry.”

Dread snaked down my spine. “What are you saying?”

“The notes, they’re all from the same kind of paper and they’re in your handwriting. From when you were a kid,” he said, glancing at Mom. “You’ve been writing the notes, Sam.”

Denial rushed over me. “No. No way. I’m not writing those notes.”

“Wait here.” He rose, heading out of the bedroom.

Turning to Dad, I pleaded with him. “It’s not me, Dad. I’m not that crazy. There’s no way it’s me leaving those notes! I would remember writing them.”

Dad smiled weakly. “I know. You’re not crazy.”

But I saw the truth in his eyes. I sat in a daze of disbelief until Scott returned with a folded-up piece of green construction paper. “This is a birthday card you made for me on our seventh birthday.” He sat beside me, unfolding it. “See?” He pointed at a stick-figure drawing of a girl with long hair. “That is you and this is me.” He pointed to a stick boy with freckles.

Man, I had no talent.

Scott let out a shaky breath as he picked up a note and spread it out above the birthday message. “Look, Sam.”

I saw it immediately, and my world crumbled a little more. I opened my mouth, but nothing came out. The childish scrawl on the card and the note were the same, down to the identical, fat D.

My handwriting.

“No,” I whispered. Tears blurred my vision as I lifted my head. “No. I don’t understand. I don’t remember writing any of them. It doesn’t make sense.”

Scott folded the card, and when he lifted his head, he looked so young. “I’m sorry.”

“Stop saying that!” I cried. “Please stop. I’m not…I’m not crazy.”

Rushing toward me, Mom clasped my cheeks with her hands. Her eyes were clear of sleep and alcohol. “We know, honey. It’s just the stress from everything. We’re going to get you help.”

My eyes shifted over her shoulder to my dad. “Do you think I’m crazy?” My voice broke.

“No.” He looked away. A muscle popped in his jaw. “Never, baby, never.”

Tears streamed down my face. Someone, I don’t know who, hugged me, but I was numb. Numb. Numb. Numb. Their faces blurred. It was official. Seeing things, hearing voices, writing notes to myself and not remembering…I was crazy.

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