Finally My Forever
    "You'll get over that singer," she said, sensing my withdrawal. "Give yourself two dates with Zeke, and you'll forget that other guy ever existed."
    She had to be right. There were plenty of famous musicians and actors in the world whom I would love to go out with, and I didn't care whether or not they had girlfriends. I wasn't the type of girl to spend my life pining away on someone I'd never have. I knew it was just a waste of time. All I had to do was put Micah Bennett in the same category as those other guys—the untouchables. The sooner I came to terms with that, the better.

    Chapter 6
    Five years later.
    "Zeke?" I called, opening his front door.
    He hadn't returned my texts all afternoon. I knew he was home. I'd seen his car in the driveway.
    "Zeke?" I said a little louder.
    His tiny house was dark and cluttered. There was trash and piles of clothes strewn out all over the place, and to top it all off, it smelled terrible. What was that stench? I covered my nose and mouth with a hand as I tiptoed through his disaster of a living room.
    "Zeke?" I repeated.
    I had a gut-wrenching feeling something was wrong. Dread and fear began to flood my body. I had a distinct feeling that he was home, and yet he wouldn't answer me.
    "Zeke!" I yelled in a frustrated tone. "Where are you?" I peeked into the tiny kitchen. "Stop messing around, you're scaring me!"
    It was an itty-bitty, two bedroom house. I'd been there tons of times, but somehow it seemed unfamiliar. I peered into the extra bedroom, which Zeke used for his art stuff. He was a singer, a poet, a painter, and an actor—and this room housed many of the supplies he used. I usually loved Zeke's art, but even this room seemed dismal and eerie as I looked inside.
    "Zeke!" I called, feeling jumpy and on edge.
    From my vantage point in the small hallway, I could see into his tiny, dated bathroom and partially into his bedroom. Something told me I'd find him in his bedroom. He was probably sleeping. He'd been drinking lately, and was likely passed out.
    "Zeke, your house is a mess!" I called. I tested my luck with uncovering my nose but realized it still stank and quickly covered it again.
    I stepped into his bedroom feeling certain I would find him in there. My heart sank as I stared at his empty double bed. There were windows on the far side of the room but heavy curtains covered them, making it really dark. I decided to open the windows and let a little bit of light and fresh air into the place. It was disgusting, and I felt a strong urge to clean. I vaguely wondered why I was even dating a guy who lived in such a messy place. I walked around the foot of the bed to the other side of the room and pushed open the heavy fabric covering the window. Sunlight spilled in, making me squint and glance downward.
    And there he was—what was left of him anyway. I instantly covered my mouth again and gaged as I tried to focus on the figure that lie on the floor on the far side of his bed. Panic flooded my body. I wanted to run, scream, do something… but fear had an iron grip on me, and I was completely paralyzed. I just stood there and stared down at his lifeless body for several long seconds. I should have looked away, but I couldn't. I stayed completely motionless, like a stone statue.
    There was no question he was dead. The top half of his head was completely blown away. All I could see was mangled flesh and blood.
    The fear.
    The dread.
    The crippling grip it had on me was too much to handle. It was the most disturbing image I'd ever seen. I tried to scream, but it came out more like a moan.
    I couldn't move. All I could do was look at what used to be my boyfriend. I tried to scream again, and again it was a moan. I could see myself moving and screaming. I could see my body doing it, but I knew I was paralyzed—unable to move or even make a noise.
    And then I did it.
    I made one final gut-wrenching push, and it was over.
    I was out of there.
    My eyes

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