Walk on the Edge

by Tammy Stuart

   WALKING ON THE EDGE

"I have never been one to say what I feel out loud, I bottle up everything, I cry when I`m alone. I`m falling apart inside but you can`t see it. Sound familiar? People say you need to talk to someone, It will help they say, it will make you feel better they say. hmmm how can telling a stranger my deep dark secret make me feel better? Let me tell you about myself, My name is chellie , I`m a 35 year old wife, mom, grandma, sister, daughter , and nothing else. no job, no anything I can say is mine, nothing i can say I am proud of. of course I am proud of my family they are the best, they love me as I am.

I like the room dark, I like being alone and I never get to. sometimes I tell my kids I`m going out but I stay in my room. do I sound depressed? do I look depressed? you tell me.

that was what I said to Dr. Hammon , my head shrink, my physic doctor, whatever you want to call him. I call him Mr. Hammon. he`s a tall handsome man, quiet and lets you ramble on and on. he stares at you like he is listening and yet I wonder if he is."

Dr.Hammon ask " Chellie how are you? what can we start with today? chellie answers " how about the man stuffed in the dumpster outside my house?" he looked at her in that look really? she laughed "don't you wanna know who he is" Dr. Hammon said " well if you had done that I dolt you would tell me" she laughed again " well doc that`s why were here I can tell you all my secrets and they stay secret" Dr.Hammon was a little taken back, "Ok ,Chellie tell me about the man in the dumpster" chellie " well he has been at my house sense my daughter was 5 years old, he`s old and dirty and really kind of ugly, I was sick of seeing him laying around and doing nothing" he looked at her and said "why did you do it? how did you do it?" she laughed, " I tore his head off and then his arms and i put him in the trash, my daughter is 20 years old and G.I Joe had to go" then she laughed really hard. " did you think i really killed someone doc?"

Dr. Hammon " Chellie if you are gonna waste my time with jokes maybe you shouldn't be here but if you want me to help you then maybe we should talk about you and what you need" chellie

" doc what i need is a vacation, no bills, just laying around and doing nothing sucks, my husband thinks my place is at home, my kids are grown why shouldn't I have something for me" the doctor wanted to tell her she needed a job and things to make her feel better but he had a feeling her husband was holding her back. Dr.Hammon "do you think your husband would come in for a couples therapy? Chellie " oh gosh no he would never do that, he thinks i am the problem not him " Dr. Hammon "why don`t you ask him and see" she agreed.

Dr.Hammon "meanwhile lets give you some depression medicine and something for sleep, hopefully we will get you up and running again. maybe if we can change how you feel we can change other things that you want to change" chellie " ok we can try, I`m walking on glass around everyone, I set quietly and not listen because what if I go off and hurt someone? no I don`t want to go to the hospital and no one is in danger but I am afraid of my anger issues can we work on that? why I get so angry? " he shook his head yes. her time was up, and she left. Dr.Hammon was a little worried about her. she hides behind jokes and she is hurting. this one could be a serious case to crack.

Chellie goes home, the kids who are 20( Sarah) and 17 (Ron)are gone, her husband is at work. she has 3 hours before he comes home so she gets busy cleaning and starts laundry. she`ll fry hamburgers and fries for dinner tonight, tomorrow who knows , they struggle with bills and food and well everything else. Ben works hard for their family but some how it just wasn`t enough. she loves Ben but he is set in his ways, his dad was very strict and very harsh and Ben is as well. he wants things perfect and if they aren`t he gets angry. she doesn't dare go over her grocery budget, doesn't dare buy anything extra. he is a penny pincher and expects everyone to follow his rules.

5 hours later and Ben is not home, Ben is a Lawyer, he usually gets home around 9pm but it was already 10:00pm. Chellie calls and he answers, "Ben are you gonna be home soon? Dinner is ready" he answers "Yes just tieing up loose ends, I have had a bad day but we`ll talk when I get home" chellie " ok , i`ll put the dinner in the oven and (click) " he hung up, she thought, that was pretty rude .

Another hour passed and the kids came home then finally Ben, they sat down for dinner and like usual everyone was quiet, Chellie started the conversation "I had my therapy session today with Dr.Hammon and it went pretty well" Ben rolled his eyes "I imagine it did" chellie continued "Ben he wants you to come with me next week so you can talk to him as well" Ben slammed his fork down looked at Chellie and said, "What are you talking about? I told you I would not go and I won`t, you are the one with Issues and you need help I don`t" chellie answered him "well I think it would help us both, please don`t talk to me like i`m stupid, I am doing this to help our family and save what is left of our marriage" the kids got up and left the table and Chellie sat in tears. Ben looked at her and his heart actually ached, he hated when she cried.

"I just don`t know what to do to help you, you are always sad and always so scared of me, why, just tell me why?" she started crying harder, " you don`t know how to talk kind to me or the kids, you and your rules you want us to follow are so unfair, I am afraid to make a mistake and i`m afraid to breath sometimes, I walk on egg shells all the time, scared to death, I love you and I always have but you need to stop this and try harder" Ben got up and walked away. Chellie was just left setting at the table crying.

The next morning as the kids left for work and school , Ben came down stairs , he got his coffee and said "Chellie I`m sorry, I know I act like my dad and if therapy can help I will go" Chellie hugged him and said thank you. the rest of the week flew by, there was housework and laundry and long walks to do.

Chellie was walking along the dusty dirt road and noticed a car parked along the side, she had not seen this car before and she turned and started walking the other way, she heard the car start and was pretty nerves. she began to run and the car came closer and closer she ran up through her neighbors yard and onto their porch, Amy came outside and seen Chellie scared , "what happened?" chellie told her and said it was probably nothing but it scared me. Amy took her inside and calmed her down and drove her home.

Ben came in from work and she told him about the car, he said she was just being silly and it`ll be fine. she didn`t feel fine, she felt scared and nerves. after dinner she cleaned the kitchen and the kids came in the living room saying they heard a car door, Ben went to look and said "Nope no one is there, I think you all are being pretty paranoid, Chellie told the kids about the car and of course her son Joe laughed and agreed with Ben and Susan her Daughter said " Mom don`t go walking by yourself anymore, it`s not safe." Ben laughed and said " Oh girls".

The next day there was a knock at the door, Chellie was home alone and peeked out the door it was Amy, she opened it and Amy came in. Chellie poured her and Amy coffee and they went in the living room, Amy ask "did you hear about the gas station being robbed, the man was in his 30`s and drove a white kia" Chellie drew in a breath " A white KIa? I wonder if it was the same car that followed me? " Amy just shrugged her shoulders, chellie said "Amy I am so scared, why would they follow me I haven`t done anything wrong and i haven`t seen anything, something is not right." Amy stayed awhile and then left towards home. Chellie was not taking any chances, she locked every door and window and carried the phone with her.

Ben was on his way home and noticed a car on the side of the road and seen they had a flat tire so he stopped to help, there were two young boys trying to figure out how to change the tire. Ben showed them, they seem like nice young men. Bem went on his way home and noticed the boys following him, when he got in his drive way the car stopped and Ben got out of his car then that sped away. he went inside and told Chellie to make sure every window and door was locked, ask "where are Joe and Suan?" chellie told him upstairs and he yelled for them, they came running down the stairs. " Family meeting" he questioned them about the boys and if either of them had been in trouble? both answered no and ask why? " I stopped and changed a tire for two young boys and they followed me home and stopped at the driveway and then sped off" Susan said " oh my gosh is the same car mom saw?" dad said "no this was a red mustang, I just don`t understand what is going on but I don`t like it" Chellie told Ben to call the police and have them come out.

Ben started telling the police what was going on and how his family was really scared . of course they would have a car drive by every half hour or so and see if they could see anyone. For a couple days after that things settled down and they began to relax again.

They`re house is pretty remote and the police thought maybe some one was watching the house to see if they could catch everyone out. scare them and maybe they would leave the house long enough to get robbed. Chellie was not having it she said she was not leaving her house and letting them in.

Chellie ask Ben if some one was mad at him, if they didn`t like the way he done their case, maybe a prisoner got out and wanted revenge. Ben thought for a minute and said he didn`t think so but it was worth checking out. there was no sleeping that night and the next morning everyone was getting ready to start their day, Ben ask "Chellie why don`t you go spend the day with Amy, I would feel better if you weren`t here alone." Chellie answered "I`ll be fine, i`ll keep the house locked up and I want to do some baking today'" he tried to get her to go but she wouldn`t. he called her every hour or 2 to see if she was ok.

Joe came in from school yelling "MOM MOM ARE YOU HOME?" Chellie came in from her office "what`s wrong Joe?" he told the car was back it`s setting across the road, "Joe check the doors and windows and i`ll call 911" she was shaking and made the call, Joe called Ben and he raced home, the car was empty when Ben got there and the police began examining the car, there was clown mask and rope and duct tape laying in the back seat, the car was out of gas. the Police officer thought the owners could be walking looking for gas. he told Ben to go home and the officer called for back up.

Ben went up to the house and told Joe and chellie what was going on, they called Susan and told her to stay at work and not leave till Ben came and got her. a little while later a knock on the door and a yell it`s officer Ron, he told them there is reports of guys in clown costumes going from town to town scaring people, they caught the two guys walking back to the car, they know there is several more out there. they aren`t sure where but they think the family is safe now.

Ben ask "are you sure? really sure?" officer Ron said "well as sure as we can be until the others are caught." Ben was not sure and felt anything but safe. they had their therapy session tomorrow and then Ben told the kids to come to the Holiday Inn after school and work that they are gonna stay the night in town. Susan and Ben fixed a light dinner and everyone stayed in the living room that night.

The next day Ben and Susan went to therapy, Dr.Hammon ask "Ben, you know why you are here?" Ben said yes, so the doctor wasted no time, "Chellie do you have anything you want to tell Ben and Ben this is a safe zone you can talk about things openly and honestly " so Chellie sat for a minute collecting her words and didn`t want to sound mean or harsh "Ben sometimes you say things that hurt my feelings and I just want you to respect me and not treat me like I am a child, I want to know when you are staying late at work, I want to be held and loved and respected" Ben looked at her like wow, he was shocked. " I am shocked Chellie you never say I want, or I need, in fact you barely talk to me at all, I don`t know what you need or want, I have a very messed up way of thinking but I was taught that way, I will try and do better if you try ," Doc was pleased. " You have done well today, I think you two will make if you keep talking to each other" Ben was asked if he had anything he wanted to say to Chellie, he replied " you have a dark sense of humor, you scare me sometimes, you are depressed, you don`t ever act happy, you never want to go anywhere and you like the dark, I try to understand but I need to know you will talk to me when you feel like this, I will try and help you if you let me."

Dr. Hammon told them that " depression is serious and it takes time for the medicine to work but Ben you need to know it`s a process and she needs support and understanding, I`ll give you some pamphlets but I need you to research and find out what you are in for and the kids need to know" so they left the session feeling better about things and feeling closer.

They met the kids at the hotel and had dinner. They were relaxing and watching tv in the room and felt safe. then the news broke in and there`s a report across the screen, a clown ran into the go Mart and robbed it, no one was hurt and they are still looking for the clown. they locked the doors tight and Ben said "we are safe" no one knows we are here. " the next day Ben went to the police station and Officer Ron told him it was safe for them to go home.

They returned home and Ben went in first to make sure it was safe. he walked back to the door and yelled " Come in it`s safe" they all came in still on Edge and hoping it was all over. Chellie was really on Edge, she ask Ben "are we really safe here? what if he comes back Ben what do we do? I hate being so afraid in my own home." Ben held her tight and tried to tell everything is gonna be ok.

3am, the alarms go off and Ben jumps up and goes looking out the windows, he saw nothing, the alarm is off and started back upstairs Chellie had the kids in their room all 3 on the bed waiting for Ben to come get them. He opens the door and Chellie has a bat, who`s there? Ben said "It`s me" and chellie laughed. Ben said" It must of been a dog or something setting off the alarm , there was no one around." what a relief , they went back to bed.

5am the alram goes off again, Ben was convinced it was something in the wiring he told Chellie to call the company who installed it and see if someone will come out. It`s a Saturday so she isn`t sure they will come out. she is not crazy she knows that dogs didn`t set off the house alarm. why are these people coming after them.

she went down to the library to search for information on the house and the people who lived there before them, something is going on and I don`t think it is clown related. something strange is going on, thought Chellie.

She found articles on the house and how it was updated before it was put on the market and the people who lived there but nothing bad happened and they were good people. she was gonna find out what is going on , she is scared and she won`t live like that.

Chellie headed home and as she was walking from the car to her house she saw someone following her, she walked fast to the house and had the key ready , she turned and the man was standing by her car, he said in low deep voice " You won`t find anything here" and she said to him "why are you doing this? what do you want? he said to her as he walked away "Justice" she hurried inside locking the door behind her, Ben was in the kitchen and she told him what was going on. he was shaken, "I need to figure this out Chelle, it has to be about me and one of my clients or someone I put away, maybe you and the kids could stay with your mom while I do, " she looked at him and said "No we aren`t leaving, if we leave they win " they both knew they would work this out. they had too.

The next day Ben went to work and started looking for men just released from jail and that was in his court room, he found 3 but he was hoping none of them would be so full of revenge that they would want to scare or hurt his family. he called the probation officers looking for these guys and was told all 3 were doing good and had jobs and stayin out of trouble. well now he was nerves, who are these people scaring his family and following his wife and kids. the next day he was going to see the sheriff.

Ben came home so ready for a quiet night with his family,

Chellie sat at the kitchen counter drinking her coffee, soup on the stove he could smell it, her home made soup was the best, he seen the home made bread and knew it was gonna be good, he walked over and kissed her and said" I done some investigating and there is no one that he found that would come after them. he told her he would go see the sheriff tomorrow and see what they could find out.

Chellie told him she found nothing about the house and people that lived there. she was thinking maybe one of the kids were not telling them something, Ben thinks not but he said it wouldn`t hurt to have a family meeting. they called both kids down stairs.

Chellie told them that her and Ben done alot of digging and found nothing, they are scared and just want their input, "if you know anything come out with it now. we need to stop all this craziness. " Sarah told her dad she a bad break up but he wasn`t the hurtful kind, he would never do that. Ron said " no way i don`t know people like that" they discussed how to be safe and watch each others back until they can find what all this is about.

They all ate dinner and talked about their day and they were bragging on how good dinner is. she loved when her family shows her how thankful they are.they also cleaned the kitchen and watched some TV and went off to bed.

3am the car alarm goes off Ben gets up and goes to check it and again no one is around, a police car went by and Ben went back to bed, then at 5 am the alarm went off again and Ben checked it out and again no one was there. he called 911" enough is enough" he said." we need to do something" the cops came out and took his statement. they will have a car come by all night.

Ben goes to work the next morning, he walks in the office building and says hi to everyone and goes to his office, his assistant came in and handed him a package , "This came for you today Ben" there's no name or anything on it. Ben opened it ans inside was a picture of Ben meeting the mayor at the edge of the river. the note said "Be careful not to fall off the edge, time is coming near" Ben called the sheriff over and they took the package and said they would let him know what they find.

Chellie was home after school and decided to run a hot bath before dinner. she was reading a book and heard glass break, she jumped out of the tub and grabbed her robe and tip toed down the steps, she said "Ben is that you? " there was no answer, she was scared, she yelled out again"anyone there?" then she heard the front door slam. she was so scared but she walked to the door and seen all the broken glass, she went to the back door grabbed her flip flops and went outside and walked around the front. she saw nothing, she called 911 and they got there fast, she sat outside and waited for Ben.

Ben got home and jumped out of the car and ran to Chellie "are you ok, did you see who it was? " Chellie just looked at him and said" I am fine and no I never seen anyone" they police were there for hours. found nothing. Chellie and Ben were so confused, no one in this town even knew them, no one could be that mad or angry at them.

The next day Chellie went to work and Ben went to work, the day started off good and nothing happened. Chellie had a tough kid in her class and he would smart her off as well as other teachers and he was very foul mouthed. she ask him over and over to please be respectful, she talk to the principal so many times and he gets after school suspension , he was smart but never even tried to do his work and he was failing classes. It was sad Chellie tried to help him but he refuses.

Chellie came home and started dinner and grab a cup of coffee and the newspaper and sat at the table, she always came through the garage into the kitchen, Ben came in through the front door and picks up the mail and walks to the kitchen "Ben set with me awhile before I finish dinner, what`s in the mail?" he sat down and started going through the mail while she gets his coffee, "Ben opened a plain brown envelope and in side it say "I`m watching you, I see what you do and where you go, be careful this is a dangerous game you are playing." Ben said "what the heck is this about?" he showed it to Chellie and she called the police, "Ben what have you been doing? What does this mean?" Ben told her he done nothing wrong , he looked at the envelope again and it was addressed to Chellie, he handed her the envelope and said"What have you been doing? What does it mean?" Chellie just rolled hers and said nothing. She was nerves and scared. Maybe I am being watched she thought to herself, no one knew what had happened no one but her and whoever was watching her. She got really nerves and thought maybe It`s time to come clean. What would her family think of her? How could she face them? What if it has nothing to do with last summer and the thing that happened, she knew there were no flippin clowns around.

The knock on the door , it was the police, they came and began asking questions, they started with Chellie "So tell me what happened" she said" Ben brung the mail in and we were having coffee and he opened the envelope and read it and handed it to me." the office took the envelope ask who it was addressed to and Chellie said "Me but I just don`t understand what I did" she thought I have to come clean but do I do it now? She never said a word. "Ben has anything happened that you know of? Could it be revenge ?" Ben said"No I can`t think of anyone who wants to hurt me" the officer said " ok well we are gonna keep a car out front, keep your doors and windows locked and it would be a good idea if you stayed home a few days so we can figure this out." he left and Chellie and Ben started talking.

"Ben I need to tell you something and it could be part of this it could be nothing but I need to tell you before I tell anyone else" she started with last summer and how she was on her way home and a car was riding her rear end and she slammed the breaks on and this car hit her hard, she wasn`t hurt and neither was the two guys in the car, the one was very angry and told me one day he would come for her, the older guy told her to get in her car and leave, she said they never wanted her insurance or anything just told her to get out. She never mentioned it because she thought it was just stupid, just two mad jerks. Ben was furious, "Why the heck didn`t you tell me? You know it`s illegal to leave the scene of a crime and you know to always call the insurance and police, what was you thinking?" she began to cry and he held her, "Ok Chellie we gotta head over to the police station tell them what you told me" she knew it had to be done, she was nerves and afaird.

They were half an hour from the police station and Ben noticed the head lights in the rear view mirror and they kept getting closer and closer, Ben told her "Chellie hold on this car is coming at us" she grabbed the door and was shaking, then all of a sudden the car hit them once, then again and again, they swerved over and started to stop and the car came again and pulled beside them and ran them off the road. "Chellie I might be wrong but I don`t think this has anything to do with your fender bender, something else is going on, we need to get to the police station."

They made it to the police station and told them what had happened, they ask where the car was that was suppose to be watching them, "He was no where in sight, he wasn`t at the house when we left." "I will check this all out" said the officer. He told them go on home.

They went home and told the kids what was happening, they locked the house and went to bed, Chellie tossed and turned and could not sleep, she went down and poured a glass of milk and grabbed a book from the office and went back upstairs and sat down in her reading chair in the corner of her bedroom, she a loud boom, then glass breaking, she grabbed her phone dialed 911 and shook Ben she whispered "someone is in the house Ben get up" she got up and went very quietly to the bedroom door he heard foot steps, he thought the kids are in their rooms he had to stop this interuder before he reaches the top of the stairs, he grabbed a ball bat and when the guy got to the top of the stairs he swung and knocked him down the stairs, the guy laid there and Ben thought oh Lord forgive me I think I killed him. The kids came out of their rooms and ran to chellie`s room, they walked out to where Ben stood shaking, The police sirens were blaring and then the officers came in and went to the man and called for an ambulance he told Ben the guy is alive, and they will get answers. Chellie was relived but scared that it`s not over yet.

They all got cleaned up and went to the hospital and ask if they knew what room he was in and his name. The nurse told them "he is doing ok, the police have been here all morning, he won`t speak a word, they are still in there." they walked down to the room and there was 2 officers outside the room and Chellie ask " Is he talking? What has he said?" the office said they didn`t know, Chellie and Ben sat down in the hall waiting, after 2 hours the officers came out of his room and said to Chellie "his name is Peter Cutler, his dad owned your home but lost it in foreclosurer, he was still living there and hiding when you moved in, he was in the attic for days and when you all left he would come down and shower and leave, he then hid in the out building intil he could back to the attic, when you started bolting the doors he could get back in and was determined to get his house back, he said if he killed you he could have his home back and no one know know." Chellie was horrified to learn he was hiding in the house and watching them.

Chellie ask " what happens now?" he will stay in the hospital and be evaluated and then the judge will be deciding where he goes." " you folks can go home and rest easy, we`ll be in touch. Chellie ask" will he be released from the hospital and allow to go free?" the officer replied "No Mam when he is let go from the hospital he will be in jail, you don`t have worry."

Chellie was not a cold hearted person, she felt sorry for him, he stalked them and scared them and yet she felt sorry for him. She would pray for him, they went back home and boarded up the window he broke and cleaned up the glass and the blood. They fell asleep in the living watching a movie, everything would be fine now.

The next morning Chellie told them they were all staying home and resting and enjoying each other. Thats what they did, the news was on and they announced 3 clowns arrested, they also said that they were doing this going around scaring people because they said it was funny. Chellie said "I can assure them it was not funny"

The next day Chellie googled the family that lived there and found the foreclosure in the paper and and there was nothing about the family. She just prayed that the man got the help he needed.

ABOUT THE Author

I am 52, married 30 years and have 2 adult daughters and 1 grandson.

I am a country gal, love crafting and writing. I also have pen pals that I adore. I have a facebook and a business page on facebook. Tams books. If you read this please find me and let me know what you think. Thank you so much for reading my book and making my dream come true.

You can find all my books on Amazon.com and Tams books on facebook.

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