He strummed the chords on his guitar, humming softly while watching the other college students walk around campus from his window.
It was a normal, boring, day for Harry. His best friend and dorm mate, Matt, was out of town for the holidays, leaving Harry alone. At the moment, Harry wasn't on good terms with his older sister, so he thought it was best not to go visit this Christmas.
His stomach rumbled, and he placed his guitar gently on his bed. Time for lunch. He went to the cafeteria, getting the nasty food offered to him. With that, he sat down alone. Not many people were in the cafeteria, most students have gone home for the holidays.
"Oh! Harry! Harry!"
Harry looked up, already knowing who it was. Melanie, that one girl from his biology class who always tried to talk to him.
"Hi, Melanie," Harry replied, giving her a fake smile.
"Oh, Harry, your dimple is adorable!" Harry this. Harry that. Harry Harry Harry. She never left him alone!
"Um, thanks?" His eyebrows rose.
"Y'know, we should really hang out." Melanie began, "We could. . . Well, go on a date."
"Melanie. . ." Harry tried to say as nicely as he could, "I don't think we could. I think you're a nice person, but I don't think we should date."
"But, Harry, we're perfect together!"
"No, we're not." He said kindly, "There's a guy out there for you! And there's one out there for me because I'm gay."
"Gay? No, you're not! You can't be!" Melanie screamed in his face.
"I can be." He wiped the spit from his face, "It's not your choice." He grabbed his food, deciding to eat it in his dorm, "See you later, Mel."
"Harry, no!" She followed as he speed-walked away. "I love your curly hair and your eyes and your cute nose and-"
"Melanie, leave him alone!" One of her friend's shouted, running to his rescue.
"No! He's mine! He's bloody mine!" Melanie screamed, thrashing in her friend's grip.
Harry took that as his cue to leave.
Since when has Melanie been so obsessive? Sure, he always found her staring at him for a little too long every day, but he thought it was just a silly crush. Until last week, when she started showing up everywhere he went.
He went to the movies with Matt, she was a few seats away. He went to get ice cream with his cousin, she was drinking a milkshake a few feet away. Everywhere he went, she followed.
Harry sat at his desk, eating his lunch. How could he get Melanie to leave him alone? He made it very clear that he wasn't into girls. She just wouldn't take the hint!
Harry face timed Matt after finishing his meal.
"Hey, Harry!" Matt grinned. Harry could see Matt's younger brother in the background. "How's Christmas Break doin' for ya?"
"Terrible!" Harry groaned, "You know Melanie Heffley?"
"The chick who stares at you a lot?"
"Yeah, her. She asked me out. When I said no, she went berserk."
"Dude, I bloody told you you should've spent Christmas with my family in Liverpool and not stay here."
"I know, but I didn't want to intrude." Harry argued, "I think I'm just going to go home and avoid my sister as much as possible." It wasn't like he had a choice. Melanie was getting on his nerves. Going back to West Chapel meant no Melanie. Plus, he would get to see his parents and other family members. He could probably fix things with his sister as well.
"Alright. Look, I got to go bake some cookies with my brother. Remember, you have to finish writing that song for class before the break is over."
"I remember. Bye, Matt."
Harry ended the call, grabbed his guitar, and walked out of his dorm.
He sat on the fluffy grass in Hyde Park, strumming the chords mindlessly. He loved Hyde Park; it was the best place for him to think.
But it was hard to think today.
He felt like he was watched.
Harry tried to ignore the feeling, continuing to strum the chords. He sang quietly, trying to feel the music. But how could he?
Harry looked up, and his heart sank. In front of him was, you guessed it, Melanie.
"Hi, Mel." He said, "What are you doing here?"
"Following you, obviously." She said like that was normal. She sat awfully close to him, a creepy smile on her face, "What are you doing?"
"Playing the guitar." He scooted away.
She went closer, "You're so talented."
"Thanks?" Harry was uncomfortable, "So, Mel, where you from?"
"Why aren't you spending Christmas over there with your family?"
"Because you weren't going home. I wanted to stay with you." Melanie replied. She rested her head on his shoulder, "You smell so good."
Harry's eyes widened, "Um, alright." He scooted again.
Melanie was unfazed. She continued to get closer to him, "I love you, Harry."
"But I don't love you!" Harry exclaimed angrily, "I told you already, Melanie, I'm gay!"
"No, you're not! You love me!" She screamed.
He stood up, "No I don't! I barely even know you! Leave me alone, Melanie, please!' Harry put his guitar in its case and walked away.
"No! You love me! You love me!" She repeated over and over again, following after him.
He spent the five-minute walk back to the university trying to ignore her screams. She begged and cried, but he ignored it.
Once he got to his dorm he gently pushed her out when she tried to follow him in.
"Go hang out with your bloody friends!" He was starting to lose his temper.
"No!" She stomped her foot like a child.
Harry gently pushed her away, “I’m sorry, Mel.” he slammed the door in her face and locked it.
“Let me in, Harry, let me in!”
Harry laid on his bed, put his earbuds on, and blast his music, trying to ignore her shouts.
She left at midnight. Midnight.
She stayed at his door, waiting for him to come out until one of her friends had to drag her away. How does this complete nutter even have friends?
He missed dinner, and he was starving. He searched through drawers, looking for an energy bar, gummy bears, something! Matt always had food, but of course, tonight, he didn’t. Matthew Emerson, you jerk!
Harry was going to sneak into the cafeteria.
He walked inside the cafeteria, flashlight in hand. Get some food, then leave. The end. He thought in his head. He quietly opened the door to the kitchen and walked inside, eyes scanning the area. All clear. He opened one of the large fridges, looking at everything in it.
I’ll just grab some carrots or something. He didn't want to take much. Just something small.
And that’s what he did. He grabbed a bag of carrots and one of those little cups of the ranch. Harry left the kitchen and gasped.
Melanie stood a few feet away, a knife in her trembling hands. “Harry.”
“Melanie? What are you doing?” he choked out, taking a step back. She took a step forward.
“I love you, Harry!” she sobbed, “And I don’t want to do this.”
“What are you talking about? Put the knife down!”
“I can’t put it down!” she screamed, “I.. .I. . .” she started to wail, “If I can’t have you, no one can!”
She dashed towards him. He reacted quickly, running for the doors. But. . . But they were blocked by a lunch table and a few chairs. He took a turn, running into the kitchen. He slammed the doors shut, pressing his back to it.
“Come here, Harry! Let me kill you!”
Harry opened a drawer and took out a spatula. He looped it through the two door handles, bending it with all his might. He fished his phone out of his pocket, dialing a familiar pair of numbers.
“911, what’s your emergency?”
“There’s this girl in my university trying to kill me! I’m hiding in the cafeteria kitchen.”
“Please, stay calm. Which university are you in?”
Harry quickly told her the information she needed and she hung up, saying the usual, ‘help is on the way’.
“Let me in, Harry!”
Harry grabbed a large butcher knife from one of the drawers and sat behind the island. He hugged his knees, listening to the thumping of Melanie’s shoulder hitting the door.
“Harry, open the door!”
He heard one last thump, and then a clunk. The spatula.
Harry listened to the slow footsteps coming in his direction, tightening the grip on his knife.
"Where are you, Harry?"
Tears started to stream down his cheeks as the footsteps got closer and closer. She began tapping the knife on counters, and she began to sing:
I'm gonna make you love me
You're gonna make me breakfast
It's a secret just between us
We can keep it low-key
I ain't being funny
You should be so lucky
To put your, put your velvet arms around me"
The singing stopped, including the footsteps. Harry held his breath, straining to hear anything.
Next thing he knew, he was pushed roughly, a large pain in his arm. She stabbed him. He let out a scream, pushing her off of him. He scrambled to his feet, trying to ignore the pain in his arm. He went to run away, but before he could even take a step, she lurched forward and stabbed his leg. He yelped out, collapsing to the ground.
"If only you would just love me back, Harry." She growled, straddling his waist. Then she raised the knife and plunged it into his stomach. She retracted it, and stabbed him again, and again, and again.
Harry tried to push her away, scream, anything. He was in so much pain. He felt his warm sticky blood drip onto his fingertips. He clenched his fist, and with all the strength he had, he punched her. She let out a shout of surprise. He raised his fist, but she stabbed his hand before he was able to do any damage.
He felt himself getting lightheaded. He lost so much blood. Too much blood.
"Goodnight, Harry," Melanie said softly, closing his eyelids. He didn't have the strength to reopen them. Melanie smiled happily. She pointed the knife to her neck, "I love you, Harry." And with that, she plunged the knife into her own flesh.
Harry's heavy eyes opened, and he lazily looked around. His eyes widened.
He was in the woods.
He sat up, lifting up his shirt. All the wounds were gone. He raised his hand to his face. No stab. He rolled up his pants leg. Not even a scratch. What happened?
Harry noticed a lantern a few feet away and went to it, picking it up. He did a 360 spin, looking at his surroundings. Just trees.
Harry jumped, turning to the owner of the voice. He saw no one around him. "Who's there?" He yelled, "How do you know my name?"
"I've been watching you for a while, child."
"Where are you?" Harry kept turning his head, trying to find the owner of the voice, "Who are you?"
"Well, child, I cannot say who I am. But where I am, well, I'm right in front of you."
Harry squinted, trying to find whoever was in front of him. He saw nothing. "I-" he let out a gasp. In front of him, was a shadow. The shadow was of a tall man. "You're a shadow?"
"No, this is merely one of the things I can form into. But that does not matter. I think you realized by now that your wounds are gone, correct?" Harry nodded softly. "That is because I saved your life. Now, you are going to repay me."
"How?" Harry questioned.
The shadow walked closer to him, "Now, child, you're not going to like what I plan for you, but if you don't do these simple tasks, I will take the lives of your parents."
Harry's eyes widened, filling with tears, "Don't hurt them-"
"I won't. As long as you do what I tell you."
"Okay." Harry said bravely, "I'll do whatever you want as long as you leave my family alone."
"Harold Cashmyer, nineteen years old, called the police last night, claiming a girl was out to kill him and he was hiding in his university. Local authorities went to investigate and did not find the boy. Instead, they found the body of Melanie Heffley, also nineteen. The scene was covered in blood, so blood samples were taken to the forensic unit. It was revealed two hours ago that most of the blood at the scene was Harold's blood and not the girls. Local authorities believed he may have stabbed her trying to defend himself, and he ran off. They believe the missing boy is dead from blood loss. The body had not been found."
Lana stared at the screen, eyes wide in shock. She knew Harry Cashmyer, he was such a sweet boy. He was the younger brother of Emma Cashmyer, Lana's best friend. How could something so terrible happen to someone like him?
Lana heard a soft thump from upstairs. She let out a grunt. Her stupid dog always liked to knock things down. She heard another thump, but louder.
"Rue, shut up!" Lana yelled, standing up from her seat. She walked up to the stairs and into her workout room, where all the noise was coming from. Rue wasn't inside. In the corner of her eye, she saw something on the wall.
It was a shadow.
Not her own shadow, no, it was someone else's. The shadow moved, slowly walking to the next wall. It looked like the shadow was flipping something in its hand.
The shadow swiftly left the room.
Lana ran after it, seeing it slip into her bedroom. She dashed inside, and let out a scream.
A boy sat in the corner of her room, flipping a knife. He had curly brown hair and bright green eyes. Just like Emma's. He was tall, which was the opposite of Emma. It was Harry Cashmyer, Emma's little brother!
"I'm really sorry," he said softly, "I don't want to do this to you, Lana." Tears started to run down his pale cheeks. Tears of blood. "But he made me. I'm so sorry."
Lana dashed out of the room and down the stairs. She ran straight to the door and yanked it open. It wouldn't budge. She pulled as hard as she could, but it wouldn't open. What is going on? In a panic, she hid in the small space behind a chair, tears streaming down her cheeks.
She heard footsteps going down the stairs. Lana held her breath, listening to Harry's footsteps.
Then he did something shocking. He began to sing:
I'm gonna make you love me
You're gonna make me breakfast
It's a secret just between us
We can keep it low-key
I ain't being funny
You should be so lucky"
He stopped singing, and it was silent.
What happened to Harry Cashmyer? Why was he coming at poor Lana with a knife? Thoughts ran through her head like a whirlwind.
Those thoughts were interrupted when the chair she hid behind flew across the room, Harry right in front of her.
Song: Harry by Kelsy Karter