Training was not what I was expecting it to be. When I got to Don’s house, everything was dark. He wasn’t sitting out on the porch like I was used to over the last few days. I knocked on the door, softly because I was still somewhat nervous. He didn’t answer by opening the door and greeting me, but instead he yelled from somewhere inside that the door was open. I asked him why he left his door unlocked, especially since he knows how dangerous it could be out there.
His answer: “What you’re referring to won’t be kept out by a bolt on the door. If it wants in your house, it’s already in your house.”
He couldn’t have picked a more terrifying way to kick off my paranormal training. I wanted to go home immediately and check every nook and cranny in my place. But I was there for a reason. What was it? As I was standing awkwardly in his dusty, dank livingroom, I tried to figure out what it was that brought me there- Danny, of course. Closure, sure. Most people can’t move on from something so horrible without some kind of closure. Danny’s funeral was supposed to be my closure, but as the days wore on after, I came to terms that it wasn’t enough for me. I needed something else, something more concrete and real. I didn’t only want a memory of a nightmare in a dark bedroom. I wanted something I could work towards and in the end touch with my own hands and see with my own eyes. I wanted revenge.
“Are you going to come in or are you just going to stand there like a baby deer waiting to be shot?”
That was how Don talked. He didn’t sugar coat anything and he didn’t show any pity for what I’d recently been through. I was actually kind of relieved by the way he treated me. Everyone else saw me as this broken vase, shattered into a million pieces on the floor who will never be put back together again properly. I was damaged goods to them and that’s exactly what I saw in their eyes when they looked at me, leaning their heads to one side slightly and giving me that pathetic frowning smile you give someone you feel sorry for. I hated that look. Even Cara was giving me that look from time to time and I couldn’t take it. Don never looked at me that one. Not once. So, I walked over to where he was sitting and sat myself down on the couch facing him. I clasped my hands and let them rest in my lap while I waited for the training to begin. I wondered if he had some kind of creepy monster hidden in his house somewhere that I was going to practice on. What would it be? A ghost? A demon? Every monster I thought of sounded ridiculous to me, but even so, I could hardly contain my excitement. I crossed one leg over the other and let it bounce up and down in the silence.
He stared at me- long. Hard. Assessing my strengths and weaknesses without a single blink.
“Are we going to get started?” I asked him, not being able to take the silence any longer.
My mind was beginning to play tricks on me the more time passed without talking. I thought I heard something moving around in the attic above us. Or it could have been scratching sounds coming from the basement below. Maybe he was crazy and had people trapped down there to torture and kill them. Anything was a possibility. So why did I stay? Why did I go at all? For that closure, I guess. I won’t stop till I find it.
“The first thing you need to know about hunting is that people die,” Don said, blunt and without feeling. “The people you’re trying to help might die, the thing you’re after might actually be a person and they might die. You might die. I might die. People die and you can’t avoid it and you can’t save everybody. If you’re not okay with that, then I suggest you leave right now.”
I nodded my head, letting what he said soak in. It weighed heavy in my mind, but I knew what was the right thing to do.
I stood up.
“Thank you for your time and for talking with me,” I said and walked out the door.
I couldn’t take anyone else dying because of me. I didn’t know if I could handle not being able to save someone like I wasn’t able to save my own son. Don didn’t try to stop me. He didn’t say anything as I left and headed down the sidewalk towards my house. I walked slower than I normally would just to see if he would come running after me, asking me to reconsider, but he didn’t.
Maybe I would be able to find my closure in some other way.