From BEFORE THE SUNRISES
Kelly J (Kelz) Newson
It is a Friday afternoon, and Kevin is heading back to the office from lunch. He was on the freeway going toward Hollywood from the Beverly Hills Hotel, where he always dines for lunch.
As he makes his way back, he notices a billboard advertising condos, which read, “Condos at rock-bottom prices, get off at next exit!”
At first, Kevin hesitated. But at the last minute gets over, cutting off a teen who is talking on her cellphone, and her is so into her own conversation she doesn’t notice him.
As Kevin exits, he notices another billboard, but this time it reads, “3 blocks down on Mulholland Drive, make a right.” Kevin does just what it says.
Arriving at his destination, he steps out of his car and looks at his watch. It reads 3:00 pm. He then remembers he has a 4:30 pm appointment with a patient.
Kevin almost decides to get back into the car until he sees a couple and a woman enter the complex. On the front of the building, there’s a sign that reads “Two left.” So Kevin continues on, entering into the main office.
“Good afternoon, sir!” the woman in the office says.
“Good afternoon! I am here to look at the properties you have for sale.” “Sure, no problem! Just need you to fill out these informational forms,
and I will get someone to take you on a tour.”
“Okay, thank you.”
Kevin grabs the paper and takes a seat, when he notices that neither the
couple or the woman from outside never came in. He looks around. But they’re nowhere to be seen. He takes a peek outside, but they’re not there either. He walks up to the lady again. “Excuse me, miss, but did a couple and another woman come in here before me?”
At first, she looks puzzled, but then answers, “No, you’re the first person we have had all day. It’s been tough trying to sell these last two condos.”
“I see, any indication why?”
“More than likely the recession. But it’s strange because the first 100 sold really fast, and now people don’t even come check out anymore, even with the price cut.”
“I see, that’s strange.”
“Well, what can I say sir, are you done with those forms?”
“Oh sure, but I want to hold on to them until after I look at the place, if you
The lady looks a little displeased but agrees to it. “Okay, sir, sure.” “Thank you.”
Just as Kevin finishes, a man in a fake Calvin Klein suit walks in and
approaches Kevin. Barely giving eye contact. He and the woman look at each other as if they disapprove of Kevin even before he shifts his attention back to Kevin.
“Good afternoon . . .”
“Good afternoon, Kevin, so you are interested in one of our condos we
have, right?” The man asks.
“That’s right, but first I want to ask, how much are they selling
“Well, the two-bedroom condo is $300,000, and the one-bedroom is condo is
“Wow, that is low!” Kevin says, a little impressed.
“Yes, these two have been on the market for a year now. Recession, I
guess,” he says, as if he is reading Kevin’s mind.
“Yeah, that’s what she said,” Kevin says and glances back at the woman. “But
a year on the market at these prices, something’s wrong, if you ask me.” “No, not at all, everyone just doesn’t recognize a good deal like you,
“Uh huh, well, can I see them?” he says, a little impatient now.
“Sure. Bianca, the keys, please.”
Bianca grabs the keys and hands them to Brent. “Here you go.” “Thanks!” Brent takes them with a smile.
“Oh, I’m Brent, by the way, Brent Calloway. But you can just call me
“Nice to meet you, Brent,” Kevin says as he offers his hand.
“Same here, and I hope you like what we have to offer,” he says as he
leads Kevin to the vacant condos.
As they walk, Kevin looks at his watch, “Three thirty,” he says silently.
They enter the one-bedroom first.
“Well, this is the one-bedroom condo, and here’s the kitchen. It has a newly remodeled kitchen with granite counter tops, new flooring, and cabinets with . . .” The man continues, but Kevin drifts off into the bathroom.
Brent doesn’t notice for another five minutes. Kevin steps in the bathroom, and at first, everything is fine, but then he notices something scribbled on the mirror. It reads, “Help me!”
Just then, Brent appears behind him and wipes the mirror off. “Silly college kids who came in last week, never mind that.”
“But I thought you said no one has come to check out this place? Kevin says.”
“And they haven’t, the two-bedroom, that is. This one gets looked at, at least once a week.”
“Uh huh,” Kevin says, a little suspicious now. “Let’s move to the bedroom, shall we?” “Let’s.”
Brent leads the way to the bedroom. “Spacious,” Kevin says.
“Yes, and has a very spacious closet and a nice view, especially at night when the city is all lit up,” he says, pointing to the window.
However, Kevin focuses on the closet, and just as he goes to open it, Brent quickly steps in. “We’ve been having trouble with the doors. Ever since it was painted, they don’t open,” he says jokingly.
But Kevin is unimpressed and impatient now.
“Shall we move to the two-bedroom now?”
Kevin gives a little look then agrees, “Sure!”
Kevin exits the room first, and as they exit the condo, Kevin asks,
“Where’s your restroom?”
“Right outside the office, on the left.”
“Okay, thank you!” Kevin heads to the restroom, constantly looking
over his shoulder to see what Brent is doing. When he finally turns into the restroom, he looks once more behind him and notices that Brent is gone, so he quickly and quietly heads back inside the condo and to the bedroom. Just before entering, he hears voices arguing, then a gunshot. He looks inside, but there’s nothing. He wonders what he just heard. He opens the closet, and there’s a woman pointing a gun at him, with her husband lying dead next to her. Just then, Kevin has a flashback of the couple he saw outside as he had pulled up, but quickly comes back to reality
“But how could this be? No one saw you come in, and this place has been vacant for . . .” he says quietly.
“You’re right about the first part, Kevin, but you see, it isn’t completely vacant.”
Not knowing what that meant completely, she begin to count, “One…, two. What’s wrong, Kevin? You looked surprised to see me. Don’t you remember me, Kevin?”
Kevin then remembers his junior year in college and the girl he had a crush on but was stolen away by his ex-best friend.
“You do remember, Kevin? Why didn’t you ask me out, Kevin? Didn’t you like me, Kevin?”
“Of course I did, it’s just . . .” he says as he glances at his ex-best friend, who lies there dead.
“It’s just what? He only abused me Kevin, and then finally one night, he snapped. I had to, Kevin, he was gonna kill me. Why didn’t you save me, Kevin!”
“Well, me too, but sorry won’t cut it now. Goodbye, Kevin.”
And just as she finishes, she fires. However, Kevin is unharmed. Brent comes rushing in.
“I thought you had to use the restroom?”
“I did, and you know what, I don’t want this place! Bad memories!” Kevin says as he storms off and leaves Brent looking puzzled.
Brent tries to chase after him, but Kevin waves him off.
Brent halts at the front desk and stands trying to catch his breath, and Bianca says, “He knew the girl, huh?”
“I’m afraid so, I wonder how that would have went had I shown him the two-bedroom first.”