One step behind



James is walking towards their old house. They left it when his father had a job far from this place. They decided to go with their father and so James studied there as well. After he graduated he wanted to go to their old house. He was wondering what happens to their old house. He had so many memories from it so he is visiting it now.

Their house located far from many houses but they had one neighbour the Santos family. The only daughter of that family became his friend because there's no one to be his friend. They became really close but only when her friend Karen finished the house chores. He felt bad about Karen because he saw many bruises in her body. Her mother kept hurting Karen when her father left them.

When he's almost in their house he saw Karen's house still clean. He's thinking that maybe he is still there. But he goes to their house first to check.

"Ah, the woods in the house are already damaged. Many holes from both sides are too many. There's no way I can sleep here tonight." He said to himself.



After checking their house, James is going to her friend's house. He just wants to visit an old friend and wondering if she's still fine.

James knocks the door and a pretty woman came out.

"Yes, what is it?"

James suddenly feels a different aura when a woman comes out. She's pretty but then feels really different.

"Is Karen still here?"

"That's me, why?"

James doesn't know how to explain it. He is shaking his head while not looking at Karen's eyes.

"I" m James, Karen. Remember who lived that house before? Your only friend?"

Karen still remembers James but only in the name because they were young when they last talked to each other. Karen smiles sweetly and said.

"How are you, James? A lot of things happened here and my mother is in the room, by the way, come inside."

When James is inside the view of the outside is different from inside. He just ignores it and continues on talking like nothing happens. Karen brings him to her mother and when he saw it. James almost makes his eyes out because of fear and shock. Karen then smiles and start talking to her mother.

"Mom, James is here. Look how he became so handsome."

James stays silent as his fur starts standing of fear. He doesn't know what to do anymore but he just continues talking to Karen.

"Oh, James, mother said it's nice to see you here."

James smiles back and said, "I'm fine thanks, how about you?" But actually, James didn't hear anything. They keep on talking inside until James made his phone rings ao he can go home.

"Wait, Karen, my mother is calling."

He goes outside and as if he is talking to someone. When he's outside he feels relax at last.



James takes too much time outside. Karen then called her.

"Come inside James."

But James just shakes his head saying he doesn't want to. Karen asked James many times but James still refused it. He doesn't want to go back inside because he knew that her old friend was dead already. He concluded it when he saw the mother of Karen was all bones but still Karen thought her mother still alive. And when James before went outside. He touched Karen's hand without being noticed and she couldn't touch it. He feels bad for Karen but there's nothing he can do anymore.

"James, are you leaving me again like before?" Karen said with a pity face.

James couldn't control his emotions and tears start falling.

"Please go to rest Karen. You're already dead, a dead person has nothing to do in this world."

Karen smiling while tears are falling and said.

"What do you mean James? You can see me, right? Then I'm still alive. Please come, James, because it's so lonely here."

James still shakes his head while crying. Slowly, James turned his back to Karen.

"Don't go, James, I feel cold here. Don't go, my mother is hitting me again. Mom, please stop it."

James pictures out what's Karen been through from jer mother. He is crying while running away from the house."

"James...DON'T GO..." Karen shouted while crying coldly.



James asked the people in the village about Karen and he found out the real reason. Karen was not allowed to go outside when she became an adult. Her mother was afraid that some guy will just fool her daughter. Some concerned citizens in the village gave them food but not enough for them. Then one time Karen went outside because she's really hungry. When she came back was dead already. Some people here wanted to get the dead body of her mother because the smell wAs getting bad. Karen didn't allow it and maybe she died because of that smell and hunger. Since then, we didn't go into that place and some people didn't live here said they saw a pretty woman and a house in that place.

"How pitiful," James said.

James gets back to that house and its true form is shown. The house was destroyed already. He brings a priest to offer a prayer in that house including the dead bodies of the two. No one saw Karen but James sees Karen clearly smiling to her. James cried because the life of Karen always in hardship. After the prayer, James noticed someone tapped his shoulder. He looks back and he saw Karen in her front smiling again. Karen hugs James for the last and this time James feels the hug.

"Thank you, James. I wish God gives me time to be with you and to go out without worrying about the world."

After what Karen said, she is gone like dust in the wind. James wanted to something but he has no chance to. Karen is gone already so he just look up in the sky while crying and said.

"Oh, God send my feelings to heaven."