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Reverberation

Updated on September 22, 2012

Pulp Fiction Soundtrack - Opening Theme (Dick Dale and His Del Tones - Miserlou)

“Testing…1…2…3. Okay, when you feel comfortable enough, you may begin. Please state your name for the record.”

“My name is Jeremy Jones. This is my account of the event that happened on the night of June 16, 2005.

It's been years since that last encounter, but I relive it over again and again every time I enter a large room, bathroom or any space that causes an echo when you speak. I know it may sound childish, but it has left an indelible mark on my psyche that no amount of therapy can shake.

When I was seventeen, I had a history teacher named Paul Wickham. We [the students] thoughts he was sort of anti-social, because he would never speak about anything but history. Sometimes I would try to liven up the class by mentioning current politics or link newspaper stories to historical facts, hoping it would bring Wickham out of his shell. It never worked. He would say something indifferent like "Ah ya, you don't say", and then go on with his lesson. It wasn't until the end of the school year when Mr. Wickham finally relaxed and showed a glint of humanity.

My high school prom was just weeks away, and I had a big idea to impress a girl into going with me. I decided to enlist a teacher’s help, since my plan called for an adult to make it more believable. My plan was to fake knowing a major celebrity. Not only did I know this celebrity, but I was the gofer for this guy doing odd jobs around his house like washing his car and cleaning out the pool. In return he would get me the hook-up on stuff like letting me sometimes drive his car to school, buying me alcohol or letting me crash at his place when he wasn't home. The whole thing was supposed to culminate on prom night with everyone meeting at this celebrity guy's house for an after party.

I did consider asking my dad, but I knew he would never buy my friends beer or let me borrow the car as much as I needed it. I even tried using my best friend's older brother, but I soon found out his apartment was a dump and his car was a clunker. Using him was out of the question. I was just about to give up when Wickham held me back at the end of class one evening. I protested a little because it was my last class and if I didn't get outside my bus would take off without me. Wickham didn't seem to care. He said he noticed I seemed preoccupied in class and wanted to know what was bothering me. I told him nothing and tried to leave, but he stepped in front of the door blocking my way. He said I couldn't leave until I opened up about my problem. Can you imagine that? "Mr. Mute" had the audacity to force ME to speak out.

I wanted to leave and finally gave in. I told him my plight. He smiled a broad crooked smile bearing brown teeth full of gaps. I guessed this was why he was so antisocial. He said he would do it. He actually agreed to be my fake celebrity. He would loan me his car, his apartment, even his money! I was incredulous. All I could think of was the fact that this man wanted something in return. I cringed to think what. I had to know, so I asked. He acted hurt, offended. He said he was doing it out of the kindness of his heart. How could I insinuate such a thing? He swore all he wanted was my friendship. He was so convincing that by the time he finished his sad violin concerto, I was feeling like a fool. I even went so far as to apologize. At that point, he knew that he had me.

It felt weird, awkward even, to be his friend. I was a little scared of him, even though he never actually harmed me...not physically anyway. That evening, we sat in his classroom hashing out our plan long after the rest of the faculty had left the building. He laughed and beamed that frightening smile as we plotted the details. He even gave me some pointers on how we could dazzle it up even more. By the time we were done it was almost 6 pm and he offered to give me a ride home. On the way home, he asked me about my family and friends. We had a really good talk, but I still had a nagging feeling about him. Just before I got out of the car to go inside my house he gave me his cell number so we could stay in touch and with a lot of coaxing, I finally gave him mine.

The plan was implemented a week before prom. It went off like a charm. The girl was so impressed believing I was really friends with Justin Timberlake that we had sex that night. It was one of the best experiences I had ever had in high school until the following day.

It was the week of final exams and with all of the excitement I hadn't really taken the time to study. I had my math final in the morning and history in the afternoon. I blew the math final, but I had a few hours to brush up and pass the history exam. I went to the library to find a quiet spot. As soon as I got into one of the study rooms my cell phone went off. It was a text from Wickham.

Dude, how did it go las nite?

Good.

Did you get lucky?

Yea

Wuz she a virgin?

Cant talk now

Dude I thought we r buds?

I'm busy.

K. Hope u didnt get VD. Talk wit u latr"

The exchange was totally creepy. It was so creepy that I couldn't concentrate on my studying. I knew I had bombed the test. When I got up to Wickham’s desk to turn in my test, he snatched it out of my hand and wrote a big red "A" in grease pencil at the top without even looking over my answers. He smiled that creepy crooked smile again, but never said a word. I didn't say anything either. I just high tailed it out of there as fast I could. A few minutes later as I was standing along the curb waiting for my school bus, I got another text from him.

Did u like that?

Y did u do it?

Cuz we r budz.

I never askd u 2.

I kno.

Wht do u want?

If u wre a bumper sticker, wht wud u say?

Id say im busy.

r u blow'n me off?

Got 2 go. Bye

Later that night, he sent me another text.

Waz up?

I ignored it. He sent another.

Wht cha doin?

I continued to ignore it.

R u in bed?

I gave no answer.

Cum on! I kno ur in bed, cuz u r wear'n thoz nice boxers I like.

I jumped up out of bed freaking out. I yelled and cursed so much my folks came into the room. I showed them the text and then it was my parents who started freaking out. The next day we met with the principal. He was nice, but didn't freak out. He just played it cool like all bureaucrats do when they are trying to protect their own. It wasn't until my dad threatened to go to the police did he finally concede to do something about it. I was lucky that there was only one day left of finals and then I would be done completely with high school and Wickham.

The second day of finals, I hid out in the library between tests not wanting to run into Wickham. My parents had my cell phone number changed a few days before, and I knew as long as I stayed out of sight I would be okay. Sure enough, I got through my exams and on the bus without a hitch. By the time I got ready for bed that night, I had almost completely forgotten about Wickham.

It was about 11:30 pm when my phone alerted me to an incoming text.

U almst got me fired! I thgt we wr buds! Dont say nuthin or ill slit ur throat!

I sprang up out of bed began really freaking out this time, but I managed to keep silent. I knew he must be watching me again. As I ran over to my window to close the blinds to block his view, my phone chirped a new text.

that wont stop me. u o me. i want you.

I ran into the bathroom and locked the door behind me. I crotched down in the bathtub and took the battery out of my phone. The ice-cold porcelain was a little soothing against my feverish skin. Large beads of sweat ran down my forehead and my stomach churned with nausea. It was all I could do not to throw up. Many minutes passed. I think I waited in that tub for over an hour thinking that maybe he would just give up and go away. It was about 12:45 pm by the time I mustered the courage to go back to my bedroom. As I opened the door to leave, I saw the message written in the mirror inscribed by a finger and someone’s hot breath.

U O ME! U O ME! U O MEEEEEE!

Despite not having its battery, my phone began to ring wildly. The loudness of ringtone filled the bathroom reflecting rhythmically off the acoustic walls. Looking dumbly at the detached battery still lying in the tub, I felt like jumping out of my skin. At first I didn’t recognize the ringtone. It wasn’t anything I would’ve liked. Then as I listened closer I figured it out. It was the opening theme from the “Pulp Fiction” movie, “Miserlou”. It suddenly dawned on me that I had read somewhere they made the cool guitar riffs by placing the microphone in front of a 50 gallon water tank and the speaker inside it. It was the popularization of reverb music. What was wrong with me? All I could think about was playing Trivia Pursuit at a time when I was about to die. My phone glowed brightly alerting me to his next demand.

DN'T GO 2 SLEEP!

I knew I needed to get to my parent’s room, so I plotted a strategy to turn off the bathroom light before I opened the door. This way, he wouldn't be able to see me if he were standing just outside the door planning to lunge at me. I flung the door open and turned sideways to hide in the space between the door jamb and the sink. No one was standing there. I thought I was home free and ran towards my parents’ room when I heard a low, gravelly voice behind me.

“You owe me. I’ve come to collect.”

A hand wrapped itself around my shoulder and ripped me back into the dark bathroom.”

“Yes, and then what?”

The psychiatrist was a tall, thin woman in her late thirties. She rolled her hazel-green eyes at her client in disgust, but held her tongue when he didn’t respond. She feigned patience by brushing a tuft of long auburn curls away from her forehead. She knew she needed to give him the time he required to answer. After ten minutes of waiting, she had had enough.

“Please go on.”

“I have nothing left to say.”

“What about the boy?”

“What boy?”

“Jeremy Jones! What happened to him?”

“What do you mean? I’M Jeremy Jones!”

“Do you remember raping and killing him?”

Silence.

“Did you burn down his house killing his parents as well?!”

“My parents are just fine and retired in Florida! Why are you saying these creepy things? Are you trying to scare me or are you crazy?!”

Flabbergasted, the psychiatrist leaned into the microphone to finalize her recording.

“This concludes the evaluation of Paul S. Wickham. Subject still adopts the persona of his victim and consequently remains highly delusional even after years of hospitalization and therapy.

At this time I must conclude Mr. Wickham continues to be a danger to himself and to society. I recommend his continued commitment in this institution until such time he may accept and acknowledge the murders.

This is Dr. Dahlia Michaels, MD. End of tape number 768.”

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