I Dared My Best Friend to Ruin My Life: Part 2 by Zandsand90
Hello again, everyone.
I’ve had more time to write than yesterday. Sorry about the length. I’m trying to catch up to the present as quickly as possible but also include enough detail so you can see how thorough David was being.
I’ll resume where I left off.
While I was still trying to resolve the credit disputes with those companies, my car's windows started getting smashed. The first time, it was parked on the street in front of my apartment. I woke up one morning to find the driver's window smashed and my car raided. My car was just a crappy Honda Civic, and I didn’t ever keep anything expensive in there, but they snatched my stereo, which was shitty anyway, and all the spare change in the car. Desperate much?
I got my window repaired that day and decided to set aside some cash to buy a really nice stereo now that I had an excuse.
The next morning, the same window was smashed again. Again, I had parked it in front of my apartment. I got that repaired reluctantly, and started to park in the underground parking for the apartment complex. See, no one likes the underground parking because the lines are painted too close so it's not uncommon for your car to get scratched up down there. I decided it was better than a smashed window, so I fought for a spot that evening.
I know you’re going to ask why I didn’t call the police. Mistakes, that’s why. We all make them. You have the wisdom that comes with knowing the whole story. I didn’t.
Glass was all over around my car when I went down the next morning. It wasn't just the driver's window that was damaged. The front windshield and back windshield were deeply cracked. I spent some time looking at every car in the garage. No one else had so much as a scratch on their windows. What the hell? If some random asshole was out breaking windows, he was targeting me.
I noticed the note after I'd gotten into the car. It was a sticky note folded up and slipped into the ignition key hole. I opened it. "You have to increase your minimum required effort." It said. The phrasing was intentional. David WANTED me to know it was him. And when I saw that phrase, I remembered our conversation.
I went into a total rage and drove out of the parking lot, trying my best to drive with the cracked windshield. I still remembered how to get to David's house, and I ran a red light or two to get there.
Parking in front of his house, I slammed the door shut and marched to the front door. I held the doorbell for much longer than necessary. I tried to breathe and remain calm. David won't help me if I show up shouting and yelling.
His mom answered after a few minutes. David's parents had held off on having a child until they were much older. As a result, David's mom was already 75 even though David was only 23.
"Hello?" She said, opening the door. Then she saw who it was. "Oh, Zander! How nice of you to come over! I haven't seen you in weeks!"
"Yeah, it's been... well it's been almost a year," I sighed. "Mrs. K, is David home?"
"No, sorry dear. He's at work right now."
"Oh, okay I'll go and catch him at the theater," I said, backpedalling towards my car.
"No, no, he doesn't work there anymore."
"He got fired?" I asked.
"No, he quit. Not long after you did. He became a security guard somewhere, he never mentioned where."
"I'll call him then," I said.
"He dropped his phone a few weeks ago and got a new one," she said. "Let me give you the new number." She walked back inside for a minute, and I waited on the porch. She came back with her old flip phone and opened it.
"Do you mind?" She asked. "My arthritis makes it hard to use this phone."
I went to her contacts, found David's number, entered it into mine, and handed the phone back.
"Thanks, Mrs. K," I said. Even if David was being an asshole, I had always liked his mom.
"Any time," she said with a smile and closed the door.
I called David immediately, but only got a voicemail.
"Hi David, it's Zander. I just spoke with your mom and she didn't know where you were so she gave me your number. Please call me, man. I think you know why," I said to his voicemail. I figured that being polite was the best way to get him to fix everything.
In the middle of work that day, my phone buzzed. Hoping it was David, I stepped outside and answered. It was Clark.
"Zander, have you been home today since you left?"
"We've been robbed!"
"Someone broke in and stole a ton of stuff. Your computer is missing, our tv is gone, all kinds of shit."
"Son of a bitch," I said. "Did you call the police?"
"Yes, they're on their way."
"Don't touch anything, okay?" I suggested, remembering all the episodes of CSI that I'd binged on. "We might be able to get fingerprints. I think I know who it is."
"An ex-friend. I'll tell you when I get home. I'm leaving soon."
I told the manager that my apartment had been broken into, and he let me go home. I drove home with my still broken windshields, praying I didn't get pulled over for it.
When I got to the apartment, the police were already there. I walked to the landing where a cop was interviewing Clark, and another was looking through the apartment.
The cop turned to face me. "Are you one of the roommates?" He asked.
"This is Zander," Clark said.
"My partner is looking through the apartment now. A tech is going to come out and dust for prints. We're going to need you to make an inventory of everything that was stolen and bring it to the station once the tech is done."
"I have a suspect," I said. The cop raised his eyebrows. "His name is David King. He used to be a really good friend of mine, but recently I've suspected that he's doing all kinds of shit to me. I think he's stolen my identity and my parent's identity, damaged my vehicle, and now broken into my house." Clark shot me a questioning look.
"Why do you think he's doing all this?" The officer asked.
"I found this in my car's ignition this morning with the windows smashed," I said, handing him the folded sticky note out of my pocket. He read it.
"Why do you think he wrote this?" He asked.
"We had a conversation about a year ago where we were talking about the minimum requirements for success and how school made our lives easier because it had consequences if we didn't make a minimal effort," I explained. It looked like the idea went right over the cop's head.
"We'll test this for prints too," was all he said, pulling an evidence bag from his belt and putting the note inside. "Come down to the station with your inventory and be ready to make a formal statement about your friend." I agreed to do so.
At that moment, the partner came outside with nothing to report. The tech arrived and started dusting. We waited patiently, eager to see what was missing.
"You really should lock your bedroom doors," the partner said. "Two of your roommate's doors are locked, so I doubt anything was stolen from them. You should make sure they check their rooms for anything that's missing when they get home."
We agreed to ask them, the tech finished up and told us we'd know in a few days what prints he was able to find.
The house seemed bare. Only the largest couch out of three was left in the living room. The tv, which had been a 65" plasma, was gone. Food was missing from the pantry, and even the contents of the fridge were dumped on the floor. Silverware was scattered around the kitchen floor and counters.
"Where the hell is Isaac or Jackson?!" Clark yelled angrily. "They're always home!"
"We should call them," I said.
"I don't have their numbers," Clark replied.
"Well, neither do I," I said, walking to my bedroom. It was stripped bare of anything worthwhile.
My computer, mouse, keyboard, computer chair, boxes of random knick knacks, bicycle were all missing. My dresser drawers were laying everywhere, my closet was clearly raided, and my bed covers had been tossed around the room.
I heard bouts of loud cursing from Clark as he inspected his room. "HE TOOK MY GODDAMN XBOX THAT SON OF A BITCH."
Feeling shocked, defeated, and numb, I sat on the bed. I called Katie to tell her what'd happened. No answer. I shot her a text, "My house got robbed," and stared at the wall for a while, thinking.
David King had been in my house. He'd stolen my identity, my public image, and now my things.
It was time to step up my game. No, not my game. My life. Time to stop floating through life and start beating the minimum required effort.
During the rest of that day, we learned a lot about plumbing. David had loosened every pipe he could find in the house. Clark made the discovery when our toilet unleashed a tsunami when he flushed. We spent hours cleaning that up. To fix all the pipes, we had to go out and buy tools because neither of us had any at the house. When my card was declined, Clark stepped in and paid.
My declined card worried me. Clark and I went to the library, and I tried to log into my online banking site. Locked out. Shit. I didn't even bother retrying my password.
We raced to the bank before they closed, and I breathlessly approached the teller.
"I need... to freeze my... account," I breathed.
"What's your account number?" The teller apparently named Shauntelle asked.
I told her my account number from memory. She opened it on her computer.
"Drivers license, please."
I handed her my card. She typed my drivers license number into her computer to verify my identity, then handed it back to me.
"Looks like your account is at zero," she said. "You can only freeze the account if there's money."
"I've been robbed!" I shouted, feeling extremely angry now.
"You moved all of your money to your debit card via our online app, and then withdrew it all in cash from an ATM this afternoon."
"No, it wasn't me!" I said. "I've been hacked!"
"If you'd like to report fraudulent transactions, I can fill that out for you right here."
"Yes. Fine. Do it." I said abruptly. Clark watched me with worry a chair by the door.
"When did you start to notice the fraudulent activity?" She asked.
"Today, but it could have started any time over the last year," I replied. She raised her eyebrows in a way she thought I couldn't see and started typing.
After a few minutes, she looked up at me.
"Okay, I've filled out the report and submitted it. You should hear back from our fraud department soon."
"What about the ATM cameras?" I said.
"I don't have access to those, you'll have to file a police report," she said.
"Okay, I'll do that." Then Clark and I went back to the car and drove to the apartment. We would have gone to the police department right away, but the apartment was still flooding in places.
We spent a few hours finding leaky pipes and tightening them. It took hours because we looked everything up before we did it to be sure we were doing it right.
Clark inspecting the pipes under the kitchen sink while I sat at the table and started my inventory for the police. It was already 9pm, so we were going to take it in the morning. Our local station wasn’t open 24 hours a day. We had knocked on Jackson and Isaac’s doors, but got no answer. Either they weren’t home, or they were ignoring us.
"I'm really sorry about all the fraud going on," Clark said as he tightened a pipe. "You said you think you know who it is? Who's David King?"
"David used to be a friend about a year ago," I said. I told him about the dares and the conversation that led up to it.
"You dared each other to ruin each other's lives, and then he took it more than seriously?" Clark asked, incredulous.
"Apparently," I sighed.
"So you're not going to hold up your end of the deal?" Clark said.
"He dared you first, man. And you haven't even tried!"
"Well... no, I guess not."
"Then let's think of something to really destroy his life!" Clark pulled himself out from under the sink and washed the grease off his hands.
"Prison would do it," I suggested. "If I can nail him for identity theft, that'll solve the problem."
"True," Clark said. "But we need to show him that you aren't going to just lay down and take it. I have an idea. It’s not going to ruin his life, but it’ll make him realize that you’re going to fight back."
Clark took me in his car to Home Depot. We bought two cans of black spray paint and Clark paid in cash.
"Okay, where does this dumbass live?" Clark asked when we were back in the car.
"Clark, his mom is great. I don't think I can spray her house," I replied.
"His mom?!" Clark laughed hysterically. "Some guy that still lives with his mom is terrorizing you?!"
"Okay, okay, Jesus," I said. I gave him the address, and he took off.
We drove past the house to see if any lights were on. It was dark. Even the porch lights were off. We parked three blocks away from the house and started walking.
"What's the plan?" I uttered.
"Spray 'THIEF' on the front of the house," Clark whispered with a smile. “That ought to get the neighbor’s talking.”
When we were next to the neighbor's house, we ducked behind a fence and surveyed the neighborhood. All was quiet. No movement, no noise, no people.
We stayed low and silently dashed to the front of the house. I sprayed the "F", Clark sprayed the "T" and we worked towards each other. It barely took three seconds. We stepped back for half a second and examined our handiwork. The letters were three feet tall, easily visible from the road. Perfect.
We turned and started to run towards the car. Then the door to the house opened. I glanced over my shoulder.
David Fucking King.
"Oh shit," I hissed. Clark heard me and we sprinted full-on towards the car. David tore down the sidewalk after us. Clark looked behind as well.
"Oh God, oh God, oh God," Clark chanted with each step. He actually looked worried.
As we approached the car, Clark had a realization.
"Just keep going," he tried to whisper even though he was out of breath. "I locked the door, it'll take too long to unlock. And he'll know my license plate." Clark didn't have automatic locks, he had to use the key manually. I agreed with his logic and we ran past the car as if it were just another vehicle.
I looked back, and David was gaining on us. It was too dark to see his expression. Hell, I didn’t even know if he recognized me.
"Split up," I cried, turning right into someone's front yard. Clark kept going straight.
When I reached the white, plastic fence that led along the back of their property, I glanced backwards. David had followed me and ignored Clark.
I scrambled up the slippery fence and dropped on the other side. I had landed in someone else's back yard. I started running toward their front yard. A motion-detecting light on the wall went off, blinding me. I looked behind me again to watch David scale the fence in half a second. When the HELL had he learned how to do that?!
I rounded the corner of the house and smashed right into a patio table and chairs. The chairs clattered down and the table tipped over while my body folded around it. My heart was pounding as I untangled myself.
That’s when David grabbed the back of my neck and pushed me down, my face against the edge of the table.