It all started with the body I saw in the bathtub. Okay scratch that, it actually started with my big mouth.
If I had kept what I saw to myself or the police, I wouldn’t have become his prey. But no, being cursed with the gift of gab, I recounted the story for anybody who would listen.
I worked in a hotel, and had discovered her lifeless body when I went to check why Room 113 had refused to check out. One thing stood out, she wore red pumps and it fit the bloody water she was found floating, in a macabre way.
I wasn’t supposed to say anything to anybody, but I had and it had gotten to him.
The call came in, early when I was taking my morning run. I’d already programmed my phone for auto receive, I heard his voice almost immediately in my earpiece. “Sophia…”. He didn’t say more before hanging up.
I knew it was him. I’d always had good instincts. I was so scared that I wasn’t thinking straight. I know I should have gone to the police, but paranoia had overcome me. I locked myself indoors for days. Only going out to get necessities from the grocery shop, on the next block.
It was a good thing I’d gotten a break, on grounds of ” emotional stress”, at the hotel, so I was free to do as I wanted.
I stopped going out at night, and only went to places where the crowd was thick, but still I felt shadowed and stalked. I could almost swear, someone had come into my room, just the other night and traced his fingers on my full lower lip, but I woke up and found everything in order. I consoled myself that I’d projected my fear into my dreams.
This had to stop, and the only way I knew of losing myself from reality was working out at the local gym. It was Tuesday, and I usually put in a gruelling four hour workout with my personal trainer. I hadn’t been last week, and he’d called to remind me. I decided to spend my whole morning in the gym, catching up on lost hours.
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It was midday, when I received a call from my neighbour, she had found my cat outside and was leaving to pick her daughter. I couldn’t even remember letting the cat out, I’d become so absent minded.
I said a fast goodbye and started running home. Home was just few blocks away and I knew I could make it if I ran.
I had just rounded the corner, when I bumped into a guy. He smiled, as he picked me up, exposing his white teeth and apologised for not watching where he was going.
I thanked him and took the last laps to my front door, where my cat was sitting in a cage.
Happily, I let her out and burst into my front door. Something was wrong, the blinds were drawn and all the bulbs were not lit. I always left my lights on. Cat gave a pitiful meow, and bolted back through the front door, causing the door to close with a sharp bang.
I hastily turned around, trying to open the door when I felt a hand clamp around my waist from behind.
A bloodcurdling scream escaped my mouth, the same time the lights came back on and a chorus of voices shouted, “Surprise!”.
Standing there was Max, my boyfriend. With all happening, I’d forgotten my own birthday. He kissed me and told me how he’d been planning this party for a while now. He’d called to tell me he was coming home for the hols, but couldn’t relay his message since network had been shitty, and so had decided to surprise me instead.
Well, mystery solved. That call had been Max and not some stalker. I threw my head back, and laughed for two straight minutes, thanking heavens for once that my instincts were wrong.
The party was in full swing, when the doorbell rang and I rushed to answer it.
There on my doorstep, sitting next to Cat’s cage, was a wrapped box.
I gently picked it up and opened the box. Nestled inside, on a bed of roses was a pair of red pumps, with an attached note.
On the note was written, ” You looked beautiful today, covered in sweat. Let your hair down more often.”
Laura Oreva is presently studying Pharmacy. She loves reading and listening to music. Laura can be reached on Facebook – Laura Oreva or by email – firstname.lastname@example.org