It had been weeks since the attack on Janice. And there was neither any slightest improvement in her state nor any trail on the culprit behind it.
It was vexing me to who would do something like attacking on Janice. It wasn’t robbery, nothing was taken. And it was a gruesome way in which she was tried to kill like the person had attacked her in a fit of an ire.
Everything seemed to be storming up in my life. My friend was barely alive. And someone was pranking me, to be in apparent denial, I was still choosing to believe that.
He was trying to freak me out with some my photos taken while asleep, sending me texts, and that chocolate instant.
Am I being stalked? It was ostensible. For a prank to go this far had a very little chances, taking in account to my decent social relation. Though, I wasn’t as social as Janice, I was still on good terms with people I talked.
Derek could be doing that? He wasn’t dumb, but he wasn’t smart enough either to pull something like that. And what reason he had to stalk me. He got the date with me that he blew off on his own.
I wasn’t good with anything which wasn’t normal for me. And normalcy seemed to be lost with events happening recently in my life. So I was at my worst now.
I had to change my apartment. My parents preferred I staying with them until the culprit was caught. But who would know how long it was gonna take. And living in that apartment wasn’t an option either. It had a year long memory I, Janice, and Rayon had created in there with our goofiness. And being their I couldn’t stop reminiscing over the memories. Though this reason was second major for changing my apartment. First major reason was, I was scared to be there on my own.
And my pride was huger than my neighbor Mr. Holden, who was three hundred pounds, to give into the comfort of my parent’s place. Though, I was tempted for once. I felt much safer at the home than this cheapo deal in the name of an apartment. But I would work this out, somehow.
I was pulled out my thoughts as I heard the footsteps trotting in inside the room.
I glanced at door. Rayon was coming inside, his denim jacket fastened around his waist, his hands holding up a large carton marked as tableware.
“That’s the last one,” He said, settling it over the other cartons on the floor.
“Thanks for your help,” I said, picking up a bottle from the newly set dinner table and hold it out to him.
He took it, uncorking the cap. “So do you like it here?”
“Hating isn’t a choice. No matter how old and crappy it is.” I sagged to the chair by my side.
“You always have a choice. You can move in with me. I’ll put on a long wig and you could pretend I’m a girl.” He suggested jokingly. But I knew except for that girl part but it was genuine option from his side.
I chortled at his silly offer. “Thanks. But it would be creepy of you to do that.”
He was leaning on the wall, his hands crossed, he was gazing at me with a smile on his bewitching face, almost melting my insides. “It’s good to hear you laugh after all these weeks.”
I smiled shyly at his cognizance of mood. But it was apparent. I couldn’t get my mind off the Janice and the potential Stalker I may have. And it had caused my peace to disappear, making me entrapped in my storming world.
“I could be wrong. But you’re not acting like yourself lately. I know it could be due to Janice being tried to kill. But we all are bothered by that, Ann. Is there something bothering you?” His eyes were narrowed on me.
There were a lot I wanted to tell him. But I didn’t want to bother anyone from the things I wasn’t sure so about.
I didn’t know what to say. He had caught me off guard.
“It’s...” I was tormented between telling him or telling him not.
“Have you gone through wether to tell me or not?” He said simply, again giving an example of his sharp observance to see right through me.
“It’s about,” I was for a second tempted to say nothing, but it would be like telling a white lie on his face. “Josh.”
He stared at me until my words sank to me.” Josh?... What about that douche?”
It was expected reaction from anyone who knew me. No one dared to mention his name.
“He’s back.” I sighed. It was making me a wreck mentioning him. I didn’t want my mind to wander around him. So I pretended to avoid his existence. “I met him at parking of my old apartment while I was about to go for a date with Derek.”
His brow curved in a deep frown. “Near your old apartment? What was he doing there?”
“He was visiting a friend, he told me.”
“Ya, sure and I’ve three legs.” He rolled his eyes.
A flash of agitation surges through me. “Rayon!”
He rose his hands in surrender. “Just trying to get your mind to something it hasn’t been to.”
“What?” I asked, irked.
“That obsessive freak was near your apartment on the day...” He probed for me to complete.
I contemplated his words. And a realization hit me like a sack of bricks. “When Janice was attacked.”
He nodded. “Yes.”
I gulped as a lump formed in throat. “Are you trying to imply... that he could be the one to attack her?”
“What are the odds of him being here when Janice was brutally attacked?” He was stating some facts that hadn’t fall anywhere near my mind.
“I dunno...” I was trying to process through the dread at the possibility of Josh being the culprit.
“You know we’re here talking about the guy who has some serious temper issues. I hope you remember that biker..?” His eyes were saying it all.
How could I forget that biker. He tried to touch me with his filthy intentions. And Josh made him pay. More than necessary though. He had beaten him blue.
“And do you know what,” I looked at Ray, his eyes were set far off as if he was brooding.
“He had reason for revenge over Jan.”
I took the nuked frozen meal out from microwave and carried it to the couch, flopping over the cushy surface, setting the meal over my lap.
I was famished.
A sort of solace was washing over me to have a bit of peace in my surrounding. Though my insides weren’t at peace at all.
I couldn’t stop mulling over what Rayon had said.
Josh...Could it be him?
I had started that stalking experience at same time Josh appeared. But I didn’t want it to be him of all people. I couldn’t ever imagine him doing this to me.
We loved each other, and I wanted to believe there was nothing sick about it. He wasn’t an obsessive boyfriend, he was a possessive one. But then his possessiveness could be a form of obsession that I didn’t acknowledge before.
And to try killing Janice...He had a reason. But killing her...?
During our highschool years. I met Josh. He had always been popular. Girls were after him. But I had not had a least bit of interest in him. That made him chase me like a lovesick puppy. But a cute and nice one, that made my heart fall so hard that even now I couldn’t get over it. It was somewhere in me. A regret of losing him.
When we started dating, Janice was always playfully teasing us. And never for once, she showed any kind of interest in Josh. But all of a sudden, her mood flipped. She started to crash in on our dates, trying to get cozy with Josh on several occasions. It wasn’t making me jealous, but perplexed at her sudden diversion in interest.
And when she proposed Josh two days before my birthday, It was a shocker to me. But then I understood that being happy for me dating Josh was just a pretend. She liked him, too.
A lot of things happened, during those things Janice wasn’t there. I started to confide in Rayon. He was Janice’s lab partner and her friend too. We would see each other at most occasions and talked. And after that we became good friends.
I had to break up with Josh. I didn’t want to hurt Janice by dating the same guy she liked.
Though, the decision broke my heart.
Josh was outrageous. He tried to pursue me, talked to Janice. And in the end blamed Janice. But I wasn’t gonna move from my decision. I wanted to preserve my friendship of eight years with her. She was my best friend. We did a lot for each other. I couldn’t ruin it.
I knew Janice wasn’t a bad person. She must have like him too much to drive her to this extent.
After that, Josh moved out to New York. And Janice showed up her face on the day of graduation before me. She apologized. She wanted me to get back with Josh. But it was late, he had gone. And I couldn’t be selfish. I knew she was saying that for me, suppressing her feelings.
So with Josh gone, I let him be a buried memory until his return.
Why it has to be so tangled?
Suddenly, the light went off, making my heart jump. I remained riveted to my spot. It seemed like a power out.
The ring of my phone echoed in the dark silence.
I looked at source of a small light of my phone’s screen by my side.
I picked it up. Shards of ice settling in my stomach as I looked in the dark at the anonymous number flashing on the screen.