I was shrank on the bed, curled in a ball. My blanket enveloped around and my white bear from my early childhood was snuggled close to my chest.
I felt worn out, like a part of I was drawing out from me, leaving just an apprehension behind.
These events seemed to presage the horrors that future held. And it wasn’t the horror, it was the anticipation of these horrors that wrenched my nerves.
It was after the minutes I accepted a coffee with Derek, these threats started. He wanted me to not go out with Derek.
My teeth clench as wave of anger surged through me. I didn’t deserve this. No one deserved this. I never asked to be a center of someone’s sick obsession over me.
I couldn’t let it happen. I couldn’t let him crawl in my life and control it. It had to be stopped. Only I could let him have a power over me. And I refused it. I would not be threatened, not at any cost. I would stop it.
I had called the police to lodge a report before leaving to meet up Derek. I refused doing it over phone. So they dispatched a team of officer at my place. And here I was sitting across those officers from before. Gerald Stone and Theodore Wilson.
“Ms. Cowden, do you any evidence of that Stalker you claim is threatening you?” Officer Wilson asked, sitting across me.
I nodded. “Yes, I do have.”
I held up the two letters, that sick had written me, to him. He took it. Officer Stone, looking at the letters in the hand of his partner with awaiting curiosity. He unfolded the first letter, and I could see officer Stone rose a brow as if he was puzzled while officer Wilson frowned deeply like he couldn’t make out what was inside it. He put it aside and unfolded the second letter and the reaction was as before. A deep puzzlement on their chubby and thin faces.
I waited for their response.
Officer Stone cleared his throat. “I wonder what about these you find threatening?”
His response had me taken aback. “What do you mean? In clear words, he’s threatening me. You guys-”
“What words are you talking about?” Officer Wilson butted in, he held a detached look. “These are just blank papers.”
“What?” I was in utter shock at his words. This couldn’t be possible. They weren’t blank. I had read all his threats.
I snatched the papers away from his hand and looked at them. My breathing stopped. They were blank. Not a hint of ink was on them.
How? My eyes were wide with shock.
I looked at them with frantic eyes. “These weren’t blank when I found them. He was threatening me in clear words in these letters. Believe me, please!”
“We would like to believe you. If there are evidences. You told us that he sent you some creepy cake last night. Can you show that to us?”
I squeezed my eyes shut, my world seemed to be spinning. I shook my head, sighing in exasperation. “No, I dumped it in a bin last night.”
“And a garbage truck must have taken it by now, right?” Officer Wilson looked at me, a mockery in his tone, like he was calling me a liar.
I bit my lip as my eyes stung. The messages he sent me on my phone had been deleted. I thought them as prank. And the photos he sent me in a box was destroyed by me in a shredder. I even threw that box. I never thought to put them as an evidence because initially I was forcing me to believe it as a prank. Even though, it had crossed all the limits of a prank when I was sent those pictures of I sleeping. I never thought through anything. I just acted on a whim. And those whims had cost me all those evidences I could have had to put an end to this torment.
“Do you have any other evidence?” Officer Wilson asked, a tired look on his aggravated face like he was irked.
“No.” My voice was thick by the tears welling in my eyes.
“We need evidences to know if you’re being stalked. We can’t help you without knowing if there’s really a stalker we could find in this case.” Officer Wilson said in sharp words. He reflected clearly that he wasn’t believing me. For him, I was making it all up.
“Why would I lie of having a stalker? I don’t feel safe. I know I’m being stalked. You have to believe. I need help, please!” My voice rose in desperation as a lone tear escaped my eye.
Officer Stone sighed. “Ms. Cowden. Sometimes we all feel lonely. Maybe this is your moment of it.”
“You think I’m doing this for attention?” I yelled. “Police is to help people, not to accuse them!”
They both exchanged a look and slowly rose up from a seat across me.
Officer Wilson looked at me with an vexation written all over his face. “Yes, you’re right. We’re here to help people. But to the people who really needs it.”
I stared at them, unbelieving of there crudeness as they turned away and started walking out from the door.
“I wonder how you could sleep believing that you’re serving this city?” I was incensed. They didn’t help me. They accused me. Not looking through what I was going through in living in this constant dread that when he might strike.
They both looked over their shoulder. Their eyes stared at me in a narrow slits, piqued by the words I censured them with.
“Good day, Ms.” Officer Stone said with vehemence obstinate in his eyes. And they walked out from the door while I was riveted to my spot, angry tears running down my face.
I let in a deep breath as the cab stopped before the place i decided to meet Derek. My hands tightly clasped around my handbag. My nerves stiffened with anxiousness welling inside me.
I had to be strong. No one would control my life, definitely not any sicko.
I scooted out of the cab and slammed the door shut behind me and made my way inside the cafe immuring the torments I had been through in these past days.
I looked through the seats until I didn’t spot a guy waving at me from the corner seat by the window.
I walked up to him, trying to put a smile on my face. His emerald eyes were fixed on me in some mesmerization.
I just hoped, I didn’t look under done that I was looking like I had dragged myself to this date. I didn’t put as much effort as I had put during that bummer first date. But I tried to present myself well. I wore blue shrug over white tank top and black jeans that according to me were going well with my black ankle boots.
I sat across him. “I hope I wasn’t late.”
His lips quirked in a small smile. “No, I think I was just early. And by the way you look good.”
His compliment had a smile sprawled across my face. And at that moment I took a note of him. There was no doubt over his charming boyish looks. Especially those sharp cheek bones that ennobled his face well. He was a jock. So he maintained his athletic body well. I could see that through the black shirt under his brown jacket. And his platinum blonde hairs were a messy array of spikes making his appearance a bit dapper.
“You aren’t looking bad yourself.”
“Thanks for coming to this coffee.” he said, looking at me through his earnest eyes.
Well, it was a mood changer for me. So I couldn’t turn it down. It drifted me off from staying locked in my room, terrified. “Thanks for asking me on it.”
“Pleasure is all mine,” He beamed. “So what would you like to order?”
I wasn’t much of a coffee person. I just drank it when needed to go through a night of turning in papers next day. “Well, anything’s fine. So you order.”
“I hope you like café mocha. It tastes great with newton figs.” He said, glancing at the menu.
“I love newton figs. So with whichever they gonna taste great with, I’m gonna like that.”
My phone buzzed as he called waiter for our order. I looked at the screen. It was a text by an anonymous number. And I could immediately feel my nerves balling in anxious knots. I opened it.
(Wrong move, Ansley.)
My stomach twisted and the little appetite I could feel vanished.
“Everything’s alright?” I looked at Derek, he was looking at me in concern.
I forced a smile. “Yeah, all’s good.”
His face still held a concern. It didn’t seem like he bought what I said.
“So how your soccer tryout went?” I tried to change the subject.
“I’m pretty sure I’m gonna be on the team.” He told, a hint of positive confidence in his voice. A light gleamed in those emerald eyes as he fondly talked about his game.
“So you wanna play professionally?” I asked.
“I would love to.” his words gave off a vibe that it was more than anything he would wish for.
“So what about you? What your plans are?”
I looked at him, trying to come up with some realistic answer. My plans were never considered around my reality. Once I wanted to be an astronaut who had her own cookery show on moon. “After completion of my physics major, I want to have my masters. That’s my plan for now.”
“Woah! Kinda diligent student you are. Reading more than three letters at a time gives me vertigo.” He joked.
His words forced a chuckle out of me. “Good for you that you play well.”
He grinned. “Looking at those books with so many different letters, I think that too.”
“So I think there aren’t many books you must have read?” I said teasingly. “Well, I happen to be a nerd who reads a lot.”
There was an aplomb smile on his face. “Then that’s perfect. A beautiful nerd and a cute jock, needles to say,” he added it with a laugh. “Us hitting it off is fated. If you believe in movies.”
His fatuous talks were filled with glazing nonchalance that I could for once have a sense of mirth. The way he could speak without a single stammer, with a jubilant smile on his face was refreshing to see. I was glad that I’d been on this coffee with him.
“Let’s find out. Wanna go to the flea market next weekend?” I asked out of the blue expecting him to catch off guard. But he was as cool as an ice.
“I would love to,” he said with absolute cheer.
My phone buzzed again. And suddenly all the glee was drained out from my atmosphere. I looked down at screen. Am apprehension clawing at me. Even though these texts by this anonymous number daunted me, I couldn’t refrain from getting inclined to read it by some rebellious part inside me like I wanted to show him I wasn’t afraid of him.
(Several admonitions. And you still tend to neglect what I asked. My tolerance has now vanished. You’ve provoked which you shouldn’t have. You will soon learn that a provoked beast is wildest of all.)