She heard a rumble. It would start bucketing down any second. She regretted her choice of clothing, a hoodie instead of a nice, warm coat.
Sadie wondered if her meeting would still be on if it stormed. She took a quick look at her watch.
Right on time. Sadie continued towards the entrance to the park.
It was so dark she could hardly see. She rummaged around for her phone for a torch, but quickly decided against it. She glanced at her phone screen and searched for the specific message from the app ‘Soul Mate’. Her hand shook as she read it again.
Look, Sadie, I don’t know how to say this in a text but our chats mean everything to me. I can’t stand not seeing your face; I can’t stand not seeing you. It’s just, everything in my life seems to be going wrong all at the same time and you’re the only one who’s… constant. I wish I could meet you in person. I don’t think my life would be worth living without you. I don’t know how to tell you this… but lately, I’ve been having thoughts… about catching the train. I even cut myself yesterday. Please, I need you, please. It’s for me Sadie… I beg you to think about it. We can meet (in secret) at Hendersby Park, behind the big bins tomorrow at midnight. Please, I know it’s a lot to ask but it really would make me happy. It might be the only thing that keeps me here. Please tell me what you think and if you’re coming. Thank you Sadie, you mean so much to me.
Sadie recalled herself reading the message for the first time, back at her house. She'd been doubting at first but had talked herself into going, telling herself all the things she’d been through with Jamie on her online chats. She’d grown to really trust him over the last few months. Since then, she’d read the message at least twenty times before setting off for Hendersby Park.
The back of Sadie's neck prickled. Her nose picked up a peculiar musty smell. It was creepy there… but she knows she can’t turn back now. Knowing she would never live with herself if she turned back, she carried on walking, her steps more hesitant.
Sadie's eyes darted back and forth as she tried to remember where they kept their big bins. It was separate from the park but not out of the gates. She shivered as her arms tingled. She turned the corner and stepped into the clearing. She'd been here so many times she could almost picture the large open green field she’d been to so many times before. Blindly, she tried to imagine the tiny playground on her right. It was easy, seeing as she'd been there so many times with her best friend.
It was dark, so Sadie nearly crashed into the large iron gates which were a little ajar.
Almost tiptoeing, Sadie opened the gates with a creak. She began to think this was a bad idea, but she didn’t turn back. The dark clouds she could barely make out in this darkness were now an angry grey. She checked her watch again.
Were those footsteps behind her or was it just an echo of hers? She didn’t dare look back but she got ready to run. The whole place felt even more sinister to her now.
Suddenly, the thought of her warm cosy bed seemed extremely inviting. Sadie turned back, her breathing quickening.
The musty smell turned sickening.
A hand clamped over her mouth.