It’s been a month and a half since Jacob’s passing and things were getting back to normal for me and Julius. He makes a habit of setting aside time to talk about what I’m feeling and such.
Sometimes I don’t have much to say and sometimes we end up talking for 2 hours. Julius has really stepped up and been there for me. A few weeks ago when I was walking down the hall to his class I heard Nora’s voice so I stood outside the door fighting the urge to run in there and rip the extensions from her head.
“So you’re really going to choose her over me. That bitch doesn’t know how to treat you.”
I wanted to slap the words off her tongue more than anything.
“Nora I suggest you watch your words. You will not talk about Krystal like that!” I could hear the tension in his voice. He was trying not to get mad. I’ve never had someone really defend me before and it sent little butterflies to my stomach.
“Julius, you used to love me. We were perfect together” Nora begins to plead. I hear her heel click on the floor.
“Please Julius, just give me one more chance. I can be better. I can make you feel good”
My blood was boiling at that point. I wasn’t looking, but I knew her filthy hands were on him.
“Nora, I love Krystal. Not you. I think you need to leave now.”
“Now! Leave Nora”
A few seconds later I hear her heel quickly clicking towards the door. When she comes out the door and sees me, I look her in her eyes.
“Hi Nora, long time no see” I smile and she rolls her eyes walking away.
I walk into the class and Julius is at his desk rubbing his forehead. I close the door and pull the shade.
“Hey” I walk over and sit in his lap “Just saw Nora leaving. She didn’t look too pleased”
He put his forehead on my arm and shook his head “She isn’t. She thinks there’s still a chance for us, but there isn’t. I wish she would realize that” I rub his head and he snakes his arms around my waist.
He looks up “Huh?”
“I was standing outside the door. When I walked up I heard you guys talking. Sorry.”
“It’s okay. There isn’t anything I didn’t want you to hear” He kisses my arm.
Since then I haven’t seen or heard about Nora. I guess she just gave up which is a big weight off my shoulders. One less problem to worry about. I have made a habit to spend more time with my friends. Through this whole year, I have made 2 new friends, Eric and Anna. Mya has really taken to them and even though Eric would rather talk about highlights and fashion, he knows a lot about football so Christopher usually chats with him a lot now. I feel like everyone and everything in my life is balanced.
It is slowly starting to warm up since it’s March and I used the 70-degree weather as an excuse to wear a nice simple dress. I pair it with a jean jacket since it’s a little windy outside. It’s the weekend so I’m going out to lunch with everyone then tonight I’m going to have dinner with Julius at the Jazz place we went to a few months ago.
At lunch, we laugh and talk about everything that’s been going on. Anna is pregnant which isn’t funny, but she is handling it very well for her age. After this year is over, she will return home and finish school closer to her parents. Mya and Christopher are celebrating their 18 month anniversary. Eric wants to propose to his boyfriend this summer. I take a moment to look around the table at everyone and I can’t help but smile.
After dinner and everyone leaves, I decided to go to a couple of shops to pass time. I end up buying some cute spring dresses and shirts. I also but a few pieces of jewelry and 3 pairs of sandals. I tend to buy more when I’m by myself because I don’t feel rushed. I put all the bags in my trunk and when I slam it down. When I go to get in my car I feel weird, like someone is staring at me. I look around, but I don’t see anyone.
Cranking up my car, I drive off. I stop a few blocks later at a hair salon. My hair is in need of professional help. I walk in and say hi to everyone. I sit down in the chair of a lady named Kim. She is the only one I let touch my hair. She says I have virgin hair because I’ve never dyed it or tried a perm. She washes my hair and clips my ends. I decided on a simple blow out. When she is done, I run my fingers through my silky hair.
“Thank you so much, Kim”
“No problem darlin’ just keep bringing me these lovely locks. I will hurt you if your butt touches another chair.” She wags her comb at me in a serious manner.
I give her the money and check the time. I have 20 minutes. I take the time to freshen up and put on makeup in the salon bathroom. I finish with 8 minutes to spare. The restaurant is only a few minutes away.
When I’m in my car it’s already dark. I climb in and when I’m about to close the door, someone catches it. I jump thinking it’s someone trying to rob me, but it’s Kim. She was bringing me my lip gloss that I left in the bathroom. I breathe a sigh of relief and thank her.
When I arrive for dinner, Julius is standing outside waiting for me. I park and hop out.
“Hey, babe” I say as he pulls me into a hug.
“You’re late” I frown and look at my watch.
“By 2 minutes, stop being so punctual.” I kiss his lips quickly and we head in. As we are walking through the door, I look behind me still feeling as if someone is burning a hole in my back with their eyes. No one is behind me and looking in this direction. I shrug it off and Julius tugs my hand leading me to our table.
“Oh my, this food is so good. I should let you order for me more often.” I smile as I eat my Italian dish. I take a sip of wine and look at Julius who is looking at me.
“What?” He shakes his head.
“Nothing just admiring my beautiful girlfriend. I like your hair too”
“Thanks, I just got a wash and blow out” I run my fingers through my hair and tuck a piece behind my ear.
“Can I ask you something?”
“Sure, ask away” He mumbles while he eats his Chicken parmesan meal.
“On the first day you started teaching and you met me, what did you think?”
He started chewing slower, thinking back to that day. “My first impression you was that I didn’t like you because you made me drop my coffee. Then as the class went on and I got a good glimpse at you, I thought you were really beautiful. I just knew I couldn’t start anything, but I couldn’t stop staring even when you caught me staring, I couldn’t look away”
I smile. “And you didn’t even suspect me to be Audrey”
“Nope. I just thought I was head over heels for two different woman. You were so different at the ball. No nervousness about being in my arms or kissing me. But in class, you blushed constantly and stumbled over your words. I had no idea.”
“Good. I didn’t know if I wanted you to find out at first then I heard you talking about her….me, but then you invited me to your apartment. It was frustrating that I felt like you were cheating or something” I take another bite of my food and wait for him to speak.
“That first night at my apartment, I had to control myself. I wanted to touch you and kiss you so badly, but I knew you weren’t that type so I took it slow for the most part and I regret not kissing you that night.” He sips his wine and smiles.
After dinner, we take a walk around hand in hand and go to little art shops. It feels nice to walk around like any other couple. I felt special. At around midnight the street cleared out and an idea crossed my mind.
“Hey, I want to try something.”
He looks at me confused as I pull him into the middle of the empty street. “What are we doing?”
I smile as we stand in the middle of the street in front of the traffic light. Pulling Julius too me, he smiles.
“What are we doing?’
“Dancing in the middle of the street” I smirk.
“I saw it in a movie once.”
“And what happens when a car comes?” He smirks, slowly stepping side to side.
“We die.” I reply smiling.
We stay there, dancing, holding hands looking at each other. Then a car horn blares and we rush out of the street, but it’s not just any car, it’s a cop car. Still laughing, the cop shines a light on us.
“What the hell are you two doing?”
I smile hard. “I’m so sorry officer, it was my idea.”
“Stay out of the damn street, this isn’t a movie. You will get run over.” He drives off. Julius and I eye each other and burst out laughing. He pulls me back into the street and wraps his arms around me.
“We aren’t finished yet.” He pulls me close and begins humming the music coming from the restaurant.
We dance in the street for what seems like hours.
When our adventures are over, He walks me back to my car.
“Good night sweetie, drive safe” he kisses me “Good night”
I drive off and make it back to the dorms 30 minutes later. I end up parking a little farther than I preferred, but the close parking spaces were full. I walk across the parking lot thinking about my lovely date. My trance is broken when I hear footsteps behind me. Without stopping, I turn around and look, but no one is there. I start walking a little faster and I hear the footsteps again. I begin to panic so I reach into my bag and grab the mace Mya bought me.
When the footsteps pick up speed, I take off running to the door. I still hear the footsteps as I make it to the door. I run inside and look out the glass window trying to catch my breath. No one is there. My eyes dart from one side of the parking lot to see if someone comes out. When I’m sure that there is no one out there, I head up the stairs to my room.
Still a little on edge, I make sure my door is locked before I take my clothes off and get into the shower. When I get out of the shower, I text Julius letting him know I made it home. I leave out the part about someone possibly following me. I don’t need him to worry if there isn’t anything to worry about. I put my phone on the dock and get in bed. I just happen to open my eyes and there is a shadow outside my door. I don’t think anything of it at first. I just think it’s someone passing by, but I grow nervous when the shadow doesn’t move. I stare at it for almost a minute before the figure walks off. I’m officially not sleepy anymore.
I fall asleep eventually despite my nerves. I wake up the next morning still feeling a little tired. When I check my phone there are texts from Mya and Julius. They usually both text me saying good morning. I hop out of bed and put the creepy person outside my door behind me. If it happens again, I’ll notify my dorm advisor or campus police. I check the weather and 75 degrees is a perfect reason to wear another dress. Once dressed I brush my hair out and pin one side back. I spray one my favorite body spray and head out. I meet up with Mya and we walk to a festival in the college park.
Everyone is there and there is even a band. This a much needed break from school. We walk around to the booths and mingle with different people. We play a few games and I win myself a teddy bear. We end up spending the whole day at the festival and when night falls everyone gets glow stick necklaces and bracelets. Mya and I are on the manmade dance floor dancing to the band when Christopher comes up and steals Mya from me. I walk over to the food booth and grab a drink and decided to walk around for a bit. I end up seeing Anna and her boyfriend. Then
Eric and his. It makes me miss Julius a little bit. When I have walked around enough, I text Julius to tell him I’m coming over and he calls when
I’m walking back to the parking lot.
“Hey, babe what time are you coming?”
“Now, I’m heading to my car.” I reach down in my dress pocket and grab my keys. As I’m opening the door I freeze when I feel something sharp against my back.
“Krystal, hello, earth to Krystal” I hear Julius say, but I can’t answer out of fear.
“J-Julius...” I try to say something, but the knife digs into my skin.
A tear falls down my cheek and I hear the mysterious person tell me to hang up. I hesitate not wanting to. I hear Julius asking me what’s wrong over the phone, but the person grabs the phone and ends the call.
The person grabs my keys and pulls my arm away from my car. I look around, but no one is around to help. Everyone is at the festival. I still haven’t seen the face of the person who is forcing me away. They lead me to a small red car and throw me on the back seat on my stomach.
I feel the weight of the person on my back and I think the worst.
“Please don’t hurt me” I mumble through my tears.
I try to look around for a weapon, but everything goes black, I’m blindfolded. I feel myself being lifted, knife still to my back. I decided that this is the best time to run. I snatch my arm away and run. I pull the blindfold away from my eyes and look back. I can’t see the person’s face, but they are running after me. I run with all my might, but I’m not fast enough because I am tackled to the hard ground. I yelp and begin swinging at the person. I knock off their hat and finally see the face of my attacker. Robert.
That’s all I remember before he covers my face with a damp rag. As I breathe in, I begin to feel dizzy. I try to stay awake, but my body isn’t working. I look into Robert's eyes as I pass out.
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