1: Just Another Day...
Of all the people who lived in the city, I’m the lucky fool to live next to a rat fink bastard who gets a sick twisted pleasure out of torturing me every chance he gets. Yesterday it was my mail. Today it’s the damn elevator. That asshole saw me and he refused to hold the door open for me. There were only three other freaking people on the elevator with him and we all usually start our day around the same time. We often take the same train. If I get my hands on him, I’m going to give him a swift kick in his ass. At least, it would be nice if I could kick him, but I know that’s never going to happen.
Torren sat at her desk thinking about her neighbor in 619B. They lived right across from one another and somehow, they managed to get on each other’s bad list. In her life, she was unable to recall one single person who made her skin crawl. She spoke with several people in a day’s time, yet she didn’t feel the urge to choke the life out of anyone except HIM.
Any time there was an encounter between the two of them, her day descended into a hell-like existence. It was often difficult to get back on track and nothing seemed to work out right for that rest of the day. To make matters worse, he worked in the same building as her.
Often, she would see him in the food court. She even tried to change her lunch schedule but somehow, they always ended up running into one another. Torren was sure he was stalking her. She had a feeling he was intentionally bumping into her to get on her nerves and piss her off. Every time she went down to the food court, he would show up in a matter of minutes.
Stop thinking about him. She was reduced to reminding herself often to stop focusing on the psychotic man. Mulling over the situation changed absolutely nothing. Torren knew it was in her best interest to ignore him and push all of the crazy coincidences to the back of her mind.
“Do you have the Donovan file?” Martin was standing by her desk. She was glad to see him if for no other reason than to stop herself from thinking about the problem she lived across the hall from for a little more than two years.
“Yeah. Here it is.” She handed the file to him. He hung around for a few minutes more as if he had something to say. Apparently, he thought better of it. Torren watched as Martin walked out of her office. She didn’t even hear him come in. There was no doubt in her mind that she needed to gain control of her neighbor-situation. It was commanding far too much of her time.
“So, what are your plans for lunch?” Anita asked as she walked into the office and threw herself in the chair facing Torren’s desk. Just one look at her gave away the fact that she and her boyfriend were fighting again. The reason Torren was sure of her assessment was that she knew her friend very well.
The always bubbly Anita kept everyone on their toes. Only when her boyfriend did something extremely stupid did her normal bubbly personality become drab. When there was a crazy fight between them, Anita would always flop down and around like a little girl having a temper tantrum.
“I really hadn’t thought about lunch today. My stomach is unsettled.” She told her co-worker. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a lie. Her stomach was upside down all day. Ginger ale and chamomile tea did absolutely nothing to make things better.
“Girl, you better stop worrying about that sexy neighbor of yours. If the two of you would stop being so stubborn, you would probably get along just fine. Because both of you are like two unruly jackasses, you keep rubbing each other the wrong way.” Her friend laughed at the situation.
“So, now you’re calling me a jackass?” Torren asked with a sarcastic look on her face which communicated her displeasure as much as the frustration laced in her voice.
“Well, you know what they say. If the shoe fits, wear it.” Anita got up and headed for the door.
“Where are you going?” Torren asked.
“I’m not scared of Mr. Hotty McBody. You can sit up here and starve to death by trying to avoid your arch-nemesis, but I’m not. I’m so hungry I might bite you if I don’t find something to eat.” With that, Anita was out the door. For such a small person, she had an incredible metabolism. Every time she saw the petite woman, she was nibbling on something.
Torren realized she was being unreasonable and decided to follow her friend.
“Dude. Why do you keep harassing that girl?” Xavier always asked the same question and he always got the same answer.
“I loathe that woman. I want nothing more than to make her life as miserable as possible until she finally decides to move.” The grin on his face was full of malice and evil intentions. Luca wanted to make her suffer for being a cruel bitch to him.
The food court was packed but that wouldn’t stop him from identifying his target, even in a crowded room. She was a short fat woman who acted like she was something really special. It was obvious that she thought she was God’s gift to everyone. Often, he would watch her walk around the lower level of the building oblivious to anyone else.
Her nose was either pointed down when she was looking at her cell phone or pointed up when she interacted with others. That stuck up quality of hers really got on his nerves. Even the way she spoke got under his skin. Yes, he had to admit that her voice was like liquid satin, but he still resented the fact that she spoke to everyone in a condescending manner. The only thing he wanted to do was humiliate her and break her down.
Luca knew women like her his whole life. They always thought they were better than others. Women like her projected an air of superiority and treated others as if they were nothing. As his mind considered everything he resented about his neighbor, the lines in his face reflected frustration that was impossible for him to hide.
He forgot about his friend as he lost himself in his own thoughts. Xavier gave up trying to hold a conversation with him and walked away. Luca was yanked from the confines of his own mind when he heard her voice. If he hadn’t lifted his head when he did, he would have missed her as she and a petite Asian lady walked right by the table where he was seated. Her nose was buried in her phone, as usual.
Without hesitation, he followed them to a Korean restaurant. He hung back and listened to their conversation much like he always did. Luca knew the only way to find out the truth from people like her was by catching them when they didn’t know anyone was listening.