Haunt Me

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Chapter One

Tonight, was the night. We’d been in contact for over month, conversing through email— his choice— and he always limited his speech to a sentence or question:

I prefer the dark after midnight.

Ever been exposed?

If I could, I’d paint the sky red.

How old are you?

I could make you feel twenty- two.

¬ The Haunt

He never mentioned his name once, never requested mine either but addressed every letter to a Scarlet. He’s confusing me for someone else, I thought:

Hey there— The Haunt?

There’s no Scarlet that owns or shares this address.

His response:

Scarlet: brings new meaning to the word ‘ecstasy’ don’t you think?

WTF! That was my instinctive response but I wasn’t trying to get fired before I got paid.

Scarlet? That’s me?



Him, fifteen minutes after:

Ever been exposed?

What have I gotten myself into? I pondered. And before you think it I made sure… the job was legal. And at nineteen, submerged in student debt, I was qualified. Besides, it was no different than dating a rich bachelor online. You know, there were sites for those. I had girls in my Economy class whisper about the website. And though it was time taxing, pretending to be interested in old rich blokes to cover a semester worth of expenses, it was better than venturing the sex business. Though sex wasn’t exactly off the table…


Only in the shower.

Him, two days later:

We’ll change that.

I was terrified. Boy’s my age started to sound a lot safer than this guy, I thought, contemplating on my response. And that’s when it hit me:

How old are you?

Him, thirty-six hours later:


Ever heard of Hey Violet? Guys my age don’t know how to treat me…. That song. I regretted blasting all summer long now. This guy came with a warning… and money. And I needed the money.

Him, a day later:

How old are you?



Him, five minutes later:

I’ll make you feel twenty- two.

Yikes! That summed up our conversation in the span of four weeks. And like clockwork, I had my R.A knocking at my door with a little red box and a white envelope in store for me.

“What’s this?” I enquired, staring at the stranger, the box.

“It came with the pizza guy,” she blurted, going on to explain how she ordered a pizza and the pizza delivery guy got paid by some mystery guy to deliver the box and envelope to me. Make sense? “Go on, open it!” My R.A (resident advisor) was the basement guy you made fun of. Seriously, he needed a life of his own.

“Thanks Cedric.” I closed the door behind me, shutting him out. I started with the envelope:


Night Two.

Red Lipstick.

Coco Chateau.

He knew where I lived, I panicked, unwrapping the box… Flamenco red, the sort of lipstick an Arabella applied? I wondered. Afraid of how much he already knew about me before I could even share— ever been exposed – that rang a bell. Suddenly being Scarlet seemed to be rather tamer than Arabella.


Standing at Coco Chateau in six-inch heels, exorbitant red lips—flamenco red lips— a black strapless mini dress accentuating my chest— I was no busty starlet but the dress did its magic— I was about to meet the man who knew what he wanted and said it in very few words. The door swung open. Not what I expected….

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