You Belong To Me
Dear Arda, I know that you have no idea who this is but in the nearest possible time, you will. I wish you a happy twenty-first birthday and hope that you like the present attached to this note.
PS: If any male asks you out, tell him that you’re already taken because, you belong to me and I will mate you at the right time.
I am The Alpha you will soon get to know.
Having finished reading the handwritten note, Arda was at first filled with fear and uncertainty. The handwriting was clear, cursive and written with a dark ink on a plain sheet of white paper.
She could not make much sense out of the note. Alpha? Mate? What did that even mean? And why would the anonymous man say that she belonged to him? She was a human being. She belonged to no one. You cannot just own someone. Why was she even letting the message bother her? It could be a prank.
Resting on that thought, she rolled her eyes and cast an amused gaze upon the note, believing that it was probably a prank from one of her friends. She did not have many friends, which made it easy to have a culprit in mind.
Jacob, she thought. She would not put it past him. Between her two friends, he was the witty and laid-back one, prone to mischief.
Arda was seated in the living room at the dining table currently occupied by several half unwrapped presents. The house was an apartment off campus, which she shared with her friends. Arda looked up at Jacob and Karina who were standing before the table, watching her unwrap the presents.
Jacob had the looks of a typical boy next door, five foot seven, plain faced and friendly with kind, blue eyes. Karina had the snobbish looks of an average cheerleader, fit and sassy. She was around the same height as Jacob. They were waiting for the moment when she would have to guess what each of them had gifted her.
To the three of them, it was a fun game and it had become their custom ever since they had all become friends in the university and started sharing the apartment as flat mates.
The house contained four bedrooms and they each owned a room but shared the large living room space and kitchen while using the extra room as a study room.
The living room still showed the aftermath of a party. Empty pizza packs and snack wrappings were converged on the wide living room center table and tiled floor amidst empty bottles of soft drinks, beer and vodka. Karina yawned and they all looked at the wall clock, which read 9:00pm.
“Some of us are early birds.” Karina said. “Hurry up, Arda.”
“Speak for yourself, Karina.” Jacob chided playfully. “Allow the birthday girl to take her sweet time.”
“I am right.” Karina said to him.
“Of course you’re always right.” Jacob responded.
“Be very careful with your next words.” Karina threatened, glaring at him and he raised his hands in mock surrender. “Arda, you better show us how well you know us. I cannot defend you for long. Karina is a warrior.”
“Shut up, Jacob.” Karina said to him.
“Quit bickering, you both.” Arda said lightly.
“He started it.”
“She started it.”
Karina and Jacob had both spoken at the same time as they pointed accusing fingers at each other. Arda shook her head at them and laid down the note before her on the table, turning it over in order to hide the words.
Then she stuck her hand inside the brown envelope from which she had retrieved the note and brought out the gift inside. Her friends joined her in admiring the expensive looking jewelry set. It was a sixteen-inch gold necklace with the pendant of a wolf and matching wolf earrings in gold.
“Wow.” Karina said, reaching out and taking it off her hand. “It looks like real gold. Allow me to study its authenticity.” She began peering closely at it.
“I hate to challenge your expertise," Jacob said to her. "but without your glasses, I’m afraid we won’t have the right findings.” He held out his hand to receive it. Karina rolled her eyes and handed it over to him. Jacob received it and raised it closely to his eyes, studying it for a few seconds.
“Hmn. You didn’t tell us you’ve met a rich man, Arda.” He said. “This is pure gold and the pendant looks really captivating.”
“Finally, Arda is dating.” Karina teased. “Come on, tell us something. Who is it from?”
“I have no idea. There is no name on the envelope.”
“Is it perhaps from a secret admirer?” Jacob asked.
“A guy crushing on you, maybe?” asked Karina.
“Shut up guys, I know it’s one of you, Jacob precisely. Everyone knows how naughty you can be.”
“Me?” Jacob asked, incredulous. “How can I afford this? I come from a middleclass home.”
“Then it’s you, Karina.” Arda accused but Karina shook her head.
“I come from a middle class home too. No offence, but I’ll rather buy this for myself than for you.”
“Me too.” Jacob said and Arda gave them a hurt look, a frown furrowing her brow.
“You both have just hurt my feelings.”
“I understand, Arda but trust me, I didn’t send this.” said Jacob.
Karina shrugged. “Seriously, I didn’t.”
Arda picked up the note and passed it to Jacob.
“What’s this?” he asked without looking at the words but Karina had drawn close to him and was scanning the note with her eyes.
“That message came with the gift.” Arda responded and watched him lower his eyes to the words on the note, which he started reading aloud.
Karina glared at him as soon as he had finished reading it. “Did you write this, Jacob?”
“Of course not.”
“Swear it.” Karina insisted.
“Let your no be no and your yes be yes…” Jacob began.
“Spare me the bible quotes.” Karina said, cutting him off.
“Well, you know that I don’t swear. It is against my faith. But I didn’t do it. This isn’t my writing.” Jacob looked serious.
“I believe you guys.” said Arda. “Don’t sweat it.”
“Maybe it was one of the guests.” Karina suggested.
“Probably.” Arda agreed.
“Whoever it is would probably be laughing their head off as they imagine what your reaction would be.” said Jacob. “Just ignore it.”
Arda began to wonder why someone would play a prank with an expensive item.
“But who would play a prank with an expensive item?” she asked and there was a slight pause as they all contemplated the question. Then Jacob shrugged.
“Someone with money to throw around, I guess.” he said.
“Exactly.” Karina agreed. “Can I have the necklace?”
“You’re so greedy.” Jacob told her.
“No way, Karina. I get to keep it.” Arda responded. She opened her palm and Jacob returned the note and the gift back to her. She placed the note on the table and put the gift on it.
“Fine, I wish someone would prank me like this with a Rolex.” Karina said dreamily and they all laughed.
“Hey let’s not forget that Arda has still not shown us how well she knows us.” Jacob pointed out and Arda looked at the two separate unwrapped presents that sat together at a corner of the table. One of them was an Apple iPod. The other one was an SM58 headset. Karina rose to her feet and smiled at her friends.
“You both came together and bought this for me.” She said. “Because you knew I’ve had it in my Amazon wish list for so long. Thank you so much.”
Her friends did not deny it. They smiled at her as they drew close to her and gave her a hug.
As Arda hugged them, her eyes rested on the gift, which was resting on the note.
“Are you going to wear it?” Jacob asked as soon as they disengaged.
“I don’t know.” Arda responded.
“It is really pretty.” Karina said. “You have nothing to lose.”
“Maybe I will. I really don’t know.”
“I also think that you shouldn’t just disregard the note.” Karina advised. “We could have a stalker on the loose.”
“Who would stalk her?” Jacob asked. “She’s not a celebrity.”
“You don’t have to be a celebrity to be stalked, doofus.” Karina retorted.
“Whatever.” Said Jacob.
“Arda, I suggest, you should try dating to see if the mysterious man would react.” Karina suggested.
“Well, I’ve already started dating.”
Surprised, her friends exchanged looks before returning their gazes back to her and their eyes were questioning.
“I accepted to be Luke’s girlfriend today during the party.”
“Oh my God, that’s amazing.” Karina said excitedly. “My friend finally has a boyfriend.”
“Well, it's about time.” Jacob commented. "That guy has been on your case since our first year.”
“What made you agree?” Karina asked.
“He’s nice. He has always been nice. So I figured, why not?”
“Congratulations.” Her friends chorused, smiling at her and she couldn’t stop the blush that stained her cheeks.
“Just look at her.” Jacob said. “Does he know you’ve still got your V card?”
“Shut up, J.” Arda and Karina told him and he raised his hands in surrender.
“Anyway, this development is welcome.” Karina said. “Now, we’ll easily know if the mysterious man is for real.”
“That’s true.” Jacob agreed and the three of them cast their gazes down at the present from the anonymous man.
As she stared at the note and gift, Arda did not want to admit that she was a bit scared. But then, she also thought hopefully that dating Luke without any unpleasant incident would at least put her fears to rest.