I looked at the crisp page of the book I held in my hand. Right at the bottom it read pg 108. I sighed slowly sipping my hot creamy coffee. I have been reading the same page now for the past 30 minutes. I had a lot on my mind. You would think after three months of peace I would not be so jumpy and paranoid anymore. Wrong. Although I had to admit I was now better than before, way better. At least the panic attacks occurred only a few times a week now.
I looked outside the big window of the diner sighing as my eyes darted all over the place once again for the twelveth time today. Still nothing there. No one there. He's not here. I told myself averting my eyes from the big window. No matter how many times I would tell myself that, I could only partially believe it. Deep deep down I knew better but I promised myself I wouldn't live like that anymore. I promised myself to actually give myself a chance at life.
Just as I averted my gaze, my eyes looked at red-haired figure taking orders in the diner with a smile on her face. I looked at my care free friend as she pulled out her tiny notepad and sweetly spoke to the customers. I would give anything for my life to be that care free again. I would give anything just to taste the feeling of true peace and not looking over your shoulder. The feeling of not being scared anymore. Oh how I missed the days spent with my mom in her kitchen singing gospel music while we cooked.
Jane was my friend of two months. I've been in this town for almost three months and a half now and at that duration I had made only two friends somehow. I never had a hard time making new friend it was my situation that forced me to keep my distance. The first month I had completely isolated myself which was truly the hardest thing for me to do. I was the kind of person who loved being surrounded by friends and family not necessarily in a place but knowing that I had someone always made me happy. So just dissappearing and being alone was hard, but I had kept my distance because I didn't want anymore people dying on my name anymore.
Even though I have friends I kept them at an arms length. Afraid they would get hurt if they got too close. Jane was the happiest person I knew yet she was a single mother of a beautiful little five year old boy and her paycheques from this very diner helped her pay the bills. She was barely making it on her own but she was always so happy. I adored her. Her mood always rescued me from the thoughts of my terrifying past. Her son was the cutest thing I've ever seen. I've always loved kids that's why I had studied to be second grade teacher. I just wanted to be surrounded by them and I wanted to be a teacher someday.
Jane's son James Adored me. I babysit every time I get the chance because I simply can not get enough of the little man and because I want my friend to have a break every now and then. Whenever I think about that little boy my ovaries always scream yes but my mind, body, soul, bank account and past say no. My past said f no. I knew if I was to ever have a child it would be his otherwise he would kill that child. Just like he almost put a bullet through a two year old child I was looking after when he thought the baby was mine just after we met.
I shivered at the thought. Don't think of him, don't think of him. I calmly thought to myself I didn't want to have another panic attack. Today was Friday I was supposed to be at school teaching my little children but it was a holiday and my heart honestly hurt at not seeing them. I quietly placed my book on the table huffing at the two braids that were now covering my face. I had left them to fall freely around my face this morning because it looked cute in the mirror but now I regretted that desicion because they were now annoying and blocking my eyesight at every chance they got.
I untied my braids making them fall onto my face and shoulders before taking all of them together and placing them in a bun on top of my head, I could honestly careless right now of how I looked I just wanted to be unbothered. I quietly went back to my reading not before checking the time knowing that Jane was about to clock off. She was giving me a ride to my apartment after her shift. I had decided to spend my Friday couped up in this diner just reading. I've always loved reading but for the past few months I wouldn't lie and say I've honestly enjoyed a good book.
I didn't have the same concentration and curiosity that I did. I would start reading of to a good start and then my mind would start to wonder. Was he watching me. Was he coming. Was he purposely making me believe that I successfully escaped him. Thought after thought. And then I would end up drowning in my thoughts, sometimes I would swim way too deep in my thoughts that I would end up having panic attacks. I didn't mind them anymore because they were usually in the walls of my apartment were I would hold myself and sob myself to sleep.
I looked at the people around me in the diner feeling more than one set of eyes on me, my eyes lead me straight back to Jane who was staring at me, I raised a brow in question before she smiled at me and nodded her head towards Blake before winking at me. Blake didn't fail to notice my gaze because he was already staring at me. He was sitting at a table not so far from mine but far enough with some more familiar faces that I have seen around town before. The man was appealing to the eyes I wouldn't even lie but I wouldn't even dare think of him like that. I knew better.
Jane claims I'm too beautiful to be single if that's even a thing. She's been trying for weeks to get me to go out with Blake. He was the perfect guy in her books. I knew Blake had a thing for me anyone could see that aside from that he had made that more than obvious to me that he liked me. He makes me think of the life that I had wanted. I would never even think about going out with him no matter how many times he asks. No matter where I hide, no matter where I go. I would never ever in my right mind bat an eye at another man let alone let him take me out. I had scars to prove how things would go if I did. Deep painful scars.
I looked down at the ring on my ring finger. On my right hand. I felt my heart quicken just by the glimpse of it. His ring. No matter the assurance I would get or have of not crossing paths with him again I would never take it off. Not because I didn't want to, God know I wanted to but because I was terrified to. My body would physically tremble whenever I would try. He always kept his promises and he made sure I knew that there would be consequences if I ever was to take his ring off. I just thank God that he didn't put a tracker on it, her people confirmed it.
Whenever people would ask if I was engaged or anything I would tell them it was my grandmother's ring and I wore it to feel safe and close to her. I didn't like nor want to talk about my past. After that they would never bring the topic up ever again. That was what normal people do but not Jane or Aliyah. They would push but when they felt they were going to far they would back off. Aliyah was my other friend, a sapphire at heart. She was the more realistic one. I met her through Jane they were best friends since diapers and they welcomed me into their little circle.
Aliyah was the one to tell Jane when she was being too out of this world. They were James parents. Aliyah has never left Jane's side ever since she fell pregnant and the douche bag wanted nothing to do with the child. That had earned him a mean punch from Aliyah before they never heard from him ever again. They both provide for James and he was really close with both of them. I truly adored their relationship, they were like sisters. A relationship I knew nothing about. They both worked very hard.
Aliyah was one of the best lawyers I've ever seen, I've seen her in court and she crushed the opposition everytime, but she has been struggling for a while now. She just started her own firm and so far it wasn't going so well but I knew it was only a matter of time before her firm blossomed. None of my friends had it easy. Jane was also a student in her free time, she was studying business at the side. I truly admired both woman. Stronger than ever. And even stronger together. They were both in steady realstionships which is why Jane always wanted to see me on a date, but I knew she only wanted what was best for me.
"Ready to go." I quickly looked up startled and calmed down when I saw Jane smiling at me with her bag on her shoulder and her car keys in her hand. I simply gave her a smile back and nodded before standing up. The moment we started walking Jane started rambling on about Blake and I's cute mixed babies making me groan and tune her out.
When we finally made it outside the diner I took a deep breath in, loving the feeling of being outside. I quickly looked around me before we started walking to her car. I wasn't surprised that Jane was still going on about the babies but now she was going on about James marrying my baby if it's girl and how we all live happily ever after. I truly loved her personality I wish I was this happy. I honestly wished I had a simpler life. A life where I would wake up go to my so called job, come back to a special someone and hang out with my friends on the weekend. Too bad I had a Powerful Psychotic Man refusing to let me go.
I looked out the window as the car pulled off. Looking at the scenery as the car moved. I almost choked on air when I saw a familiar face staring at me in the diner. Sitting exactly where I was sitting by the big window. Before I could properly look at the man the car zoomed past the diner. It's not him. I simply told myself calming down. There was no way that that was him, because if he was here then that meant he was close. I would have known by now if he was close. He could never stay away from me. He never wanted me far from him. This was just my mind playing tricks on me again.
I sighed once again wiping my itchy hands on my dress and paying more attention to Jane as we indulged in one of her deluded topics. Tomorrow was Saturday meaning my nephew was spending the day with me. I could feel myself get happier by the second at the thought of him coming over. I felt happy because I knew that I was a few hours closer to seeing James. I knew I would stay up all night baking him cookies but I didn't mind at all as long as his blue eyes would go big as saucers and his mouth would open in glee. I loved seeing the excitement in his eyes. I loved seeing him happy.
"I will see you tomorrow." I said getting out of her car and closing the door as she crazily waved goodbye with a big smile on her face which made me chuckle and smile genuinely back. I quietly made my way into my apartment taking a quick shower before getting started on my baking. The smell of the cookies made me sigh in content I could honestly get used to this life.
This will be a short story.