She looked in the direction of her friend. The dress she held was beautiful but when she looked at the price she lost interest.
"Don't you like it?" Melly was saddened by her reaction. She thought that the dress she had chosen was beautiful but seeing Anne's face seemed to reduce her excitement.
"Don't get me wrong I like the dress but the price is so expensive." She said later on.
"I don't mind the price. What matters is its design and style." She says, that the vigor returned to her face.
"Is that you?" Anne seemed surprised. The friend she knows is always considering the price before buying anything.
"It's still me, the only difference is that I have enough money to buy what I want now." She said proudly.
"Did your boss promote you at work?" She curiously asked.
"You are wrong. On the contrary, I resigned but I have a new job. I have been working there for two months. They are still hiring right now and that is the reason why I encourage you to come with me."
"I do not want to leave my job without certainty. You don't know how to give up, do you?" She was starting to feel annoyed by Melly's persuasiveness of her.
Melly just shrugged. It seems that she will have a hard time convincing her friend. They have spent almost half a day inside the mall and she has already chosen many clothes but Anne still got one. "Is the price still an issue for you? You can not choose properly if every time you like a dress you return it when you see the price." She commented when she saw what it was doing.
"You only said that because you have enough money but for someone like me who is already on a tight budget, it is difficult to ignore the price." Anne reasoned.
Carrying a chosen dress, she went to the counter to pay. She abruptly stopped from her track upon seeing a man whose face she can not forget. This is the person chasing her. She had to get out of here before he could see her. She quickly approached Melly and she pulled her hand tightly to hide. The friend looked at her in surprise.
"What are you doing?" Shocked by what she did, and still unaware of what was happening.
"Keep quiet." She said softly as she gestured not to speak. She pulled her towards a clothing shelf and there they hid. A few minutes later Anne slowly peeked out of the shelf where they were hiding. When she could no longer see the person that she was hiding from, she immediately told her friend that they needed to go home.
"I have not yet paid for the clothes I chose." She complained as they moved out from a boutique.
"Is that even more important than our safety?"
"Safety? What for?" She asked wondering.
"I'll just explain at..." It was as if she had bitten her tongue when she saw the man again. She tugged Melly and luckily she had spotted a store of hats near where they were standing. She motioned for her to go inside. Although it is quite expensive she has no choice but to buy one of these hats. She selected a Panama hat, in case she and the man path crosses she already has a cover on her face so that he does not recognize her instantly.
She was grateful that Melly did not ask any more queries, even though it is visible on her face that she is confused by her actions but she still obeyed.
They were leaving the Mall when she saw the man again. She dragged her to the nearest possible hiding place and it was a salon. When they were inside, they looked at each other like fools. They were immediately approached by one of the staff there. "Have a good day, Ma'am. What..."
Melly interrupted what the woman was about to say when she saw a man approaching in their direction. "She will dye her hair" She pointed to Anne. "She wants black." She added, then she glared at her friend which meant that she should just obey her. She took the hat off Anne's head and put it on to her, then she pushed her into one of the empty cubicles
The wall of the salon is clear glass so it is effortless for her to examine the man outside. He turns around as if looking for something. She looked closely at him. His face was familiar to her but she just could not recall where she saw him.
Even though Anne is irritated with her situation, she can do nothing but stand by it. If she comes out the man will see her which she avoids. She has never been imagined that she will dye her hair. When the coloring of her hair was done, she was also impressed with the result. Only now did she realize that black hair was also suitable for her. When Melly saw her come out of the small cubicle she complimented her hair.
They felt relieved when they got home without any more hassle. Myrna was even surprised to see that they did not have any purchases. "You spent a lot of time at the Mall but you didn't buy anything." She commented. "You have dyed your hair. The black color suits you." She said enthusiastically when she noticed that Anne's hair was no longer blonde.
"Thanks for the compliment, Aunt Myrna." Anne is delighted because just like her friend, her aunt also likes her new hair color. She was about to say something else but her friend pulled her to her room.
"Why we were hiding earlier you know I'm confused. Who is following us? Can you explain?" She felt mixed emotions. Anxious, scared, and nervous. She was curious as to why her friend was being followed by a man and it looks like this is not the first time it happens the way Anne reacted earlier.
"I just don't know him either. I saw him last week the same day that Mom died and now I saw him again." Concern can be seen on her face as she explains.
"Why didn't you mention it to me? Does your aunt already know this?" She asked with a frown.
"I don't want to bother you anymore and I thought he would never show up again."
"What did exactly happened? Where did you meet?" Without hesitation, Anne did explain everything.
"So, you thought he was Ricky. Don't you think you might have made a mistake? You told me before that you have never seen Ricky. How could you assume that he is that person?"
"I do not know. All I know is I have to be careful. Because he has not been arrested yet." She said uncertainly.
"What if you just come with me when I go back. Gabriel can protect you, especially since he is the reason why this is happening to you right now." She pers
"I do not want to decide when my mind is confused." Then she went to her closet to put the hat inside.
"Good and you have two suitcases. Can I borrow one?" Melly said as she noticed the suitcases inside Anne's wardrobe.
"It still has content but if you need just unpack what is inside it."
"Thanks, I like your suitcases, they look expensive."
"Probably, I don't know Martin just gave these to me."
"Really?" She approached Anne and started unpacking the contents of the luggage.
Melly was amazed at the branded clothes she saw inside the suitcases. "She is generous. Do you two have a relationship?" She said directly, the jealousy on her face could not be hidden. The first time she saw the man she immediately liked him.
"Do you think I am here now if we have a relationship?"
"Just making sure," Melly uttered and then sighed with relief.
"You like him, don't you?" She asked when she noticed her reaction.
Melly blushed at her words. She is ashamed to admit but that is the truth.
"You don't even have to answer that. Looks like I already know the answer to my question." She said teasingly to the friend who made her face even redder.
Early in the morning, Anne woke up from a bad dream. She was catching her breath as she leaned against the headboard of her bed. Her knees were shaking with fear and her tears could not be stopped from falling. Her dream seemed very clear in her mind as if it were real. A man dragged her into a room when they were inside, she was immediately tied to a bed pole. After tying her up he was still not satisfied and he slowly undressed her. She was very scared, especially when he saw it smirking at him like crazy, and in that part, of her dream, she woke up.
The memories came crashing back her mind which she's trying to forget. That was a page in her life that she wishes it doesn't occur, and also one of the reasons why she did not want to return to that place, not until Ricky was arrested. Because it was still early she was forced to go back to sleep but before that, she had already decided on whether she would go with Melly or not.
It was not usual for her to wake up late, and this day was one of those unusual days. Melly was no longer beside her and when she looked at the clock it was already nine o'clock in the morning. She stretched out her arm to somehow regain her strength. She got out of bed and went to the bathroom.
She felt energized after a long bath. When she came out of her room the house was silent with no sign of anyone around. That was strange to her because Melly was naturally talkative and so was her aunt. She had searched the whole house but they were nowhere to be found. She is starting to get nervous.
She hurried out of the house hoping they were just outside but she was wrong because they were still not there. Her chest throbbed quickly and she had a bad suspicion. Her chest throbbed quickly. She doesn't like the growing suspicion in her mind right now.
She was about to enter the house when a speeding vehicle stopped in front of their gate. She could no longer protest when two men pulled her towards the parked car.