She probably was the last one getting the daily newspaper delivered to her door in the neighbourhood.
Walking back to the kitchen, she unrolled the paper as the coffee brewed. It rained outside, but she didn’t care… She was off from work, and didn’t have anywhere to go. She’d most probably just stay in her favorite pajamas, binge watch that tv series all her friends had been praising lately. Or maybe snuggle on the couch with the book Mom had given her for her birthday, and read for hours…
Or just enjoy the quietness. And the peace of mind.
She hated it, but the police had been right. He had gotten bored with her, at last. She never thought he would, but miracles happened, after all.
Thinking back, it was probably just a mind game. He had never been agressive, or threatening. The anonymous letters ending up in her mailbox day after day had been disturbing, but as agent Montgomery had mentionned, there wasn’t much to do for someone simply writing to her, even if she didn’t know the author of the stalking missives.
She cut a bagel open, and slipped the two slices in the toaster.
Ok, it had been going on for months. And with time, the messages had mentionned more and more detailed anecdotes about her life, suggesting that he had followed her around quite a bit.
But he had stopped, hadn’t he?
She spread the cream cheese on her hot bagel, and poured herself a cup of steaming coffee. She smiled. One full week, it had been seven days since the last letter. She could finally stop looking over her shoulder.
Or maybe not just yet. But still, she felt safe again.
The day’s news weren’t really exciting, and she skipped the finance rubric. Her horoscope made her smile, warning her that ‘She should expect news from an old friend’. She’d gladly pass on that, today.
She ate the last bite of her bagel and took her cup of coffee to the living room. She always kept the personal ads for last, because they amused her. People had such weird things published in there… Prayers for a loved one recovery (as if God would be impressed to see the request in the local newspaper!), people looking for runaway pets (she once had seen a 500$ ransom for a blue parakeet. She had almost gone to the nearest petstore to get one and claim the money. What looks more like a blue parakeet, than a blue parakeet, right?) and love (Love??? Really?) notes to strangers briefly spotted on the subway, or in the bread aisle of the grocery store.
Her usual giggles echoed in the silent apartment, as she went through the ads, until she got to it. She almost dropped the large mug on her lap when she recognized him.
She read the ad again, not believing her eyes.
Dear Sweetpea, Honey B…
Beatrice’s heart skipped a beat. What were the odds, that someone would use this exact unusal greeting? The same one she had read day after day after day. The rest of the message made her blood run cold.
Roses are red,
violets are blue…
I’m sure this scarlet gown
will really flatter you.
She hesitated, but the words had turned her stomach, and she ran to her room, slamming her closet door open.
And there it was.
Her legs gave up on her, and she dropped to the floor, staring at the new addition in her garderobe. The ankle-long, bright red dress seemed to be smirking at her.
It wasn’t over after all.
Far from it.