I stood in the shadows. The grass was still wet from the rain that fell earlier tonight. Each movement I made was calculated, down to the smallest detail. From, watching where I stepped in the flower bed, which was underneath the bedroom window. To, she must never know that I had been there.
I watched, silently as the lights went on, one bye one, inside the house. She walked through, settling herself in for the night. The bedroom door was open as it always was, letting her slip inside easily.
I knew the entire layout of her home, down to where she kept her mail on her kitchen counter. The things she did were part of what made her someone that I just couldn’t resist.
Leaning back from the window slightly, I made sure not to be seen as she turned on the light beside her bed. Timing was everything. I knew her routine down to the second. Closing my eyes, I saw in my mind exactly what she would do next.
First, she would head to the bathroom and put her long black hair up into a bun. She would slide her pants down over her slender hips and leave them draped over the laundry basket. Then she would slip her house coat on, the one that hung behind the bathroom door.
How I wished she would replace it. I said several times that it just did not do her justice. At home I had the perfect one all set out for her. I was just waiting until the right moment to give it to her. I knew she would love it and appreciate my kind gesture. After all, how could she not?
I waited breathlessly, eager for her return to her bedroom. I knew it was only moments away now. Should I take the chance and peek before her return? No, I must be patient, if she walked in and saw me, she could be frightened. I didn’t want to frighten her, I wanted to show her just how much I love her and how I was willing to devote myself to her, I thought.
Watching her was something I had done hundreds of times before. I learned something new about her every time. Like how many times she ran the brush through her hair, each night before turning in. During the warmer months, she enjoyed leaving the windows open and I could smell her perfume. It was always the same.
I bought her some for Christmas one year. I even came close to giving it to her. Instead, I sprayed it on the house coat I had, just so I could smell her. It was almost as good as having her there. Almost, but not quite.
I heard the door squeak slightly as she returned to her room. When I heard the bedsprings, I knew she was getting ready to lie down. Now it was safe to move and watch her as she slept.
Making sure not to be too close to the window, I peeked in. I couldn’t leave notice that I had been here. The last time I was close to being caught, I pressed my face against the window hoping to get a better view of her. She sat up in bed, awakened from an apparently bad dream, and almost caught me. Good thing for me, she was more asleep than awake or I would have been seen for sure.
How many times had I been close to her? How many times did I long to be with Felicity? With her big, beautiful brown eyes, and her shy smile. When I saw her at work I wanted to talk to her but I didn’t. I was too afraid and she was always around her friends.
Those evil twits filled her mind with useless drivel, if you asked me. She could do so much better than them. Whenever I saw them together, she was always quiet. They monopolized the conversation and never let her get a word in. It was not right as far as I was concerned.
So I waited, biding my time until just the right moment. Then, oh then, yes she would be mine. Standing on my toes, I leaned against the window as much as I could without touching the glass.
She sat on her bed and slid her house coat down over her shoulders, lifting slightly off the bed… just enough to move it out from underneath her bottom. How envious was I not be made of that material. She lifted her legs onto the bed and slipped them under the covers.
As she put her head down on her pillow, I saw her chest lift and fall with every breath she took underneath her blue striped comforter. I was happy to say, it was the exact one that was on my bed at home. Any moment now, she was going to turn from lying on her back to facing the window, that was when I knew it was time to leave.
It was too dangerous to stay here. If she woke and saw me, all would be lost. I watched as Felicity adjusted her blanket. That was the first hint that it was almost time for me to leave. Yet, I couldn’t tear myself away.
Slowly, I moved back from the window. It felt as if my heart was breaking by leaving her. Even though tomorrow we would be together in the same office, we would work side by side. I knew she wouldn't glance up at me. It would be the same as it always was. Yet, my heart would soar just by being near her and being able to see her face in the sunshine.
I made my way out, trying to cover over the spots where my footprints were left behind. 'If only it hadn't rained tonight, if only.' Backing away from the window, I felt the pull she had over me.
How could it be so strong? I wondered.
Turning from the window, I hoped that for one night I would be able to sleep without thoughts of wanting to touch her invading my dreams. That had not happened yet, and it had been a year.
A year of watching, waiting, hoping. Time spent admiring and wishing she would notice me. I walked through the shadows, away from Felicity's house and down the street to my car. Sitting for a moment, I was overwhelmed by my love for her.
Would she ever know how I felt?
I was just plain Travis, the one who everyone forgot, nothing extraordinary to look at. Short brown hair, green eyes, average looks, not the kind of guy the girls all seemed to drool over these days. They all wanted pretty boys.
I felt myself getting angry. Thoughts went through me about growing up and all the girls ignoring me, passing me over for one guy or another. They never took the time to get to know me, or realize what they missed out on. Well, that was in the past. Now, it was Felicity who was going to be the lucky girl who got to share my life.
Starting the car, I let it warm up for a minute or two then drove down the street. One last spin by her house wouldn't change much. Everyone was sleeping now, and my car didn't make enough noise to wake anyone.
I headed back home, not taking a direct route. When I pulled into the driveway, I parked the car and got out, locking the door behind me. I walked up to the front door, unlocked it and went inside.
Keeping the lights out, I went straight for my room, my shrine, the place where I could sleep and dream of my lovely Felicity. Kicking off my shoes, I went into the bathroom and get ready for bed. There was even a picture of her in there. Actually there were pictures of her everywhere. She had to be familiar with the house when she comes here. This was just the beginning.
I turned off the light and climbed into bed, pulling my blue, striped comforter over me as I settled in. Minutes later, I was fast asleep and didn’t wake until morning. If I dreamed, I didn’t remember it. I got dressed for work, admiring the photos that I had taken of my lovely Felicity.
I headed for the door and when I opened it I looked down, checking as always for my morning paper. There was no paper this morning so I cursed under my breath. I would have to call the newspaper later, and tell them to deliver it.
I did notice that sticking out of the corner of the welcome mat was an envelope. I looked around confused, then leaned down to pick it up. My name was on the outside, typed in block letters. The scent of lilacs filled my nose, making me gag. I hated lilacs. Carefully I opened the envelope.
WE KNOW WHAT YOU DID!
WE KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING!
STOP IT! WE ARE WATCHING...
THE SAME AS YOU DO!
My stomach dropped. I felt sweat on my brow. What was I going to do? I looked around hoping to catch whoever sent the note. It was typed out so even that was no help. It could easily have been a joke. Someone trying to unnerve me. Maybe even one of my neighbors that didn't like me, of which there were many.
I wasn’t sure why, but it made me a little nervous finding out that someone was watching me. Ironic, I knew, but still... I would find out who was doing this and I would make them pay.
I walked to my car, tucking the envelope into my pocket as if nothing happened. There was no way I was going to let anyone see they succeeded in upseting me. I would carry on with my day and then tonight, I would visit my darling Felicity.
I backed out of the driveway and went to work. Nothing was going to stand in my way. Soon, maybe not today, but soon I would make her mine. My mind drifted off to the life that Felicity and I would enjoy. The house I would buy for her, the kids we would have together. It would be a perfect life that we would share.
Pulling into an empty space, I turned off the engine. I got out and locked the doors. I didn't want anyone finding the pictures I had of Felicity in the car. How would I explain them? I couldn’t worry about that now. I had to start putting my plan in motion.
What exactly was my plan? I wasn't sure. I just knew that I had to start getting her attention. If I didn’t, then all was lost... just like the last time.
I couldn’t focus on that. That was an accident. I didn't mean for her to die. She shouldn't have ran. She should have known better but she was stubborn and never listened.
Katlynn. Even thinking her name brought back painful memories. Her attitude matched her name that was for certain, Katlynn would do anything and everything she could to annoy me. It wasn't going to work from the beginning, I should have known. I had no choice I had to do it, it was her fault, she made me.
No, no, I can’t think about that. I wouldn't let my time with Felicity be tarnished with bad memories. I headed to my desk, Felicity looked up and smiled, then looked back down at what she was doing. That was the normal extent of our exchange.
This morning was different. I stopped in front of her desk and looked at her. She looked up startled. What the hell was I going to say? I would sound like a geek, no matter came out of my mouth.
"Yes?" she quietly asked me, looking a little nervous.
"J-just..." I stammered. "I just wanted to say hi," because I was such a geek and had no idea how else to talk to you at work , I thought but didn't finish saying.
"Hello." She went back to her work. It was as if she was refusing to look at me.
'How could she be so cold? Did she not know how difficult it was just walking up to her?' I guessed not. Sighing I walked over to my desk and tried not to stare. 'At least, I took the first step. I opened the door,' I thought.
Today passed slowly. I supposed it was because I was nervous about the events to come. How wonderful tonight would be? There would be no questions, no worries. She would be happy and she would be mine. Tonight, yes, she would be mine.
I thought carefully about how I wanted things to go. Flowers? Would that be a good idea? I never saw flowers or plants in her house. Maybe it isn't such a good idea. How was I going to get in? I hadn't thought about that before. I supposed I had to, now.
I called the florist and asked for a small bouquet of carnations to be delivered to my house after I got home from work. I would write the note myself. That would be a personal touch, and she would love it all the more.
I made sure that I did this quietly so as not to let her overhear. That in itself was a feat, considering the closeness of our work areas. I never said her name. So if she overheard, she wouldn't know they were for her. With that done and out of the way, I finished off the remaining of day. I was tempted to leave early to get everything done, but that would have aroused suspicion.
I wished I had more time to plan, but the letter I received this morning was weighing heavily on my mind. I was not sure yet what I was going to do about neither the letter nor its implications. Was someone, in fact, watching me? This could be disastrous if it was true. I didn’t really have time to worry about it. Yet, I couldn’t seem to tear my mind away from those thoughts either.
There was so much to do, and I was still not sure how this was going to work. With that in mind, I knew I must find a way into Felicity's house tonight. I didn’t want to break a window that would cause her to stress and that was the last thing that I wanted. Oh if only there was more time. I had put this off long enough though.
It would have to be tonight.
I looked up at the clock, I saw it was close to quitting time, which was a good thing. It would give me time to prepare. Closing the file on my desk, I got ready to leave. After everything was arranged to my liking, I picked up the file I was working on and dropped it on Sarah's desk.
Sarah was the head of our department. Luckily, she wasn't at her desk. Otherwise, I would have gotten stuck answering a million and one questions about why I needed to leave early.
Quickly, I wrote a note saying there was a small emergency and I was called away. I might not be in for a couple of days.
That should cover things. At least, I hoped it did. I grabbed everything from my desk so there was no reason for me to go back. Unfortunately, Felicity didn't even look up as I passed by her. I walked towards the door, and never looked back.
Once I was outside, I took a deep sigh of relief. I wasn't sure why I held my breath until I walked out of the office but I did. I was terrified someone would stop me, or at least ask where I thought I was going. I supposed that was one good thing about being able to fade into the background. No one really saw me coming and going.
Only someone was paying attention weren't they, a voice inside my head said. My hand slipped to the pocket containing the letter. Without removing it, I recalled what it said, word for word. The thought of it made me shudder. I pushed that to the back of my mind as I got to my car.
Unlocking the door to the car seemed a chore, and then some. The lock stuck, it never did that before. Perhaps, it was just my overactive imagination, but I was still nervous. Cursing loudly, I pushed the key hard into the lock, finally, getting it open.
Once settled inside, I took a moment to calm myself. Then I put the car into drive and left. First stop was to pick up some supplies for tonight. I wanted to make her a lovely dinner. That would seal the deal, so to speak. I was planning pasta Prima Vera. I knew she loved pasta, but she had not tasted mine. So, I was hopeful that it would go over well.
I had enough time to get all that I needed, go home grab an hour of sleep, and then get everything ready for tonight. It was a good idea that I rested. It could be a very long evening. That was... if everything goes well.
I headed to the grocery store and got everything that I needed for dinner. This was a dish I had made so many times before that I was able to get the ingredients without thinking about it.
My mind must have been playing tricks on me, I thought. Every aisle I walked down, it felt like I was being watched. It made me uncomfortable. I paid for my groceries and rushed out. I was so unnerved that I nearly left without them.
Putting everything in the back seat, I looked around the parking lot, wondering if I was being watched or not. Seeing no one suspicious, I hopped into the car and drive home.
Pulling into the driveway, I thought about all that I had to get done. If everything worked well, I would have an hour before I headed to Felicity's house. I still had to make sure that she was going to be home on time.
She should be, I thought. It was only Thursday night. She was always home on Thursdays.
I grabbed the groceries and walked up to the house. There was an envelope sticking out of the mailbox. My stomach dropped as I thought about the one that was still in my pocket.
Why, oh why did this have to happen now? I pulled it out and saw it was just the phone bill. I am jumping at shadows, I chastised myself. Perhaps the letter this morning was just a fluke, or meant for someone else.
I walked into the house and put the groceries away. There was time to grab a quick shower and a nap before I had to cook. I went into the washroom and put my towel over the back of the toilet. I turned the taps on and jumped in. My thoughts turned back to how I hoped things would turn out.
I would be waiting in Felicity's living room when she gets home. At first she may be a little surprised at how I got in, but she would not mind much. If she did, I could take care of that easily enough, I smiled thinking about this.
I would have the picnic laid out on the living room floor. There would be candle light and champagne. We would dine and I would tell her how I felt. Then she would be so happy she couldn’t help but be willing to be with me.
The thought of being with her alone in a room was more than anything I ever dreamed of. Work was easy enough, we didn’t talk. That would be the key to everything… to her happiness, and mine.
After my shower was done, I went to lie down, setting my alarm so that I was up with plenty of time to spare. That way I didn’t have to rush dinner. I hated rushing my cooking, plus this was a special occasion so I wanted to make sure that everything was done right.
Lying my head down on the pillow I fall asleep easily. I felt calm, relaxed, yet excited all at the same time. I drifted into a dreamless sleep and when my alarm rang about an hour later I felt refreshed.
The excitement was building as it got closer to when I had to leave. Leaving my suit set out on the bed so that I won't spill anything on it while I was cooking, I set to work getting everything ready for supper.
Throwing on some old clothes, I went to the kitchen and prepare everything. The pasta was cooking, and the Caesar salad was done to perfection. Everything was going as it should. Now it was time to get dressed. I paid special attention to my clothes making sure there were no wrinkles. It wouldn't do to have a wrinkled suit. I wanted to make a good impression when she walked in the door.
Once I was dressed, I took another look in the mirror. When I was satisfied with how I looked it was time to get dinner and leave. I put everything into containers so that they maintain their heat. I can always put them in the oven to keep them warm until she gets home. Plenty of time for all that.
As I headed to the front door, I took a final look back. The kitchen was all straightened, and the living room was nice and neat. 'Everything had a place and everything in its place,' I always said. It wouldn't be good to have her walk into a messy home when she returned with me. That would not do at all.
There was no way she would think about refusing me. Not with everything I had done for her. She would be overwhelmed by my romantic gesture that was for sure.
With everything all set, I grabbed the flowers, dinner and walked out the door. I set the dinner on the passenger seat and the flowers on the back seat. I wouldn't want to squish the flowers that wouldn't be good. With those all settled I walked around to my door and climb inside.
Backing out of the driveway I looked at my watch, almost 7 p.m. A little more than an hour and she would be home. She always gets home by 8. That would give me enough time to get everything set up just the way it should be. Just the way it had to be. There can be no mistakes. Not now, not when I had come so far.
The thought about how I get in keeps creeping into my mind. How would I get in? She didn’t have a key hidden anywhere. I would have known about it by now. That would make things so much easier. I had to be careful if I try to break in too. If someone were to hear, that would just ruin everything.
I drive through town as quickly as I can, without getting a ticket. Wanting to make sure that I get there in plenty of time to get set up. I drive by her house just to make sure she isn't home, her car isn't in the driveway which was a good sign. She hasn't, on the off chance, arrived home early.
I parked my car in front of her neighbors house. Now I was really nervous. I had never declared my love for someone like this before. I hoped it all would go smoothly.
I sat there for a few minutes. I looked around inside the car, making sure I hadn't forgotten anything. That was when I noticed the envelope. It was sitting in the wipers. 'How could I not have noticed that? How could I have missed it?'
Opening my door carefully, leaned over the front window and grabbed the envelope. Taking it quickly, I sat back down and pulled the door closed, locking it.
My hand was shaking as I held the envelope in my hands. It was the same as before, a plain white envelope. Nothing special about it. It was sealed. Carefully I ripped it open and pulled out a typed piece of paper. Unfolding it, I saw it said:
THIS IS YOUR FINAL WARNING
STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING
WHILE YOU STILL CAN!
OTHERWISE YOU WILL BE SORRY.
I didn’t know who was doing this to me, or why. There was no turning back now, I would have her. She would be mine, and the two of us would be happy together. No one was going to stand in my way.
"NO ONE!" I pound my fist on the steering wheel as I crumple up the paper and throw it in the glove box. Reaching over I grab the flowers and dinner, stepping out of the car and walking toward the back yard. Hoping that it looked like this was something I had done a million times before.
I was also hoping to find the back door unlocked. One couldn't blame me for being hopeful. No such luck. It was locked up tight. I looked around, hoping to find out how to get in. That was when I saw it. The kitchen window was open… barely. It was just wide enough for me to get inside though. After, I took the screen out that was.
I put the dinner and the flowers down on the step. Far enough away so that no matter what I do, there was no chance of me ruining either of them. I climb up onto the railing of the stairs and lean over to the window sill. It takes a couple of minutes but finally I was able to remove the screen without damaging it. I set it on the stairs and pushed the window open as I slid inside.
Once I was inside, I went to the back door, grabbing the flowers, dinner and the screen, I pull it all inside, close and lock the door again. Replacing the screen goes much easier from the inside the house, thankfully.
I set to work making sure that everything was set up.
The pasta had started to cool so I place it in the oven to warm it up. Not long now before she gets home. That's when I realize I forgot the blanket. I curse myself quietly. Then I set about looking for an extra blanket. I find it in her linen closet, which was immaculate as was the rest of her house. I wanted to make sure not to mess anything up.
I didn't figure she would mind too much me borrowing one of hers. When she saw what I had done it won't matter in the least. With everything set out except the pasta I went around looking for candles. Can’t have a romantic dinner for two, if there were no candles.
I found some in her kitchen. Not exactly what I was looking for but close enough. I went around setting them about the living room. Luckily the front curtain was always drawn so it won't alert her when she pulls into the driveway.
I looked down at my watch, almost 8, I went to the kitchen and grab the pasta from the oven and place it on a warmer, which I carefully placed on the blanket. Now I was all ready. It was just time to wait.
I looked up as I hear a car, it slows as it gets close to the house but it keeps going. Not her, not yet. It isn't quite 8. A few more cars pass by. With every car that passes my stomach gets tighter and tighter. My nerves were just about gone when I hear her pull into the drive.
I looked down at my watch, again. 8:02. She's late. She was always on time. Thankfully, I warmed dinner. It was probably those wenches from the office that kept her late or it was our boss, that tyrant.
I stood up waiting for her to enter the house. I hear the door slam shut and with every second that passes I was more and more anxious. I couldn’t wait to tell her the words that were in my heart, the ones I longed to say.
I hear her keys jingle as she puts them in the lock.
"I should have unlocked the front door. I didn't think of that." I whispered to the empty room.
The doorknob starts turning slowly, her fingers wrap around the side of the door pushing it open. Time seems to be going in slow motion. My breath catches in my chest. This was it! This was the moment I had been waiting for. I lean down and pick up the flowers, holding them in front of me.
Grabbing them in my hand, yet not standing upright, I looked to the door. "Welcome home, Felicity Darling."
The door swings open wide. She stands there not moving her body silhouetted in the night. The lights from the street lamps coming into the house behind her.
I couldn't see her face but I can picture her smiling in my head. This was it. She was going to be so happy now. I couldn’t help but be overjoyed with the possibilities.
Felicity walked into the room, closing the door behind her. She didn’t say a word. Slowly she slid her jacket off her shoulders, not letting go of her purse. Tossing her jacket onto a nearby chair, she reached into her purse.
She was going to put on some lipstick. 'Felicity wanted to make sure she was absolutely perfect for me. We're going to be so happy together.'
There was a flash and a popping sound. It was like nothing I had ever heard or seen before. I felt something fly by my head.
"I warned you to stay away."
I looked at the door, confused and I stood up.
There was another flash, if there was another pop I couldn't hear it my ears were ringing horribly now. This time my hands instinctively went to my stomach. The breath from my chest was shoved out with a harsh blow. It felt like someone had sucker punched me. Yet, I felt no one touch me.
The flowers dropped out of my hands to the floor. I looked from them to the door. Taking a good look, I saw they were covered in blood. I pulled my hands away. They too were covered in blood. My blood. "How could you?" My voice trailed off.
She kept walking towards me, her gun never wavering. That was when I saw it in the shadows. "I warned you," She repeated.
I couldn’t hear what she was saying to me. I just wanted her to stop causing me pain. I wouldn't hurt her ever. Why was she doing this to me? "But. But." I looked at her lost. "I love you."
"You have made my life hell! I know who you are! I know what you have been doing all this time. Do you get it? I know!!!" She was screaming now. "You couldn't leave Katlynn alone. Now, you're wanting me?"
I thought I heard her mention Katlynn but I wasn't sure, I couldn't make it out through the ringing in my ears.
"Katlynn was my cousin, you killed her I couldn't prove it but I knew if I waited long enough, you would mess up and you did. Now, when I call the police I can just say I shot an intruder, and they won't be any the wiser." She laughed shrilly.
I saw the anger in her eyes. "Katlynn..." My voice trailed off.
There was another flash and more pain, this time in my left shoulder. I took a step backwards as the fire fills my body.
I looked into her eyes. The light from the candles make them looked as if they were on fire. She looks gorgeous. Even in this light, she was beautiful.
"I made dinner for us." I gestured with my right arm. "I did this all for you. To show you how much I love you." My voice sounded small. 'Was I even really talking now?'
She never looked down. Her eyes never left my face. There was another shot.
That was when I collapsed to the floor.
"You should have listened." She stood over me, glaring.
"I never would have hurt you." I gasped for air. "I just wanted you to love me." Everything started going dark. The last thing I heard was her picking up the phone, and she started to speak.