I am so tired, gosh, it has been a long day, and this evening train is so full, I had to squeeze myself in tiny space besides this big girl and try not to fall off the seat and somebody’s backpack is pressing into my face, at least it is a backpack not somebody’s back!
We are at the Zoo stop and there you go, another green bicyclist trying to push his muddy, smelly, rusty bike into the crowd packed like sardines. Portland is green city you know and Portlanders like to commute by mass transit a lot. I don’t have anything against going green but still — couldn’t appreciate the cyclist today sitting in the cramped train.
Thank god it is a Friday; I don’t have to ride this train tomorrow and I can sleep late and don’t have to look at the damn website for which I am paid to find the damn bugs and fix them, and with which I pay my bills, and make what everybody calls a living.
I yawned and looked out the window, it is dark outside. We are almost at the end of February but no sign of spring; still it gets dark at six. I tried to look outside through the window glass, and then I saw this person, his eyes watching my reflection in the glass intently. I turn my head and looked his way, he straightened himself and turned his head and pretended to look at his kindle or something in his hand. Two minutes later again I caught him staring at me in the window glass.
Again and again I caught him staring at my reflection.
What a Moron, “Hey what’s the matter with you?” I wanted to yell at him but my stop came and God, I was happy to get the hell out of the train.
Starting my car I remembered my almost empty fridge. Got to head to Freddy’s and buy some chips and may be a slice of cheesecake.
Great, not many people in the store today, I have no patience to stand in line, I bend over the aisle to reach the cake slice in the desserts section, and the same person suddenly appeared from behind and reached the pie next to the one I was holding!
“What the hell? Did he follow me all the way to the store? I better get rid if this psycho fast.” Hastily I walked the other way and picked a box of donuts and went to the checkout. Paid in cash and never caring to respond to the small talk the store clerk was making, I ran to the car and sped away to the safety of my home. Once I closed the garage door and went inside, checked all doors and windows and then remembered to breathe.
“Oh common Gracie, you are being paranoid. It is just coincidence, don’t worry about it. It is a matter of four days, my training will be over: and I will be there with you”. Ted my hubby assured me when I told him about this episode while chatting on Skype. ” Be a brave girl, give me a kiss and go to bed now”, he blew kisses and logged off.
“May be I was paranoid”. Why some random person would care or follows me? An ordinary looking middle-aged, shabbily dressed, not so rich, married woman?
I switched off the computer, and turned the TV on for ten o’clock news while getting ready to bed. I stood there stupefied.
“If you have seen this person pleases call 911. He is considered dangerous and might be armed.” It was the same person. The picture was there for two seconds and then gone. The news reader switched to winter Olympics.
I could feel the cold sweat dripping from my body. My heart was pounding. I felt I could not move my arms and legs as though they were made of lead.
I pulled myself up and opened my laptop. Browsed the local news and it was exactly he. A composite sketch of a suspect wanted across several states for multiple gruesome murders including his biological mother.
“First I will call Ted and then the police.” I looked for my cell phone. “Where did I keep? Oh I forgot to bring it up. It is in my handbag.” I ran down the stairs. “Not there, did I forget it in office? I dropped all the contents in the bag. Not there!
“Oh my god what should I do? I will call Teddy from my laptop.” I ran to the stairs. There that person stood at the staircase blocking me.
“Hey babe, are you looking for this?” He flashed my cell phone at my face?
“How could this be happening to me?” My mouth went dry; I very much wanted to run. I could not move.
“Please leave me alone. I beg you. I don’t even know you. I have nothing to do with you. “
I could smell alcohol in his breath. “Oh yes, I have so much to do with you. I like to watch blood dripping from your body. I hate women. I am going to end all of you, because you guys are disgusting, cheating, lying and selfish.”
“Please sir Please leave me, I am not that kind of person”
“No, you are all alike. Hey I remember you were about to buy blood red cherry pie in that store, why didn’t you? You know I like blood, dark red blood all over the place!”
“Please let me go. You can take whatever you want, I have a few dollars and I have some gold jewelry in the locker upstairs. Just take them and leave. I won’t even call the police. Please?” I begged.
“Shut up now and walk up the stairs. I don’t have much time. First show me where all your jewelry is, I am running short on cash, I can use it. I have to finish you and then I will go for the next one, Move up”
He took out the knife and pushed it at the back of my neck as I started climbing up the stairs.
“Common babe, let’s move”. Pressing the knife deeper. I could feel the cold knife tip going into my skin I started climbing stairs one at a time holding the hand rail and he following me.
I could feel the excruciating pain, I thought the knife already pierced my throat from back of my head and could feel cold blood dripping at my back.
When I reached the top of the stairs I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and pulled my whole strength together and kicked him as hard I could.
That was my do or die moment!
He curled up and tumbled down the whole staircase. Yelled profanities and got up with bleeding head, chin and nose. “You b—-, I am going to cut you up into pieces” He started running up the stairs brandishing the knife.
I don’t know what or how it got into me. I held the hand rail and jumped onto the side and on to the dining table in a flash and ran to the backdoor. Yanked it open and ran to the street.
Stood by the road panting and signaled to the passing car, the young lady in tiny Toyota stopped, sat me inside the car and called 911. Officers came in minutes and searched the home, yard, street and entire neighborhood. Nothing! Nobody was there!
“Sorry ma’am we searched everywhere very thoroughly, we could not find him.” Are you sure he was inside your home?” The officer was asking.
“I am damn sure, look at all this, the blood; I am injured and am bleeding”
“Do you need an ambulance?”
“NO officer I think I am all right. I will call my friend; she will drive me to ER.” “But he was very much there, maybe he ran away or something. Thank you very much officer.”
“Ma’am come with us, we will walk you to your home.”
“Oh, thank you sir, I am fine.” I assured them.
“That case, we will leave. Call us if you see anything suspicious. We will increase the nighttime watch in this area at least for some time.” the officers left.
Before leaving, the officers also thanked the driver of the car for being a Good Samaritan.
I sighed with relief and walked towards the car to say thanks for all the help “Hey miss, thank —. “
Something hit my face.
I pulled myself back. I looked at it. It was a woman’s wig and a black muffler.
Stunned, I looked at the driver.
It was he, he gave a chilling smile and muttered “I will see you later”, and the car sped away.