The man crossed the space between them slowly and for once didn’t look at Ellen. As he got along side not three feet away he hesitated then turned toward the door. Ellen watched as he walked to thedoor and opened it. He glanced over his shoulder at her. A broad grin spread across his face, then he was gone.
“My god, that was scary.”
“What? What did he do?”
“He turned his head and smiled at me. Honestly, I’m so off men right now. They can all go to hell.”
Anne smiled and finished her wine. “It’s been quite a while, hasn’t it?”
“Don’t start with me. I’m not missing anything, thank you very much.”
They decided it was time to go and hailed a cab, piling in laughing and jostling each other. Neither noticed the grey sedan that followed just behind them as they pulled away.
Ellen dropped Anne off and then sank back in the seat to relax for the rest of the short ride to her apartment. She paid the driver and started walking up the path and spotted a car pulling up just down the street. She thought it was odd that no one got out but once inside she gave it no more thought.
Getting ready for bed she thought about what Anne had said just before they left the bar. She really didn’t need a man in her life right now. She had a great job and a handful of good friends. Things would change when they should and she wasn’t going to be concerned either way.
She turned out the light and went to the window to draw the blinds. As she reached for the cord her breath caught in her throat. Someone was standing in the middle of the road some ways down the street, a dark silhouette motionless in the soft light falling on the asphalt.
Ellen stepped back. It was him. That guy. She just knew it. She peeked through the blinds. There was no one there, just the quivering shadow of a branch hanging over the road. Had she imagined it? Was it a trick of the light? She decided she’d had too much to drink and was spooked by the guy who had been watching her at the pub. She got into bed and tried to put it out of her mind. Sleep was a bit longer in coming than usual but eventually she felt into restful slumber.
On Monday morning she called Anne on her break to tell her what she had seen.
“That’s creepy Ellen, but you’re not sure you actually saw someone?”
“Well, I can’t be sure. The streetlights are so bright, and if there was someone there he was just out of the halo, in shadow, you know? I just don’t know.”
“Well, I doubt it’s anything to worry about. You didn’t see anyone Saturday or Sunday night?”
“No. You can bet I checked though.”
“Probably nothing to it then. Relax, girl.”