Ellen rose with a heavy sigh and returned to her work. Near the end of the day she called Anne and told her what had happened.
“My god, Ellen, that’s horrible! Listen, you shouldn’t be alone tonight. Why don’t you come over to my place after work, okay? We can talk and I’ll make dinner. I think it would be good for you.”
“Thanks Anne. Let me think. I have to get back to work. I’ll call you when I’m done.”
Passing through the revolving door and onto the street Ellen stood at the kerb trying to decide what to do. Dialling Anne’s number she tried to think of what to say. “Hi Anne. I…yeah, I guess I’ll head over to your place. See you soon.”
She dropped the phone into her purse absent-mindedly, unaware that she missed the compartment and it had bounced right out of her bag. It clattered against the pavement and Ellen watched as it bounced into the traffic just as a bus pulled up. The sound of the plastic casing splintering was drowned out by the hiss of the brakes.
Staring dumbfounded, tears welled up and she began walking. Flushed and crying she hurried down the street completely oblivious to the dark clad man who had been watching her intently and now followed at a leisurely pace.
Maintaining his distance, Ellen’s stalker took out his phone and punched in a number. After a brief conversation he put it away and picked up his pace. He could feel excitement beginning to course through his veins. As he felt the familiar tic in his neck he counted his heartbeats, revelling in the thought of the blood flowing free. He wore a beatific smile now as he weaved in and out of the foot traffic. He sniffed the air with confidence and his steps felt light and effortless. Anticipation, as always, was sweet.
Trying her best to compose herself Ellen decided to sit down and have a brief rest before continuing to the bus that would take her to Anne’s. Sitting down on a bench facing the shops she forced herself to breath deep and relax. Nothing was to be gained from tension. She let her shoulders drop and her mind wander for a bit. The sun felt good on her face and a gentle breeze cooled her down.
Seeing her stop he pulled up short and considered his next move. Stepping to the curb now he crossed the street and continued on, keeping his eye on Ellen. She was so close now. Allowing his imagination free reign he put his hands in his pockets and daydreamed of things to come.
Noticing that she was sitting in front of the department store she had passed on the way to the pub last Friday Ellen spotted the dress that had caught her interest and went over to check it out. It was a beautiful cocktail dress of some rich fabric and the styling would suit her figure well. Making a mental note to come back the next day and try it on, she noticed the reflection in the glass.
Standing directly across the street from her with his hands in his pocket and a sickening smile on his face was her tormentor. Her head filled up with a rush of thoughts. Ellen forced herself to stand still and not react. If she ran he’d know she’d spotted him. Her being rapidly filling with the urge to turn and scream, she decided it would be best to just keep moving toward the bus stop.
Walking along at a normal pace she didn’t look across the street. If he didn’t know she figured she had a good chance of joining the crowd at the bus stop and she’d be safe and on her way to Anne’s. She stayed close to the buildings in case she needed to duck inside. Holding down the anger at her carelessness in losing her phone she stayed focused on getting on the bus and away to safety. If only she could call that policeman now.