TDTS 2

blogimagetShe could feel eyes exploring every part of her body, every curve showing beneath her pom uniform, every strand of highlighted hair on her head. Watching. Watching her. Every day. For the last three days. She barely made it through school and now she was followed. Again. Watching her. Hannah gave her a ride home. Was talking about… what? She couldn’t remember. All she knew was she needed to get in the house.

In.

Now.

She took out her keys, holding them tightly between shaking fingers. Her hand was slick with sweat and the metal kept slipping between her fingers, but she frantically  put them back in place. One between each finger. Like brass knuckles. That was from a show about how to defend against an attack. Hold the keys in your fist, then if anyone tried anything… Slam! Right in the eye and run like hell.

A sound.

Rustling.

But all the leaves were gone. It was December and the last leaf pick-up was before Thanksgiving. No leaves. So what was making that sound?

He was. He was letting her know he was there, watching. Letting her know she wasn’t safe. She hurried up the steps of the colonial home in the middle class neighborhood. Fumbled to hold the house key as she trying to get it in the lock. Her back was turned to the street. That wasn’t good. She was vulnerable. She concentrated on the key and not what was behind her. In a moment, the lock turned. She pushed the door open, rushed in, then shut and locked it as quickly as she could. Once inside, she pressed numbers on the security system.

Safe.

Safe in the house. All the doors and windows were locked. She was safe. She checked the alarm again. Made sure it was still on. An extra safety measure. Running upstairs, she went in her room, locked the door behind her and sat on the bed she forgot to make that morning. She checked her phone. Charged. No messages. Nothing. Sweat poured down her face and back as she opened the laptop on her desk. No messages. Nothing. She pulled up YouTube so there would be other voices in the room.

She thought of telling her mom, her dad… someone about the sounds and the horrible feeling of being watched. Unfortunately, no one cared. There was nothing to worry about, they’d say. It was safe. They lived in a good neighborhood. In a good town. Not like Chicago.

The girl wasn’t so sure. If it was so safe, so good, why was someone watching her? Following her? Why did she want to scream and run every time she left her house? Maybe it was hormones. They’d been kicking her butt lately. Lots of mood swings. Lots of… Maybe that’s all it was. A teen hormonal rush.

Or not.

She checked her windows and door again to make sure they were locked, checked her phone to make sure it was charged. That phone was her lifeline. If it was dead, she was dead. There would be no way to call for help. Okay, so maybe that was a little dramatic. Even though houses surrounded her, she always felt alone, unsure if anyone would help. Maybe that’s what everyone meant about a good neighborhood. A place where everyone kept their noses out of other people’s business. Smile. Wave. Say hello if you have to, but nothing else. You wouldn’t want to be rude, but you didn’t want to get too close. If you got close, you might be asked to do something… like help a neighbor girl who was being attacked by some sicko who followed her home.

“Relax. We live in a good neighborhood.” Her mother’s voice echoed in her head.

Yeah, relax. That’s all she needed to do. And she would. Right after she checked the windows and door again.

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