A woman must escape her stalker.
|She last saw him on a rainy afternoon. Sara could tell in her rear view mirror that Edward Porter's car was blocked behind a SUV at the red light. She stomped on her gas pedal. Turning randomly at intersections, entering alleys, running yellow lights, she eventually hid in a parking garage until the evening drive time. It worked. She escaped her stalker.
That was over three years ago. Now she went by Christine. Her new husband, Sam Martin, knew nothing of her real past. He ran a fishing resort in northern Minnesota. For the last year, she'd been a part of Sam's operation.
Today, seeing Jeff seated in the gate waiting area of her Minneapolis flight to Quebec jolted her to a stop. He was digging in the front pocket of his roll-on bag. Had he seen her yet? She spun, pretended to trip over her suitcase which brought her head low. Keeping her head low, she looked back up the aisle of gates. Ten feet away a group of teenagers stood playing with their smartphones. Their chaperons, or maybe coaches, were anxiously discussing something. Sara hid behind the teens, and looked back into the gate area. It was a huge relief to see Jeff reading his tablet.
How could he be here? Was it a coincidence? It had to be. If Edward was following her again, how did he get her ahead of her? How could he know which flight she'd be taking? Which gate she would be at? She felt weak. She needed to sit down. He knew which gate and flight because he wasn't following her. He was ahead of her. He must know her new name and where she lived. If that was the case, why hadn't he shown up at the resort? Because people in a small, wilderness area would be aware of strangers. No. Not in this case. Not in a vacation destination. Hundreds of strangers swarmed the region each year. A new thought made her fight down nausea. Perhaps he had spied on their resort from the forest or from a fishing boat on the lake? Jeff must know about Sam. Oh, dear God, Sam was in danger too.
Risking another peek around the teenagers toward Jeff, Sara watched in horror as Jeff raised his eyes from his tablet and looked straight at her. She shot past the coaches and raced toward the security check point. Looking over her shoulder, she could see Jeff strolling from the gate area. Why wasn't he hurrying? What did he know that she didn't? Sara had to get control of her panic. She had to think.
First of all, she couldn't go to the police. She had a false ID and passport. Jeff could tell them that. She'd be arrested. He husband, Sam would be hurt by all of her lies. Would he feel betrayed that she had not trusted him with the truth?
What should she do? What could she do? Up ahead was the women's restroom. She pulled her roller bag to the handicap stall and latched the door closed. Sara felt safe for the moment, but she had to do some serious thinking.
After all this time, why was Jeff still seeking her? Was he some kind of lunatic? It was his creepy possessiveness that had caused her to break off their relationship. But Edward wouldn't let her break it off. He started stalking her, calling and texting all kinds of crazy stuff. Eventually, his crazy stuff turned to bullying and physically threatening behavior. In the end she fled for her life.
A woman's voice called out, "This restroom is temporarily closing for cleaning. Please leave as soon as possible. Thank you."
She knew Edward would be waiting outside the women's restroom door. What could she do but agree to leave with him? Then what would happen once she was in his car? She took a deep breath and opened the stall door.
The cleaning woman leaned into each stall and poured in a bit of bowl cleanser. Walking past the sinks, Sara noted the cleaning cart partially blocking the entrance. In the top tray, along with an assortment of tools was a razor blade box cutter. She stuffed it into her jeans front pocket. It was better than nothing. Taking a deep breath, Sara, exited and walked directly to Edward.
Upon returning to their fishing resort that evening, Christine told Sam she had canceled her trip to Quebec because she felt a bit under the weather just prior to the flight. She begged off helping Sam prepare dinner. Gutting and preparing fish made her really queasy.
Latter Sam built a fire in their living room fireplace. With all the rain, lightening, and thunder, their satellite was not behaving properly. So they watch an old DVD.
As for Edward, he never bothered Sara again. She last saw him on a rainy afternoon.
Word Count: 818