He’d been outside of her house for months. Watching as she walked out, her head high. Confidence dogging the steps of her white heels. When she came back (same time, every time, 6:25 p.m.) her head was always lowered; her shoulders slumped a bit. He was there when she’d come home that one night with a man, who had touched her a little too much for his liking. He’d gotten rid of him fairly quickly. He was there when she’d received a letter in the mail that had made her jump up and down in delight. He’d gone in the next day when she was at work to see what the letter was from. Her divorce was final.
At least he knew his woman had no strings attached.
Her favorite jacket, she wore it all the time. Red her clashing painfully with that pink and white Houndstooth jacket that she wore despite the increasing temperatures. She obviously had a chunk of ice where a heart once was.
He remembered the way she’d snarled at him once when he asked her about the weather. Granted not the most original conversation starter, but he was nervous. It had taken him at least two weeks to get up the courage to talk to her. Her beauty had blinded him. He’d decided to try again the next week. He’d gone to a local florist and bought her a pink rose the same color as her jacket.
When he’d handed it to her outside of her office building, she hadn’t seemed the least bit grateful. Or thankful. Or just happy that someone had noticed her fucking existence. She’d asked him if he was following her. He’d stammered out no, of course not, and she’d taken the rose and thrown it in the road. A taxi had rolled right over it.
“You better not be, or you’ll end up like that rose,” she’d growled, pushing him out-of-the-way and she stomped off. He’d looked at the rose, noting the crushed petals and tire track. He’d gritted his teeth and nodded his head once. Challenge accepted.
He’d gone home. His apartment was about the size of a hamster wheel, but it felt more open. He’d eat his high protein, low-fat meal with relish. He’d called his mother to check on her in the nursing home. She seemed fine, and still wasn’t recognizing who he was when he called. He’d did his customary 400 pushups before bed. His sleep was satisfying and dreamless.
He followed her all the time now. He’d found her name by following her home and seeing which house was hers. When the lights were low and only a few stars in the murky sky, he’d gone to her mailbox. She had a bad habit of leaving junk mail in it, and never locked the thing. There she was: Samantha Gardener.
The next step was to deliver a bouquet of pink roses to her office, leaving her name. He knew he’d never be back there. Especially not after she pricked her finger on the thorns. He’d pricked his fingers with each one of the roses, so that regardless she’d have a bit of him in her.
When she went out for her weekly liquid lunch with her gal pals, he’d sent her a drink with a note.
Hope you like the flowers.
She hadn’t seemed nearly happy enough. Instead knocking the drink away from her and demanding to know who had sent it to her. By this time, he’d taken to the street, but he could see her in the window. Throwing her arms about wildly, her wine smeared mouth opened wide.
He’d felt so good that day, he’d bought a lottery ticket. He hadn’t won, but it didn’t dim his excitement. It felt like he was opening up, breathing for the first time. Breaking into a different world. This world where he had the control. She didn’t know who he was. Where he was coming from. He was like a ghost, a boogeyman under her bed. She’d probably forgotten about him and dozens of men like him over the years. Stepping stones. Food for her ego. That fucking bitch had no idea who she was dealing with.
Ramon started at the floor for a long while. Contemplating the where and whys of it. He may have to rent a car to execute it all. He’d need something that wouldn’t tie her to him. He needed to make it fast enough so that it was fun, but slow enough so she could suffer. Make her cry. Make her beg. Maybe he’d make her take off that jacket she loved so much. Take it all off. He felt himself tighten and a slow smile spread across his face. He stood, his final decisions made. He head toward the door and grabbed his black gym bag on his way. His steps were purposeful and quick.
Her tears would be sweet.
This was written in response to a short story prompt from #writestuff. The TweetChat where writers talk about writing. We meetup every Tuesday at 9 pm Eastern.
The prompt was the picture above. Did you enjoy the story? Let me know in the comments below.