This story is a work of fiction. The events and characters are product of author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead is entirely coincidental.
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He followed her inside the café and was instantly greeted by the aroma of coffee. Weather was cold and the warmth inside the café felt welcoming. He still had to get used to this bone chilling cold.
She grabbed her large coffee cup and muffin from the counter as he stood behind her in the line and waited for his turn. On its own accord, his gaze followed her as she made her way to the table near the window. He smiled to himself and shook his head.
Some things never change.
He thanked the boy behind the counter and took his coffee cup with him to the far corner table. Placing his sketchbook and cup on the table, he sat on the chair and pretended to be busy with sketching.
He always kept his sketch book with him. These last few months were not easy. Suffocation and desolation were his only companions since then. Somehow he found an escape in sketching, a medium to keep going and get through one day after the other without letting his dark thoughts consume him completely and snatch every last bit of his sanity. But now even his sketches were reminding him of every single reason why he shouldn’t be here.
Again, his gaze wandered to her. It was exquisite, the way her light blue coloured sweater was bringing out the colour of her eyes. While taking small sips of coffee, she was reading a book and the light breeze coming through the window was ruffling the strands of her long, brown hair.
Longing in his eyes was stark, he was sure of it. Right now, he knew anybody could see it with one look at his face. Yeah, he was that obvious. During past few months he didn’t dare to come this close to her. Of course, he always watched her but not from this proximity. He knew the consequences.
Then why? He asked himself even though he knew the answer. Staying away had become hard. But it would be wise to leave before it was too late.
* * * * * *
She raised her eyes from the book that she was trying to read peacefully in her favourite café. But today was not going be a peaceful day.
He followed me here and now he is staring. How annoying!
When he caught her eyes he immediately glanced at his sketchbook and continued his sketching. The guy seemed near her age, a year or two older, perhaps in his twenties. He had jet black hair and was dressed in jeans, black leather jacket and combat boots.
Okay, he was good looking. But that didn’t mean he could stalk her. He was making her uncomfortable.
What if he is a serial killer and I am his next prey?
She shook off the thought. She had to stop watching too many murder mysteries. She was just being paranoid. But what would she do if he again followed her outside the café? Perhaps she should just try to talk to him and ask him, Dude, what’s your problem? If anything would seem wrong, she would just scream for help. There were too many people here. They’ll come to help her and someone would inform the police too, right?
I’ll find out soon if I am a smart girl or an idiot who has a death wish.
She drew in a deep breath and placed her cup on the table. With book still in one hand, she got up from her chair and made her way to the table at the far corner.
* * * * * *
Heavens above! How stupid of him! After all this time he should have known better. Now she was coming towards his table. What would he say to her?
He mentally scolded himself and didn’t raise his eyes again from the sketchbook until she came and stood opposite to him in front of the table and placed her book on it with a loud thud.
“Are you a serial killer?” she said loud enough for him to hear.
Wait. What? That was not what he expected her to say. It was vivid in her eyes, the fear and uneasiness. Still she was trying to maintain the tough façade. That frown on her face was enough proof of her effort to act strong. He didn’t know what to do. Praise her for her bravery or scold her for being so stupid. No girl in her right mind would walk up to a stranger and ask him if he was a serial killer. Only she could do that. He almost smiled at the thought.
“Well?” she said again and raised her eyebrows. “Are you?”
TO BE CONTINUED
©sakshi~the escapist, 2017
Image: Courtesy of Pixabay
Category: Story series