Hello, my little demons!
This isn’t a new story, but I realised today that the published book has a prologue and I haven’t posted it on my website/blog. So, here it is… the first page ‘I Fell in Love with a Psychopath’.
A knock at my door made me jump out of my skin. The cold tea I had been nursing spilled over the blanket that was wrapped around me. I stared at the door in a panic, refusing to move. My previous thoughts momentarily forgotten about. I had a feeling I knew who it was on the other side of that suddenly too thin piece of wood; someone I didn’t want to see again, someone who made me extremely nervous, someone who everyone should be scared of.
I had been sat on my sofa while staring into nothingness when it happened; the knock at the door. I had been hiding out in my small apartment for a few days now, since I found out. I refused to leave, refused to go to work, I had invented some story about being ill—although it was technically true, I was feeling a little ill. I even started to ignore calls and my buzzer to my apartment out of fear. I hadn’t even noticed the tea had gone cold, let alone had splashed me when I jumped, I had more important things on my mind, like who was knocking at my door.
He had come for me.
There was another knock, this time a little louder as if the unwanted visitor didn’t think I heard the first knock. I had heard it alright, I was just ignoring it. I stayed as still and silent as possible, worrying that the person behind the door had superhuman hearing or something and could hear even my erratic heartbeat. My hands clutching my mug like it was somehow tethering me to safety.
Suddenly my mobile began to ring, making me jump yet again. I cursed silently at it. My door was thin, I was sure he’d be able to hear the shrill sound of my boring ringtone. When I caught a glance at the caller ID I saw it was my friend and work colleague; Leah. I made a mental note to give her an earful the next time I saw her. If I ever saw her again. If I survived to see her again.
The knock on the door suddenly got louder and more aggressive. A rushed pounding on the door. Panic coursed through me. Had he heard? Would he break the door down? I was sure it wasn’t too difficult, he had done it before.
But it was short lived.
“I know you’re in there, Jo, answer the door!” said a female voice.
I let out a large sigh, not even realising I had been holding my breath and laughed out loud at my foolishness. It wasn’t who I thought it was. I scrambled down from my sofa, nearly tripping over the blanket as I did and absentmindedly took the cold tea with me as I rushed to answer the door.
“What the fuck?” my friend Leah asked me when the door finally opened to her, her strong New Zealand accent wafted through my door along with her beautiful perfume.
“Hi, sorry! I thought you were someone else!” I sighed and stepped aside for her. But Leah hesitated as she looked from the cold cup of tea I was nursing in my hand, to my old baggy clothes on my thin body and finally resting on my clearly blotchy yet pale face.
I was English; I was bound to have a pale face. But lately it had become even paler, even though the sun was still showing its beautiful yellow face mid-autumn—well, they call it fall here, not autumn. But even I had noticed I was whiter than usual.
“You look a mess,” Leah said, and thankfully waltzed into my small flat.
I scanned the exposed corridor quickly behind her before I closed the door. I didn’t even noticing Leah had insulted me.
“Who did you think I was?” she continued, as she surveyed my mess of empty Chinese takeaway pots and unwashed mugs on the coffee table. “A cleaner?” she snorted.
“Don’t start,” I huffed, as I walked back to my sofa and plopped myself down. The sofa almost groaned in protest underneath me. I wasn’t fat, I was stick thin, but the sofa was old.
“I’m surprised to see you alive, I’ve not seen you at work for a few days,” Leah said, crossing her arms as if trying to avoid accidentally touching something poisonous. “People at work were starting to take bets on what was wrong. Vi suggested you contracted that awful bug that has been going around. Ben suggested you got annoyed with old Mole Face and went back to England”—the thought had actually crossed my mind, but not because of that awful supervisor we had; Mr Garcia—”I suggested you’d been murdered and your body was decomposing in your flat as we speak. Naturally I was the one who had to go and check.”
“Not far off the truth,” I muttered under my breath as I nervously wrapped the blanket around me again.
Like the blanket will protect me! I thought to myself.
“What?” Leah asked, not hearing me properly. Not that I intended for her to hear.
“Nothing, I’m fine, I just… I need some time to myself,” I explained.
Leah’s lovely brown eyebrows rose. “You mean… you’ve been skipping work because you needed time to yourself?”
I hated Leah’s eyebrows. Well, I hated Leah’s beauty. Well, not hated her; envied her. She was beautiful without even trying. I was pale, thin, with boring limp brown hair. Leah had curves in all the right places, a lovely brown face that made you think she was constantly going on exotic holidays, and had full luscious dark brown hair. Her eyebrows even looked perfectly shaped. I envied her.
“No, I mean… I’m not feeling well and I was keeping to myself.”
“You don’t look ill,” Leah said. “I mean, yeah, you look a little… off, but not ill. What’s going on, Jo?”
I sighed. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to tell Leah my problem. It’s not like she could help me. Not that I was sure I should tell her. It was a delicate situation.
“Seriously, girl!” Leah said, when I didn’t speak.
She plopping herself on the sofa next to me. This time the sofa groaned. I wondered for a moment if it was going to break under the both of us. Not that I was really concerned about it. Normally I would have been concerned, I would have worried that my landlord would have murdered me, considering it was her sofa, not mine. But even joking about it in my head didn’t seem funny anymore. Not when I had someone after me that was actually capable of murdering me.
“What’s going on?”
I shook my head and felt my eyes well up with tears involuntary. I hated it when I did that. I didn’t like to seem like I was doing it deliberately, asking for attention. I wasn’t. I didn’t want to cry in front of Leah.
“Jo, talk to me!” Leah demanded, looking extremely nervous suddenly.
“He’s dangerous,” I muttered, not really thinking about what I was saying as I was concentrating desperately on trying to hold back a sob.
“He’s dangerous. He’s—” I paused, wondering maybe I shouldn’t say what I was about to say? It might scare Leah.
“What? Who? Jo, you’re not making any sense,” her voice went flat in worry. Probably more worried for my own sanity than the prospect of a dangerous person after me.
“I know, I’m sorry, I don’t want to scare you.”
“It’s okay, forget it.”
“No, tell me, what’s going on?” Leah asked, touching my arm. Her face dropped suddenly before she said, “Is this about… a guy?”
I nodded. I could nod, that was easy enough.
“I can’t tell you,” I choked.
“Okay, why is a guy causing you to skip work?”
“Because I think he wants to kill me,” I said, feeling a little panicky. “If I step outside that door, he will find me and he’ll kill me.”
Leah’s face paled. “So, you’re telling me your life is in danger?”
I nodded ferociously. “Yes, I’m telling you; the guy is dangerous. He’s… he’s a psychopath and he has a weird obsession with me.”
“Who though, Jo?” Leah pressed.
“I can’t tell you that.”
“Why not? Do I know him?”
I saw Leah’s face pale even more. “Jo,” she started to whisper, “how am I going to help you if you won’t tell me who it is?”
I opened my mouth to say something, say anything, I wasn’t sure if I was going to explain everything or not, but I was interrupted; another knock pounded at the door. Leah and I both jumped and looked round.
“I know you’re in there! Open the door!” said a very angry male voice.
I knew who it was. I recognised the voice. I panicked. I had just realised I had forgotten to lock the door behind Leah. He could get in.
If you liked this story, please check out my other works!
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