Wednesday 3 October 2018

No Escape

By Nerisha Kemraj 

bottomless coffee

The idea of visitors, let alone unwanted guests, always irked me. So, when he showed up at my house uninvited, it wasn't a welcoming sight. Fair enough, this wasn't our first meeting since I noticed him hanging around at our local diner before - the cosy place I went to, to get away from the madness at home. A tiny little getaway in the corner of Reet street. It was a writer's haven, free Wi-Fi, and bottomless coffee provided we had a scrumptious meal - a small price to pay, for the fuel that drove my writer engine! And the most important ingredient -  quiet. Blissful peace and quiet. 

He too visited every day, sitting in the same spot for hours on end. Watching everything and everyone. I ignored the gazes he threw my way until it became too much. My visits to the Cafe became uncomfortable. He came to my table twice so far, but I wasn't going to allow a third time. I spoke to the manager about it but they said that he'd been a loyal guest for many years. I told them about how I wasn't the only customer that was creeped out by his presence. My jaw dropped in disbelief when they said that I could take myself somewhere else if I didn't enjoy the ambience, regardless of his presence. 
Extremely humiliated in front of him and the many patrons seated that morning, I hastily paid my bill and left, deciding that it would be the last of that place. And him. Especially him. He reminded me too much of my past, that charming face and those moping eyes. I couldn't get away sooner. 

Rushing down the sidewalk to my house just a few blocks away from the ex-perfect breakfast spot, angry tears flowed, dissipating before they could hit the ground. It was all his fault. Now I would have to find somewhere else to work. Maybe the town library? That was a definite quiet zone. Wait. No coffee. Sigh. It will never do. 

Deciding to take a walk to the park to run my head clear of thoughts, I shoved my laptop into my backpack which strapped onto my back. Writing would have to wait. 
The quiet roads told morning walkers that everyone in the small town either stayed at home, or worked. They didn't have a care to roam the streets unless it was a necessity to get into town. 

I turned down the road from the Coffee shop, saying my final Goodbye - there was no way I'd be revisiting that humiliation or the look of pity on his face. Just like the one my Micky used to give to me. Oh, how I loved him so, and then it was time for him to go, leaving me all on my own. I would never let that happen again. That door was long closed. 

Lost in thought, I hadn't heard the footsteps until goose bumps spread over me, then my ears pricked to the sound coming from behind me. There he was! 
I briskly tried to distance myself without causing alarm. It was fruitless. He followed, picking up pace as I did. Finally, I lost him at the park. My heart raced and I sat on the bench to catch my breath. The hair on the back of my neck stood and I felt someone watching me. Suddenly the park no longer seemed like such a good idea. Afraid that he was still stalking me, I took the long way home in the hopes of eluding my pursuer. 

All was well when I reached home… until supper time. Scratches on the door left me frozen. There it was again, followed by some whining. My blood ran cold - it was him.  What did he want? Couldn't he bother somebody else? I didn't need this. There was no room in my life for any more drama. I grabbed the phone and made the call. While I waited in the comfort of my room for help to arrive, I heard him pacing on the porch. What was he waiting for? I never entertained unwanted guests, and he was a creepy stalker. I prayed for them to reach soon. It took them fifteen minutes to get home. 

The doorbell rang but I couldn't move. Again. 
"Ma'am? Open up, we're responding to your call." 
Looking through the peep-hole on the door, my eyes drank in the two uniformed men standing outside. They had him. 
Breathing with relief, I brushed away the tears that stung my eyes before opening the door. 

"Thank you for coming," I said. 

But as the door widened, he escaped the officer’s grasp and leapt out at me, dropping me to the floor. Before anyone had time to react he pounced on me. I heard the officers scuffling but they were too slow. It happened so fast.

He licked the tears of my face, leaving slobber all over me. It was disgusting and delightful at the same time, but the most surprising part was the fire that sparked within me - warmth and fuzziness engulfed me, melting away the cold. I just lay there, basking in the love that the bubbly Labrador showered upon me.

I knew then that he was meant for me. And now, we're inseparable. 

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