She pulled into the drive of her new home. She had been able to pick up clients quickly in the new city she had just moved to, and she was glad to be left alone. She could just do her job without any interference. She proudly parked her new car in the driveway, knowing the garage was already full, and headed into the house through the brightly painted front door. When she entered, something just wasn’t right. The hair on the back of her neck stood up. She looked around, cautiously, trying to figure out what could cause those feelings in this new environment.
She stepped into her home office, as was her habit, kicked off her shoes, and saw something, or rather someone sitting in her chair. He was there! She screamed, losing all oxygen to her body, and dropped her keys in her surprise. He immediately pounced on her. She fought, wiggled, squirmed, tried to scream, but he had overpowered her. He opened a drawer and then used the duck tape he produced to bind her hands together. He grabbed one of her scarves off the top of her desk and gagged her with it. Her body was in alarm. Her legs tingled in electric fear of what may come. She could run, she still had use of her legs, but getting the door unlocked and open would be tricky. She watched him, much like a cornered mouse, waiting for the cat’s next move.
“You have disobeyed me for the last time,” he hissed, “Made me look a fool in front of my friends, you bitch! I’m going to teach you some manners!” His hand came down hard on her cheek, shocking her with its intensity. “In the future, keep your dirty little mouth shut. I have done nothing to deserve your selfish, boorish attitude. I made you. Without my business, your name would be nothing. No one would care who Anna Marie is. No one. And no one will notice when you’re gone. You’ll see. You’re not the center of the universe.” And he slapped her again.
No! No! She had done nothing of the matter. The pain of his words hurt deeper than his rough touch. Reporting him as a stalker was the right thing to do. Showing up at her office unexpected, waiting for her on her front door step at home, and showing up at the places she frequented were all in appropriate. The nasty, vulgar voice mails he left when she refused to answer his numerous calls. It was all wrong. He had it wrong. He must be deranged!
“Now, we are going to walk out to your car and go home, my home, where you belong, Anna, and you’re going to act like a civilized human being. You are going to be the girlfriend you should have been a long time ago. You hear me?”
She nodded her head vigorously, trying to appease him and buy some time. If she could get out of the house, or at least get him out of her house, she could find a way to escape. To run, and never look back.
He pushed her through the office door, through the living room and back to the door that lead to the garage. When her feet met the cold concrete of the garage, she made her run for it. She ran as fast as she could towards the small garage door. She reached it and dread crept through her as she realized they were already locked. She turned so the hands tied behind her back could work at the door lock, but as she turned, he was on her. She hit the ground, and her head smashed into the cement.
Her eyes flew open and attempted to focus. She moved her hands, and they were free. She was not bound. She ran her hands up to her head, and winced in pain. Her sweaty forehead hurt, bad, but not because of the floor. That was just due to some dumb jerk at the park who knocked her to the ground. She was safe. She was in her bed, in her apartment. Alone in her apartment. Deep breaths. Force the legs to uncurl. Force the arms out of the blankets.
The dreams never got easier.