Saturday, December 24, 2005

"....In that case, can I interest you in a nice cup of coffee?"

Sunday, December 4, 2005, 4:30pm
Steve's house

My cell phone rings. Psycho calling, it says.

I've been stalked by a few people in my life, and each time it's happened, I've just ignored them, and they've eventually given up. But in the last week, I've probably deleted 40 messages from Holly, and it only seems to be getting worse.

I let the phone go to voice mail, and sit down to check my email.

I check the subject line on the first message and a shiver crawls across my skin.

Are you there? The subject line reads, and it's funny how I suddenly feel like I'm being watched.

Maybe it's not Holly. Maybe it's someone else looking for me. I double-click the message:

Hey handsome! Where r u? I've been calling u like crazy the past couple of days, but no word back yet. Your not ignoring me r u? ;-P Anyways, just hit me back when u get this so we can catch up.


I hit the delete key. But I know this isn't over yet.

On weekends, I like to sit for a few hours and watch all the shows I TiVo'd over the previous week. It's much faster to watch them this way, and skipping the commercials makes me feel like I'm putting one over on The Man.

At some point between "CSI" and "ER", I doze off on the couch, and wake up an hour later to a strange feeling of dread.

I stand up, peering around the dark room, illuminated only by the weak light from the TV screen, casting the remote control and the coffee table it sits on with a pale glow.

Did I just see something out of the corner of my eye?

I turn slowly to my right, peering across the kitchen and through the sliding glass doors leading to my deck.

Holly is standing there.

The best plan is to ignore her. The best plan is, probably, to pull the vertical blinds closed and make believe she's not there.

Fuck the best plan.

I stomp through the kitchen and fling the door open. "Holly, get a grip on yourself! What the hell's the matter with you?"

"You didn't answer your phone! Or your email!" she says, insistently, but her flirty smile doesn't match her tone.

It's a shame Holly is so unstable. She's growing into a beautiful young woman, with auburn hair down to her shoulders, and wide, bright brown eyes. She's small, maybe five-foot-one and a hundred five pounds at the most, and it strikes me as odd that someone so slight could create such king-sized problems.


"So I was worried!"

"I'm fine. Goodbye, Holly."

"Can I come in?"

"No. I have to go out."


"Nowhere. You have to go."

"Are you going out with your girlfriend?" she asks, sounding like somebody's nosy little sister.


"Steve, please tell me who you're going out with!"

"Why?" I demand, with growing exasperation.

"I just wanna know!"

"Holly, get out now. I'm serious. You're starting to piss me off."

"You're the one who won't call me back! I'm pissed at you!" she says, raising her voice. Huge grey veins bulge on either side of her neck.

"If you're pissed at me, then go. Or should I call the cops?"

"If you call the cops, I'll report you for statutory rape, Steve."