I brought the tumbler of scotch to my lips, taking another sip as the Frou Frou song playing from the Spotify app on my phone started up again. How many times could a song be listened to on repeat? If there was a limit, I was approaching mine.
I pressed my cheek against my bedroom window and watched the lonely street below. The glass was cold against my skin, a stark contrast to the liquor burning in my chest. Winter had set in just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. The few people still out this late were well bundled in gloves and scarves, and hats pulled down over their ears.
I still didn’t have enough winter wear. There’d been no need for warm gloves in L.A., and I’d only been in New York since September. My sister had already given me a hard time about it when she’d arrived earlier in the evening, and a shopping trip was on the agenda for the next day.
My wardrobe would soon be remedied. Audrey would make sure of that. In one night, she’d already rearranged my living room furniture and put up the rest of the framed photographs and knickknacks I hadn’t bothered to unpack.
If only she could fix the inside of me as easily as she addressed the outside.
No, I had to be the one to fix this mess.
I thought back to the conversation I’d had with Audrey before she’d slipped off to bed in my guest room.
“Will you press charges?” she’d asked.
“I don’t want to press charges.” I wanted explanations. I wanted theories confirmed. I didn’t want more distance between us.
I didn’t want any distance at all.
She’d smiled as though she got it, and because she was my sister, maybe she did, even without me explaining. “So you’ll go to France, then. Make him tell you what’s up.”
“He doesn’t deserve that either. He can run all he wants. I’m not chasing. I have more respect for myself than that.”
“Good. I respect you too.” She’d laughed then. “Probably not the best idea to chase someone who’s obviously been stalking you for ten years anyway.”
“Probably not.” Though I wasn’t really worried about him. He was dangerous, yes. Dangerous to me. But he wouldn’t hurt me. Not like that. Not the kind of hurt that anyone else could see.
“You’ll figure it out,” she’d said in the end. “You always do.”
I knew what I had to do already. Just…being bold enough to do it.
Another sip of scotch. Another full listen to the old song on repeat.
This time when the silent pause came at the end, I put down my glass and reached over for the phone instead. I turned off the music, pulled up my contacts and only shivered slightly when I found his name.
Two weeks had passed. I didn’t have to do this now.
But it might as well be now.
I hit the CALL button and waited.
It rang once. Twice. It was after midnight here. He’d just be waking up. Another ring. Was he alone? One more ring.
Then his voice.
His voicemail, actually. I hadn’t exactly expected him to answer, and it was easier leaving a message.
Still, somehow it was disappointing. As though a small part of me had hoped he’d see my name and rush to hear my voice. Wouldn’t I rush to answer if he’d been the one to call?
The beep sounded and caught me off guard. But I was ready with what I wanted to say.
“Donovan. It’s me. I know about the file you have on me. We should talk.”
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