Tuesday 25 – Wednesday 26 September2012
‘So I said to my friend, look, I really feel like I’m being watched, and she was all like, you’re just imagining things. And then I was like, I don’t think so because the other night I heard a noise outside the house, but when I had a look, there was no one there. But I just know that there’s someone out there, watching me. I can feel them.’
The police house bustled with activity around the diminutive woman and the wearied police officer she had cornered to take her complaint.
‘Shouldn’t you be writing this down for your report?’ she asked him. His defeated smile gave away what he was really thinking, but professionalism required him to be polite when dealing with these types of matters.
‘Ma’am, it’s best that I hear the whole story, in full, before I open a report. You know, so that we can decide how best to deal with your issue.’
His answer placated her and she relaxed again, finally feeling as though somebody actually believed her.
‘Okay Mrs. Fairmont,’ he said, ‘let’s go through this again, from the beginning. When did you first suspect that someone was watching you?’ Taking a yellow legal pad from his top drawer, he clicked his pen on and off as he waited for her to start the unlikely story again.
‘Oh, please, call me Missy,’ she started. ‘It was about three weeks ago, Officer Ricketsen. My husband was in L.A. for some business meetings, I was home alone for the week, and I guess I started feeling like I was being watched the second night William was away.’
Ricketsen noted that she had dropped the vacuous airhead act and had reverted back to the more intelligent woman that it was rumoured she was.
* * * * *
Standing in the spacious, predominantly Italian slate kitchen, Missy poured herself a second glass of Sauvignon Blanc, returned the bottle of wine to the refrigerator, and stood looking out of the window sipping from the glass. Night was beginning to fall and the dusk shadows spread across the backyard as if carefully placed by a great artist for Missy’s viewing pleasure. It had become a ritual for her when William was away, to dine in the kitchen rather than the dining room. Whilst the kitchen was just as large as the dining room, she felt it was a more comfortable room when dining alone than the formal dining room.
Fall had come early this year. The leaves in shades of orange, red, and brown had dappled the lawn and a number of them had made their new home in the swimming pool. Missy made a mental note to call the pool man; the protective cover would need to be rolled out quickly if the pool was to stay leaf free. This was the time of year that Missy adored the most. The colours reminded her of her ancestral home in Vermont, a place where she felt happy and safe. New York wasn’t always that way for her, especially not when William went away on business.
A flash of light from beyond the boundary fence caught Missy’s eye. She squinted, hoping to get a better view of what might have reflected the light in such a manner, but was unable to see anything. Her intuition told her to be wary.
‘Stop being so stupid, Missy,’ she chastised herself and took a sip from her wine glass. It was then that she caught sight of movement.
‘Jesus,’ she said slamming the glass on the kitchen bench. The foot of the glass snapped away from the stem, and the now baseless glass of wine crashed to the floor.
Missy, deftly avoiding the shattered glass and spilt wine, raced to the sliding glass door that led from the kitchen outside to the alfresco dining area, and snapped the lock. She glared at the area where she had seen something moving, willing whatever or whoever was there to move again, but nothing happened.
‘God, I get worse each time William goes away.’
Relieved that nothing had moved outside, she rubbed her forehead and sighed.
‘Clean up on aisle five. Clean up on aisle five. Paranoid rich bitch smashed a glass full of wine on a slate floor,’ she giggled to herself, and then turned her attention to cleaning up the self-made mess.
* * * * *
‘But you didn’t see any further movement?’ Officer Ricketsen asked.
‘No, and it wasn’t until the next day when I went to take a closer look than I found the boot prints near the fence.’
. . . To be continued . . .