9 The Chase (9)

By seven o'clock, the once salmon and lavender sky has transformed into a vast expanse of inky blue. The pale crescent moon shone like a silvery claw in the night sky. Cee and I were on our way from the movie theater to the parking lot, having just watched a romantic movie, which was cringey and cliche on so many levels, and was imposed on me to watch by Cee.

"That was the best movie I've ever seen." Cee declared.

"Come on, you say this after every romantic movie you watch." I joshed her.

"Hey ..." She chuckled, "They are the best and you should watch them more." She recommended.

"Nah... Pass."

"Oh come on, how can you not like them?" She paused, then added, "Someday, we're going to be like those lucky girls who are pursued and ravished by those hot guys."

"Cringey!" I grimaced.

"It's called passionate dear" Cee rectified, "Don't you ever had a crush on someone? Don't you ever think about dating someone?"

"No." I replied in a flat tone.

"What about Lucas?" Cee demanded.

"What about him?"

"Aren't you interested in him?" She teased.

"Come on, I would never be interested in him ... even if he's the last remaining guy on earth."

"Tell me you don't think he's good-looking and I swear I'll never bring up his name again." Cee said.

I was clueless as to why Cee was bringing this up. Of all the things, there had to be something better to do than ruin our evening by talking about Lucas. Tolerating him for one hour every day, five days a week, was more than enough than I could take.

"See... you do agree that's he's good-looking." Cee pressed.

"He can be beautiful or good-looking, but that doesn't change the fact that he's a hardcore jerk."

"Not beautiful, he's rough and roguish."

I really hated the fact that Cee was so engrossed in detailing his positive features that she couldn't comprehend what I was attempting to convey.

I rolled my eyes.

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"What? You're disagreeing or he isn't your type?"

"I don't have a type."

"You definitely have a type Kat... there is hardly any guy in school that you would be interested in." Cee said, "You're confined." She added.

"It's not about guys" I begin, "It's just that I don't think it's the right time for me to fall for someone." I concluded. It definitely wasn't the right time. Someone or something was threatening me, and I had no idea how. Inviting a guy in my life would be nothing more than trouble, and I had enough of it lurking on the fringe.

"It's not about love, babes ... It's all about fun."

"Can we please not talk about this now? " I pleaded.

She chuckled and honked as a car pulled in front of her.

"Why not?...Want to know who I think would be real fun." She said with an indecent smile.

I really did not like the idea of where this was going. Cee was practically teasing me, but I wasn't being cool about it.

"Not particularly."

"Lucas!" She teased.

"Ugh... "

Cee bounced the Ford in her driveway. She killed the engine and dangled the keys in front of me.

"You're not going to drive me home?"

"There's fog. It gets worse near your house."

"I suppose you expect me to pick you up before school tomorrow?"

"Seven thirty." Cee said.

On the drive to home, I decided to buy the necessary things I might need at home while Grace was away. Five minutes later, I pulled over to the nearest store.

I took everything I thought was necessary and paid my bill and sauntered out of the store with a bag full of groceries. The sky was dark and the dense fog had engulfed everything that was earlier visible in the neighborhood. A freezing flurry of air hit my face as I walked and I zipped my jacket to preserve heat. I cranked the engine and turned on the heater.

As I started driving, the spooky feeling of being watched returned and that's when I noticed a black sedan behind me in the rear view mirror. I took a left turn towards my house and the sedan was still behind me. I stepped off the pedal, my car slowed down and the stalled out. I again looked into the rear view mirror, the sedan had stopped a few metres away from my car. The traffic was clear and there were no cars around, except the black sedan. Anxiously, I started driving again and the sedan started to catch up to me. Was I really being followed or was it just a coincidence?

I again took a left turn, and the sedan did the same. Now I was positive that I was being tailed and I started to panic. I revved up the engine and started moving in other direction, away from my house, my sixth sense on alert. If I was really being followed, then I obviously didn't want my follower to know where I lived, so I took all the wrong turns, not sure where they led me.

The black sedan was still behind me. My eyes shifted momentarily from the street ahead to the rear view mirror to my side view mirror. I needed to come up with a plan and I needed to do it soon because the sedan was closing in. Ahead of me, the stoplights glowed red but I didn't stopped. Instead I accelerated, crossed the intersection, heading straight and then took a sudden turn towards right and sped up.

The next moment, I heard a faint squeal and the sedan overtook me, spinned around and came to an abrupt halt.

I screamed and stomped on the breaks to keep my car from colliding with the sedan. With a high pitched screech, my car stopped, a few inches away from the sedan. I held my breath and clutched the steering so tightly that my knuckles turned white.

The sedan had black tinted glass windows, making it impossible to see the person behind them. For a few seconds I contemplated over getting out of the car and confronting the person in the sedan, but I instantly shoved the thought away, given that I was all alone in the middle of some unknown neighborhood with a stranger who was chasing me.

I checked the rearview again, there was no one behind, the streets were empty. I rammed the car in reverse and the car backed up furiously. I accelerated until I reached the intersection, then turned the steering left and pushed the car in sixty. I sped up keeping my eyes on the rearview, to make sure if I was still being chased, but the street was clear and the sedan was nowhere in sight.

Relieved, I drove towards home, crying all the way back from there.

When I entered the house, I locked the front door and made sure all the windows were properly latched.

Later that night a crack pulled me out of sleep. With my face mashed into my pillow, I held still, all my senses on high alert.

Turning my head a fraction, I saw a shadowy form stretching across my floor. I looked at the window, the moonlight was the only light capable of casting a shadow. But nothing was there. I convinced myself it was a cloud passing over the moon, or a piece of trash blowing in the wind. Still, I spent several minutes weeping and waiting for my pulse to calm down.

By the time I found courage to get out of the bed, the yard below was still and silent. The only sound that came was of the wind blowing and my own heart beating loudly against my chest.

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