1 Being Watched

The minute she walked outside she knew that today would be a horrible day. There were thunderstorms rumbling above as if the Gods were warning her but it was not as if she could understand them. If she were to talk to God she would have requested them to speak to her in plain English instead of cryptic signs. So despite the 'warnings' she headed outside with an umbrella clutched to her side. It was a Wednesday and no matter the weather her boss expected her at the office within the hour.

"I can't wait for this day to be over."

She loved her little apartment but the distance from work took a toll in her body every morning. It was a forty minute commute by subway and she had to wake up extra early to avoid rush hour. Canada was many things but its transportation was the least to be desired. Taking quick steps her feet padded against the asphalt in a rhythmic manner towards the local subway station. Her work bag lay against her body weighing on her shoulder as she regretted the big lunch she placed inside. It was around six forty-five in the morning and the only people around her were the joggers. Of course there was also the occasional car but the streets were fairly empty today which was appropriate considering the weather. She could never understand what motivation the remaining joggers had to do this every morning in such cold weather and with such dedication. It would take a pay check for her to wake this early and was the very reasoning she woke up today.

Pulling out her phone she reached to skip the song playing on her earphones when her finger stilled. There was a pause in music as it switched to the other when she felt that something was out of place. Trying to look as natural as possible she continued her brisk pace while casually reaching up to push a hair strand behind her ear. This was all an act for her to lightly touch her bluetooth earphones and pause the music. The phone was back in her pocket but her left hand kept a tight grip on it just in case. She couldn't see anything in front of her so her suspicions was that someone was watching her from behind. There wasn't any outward signs but just an eerie feeling was welling up inside her. These streets were something she took daily and felt comfortable enough with to know it wasn't dangerous regularly. Obviously in her city there were streets that were known to house illegal activities and have more incidents of assault but she had chosen this little pocket after much research.

So the eyes she felt boring into her this morning were out of the ordinary and she hoped it was a random elderly from the houses she past. If someone were staring at her through their window then she would just have to hold on until she passed their line of sight. Her heart sunk when she realized that the eyes never left her even after walking another two streets. After another minute or two she started to pick up a second set of feet moving behind her. It could easily be someone just walking past her so she purposely slowed down her pace to see if they would overtake her. Yet, no matter how much time passed the person made no move to get closer or take a turn to another street. 'Okay we are walking to a subway station, this a common stop. It is normal that someone is walking in our direction, keep calm.'

Despite all the reassuring she did mentally, her body was stiff and felt like they were in a mission impossible movie. To test her theory she pretended to scratch her head but 'accidentally' drop a napkin on the floor. Pausing, she bent down to pick up the napkin slowly while trying to peak behind her. Just as she looked over there was a quick shadow as if a ghost ran by. Her eyes turned serious as she brought herself back into standing position. Sticking it into her pocket, she began her walk again with a slightly faster speed. It didn't take long before she heard those same steps reappear from behind her in the same pace as her.

Glancing down at her watch she checked the time to see how long this had gone on for and how close she was to the subway. Since this was a path she took daily she knew that the trip would only take ten to twelve minutes on a good day, fifteen if she was feeling extra sluggish. According to her watch she was only five minutes away from the subway and her potential safety. What kept her on edge was trying to analyze their intentions, with no information to go off of - it was between being a normal creeper to full blown criminal. 'Why haven't they done anything yet? What are they waiting for??' The mystery stalker was following her but keeping a distance and staying outside of her eyesight. Was it perhaps someone who just wanted to hit on her? Or maybe this was a fetish?

She had lived long enough at twenty six years to realize that there was a person for everything. Some people just assumed this was a way to court a woman and some people truly enjoyed stalking women without touching them on a sexual basis. At this point she assumed the person behind her was a man due to the weight of their steps but there was no guarantee it wasn't a woman. Her mom always joked that she walked like an elephant so step weight was not the most reliable fact to depend on. Keeping her head straight she let her work bag slip off her shoulder and she reached in to pull out her keys. Taking them out and putting them into her right pocket, she started pushing them through her fingers for defence.

Time was ticking and her heart was pounding louder and louder with each step. She wanted to break into a run but couldn't alert the other that she knew. When the familiar red building emerged into her view there was a sense of urgency as she sped up a bit more. Reaching the doors her hand moved towards the handle when she felt a presence behind her.


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