“My whole life was in that purse.” She blinked, fighting back tears. “Phone, keys, diary….Could’ve been worse.” She smiled weakly. “Don’t know what I’d have done if you hadn’t chased him off. I can’t thank you enough for the lift, or for calling the locksmith.”
“Did you get a look at their face?” he asked.
She shook her head. “No, he was wearing a hoodie.” Fresh snakes of mascara marked her meandering tear tracks.
She noticed a light on upstairs as they approached her house; must have left it on this morning.
She approached the door. It was open, just a crack, but open. As she pushed he followed behind her and shoved, fast, hard, sending her sprawling.
A dark figure in a familiar hoodie, his partner, emerged from the shadows, knife glinting by its side
“Took your time brother.” it said. “I’m ready for her upstairs now.”
Wrong Place, Right Time
Three glasses of Prosecco later, she wrote him off as a no-show and headed home for a hastily concocted Plan B – Friday night chick-flick and Camomile tea. So much for the ‘Prince Charming’ claims on his profile.
Three days later, the headlines stopped her mid-crouch Monday morning as she snatched the newspaper from her doormat.
Local man charged with murder
The face. Prince Charming.
Her brain processed one word in four, scanning furiously.
Anna Hutton, twenty-seven, last seen leaving Porter’s Wine Bar.
A grainy CCTV picture. His face. No doubt, it was him.
The woman – red dress, dark hair. Could be her sister.
Porters – the same chain she’d been stood up at. Different venue, half a mile away.
She had stood him up, albeit unintentionally – not the other way around. Wrong bar!
She sank to the floor, relief and horror attacking her simultaneously.
Could’ve been me. Should’ve been me.
A Mother’s Love
A sombre sea of black surrounds the grave, but they part like ripples on a pond as I approach. I feel their stares, like scalpels trying to peel away my layers and expose my pain. The coffin begins its snails-pace descent, and the parallel universe I’ve lived in this past week is crushed under the weight of reality.
This is actually happening.
I press a handkerchief against the black mascara snakes on each cheek, and the gesture is met with sympathetic smiles all round. How different their expressions would be if they knew they were tears of relief, not grief.
I feel an urge to confess, a Bond Villain revealing their plans for world domination.
I did this! I stopped him!
But where’s the glory in that? My baby’s safe. No-one can hurt her now. Not even her own father.