Chapter 15:

Back to the Present (Part 5)


Two Weeks Later…

The day has arrived for me to get some answers, these past two weeks have been absolute torture, I have lost sleep, and I couldn’t concentrate on my work which resulted in my boss giving me more lectures than I can count. I’m normally at the top of my game but lately, I’ve been so up in my head that it’s hard to do anything.

I rummaged through my wardrobe for something suitable to wear, I needed something I could fight in just in case something goes south, so I decided on a pair of black shorts, a white T-shirt with a beige chunky knitted cardigan on top.

Once I was ready and I was feeling good about the way I looked, I grabbed my keys and made my way to the address I was sent as well as the time I’m supposed to be there, I still find it weird, I feel like I’m making a deal with the Devil by going out there and listening to this person, going back to the place where everything took place.

I got to the woods and parked a couple of feet away from the clearing, walking the rest of the way seemed like a safer option, my hand found its way inside my purse and I clutched onto the pepper spray like my life depended on it, which let’s be honest it did.

I walked slowly making sure to keep an eye all around as I walked deeper into the woods, I was scared, memories of that day come flooding in, I try to close my eyes and push the memories back where they were; in a tiny locked box at the back of my brain, but the more I try the more I see the memories dance in front of me.

Up at the top by the muddy wheel ruts in the new grass, where the sky is dark over the shivering cherry blossoms and the first chill of the snow that will fall that night is already in the air.

I still remember the words that were thrown around that day as well as the brawl that followed, the loud thud of the body meeting floor as well as a loud crack, and the thrill of the night as we crammed into the back of Daisuke’s car, the adrenaline rush, the panic in everyone’s eyes as we passed uniforms and questions.

I still remember how we all made sure that nothing was left behind, no lost glasses, or dropped keys, everybody got everything? - then we walked in a single file back to the car as the first lonely flakes of snow came drifting through the pines.

I was the last to sit in the car and took one last glance back through the saplings that leapt close to the path behind me.

“Come on!” I heard someone say, no idea who, their voice sounded distorted.

Once we were all sitting in the car and started down the road like a family on vacation, Daisuke driving clench-jawed through the potholes and the rest of us leaning over the seats and talking like children.

I open my eyes and gasp for air taking in my surroundings, my breathing was shallow and I felt as if I was in a box, I could tell a panic attack was coming along, I had to tell myself that no matter what, no matter how scary the situation was, I’m safe and I’m calm, after a few more minutes of reassuring myself, I felt better.

I stood there, waiting, listening, for a sound, movement, anything that could help me identify who it could be that sent me that text, but nothing. I decided to just go back, I wasn’t going to just stand there and wait for the danger to come to me, I’m legging it!

I was making my way out when my phone pinged scaring the life out of me, seriously I don’t think I’ve ever jumped so high in my life, I felt like a damn cat! I took my phone out and saw it was my boss, a string of curses entered my brain.

I sent a quick reply and made my way to my car, but as I was walking there, I thought I saw something… or maybe someone from the corner of my eye. I made a really stupid decision and decided to run after them, I ran further and further into the woods until I was wheezing something fierce.

I hunched over, my hands pressed on my knees as I tried to catch my breath, I looked around and whatever I was chasing was obviously faster and long gone, I walked slowly, leaves and twigs crunching underneath my boots. I stepped over a broken tree branch and tripped on the uneven ground, landing on my side.

“Fuck!” I yelled.

I got up feeling a sharp pain on the side of my calf, blood trickled down the side as I looked down, it didn’t look deep but I had a bit of a hard time getting back on my feet, once I did, I made my way out of the woods.

Getting into my car wasn’t difficult but dressing my wound was, I keep a first-aid kit just in case something happens, and in times like this, I’m glad I’m efficient. Once my wound was dressed, I made my way back to my office, as soon as I entered the building my boss decided that was the time it was best to go off on me.

Rolling my eyes, I snatched the file off the reception desk with my name on the front and made my way up the stairs, I could still hear my boss yelling as I made my way to my office and sat down at my desk.

I quickly opened a bottle of water and drank steadily, I could feel sweat dripping down my back, my hair was sticking to my face, and I felt as if I was running a fever. My hands were shaking and my leg stung, I didn’t know what to do. I had no one to talk to, no one to confide in because of the people I used to be friends with, I’m no longer in contact with, and damn right I was a loner before but I have never felt as lonely as I do right now!

Collecting myself I took a deep breath and opened the file, I was investigating a scammer that was calling a bunch of people telling them that their loved one was in prison and they need money to be bailed out.

This was interesting because no one knew it was a scammer before they called me, unfortunately for him, I have no living loved ones so as sad as that is, it acted as an advantage for me, I soon started asking around, turns out at that time only 10 people had gotten that phone call.

Once it was out in the open, more people started becoming a bit wary, I had done my bit to warn the public, and once more people stopped answering the scammer gave up, it’s been 2 weeks no one has had any odd phone calls so I’m happy my job is done.

I was filling out paperwork when a thought popped up in my head, it was so obvious I face-palmed! I was worrying for nothing! It was probably that scammer trying to scare me or something of the sort! I was worrying for nothing.

I got the message around about the same time the scammer tried to scam all those people, I felt so stupid I couldn’t help but laugh. Taking a deep breath, I was finally able to focus on my work after so long, I finished a little while later and emailed my boss.

Sadly, I had to be polite and professional otherwise I would have sent him something else for the way he embarrassed me in front of everyone! No one works harder than I do so he has no right to treat me the way he does! But it’s good to pay and it’s close to home so I have no choice as this is the only news agency here.

Picking up my stuff I quickly made my way out, I didn’t expect to be in and out within an hour but here we are, I felt different, and after ages, I felt… happy! I guess I cracked the case of the mystery person sending me those messages.

I got home and had a nice long relaxing shower, the hot water ran down my body relaxing me instantly, I haven’t felt this way in 10 years and truthfully, I loved it! It felt so good to not have to worry about anything for a while.

Once I dried myself and put on a night dress I went to the kitchen and made myself some pasta and opened a bottle of wine, I put on a movie and watched while I sipped the wine, but all good things don’t last very long, my phone pinged and the message that popped up turned my good mood into a not so good mood.

‘Well done, you did as you’re told.’

‘Who are you and what do you want?’

‘Who I am doesn’t matter’

‘And I want you to meet me at the café’

‘Alright if this is who I think you are, you have two seconds to delete my number before I go to the police!’

‘You wouldn’t do that’

‘Why not?’

‘Because I already told you before, I know what you did 10 years ago, before you take me to the police you would already be in prison'

Dang it! I forgot about that part! I knew it was too good to be true.

‘What do you want?’

‘I just told you, meet me at the café you used to go to with your friends and you’ll get your answer’

‘How do I know you’ll show up, unlike today?’

‘I was there, you just didn’t know where to look’

‘How would I know what you look like?’

‘You’ll know’

‘Wait! How do you know where I used to meet them?’


Fucking fantastic!