Sophia pulled the hood tight over her medium length straight brown hair and rushed through the rain. Her therapy had run long and she was worried about a parking ticket.
The session had gone well, and her anxiety was subdued at the moment, except for the fear of the ticket.
Rounding the corner of the brownstone building as the last light of day started to fade her green eyes scanned the street until she spotted her 2003 black Honda Civic.
An envelope was under the windshield wiper. She cringed and let out a sigh of exasperation.
Quickly finishing the hundred feet to the car she snatched the envelope and unlocked and opened the door with a quick smooth movement, ducking inside.
The rain made a thunderous cacophony on the roof of the car as it picked up. It seemed she had gotten in just in time.
Being grateful to at least be out of that, her mind went back to the ticket. Looking down, she opened the water resistant envelope expecting to see a citation.
Instead she wished she’d gotten one. There was a single page with a plain font in bold at the center. It said only one sentence.
I’m going to kill you.
Sophia felt her anxiety flutter intensely and reached for her pills, quickly swallowing one. She looked at the note again. It said nothing else.
Alarmed, she looked around her and could see not a soul, simply other parked cars. She grabbed her phone and dialed the therapist but it went to voicemail, then she tried her boyfriend.
It also went to voicemail. Scott had been gone on a business trip but he was supposed to be back today. In fact, Sophia had been planning to pick him up from the airport in just a few hours.
She hated the gloomy rainy winters in the northwest, but she was looking forward to having him back.
She almost jumped when her phone rang. It was Scott, calling her back. Relieved, she quickly answered.
“Hey hon, sorry I missed you.”
“That’s okay,” Sophia tried to control the trembling in her voice. “I just got this scary note.”
The alarm in Scott’s voice was real, “Scary note? What?”
“All it says is....” Sophia had to brace herself to even say it, “I’m going to kill you.”
The briefest moment of silence while Scott processed. “Are you safe? Go straight to the police.”
“I’m fine,” Sophia tried to convince herself of the lie. “I just got out of therapy and took an anxiety pill, it’s probably just some kids playing a prank....
Besides, you’ll be home soon right?”
The silence alarmed her.
Scott finally responded, “My conference got extended, I was going to call and tell you I have to stay through the weekend, but I’ll talk to the boss and see if I can come home early.”
“No...” Sophia knew this conference was important for Scott’s career as a software developer, and so she didn’t want him to miss anything important.
“I’ll go to the police station and report it. They probably wont do anything, but I’ll be okay. You stay at your conference.”
“Honey, no way, I’m gonna come home....” Sophia cut him off.
“It’s fine, I’ll invite Rachel over so I’m not alone.” Scott signed, resigning himself to Sophia’s wishes. She had anxiety, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t fearless in her way.
The police, as Sophia suspected, said that there really wasn’t much they could do. They took the note for evidence and to take prints, but they didn’t expect to find any but hers.
They did however offer to station an officer outside her house for the night, for which she was grateful. She called Rachel, who had left town to visit her parents.
Not wanting to worry Scott, and knowing the officer would be stationed, Sophia decided to go home.
The drive home from the station was short and uneventful. The night’s darkness was complete but at least the rain had stopped.
Soon she arrived at the small bungalow that she and Scott lived in together. The officer, a Sgt. Cortez, had followed her home and was parked on the street in front of her house.
He assured her he’d be alert, and so she went inside.
The house was sparsely decorated but still homey, with earthy tones filling a small living room and two adjacent bedrooms.
The backyard was fully fenced, and had access from a sliding glass door in the dining room. She went first to turn on the back porch light, and peered into the yard.
Seeing that it was empty, she turned and went to her bedroom to grab a pair of pajamas. She picked a matching pair of pajama pants and long sleeve top.
The pink and green floral pattern wasn’t her usual style, but they’d been a gift and they were her most comfy pair.
Afterwards she paced, too anxious to sit down. Eventually her cat, a Russian Blue named Boris, came out to see her. The cat had been a stray and the two had bonded intensely.
He seemed to sense her anxiety, and the very act of petting him calmed her nerves. Before long he was on her lap in the couch, where she fell asleep to a rerun of her favorite medical show.