“Like, oh my god! Did you hear they found a girl’s body last night?” Lauren asked reading her social media news feed. “I guess she’d been missing for a while.”
“No, I was at work last night,” Betty reminded her roommate taking a drink.
“Oh, yeah. Well, they found her. She had been missing for a while, a few weeks I guess,” Lauren explained.
“That’s awful!” Betty sighed setting her glass down. “Where did they find her?”
“Umm…in a few places. Some parts in a dumpster in the city. Some parts in the woods. Oh, I’m going to be sick,” Lauren said holding a hand over her face. “This article says that some-Some! – of her body parts showed signs of being gnawed on.”
“Like, someone chewed on them?” Betty asked knowing the answer. Shock and fear infected both girls as they sat in their kitchen. A chilled feeling crept along their skin, embracing them with long ghostly fingers. They soaked in the silence, thinking about all that the news article had said. Lauren reread the words, mouthing them as her eyes scanned her phone screen. Even on the second reading, they still stabbed into her flesh with a vicious and violent sting. Betty hid her face behind her hands as she thought. Inside her chest, her heart beat quickly, trying to escape the reality of the situation.
“What a horrible crime! Like, it’s something a serial killer would do!” Lauren said pointing toward her phone. “Do you think there’s a serial killer out there, waiting and stalking his next victim?”
“In our town? Ha! This place isn’t big enough for that kind of crime. Someone probably dropped the body off,” Betty laughed, trying to ease the tension. But, her words failed to scrap the serious tone away from their conversation.
“Well, that shit can happen anywhere,” Lauren said looking at her phone.
“On a lighter note,” Betty smiled. “How’d dinner go?”
“Not too great since I woke up alone in my bed,” Lauren answered with a frown.
“Awe, give it a date or two,” Betty’s voice with laced with sarcasm and faux sadness.
“I know,” Lauren shrugged. “I must be losing my touch.”
“You, losing it?” Betty laughed. “That’ll be the day.”
“He asked about you,” Lauren added, setting her phone down.
“He did?” Betty asked. Shock flashed in her bones as she digested Lauren’s words.
“Yeah, by name even. That’s weird, right? Anyway, he wanted to know how you’re doing,” Lauren reported.
“He must pay attention,” Betty said, dismissing the topic.
“Sure, but he knew your name,” Lauren repeated.
“And I wear a name tag when I work,” Betty shook her head. “I’m not worried.”
“Oh, trust me, I’m not either. It’s just a little weird,” Lauren explained. “Yah know?”
“I do, I totally understand,” Betty answered. “But what did he ask?”
“About how you’re doing, what you were up to,” Lauren answered. Her skin was still shivering a little from the randomness of the questions. “He knew you went to work last night.”
“So, he can see me leave from his window,” Betty countered. “That’s not weird.”
“But he was a weird,” Lauren said. “How he asked, it was just weird, alright? And the fact that he asked was a little odd.”
“Maybe he thinks I’m cute,” Betty smiled. “Maybe he’s using you to get to me.”
“Or maybe he has some perverse fantasy,” Laruen said hopefully.
“Or maybe he’s just observant,” Betty offered. “That’s how he found you, isn’t it?”
“He found me in the laundry room,” Lauren said. “I was washing my clothes when he came in. He sat by me and bam! I got his digits.”
“Maybe he knew to find you there because he could see you through our living room window,” Betty said with a crooked smile.
“That shit is disturbing,” Lauren said, pointing to her friend. “I have to work. So, I’ll be in the office.”
“Enjoy,” Betty said taking care of her plate. “I’ll hit the store I suppose.”
No, my Betty, don’t leave! Stay for Simon. Stay for Simon, please. Simon begged silently as he watched Betty leave once again. My Betty!
“Let her go,” the handsome man boomed suddenly.
“But she is the cute one,” Simon pleaded.
“What do you know about cute?” the man said gruffly.
I love her. That’s the important thing. Simon thought about the wonderful things he had learned on the television. He had watched movies that taught him about relationships and dating. Romance movies, as the announcers would say, taught him about love.
Simon didn’t respond to the man, nor did look in his direction. He scoffed to himself and stared toward Betty and Lauren’s apartment. He was worried about Betty, especially when the man spoke of his intentions with Lauren. He wanted gross and disgusting things with her, and Lauren, Simon decided, would welcome his advances. She would openly invite him into her life and allow him to do as he pleases. Betty, might be harmed. She might be hurt. He might hurt my Betty. He’s hurt girls before. He’s mean.