I opened the front door, the black night greeting me. Nobody else was awake this early in the morning; I had planned it that way. At this rate, it seemed that the notes came every Saturday- my first date with Damen was on a Saturday. All the coincidences were stacking up, and I was having difficulty convincing myself it wasn’t Damen who was doing this, sending these notes. But Damen was still in jail.
So, if it wasn’t him… who is it?
Leaning down quietly, I snatched the note from the ground. I had gotten into a sort of pattern with these letters. I wasn’t getting used to them- that would be twisted. Who could anyone ever get used to receiving death threats against the people they love? I just wished they would stop. I wish that one day I would wake up at four and not find a letter waiting for me.
Would it ever stop?
Every morning I would untangle myself from Liam’s sleeping, peaceful body and tip-toe down the stairs as to not wake anyone in the house. Almost everyone had moved in for the holiday- Liam, Zayn, Niall, Louis, Eleanor and Kyra. Dani said she was too busy with her dance school to be with us day and night.
I looked down at the note. My hands were shaking. This experience still frightened me, and my conscious kept telling me to tell someone, but I couldn’t. Because every letter said the same thing.
To Alex Hylton
Don’t tell anyone. I’m watching.
Nothing else. Just that. I didn’t really know how to take it. It wasn’t necessarily a death threat, but I could feel a sinister tinge to it. It was as if the sender was angry when they wrote it.
I clicked the front door shut and turned around, resting against the wall.
Why can’t I just be left alone?
The leaves crunched under my feet, each step sent a soft noise across the empty field. The shovel was heavy, but I had to keep it off the ground to stop extra noises.
My eyes were wide as I tried to find the spot in the pitch black, but when I felt my foot hit a mound of dirt I knew I had made it.
I let my tired arms drop the shovel to the ground, sticking it into the earth. I pulled up hair up to keep it out of my eyes and as I put my arms down my hand brushed against my neck, the scar reminding me of the evil that was locked up in a jail cell miles away.
I sighed and grabbed the shovel again, tired of this repetitive act. But I had to do this- if I kept the notes under my bed then someone was bound to find them. It was safer to keep them out in the field, buried where no one would find them.
With each pile of dirt I moved away, I could see more and more of the letters that I’ve collected. They were everywhere, dozens of paper that has been dropped into a hole and covered up again. There had to be around thirty letters, one each day.
I finished digging and dropped the shovel to the ground. I bent down to place the newest letter in the hole, adding it to the massive collection. Sometimes I didn’t even bother reading what it said because I knew they were all the same.
Was it a threat? A warning? Or was it just a heads up, letting me know what was to come?
One thing was for sure- if something or someone was coming, it was going to be soon.
One Week Later
Liam laced his hand with mine, swinging our arms between us as we walked out of the cinema.
“That was amazing! Batman is totally my idol!” Liam cheered, rooting for his favourite superhero.
“Calm down, Liam.” I joked, bumping into him with my hip. “Don’t let Harry hear that. He’ll be heartbroken that Batman has taken the title!”
He laughed and wrapped his arm around me. To have him so close, and it to seem so natural, is a gift to me. I could remember when I first met him; I was already falling for him- literally. I remembered the feeling when he told me that I had every class with him. It was like my days were going to be brighter because I was going to see him all day. And from this day on, whenever I see him, I get that same feeling.
But now, as we walked back to the car after the film, I had a completely different feeling.
I didn’t feel happy and cheery. I felt dread in the pit of my stomach. I felt like I was going to vomit or faint. I felt like my whole world would soon be crashing down on top of me.
Because I felt someone watching me.
The Next Day
I groaned and sat up in bed. Liam was sleeping peacefully next to me as he did every night. When we had decided to stay together during the holiday, Harry chose to room with Zayn to give Liam and me our space.
Standing up, I straightened my clothes before turning back to Liam. He wasn’t wearing a shirt as he normally did, and his large scar was easy to see by the moonlight. It gave me nightmares sometimes, thinking about our past. Most of the time I just block it out, though.
I walked out of our bedroom and down the stairs, ready to perform the early morning ritual. Opening the front door, I looked down to search for the note.
There wasn’t one.
To my shock, there wasn’t a single thing on the front porch. I let out a laugh of disbelief before closing the door and turning to the lounge. Maybe this was over. Maybe I didn’t have to worry anymore.
I shuffled over to the couch and laid down, deciding that I wouldn’t get much more sleep. I turned on the tellie and switched it to the news. We had been hiding away, doing hardly anything, for the past few weeks, not really caring about what happened in the outside world. There could have been World War Three and I doubt we would have heard about it in this ridiculously small town.
“Little Mix, the first girl group to win the X Factor, has just released their first album, Top of the World, and are getting amazing results on the charts! Will they be the next international sensation? Will they bring girl bands back to the table? All is revealed in thirty minutes after our Law and Justice segment.”
I smiled as the commercials started, glad that nothing major happened. I was about to go into a little nap when I heard someone coming down the stairs. From the lazy shuffling of feet on the hardwood floor and the way he groaned with every step he took, I could tell that it was Harry. He wouldn’t be what you would call a ‘morning person’.
“What are you doing up so early, Haz?” I sat up and watched him as he basically crawled over to the couch, looking absolutely knackered.
“Idunoally,” Harry mumbled under his breath and plopped down on the couch next to me. Thankfully he was wearing some boxers and a top- most of the time he slept naked and I would have hated to start my day like that.
I laughed and poked his cheek, evoking a slow reaction from him as he tried to smack away my hand that I had already moved back to my lap.
“Here, watch the tellie and kill some brain cells with me. That ought to wake you right up.” I ruffled his hair as I used to do when we were younger. I knew it drove him crazy, which is why I loved doing it. He tried once again to smack my hand away, but it was to no use.
We both turned to the tellie and I could see that the commercials were over, starting the Law and Justice segment of the news. I didn’t really know what that meant, as I don’t really watch the news.
I sighed and tuned back into what the announcer was saying. It had something to do with a Jail… a picture flashed on the screen.
That smile. That cheeky, good-for-nothing smile that you could never trust.
Those eyes. Those lying, hurtful eyes that made you want to crawl to a corner and die.
Why? Why did they have to put his face up on there for all to see? Why can’t people just leave us alone?
“Damen Clark, a known kidnapper, has been released years earlier than previously stated on good behavior. Though he has sworn that he will not repeat his crimes nor go near his victims, some speculators worry that he will go back on his word.”
“Ally! Oh my god! This is bad, this is really bad!” Harry jumped up and turned to me where I was frozen in my seat.
“Ally? Are you-”
The whole world went black.