“999. What is your emergency?”
“Uh, a man grabbed me outside my apartment, he was holding a knife.” I spoke as calmly as I could with my heart beating a hundred miles per hour.
“I’m sorry ma’am. Did you say a knife?” The operator asked.
“Y-yes,” I cried, frantically shutting all of my doors and locking them and raced to my room. I shut all of my windows and bolted them shut, closing the curtains frantically.
“Ma’am, I’m going to need you to calm down and tell me your location.”
“2515 Elizabeth Street, apartment 121 B” I said. I opened my closet as fast as I could with one hand and took out my old baseball bat I kept just for situations like this.
“Are you inside? Are you injured?” The female operator spoke, her voice becoming concerned.
“N-no, I’m fine. J-just... he’s out there…” I stuttered my hands grew sweaty against the metal of the baseball bat.
“Okay ma’am. You’re going to have to listen to me very carefully. Hide somewhere where there are no windows and lock the door. Can you do that?”
“Yes.” I scrambled to my door and yanked it open, heading towards bathroom. “Okay, I-I’m hiding, now what do I do?” I whispered as I locked the bathroom door shut and hunkered down in the tub.
“Do you have anything to defend yourself with?” She asked.
“I have my baseball bat with me.” I said.
“Good. Stay hiding until the police show up, and don’t hang up. I’m going to keep talking to you, okay?”
“Okay.” My breathing started to hitch and my heartbeat thumped against my chest wildly.
“Ma’am, are you alright?”
“Y-yeah, I’m just scared.” I spoke half the truth. I was scared, but my pills were wearing off, quickly.
“What’s your name?” She asked. I laughed nervously at her question. Why was she asking that?
“I-it’s Brigh.” I said.
“Hi Brigh, I’m Lumen. There is nothing to be scared of, okay? The police are coming as fast as they can. You’ll be fine.”
“O-okay, Lumen,” Her name was kind of strange, but I shrugged it off since my name was kind of weird too.
“Brigh, did you get a good look at your attacker?” Lumen asked.
“N… No. It was dark outside a… and…I… I couldn’t…”I started to ramble. Rambling while stuttering… Not a good mix.
“That’s okay, Brigh. Just take deep breaths. You are perfectly safe.” Lumen assured me.
How do you know? I thought. My attacker could be inside my apartment right now and I wouldn’t even know it. I took deep breaths anyway, hoping in a way it would sooth my thumping heart.
“How old are you, Brigh? Do you have any parents?”
“I’m twenty and I don’t live with my parents.” I murmured. The line of the other side of the phone went silent for a minute before Lumen spoke again.
“Do you have any relatives or siblings close by?” I closed my eyes and sighed deeply.
“No.” Before she could reply, a loud BANG echoed through the walls, making me yelp.
“Brigh, what happened?” Lumen asked quickly.
“Someone’s here, I think.” I had a single tear roll down the side of my face. “Lumen,” I cried, “I’m so scared.”
“Brigh,” she said my name soothingly. “Please, take deep breaths and calm down.”
“Alrigh-“Suddenly, the bathroom door burst open and the lights flicked on. Two police men stood at the door, guns in their hands.
“Are you alright, Miss?” One of the police men asked, placing his gun in his belt at his waist.
“Y-yeah,” I said shakily, “Lumen?” I said into the phone.
“You’re welcome.” I could hear the smile in her voice. “Bye Brigh.”
“Bye Lumen.” I whispered. As I hung up, one of the police men carefully walked over to me and held out his hand.
“Are you Brigh Nixon?” He asked.
“Yes.” I answered.
“Please come with us.”
It’s two days, nearly three since that night and I haven’t gone into work, just stayed on my bed with my knees up to my chest. I was still too freaked out to move, or go outside. The police said that there wasn’t anyone on my block that saw anything and they didn’t find anyone that might have looked suspicious. I had tried describing what I saw to the police artist, but that didn’t go very well. All I saw was…darkness, maybe a silhouette of a person, but no details. They think I’m crazy, maybe I am, but that knife felt too real to be imagined.
Suddenly, my phone went off, making me jump ten feet into the air. I picked it up from beside me and looked at the caller I.D. It was blocked. I held my thumb over the ‘accept’ button before pushing down on it.
“H-hello,” I answered quietly.
“Brigh, its Kate, are you coming into work today, because I can’t keep covering for you, mate?” Kate’s familiar voice sounded irritated through the speaker.
“Kate,” I breathed a sigh of relief.
“Where the hell are you by the way? You totally disappeared as of two days ago and you have everyone worried,” Kate rambled, “Plus I have to use the fucking pay phone because my piece of shit phone is on its period so now I’m pissed, so please, make my day and tell me you’re coming in.”
“Kate, I don’t think I can come in today…” I trailed off.
“What the hell are you talking about? Of course you need to come in. You’ve already missed two days without pay. It won’t be long until Mike fires you cause you never called in sick or anything.” Kate pointed out.
I sighed and rubbed my forehead, “Alright, Kate. I’ll be there, if you can pick me up.”
“Why pick you up? Can’t you just walk?”
“Yea-never mind, I just won’t come in.”
“No! You can’t make me cover for you again!” Kate complained.
“Then, please, pick me up.” I pleaded.
“Brigh,” Kate sighed, “Alright, but you sure as hell need to give me an explanation.”
“See you in a few, weirdo.” Kate chuckled. I cracked a smile, but stayed silent.
Kate arrived about ten minutes later. Thank god I have a ride now. As soon as I got in she just looked at me. I assumed she was waiting for me to explain why I’ve missed so many days.
“I’m not moving anywhere until you tell me why you’ve been MIA for almost three days,”
I sighed then told her everything.
“Oh my god Brigh; I’m sorry for getting angry with you. If I would have known I would have kept covering for you,”
“Yeah, but the worst part is, I think it was the Jack the Ripper copycat killer. I have no idea how I managed to get away from him, but I did. And now I’m afraid he’s going to come back for me.”
“Don’t worry, Brigh, he won’t get the chance to. I’m going to be driving you to and from work.”
“Thank you Kate. At least I have someone there for me.”
She nodded and started driving to work.
As soon as I walked in our co-workers looked surprised to see me. Mike came out from the back and spotted me. Luckily he was an understanding guy. He walked over to me handing me my apron.
“Good to have you back, Brigh.”
I hardly smiled, which was weird since I’m usually very bright and happy. He didn’t seem to notice and walked back into the back of the café. I stepped behind the counter yawning. I haven’t had much sleep lately. If I do get to sleep I wake up in the middle of the night screaming with horrible nightmares.
I heard the service bell ring and I walked over to the cash register.
“Hi, how can I help you?” I asked looked down at the register.
“Uh, I’ll just have a coffee.” I heard a very deep voice say.
I looked up to see a very handsome man, with curly brown hair, and green eyes but not as bright green as mine. I looked down to where his shirt was opened just a little at the top revealing some tattoos. This man was very good looking.
I snapped myself out of thought and made his coffee. I handed it to him and watched as he made his way to a booth and sat down. He took out a leather journal and started writing. I was so captivated by him that I almost didn’t notice the long line of people waiting to be served.
I had to find out his name.