Zora placed her items on the check out counter and waited for the cashier to ring them up. She looked out the giant window in the front of the store to pass the time-the old lady in front of her was searching around for her check book, and Zora was growing more impatient. She hated being out in public for more than she had to. She searched around her...her ex flame Vicente Del Soto was her notorious stalker. No matter how many restraining orders, no matter how many times she's moved and changed her name, he always finds her. So far, in the small town of Hurley she had gone unnoticed. No one seemed to recognize her.
"Oh sorry." the cashier smiled and reached out for the cash bundle in her hand. Zora fumbled for the right amount of bills and handed them over, she grabbed her bags and rushed to her car. She had exactly three hours until she had to be back in town for her job. Zora looked over her shoulder while she unlocked her doors and sat in the driver's seat. She clutched the steering wheel firmly in her hands and counted to ten. Trying to calm her nerves, Vicente hadn't followed her, not this time. Zora eyed her surroundings as she drove out of town. When she arrived at her home she noticed the house across the street was now sold-and her heart stopped beating for a moment...what if, Vicente had bought the house? What if he had found her? Zora pushed the thought from her mind and gathered her things. She would keep watch on the house, and make sure her doors were locked. She unlocked her front door and placed her groceries on the peninsula in the kitchen. She took a deep breath, and left her things on the counter and went to get the mail. The first thing she grabbed from the mail box was a post card-strange,
I have found you. See You SOON ZORA!
Zora dropped the card and searched the mailbox for anything else. Vicente couldn't have found her, she was so careful...she didn't even use credit cards. She didn't have a bank account...how...how...Zora knelt down to retrieve the postcard. Hot tears fell down her face in heavy waves. Next, there was an envelope, it was bulky, but not heavy, she tore it open, enraged she had been found again. Inside the envelope were pictures, of her-of him. Some pictures had been cut and glued together-her in a wedding gown, him in a tuxedo-a seemingly happy couple. But Zora knew the truth, Vicente was not the groom, it was true that she was the bride in the photo. Vicente had crashed her wedding before she could even have her first dance with her groom. She refused to speak his name-the pain was too much to even think about. He had pulled a gun, and shot her groom in the chest-he died before she could even scream. Vicente was her step brother; he was a jealous person, cruel, narcissistic, and the only person he truly loved, was himself-he only viewed her as a conquest to be won. He would ultimately kill her.
Zora heard a car honk and she turned. Her worst fear realized with that one honk- Vicente had bought the house across the street. Zora stood slowly and turned-today started the end of this war. The man she had feared for as many years as she'd been running got out of the car. Vicente hadn't changed a bit. He still wore that cruel smile he had inherited from his even crueler father, his icy gaze froze her to her very core until she shivered despite the summer heat. He waved to her, as if she were a stranger to him-only a new neighbor in his eyes. She knew better, she returned to her home...desperate to stay the recluse she was. This time though she would not run; she didn't have the proof she needed to prove to the cops that Vicente was her stalker-but she would take matters into her own hands. Zora put away her groceries before going to the computer desk-the only luxury besides her basic cable T.V she allowed herself. She decided to search him, virtually search Vicente until he had nothing left.
She typed into the search engine box, Vicente Markus Del Soto images and records popped onto her screen and she ciphered through it carefully looking for an image of her tormentor. She found one, but the records that with it, just told her the basics of what he had been up to the last twenty or so years. She allowed herself to look at the framed photo next to her, it was of her late husband and herself, the same photo that Vicente had doctored. Tears sprang into her eyes as she looked at the only memory she had of him. Her ring had been confiscated as evidence, because blood had gotten onto it. Her wedding dress had been confiscated as well. She didn't really want it anyway-not with blood covering it and all. Zora took out the only invitation she had left,
Join Us in the joining of lives of
Elizabeth Gordon and Jacob Ramsey
Elizabeth, oh how she missed that name. She was Elizabeth Ramsey but she had been Zora for so long that Elizabeth was like remembering a long lost friend. She slammed her memory drawer closed, and closed out her tabs that were open- she checked the time...shit...she had to get to work. She readied herself quickly and walked out the door. On her sidewalk, stood Vicente and it took all her self control not to attack him--- instead she addressed him directly.
"Ah so you do remember me."
"How could I not? You've terrorized me for twenty some years of course I remember you. What do you want?"
"You know what I want."
"Well its never going to happen."
"Are you sure about that?"
"Positive. Over my dead body."
"That can be arranged."
"Is that a threat or a promise?"
"You decide." with that Vicente turned and walked down the sidewalk. Zora shivered, he looked back and called, "Good seeing you Elizabeth." Zora got into her car and drove off. Fuming that he had the nerve to threaten her on her own property. Zora parked in the back lot of her job and walked inside-still fuming. Her 'friend' Shariff, was as gay as they came and he walked up to her immediately, putting his dish rag on the counter.
"Darling, what is wrong with you? You're redder than a tomato and its been storming since Tuesday. Who got you all riled up?"
"You know that stalker I was talking about?"
"Oh hell naw, he ain't here is he?"
"Unfortunately yes. He moved in across the street from my house, and he confronted me on my property, threatened me, and used my real name."
"Girl, it stupid that the po po can't help you. If you being stalked, you being stalked. Who would lie about that?"
"I don't know." Zora answered as she tied her apron around her waist. Zora went towards the dining room and looked inside to see how busy her section was. It wasn't too full, but that could change any second-especially given the time, the dinner rush was about to start. Zora liked this, it gave her the time to forget about her past, her present, and ultimately her future. Zora vowed she would not die at his hands. She would rather kill herself then let him touch her even once.
"Miss? Can we place our order now?"
"Of course, what can I get you?"
"Two specials, and two cokes please."
"No problem I'll go give this to chef and I'll be right back with your drinks." The door opened, and the bells trilled. Zora looked behind her, and Vicente was standing there in the threshold...how dare he. She hurried into the kitchen, and found Shariff flipping burgers.
"He's here! Vicente is here." Zora cried, tears falling down her face. She fell to the floor and the other cooks came to her side,
"Where is he darlin?"
"On the threshold, waiting to be seated. Tell Violet to stall him or something." Shariff paged the hostess and she entered the kitchen moments later.
"The man you said to stall, he requested to be seated at Zora's section."
"He's Zora's stalker, he needs to leave." Shariff said, helping Zora to her feet. "Zora, go home, I'll be right behind you. Do whatever is you do.I'll stall him."
"N-No Shariff, he'll kill you. Like he killed...Jacob,"
"He killed your husband, but he won't kill me cher. Now go. Violet go with her." Violet took Zora by the arm and led her away. The two went out the back door of Shariff's Diner and Violet put her in her car, Zora was about to complain that this wasn't Zora's car when she clammed up, knowing what Violet was doing. She was diverting Vicente's focus. By driving off with Violet's car-Vicente would believe Zora was still inside. Violet pulled into Zora's drive way and Zora went to get out, but Violet shut the door.
"Zora, sweetie, we've been friends for three years. Please sweetie tell me what's going on?"
"Ten years ago, my step brother killed my new husband at our reception, ten years prior to that his father married my mother, Five years into the marriage his father murdered my mother, I was nineteen at the time, and Vicente he was twelve. I had to take care of him-since I was his only family. He fell for me or as much as a sociopath can love another human and he became jealous of anyone who talked to me, he wanted me all to himself. When I met Jacob, I hid him from Vicente, and we fell in love and we got engaged, by this time Vicente was eighteen I think and I had moved out of the house-leaving him to live alone for the first time. His father had left him an inheritance-his father having killed himself in jail the previous year and when Vicente learned of my upcoming marriage he went into a jealous rage. He wouldn't speak to me, and he wouldn't accept Jacob as his brother in law. Jacob and I had him banned from the wedding-but he found a way into the reception and killed Jacob just as he finished his speech before the first dance."
"Oh sweetie, I'm so sorry."
"He's been stalking me ever since. He was sentenced to twenty years in prison but he got out for good behavior...and he's been chasing me ever since."
"When did he get out?"
"Five years ago."
"Sweetie, and the cops can't do anything?"
"No, the most they could do is put me in Witness Protection-and I've already tried that, he found me within days."
"How does he do it?"
"I don't know. But all I know now is that he's back, and I want him in the ground." Zora said quietly.
"Shariff and I will help you the best we can. We'll take turns staying with you, and we'll kill him the first chance we get."
"No, you have got no say in this. We're your friends and we're going to help you."