The Diary of Jennifer Franco ***Note to Reader: This is the diary of one of the main characters of “The Shoes

that Charlotte Wore.” It is her take and point-of-view on the accounts. Contains graphic language and adult content. Please be warned, not for kids or the weak stomach. If I had to rate it, would be “R.” Bon appetite!*** October 12, 2009 Today is my birthday. I am now officially old enough to drink but that doesn’t matter because I’m tired of drinking. I did all my drinking in High School when it was illegal for me to drink; now that I can buy my own alcohol, doesn’t quit have the same appeal. I guess it isn’t as tempting I suppose; not breaking any rules so it isn’t fun. My wonderful mother got me a new journal to write all my wonder thoughts in and document my ever-boring life. Whoever said college was fun was dead wrong. I’m going on my second year and I have so much debt I think I’m drowning. I need a new job. Just not hacking it as a waitress. I hate the customers, hate handling their food, and hate their complaining when something is wrong with it. I feel like shouting back at them to “go home and cook, fat-ass!” or telling my stupid boss off who just looks at me with a blank stare when I tell him someone is complaining. I hate his incompetence as a manager and I hate the stupid outfit I have wear everyday. What a way to start a journal on my birthday. Maybe I’ll tear out this page later and pretend I never wrote it…or maybe I won’t. But the icing on the cake is that my boyfriend just broke up with me. Good ridden to bad rubbish! I was tired of his ass anyway but now I feel lonely. We were together for 3 years and now he decides to tell me he doesn’t love me anymore and he needs his space. What a guy! I guess my near year resolution is early so I made a list: 1. Get a new job and pay off these stupid college loans. 2. Go on a date ASAP! I don’t want to be alone. 3. Burn his CD’s, his clothes, and scrub my toilet with his toothbrush, put it all in a brown plastic bag and leave it on his doorstep. Oct 29, 2009 Been pretty busy lately since I last wrote. Guess I better leave these updates more often than not! After crying my eyes out for days I deleted his number because I don’t want to be a weakling and call him. I’m not begging him back! I didn’t burn his clothes but I did clean my toilet with his toothbrush and gave it back to him. LOL, I’m such a bitch! I went on one blind date. The guy was a total drab. It was the worst date ever! I didn’t know what to say to him, if I should be myself, if I should be someone else, we had nothing in common and he kept texting the whole night! I haven’t been on a date in a really long time because I was in a relationship for 3 years but one thing I do know is that common courtesy is a must! I could understand 1 text but all night? No way! He wanted

me to call him because supposedly he had fun. I threw away that number and I think that’s the last time I let Blair set me up again. Where did she find that loser? You know, I’m a pretty girl, I have things going for me like an education, I have my own apartment and I pay for my own things…GIVE ME A BREAK! On another note I got a new job!!!! I’m no longer a crummy waitress. I’m a professional dancer now. Well, a burlesque dancer to be exact but I don’t have to go fully nude if I don’t want to and I’m happy about that. My mom doesn’t like it though. She said I’m throwing my life away. Hello! I’d be throwing it away if I don’t pay for those stupid loans! I don’t see her giving me money for school. Anyway, I’m working at a very swank place called the Savannah Club and it’s just a few short blocks from my apartment. It is however next to where a bunch of prostitutes are but who cares, I’m now making twice as much as I did as waitress. Blair helped me get the job, she’s been there for a year now and just got a new BMW…I’m so jealous! Anyway, going on date #2 tomorrow with a financial advisor named Greg. My friend Dianna hooked it up…I hate blind dates but I guess I have to get back in the fishpond. November 4, 2009 Still haven’t found Mr. Next but have found a lot of Mr. One-night-stands. Don’t want any of those though but that’s all that is available to me at the Savannah club. I had one fat bald guy ask me for my phone number last night. He was so gross and sweaty but very nice. I guess his niceness kind of made up for his unattractiveness? IDK. I told him I had a boyfriend but that he was very sweet. He seemed to be ok with that and tipped me a $20! Oh! Yesterday Roxy came in dead drunk! She threw up in the dressing room. It was so gross because it was red with chunks and smelled like alcohol. I wanna throw up right now just thinking about it. I thought Chris was going to fire her right then and there because he was so mad but I think he felt a little sorry for her because of what’s going on with her kid so he just sent her home instead. Blair doesn’t like her though. She thinks she’s a skank-ass bitch. I told her Roxy has a lot going on and you know what she told me? She said, “Don’t be sticking up for her, Trixi! Whose friend are you anyway, mine or that hood rat?” I can’t believe she got mad at me as if our friendship since junior high doesn’t mean anything to me! I can’t help that I’m a caring person and she’s just hating on someone else. Going to my sister’s house tonight since I don’t have to work. It’s movie night and we’re going to watch “Interview with the Vampire.” I know it’s old but I totally love Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in it…yum and then maybe watch “Dark Water,” the original Japanese version though not the American one. November 8, 2009 I cannot believe it! David (my ex) decides to call me out of the blue talking about how much he misses me and wants me back. At first I felt kind of sorry for him because

he was crying on the phone and saying he needs to see me in person to “talk about things.” I told him we don’t have anything to discuss. He said, “But I love you and I made a mistake. I want a second chance.” I was so steamed because just the other day Danielle told me how she seen him at the comedy store all hugged up on some chick! So I said, “You had one chance too many. In my book, you only get one chance. You fucked that up so don’t expect me to go backwards because I can only go forward.” Then I hung up the phone. He called back but I didn’t answer. Maybe that sounds a little cold-hearted but he broke up with me. I didn’t have a choice. Now I’m getting on with my life. He should have thought about “his feelings” before he dumped me on my birthday. Asshole! November 26, 2009 Happy Gobble-Gobble day! Just got back from my mom’s and had the best Thanksgiving ever. They deep-fried the turkey this year and it was the best. Mom made her famous green bean casserole and I couldn’t get enough of it. Took some leftovers home for tomorrow. Oh, and the ham was heavenly! So moist and juicy, Mmmmm! Now I got to go running. Bye! December 12, 2009 Not a very good day. I’m extremely tired. I don’t think I can write much. I can’t stop thinking about what I saw last night. I want to cry but I don’t have any more tears. December 13, 2009 I think if I am to get past this, the best thing to do is to face my fears. I have to accept what has happened and move on. A few nights ago Roxy (Charlotte) didn’t show up for work so I went out to look for her. I was going to do a quick walk around the block and come back because I had to work too. Nothing could be worse than that night. It was dark, cold, and I just knew something was wrong. Even the air felt wrong. Some strange man came running out of the alley and scared the shit out of me. He didn’t see me though. I don’t know what came over me but I had an uncontrollable urge to see what made him run away. I went down the alley and I stumbled upon Roxy’s dead body. I was so scared and I felt like my heart was going to jump out of my chest. I’ve never seen a dead body before so you could imagine how it affected me. I think the worst thing was that she was naked and covered in blood and looked like she was just tossed on the ground like a rag doll. For some reason she still had her black boots on and the notion made the whole ordeal that more creepier. I just remember how my hands shook as I tried to dial 911 on my cell and I couldn’t stop crying. All I could see was her dead body. I can still smell the urine and shit of the alley in my nose. I’m completely disgusted but every time I close my eyes I see blood and the words written on the wall, “take.” A part of me doesn’t want to get out of bed but the other part of me doesn’t want to be alone in here. I

can’t stand being alone in this place anymore. My little apartment was once my shelter, my pace of Zen and now I’m afraid to be here too. I just can’t keep from thinking about the “what ifs” and what if the killer really did see me and what if he comes after me too. I’m so scared to death. Maybe I should stay at my mom’s while she’s in Philly but I don’t know because what if he follows me there. A detective named Ian took my statement and he called today asking if I can identify another body. I’m afraid of what I might see but even more afraid to be alone. It’s a little ironic though that I would meet a good-looking cop in a situation like this. Sometimes just thinking of his face and how pleasant his eyes made me feel that night makes me feel a little better. Maybe it was his trim demeanor or his charming tenor voice that was like music in my ear, calming and soothing even though he didn’t really say anything that should have made me feel that way. Or maybe it’s because I’ve been single for the past 2 months and it’s just the loneliness seeping in. IDK but I hate how all these emotions are mixing inside me and making a mess of me. I feel like a basket case. I just want to scream out, “Somebody please help me!” but I can’t. I just can’t say the words. It’s as if my mouth won’t let me. December 14, 2009 Last night I woke up in a cold sweat again. At first my dream was normal and I was shopping at Macy’s for a new dress and found one that I loved. I asked the lady at the counter where the shoes were and she pointed the area out for me. Then suddenly I was in the alley again and there were the studded boots standing perfectly strait in the middle of the alley. I was alone and the walls started crumbling from the buildings. I started running but I could feel him closing in on me. I could hear his footsteps following me. A loud cynical laughing in my ears that made me want to cry was carried by the icy wind. “Leave me alone!” I shouted but the footsteps became faster. I could not run to save my life. My legs felt heavy and my breath short. Then I was in my room. I thought I was safe because I did not sense his presence anywhere. I lay on the bed to catch my breath and felt something under the covers. I got up and pulled them back and there was a black studded boot and the sheets were covered with blood. I screamed and then I woke up. I’m thinking that if the dreams continue that maybe I will go see a shrink. I really don’t want to though but to honest I am very scared. I think I know more than what I want to know and the thought that I could be next haunts me. I even bought a deadbolt for the front door and tomorrow I’m going to pick up the gun I bought. I don’t know who to talk to about this. I just wish it would all go away. I went to identify the second body. I wish I hadn’t gone. It feels like walls are crashing around me, falling down into piles of rubble that embody my shelter, my refuge. I have nowhere else to go, nowhere to run from my thoughts, my nightmares. I haven’t eaten much in the last few days. Chris told me to go home early last night and take the rest of the week off. I’m so tired but I find no comfort in sleep, no comfort in the relaxing folds of my bed. I called my mom in Philly and she said my grandmother is doing better but the doctors say she isn’t going to be with us for long. The nightmares just keep

getting worse. I think I need to get far away from here so I got a bus ticket to Philly. I’m leaving in a few hours. I can’t stand it here any longer. The other body; the other body was Blair. I don’t know how I feel about her death yet. It’s like it hasn’t hit me yet and I’m looking forward to seeing her at the club or hearing her voice on the phone. As if she’s going to call me in a bit and we’re going to have coffee somewhere later. On the other hand, I can’t believe the killer took my friend away. I can’t believe all I have left of her are memories now and that we’ll never make new ones. You know that song “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd? That’s how I feel. My eyes hurt when they’re open and I have a knot in my throat. My stomach is tight and won’t hold down food. I had to force feed myself a cup of tomato soup today only to uncontrollably throw it back up minutes later. Tomato soup is not good on its way up, burns the throat. Ian said he’d call me if there were any new developments. Honestly I just wanted to be around him. I asked him if he wanted to get together later and finish talking about it but he declined saying that he already told me everything he knew. I think actually he knew that I was just trying to see him again. Maybe he knows I have a thing for him. IDK. He’s a real gentleman though, opened the car door for me and is always so polite when he talks to me. Maybe it doesn’t matter to him what my profession is and we can have something more or maybe he’s just a nice guy to everyone and our story ends here. My head hurts. I need to finish packing. Damn…my phone just fell in the toilet. I guess that’s what I get for texting on the toilet. December 16, 2009 My heart feels a little at ease and I think I have my grandmother to thank. Despite the constant pain she’s in and the fact that she’s hooked up to a machine in a hospital she manages to put a smile on her face every time I go see her. I spend most of the time with her reading from her favorite books. Yesterday I finished reading Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” to her. She is one of my grandmother’s favorite authors. Now I’m reading “Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell. I seen the movie when I was a teenager and thought it was really good for being a classic but I never knew the book was so entertaining! Even though I know how the story plays out I can’t wait for Scarett to meet Rhet Butler. I love their encounters in the movie so I could only imagine how fiery they are in the book. My mother and I are staying at my grandmother’s house while we are here. She has a cute little two bedroom home that reminds me of Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother’s house. My grandfather died a few years ago so it’s just her here. I love coming here because it always feels like home. Her house is decorated with pictures of all the family and as I look at one of her and my grandfather on their wedding day my mom tells me I look just like her. “No way, she doesn’t have the same mousy brown uncontrollable hair that I do.” I refuted. To me, my grandmother was beautiful in the pictures. “Yes you do,” My mom said smiling, “I should know because I’m her daughter and your grandmother looked just like you when she was younger. You even have the same good heart she has, just need the proper direction for your life.”

There she goes again, always meddling! “Well if I had a Mr. Perfect like grandpa to sweep me off my feet when I was sixteen then I’d be set for the rest of my life too but I don’t so I have to fend for myself with my own stick.” My mom laughed and then I laughed. I love it when she’s happy. “You’re so silly Jennifer, you know I only want the best for my daughters.” She said. You know what? I feel good about that. December 20, 2009 Christmas is around the corner and I’m thinking about staying here a little longer. My aunt came down from northern Philadelphia and she said she would lend me some money to tide me over. Awesome because that means I can stay longer. I called my manager Chris to see if it was ok if I came back after Christmas and he said that was fine with him. He told me a man came looking for me a few days ago and said he was a cop. I asked him if he got his name and he went to go look for the card. “His name is Ian.” My heart started racing. “He said he needed to talk to you and that your phone seems to not be working because you haven’t returned his phone calls.” “Oh yeah, it got wet and I have to get a new one still.” I replied nonchalantly. “Well do you want his number or do you have it already?” He asked. I wrote the number down on the front page of my diary because I just happen to have started writing in it and it was the only thing I had. After hanging up the phone I could hardly contain myself I was so excited I wanted to call him right away but got distracted because my mom almost burned down the house. She was baking a roast and apparently somehow it caught fire. After putting the fire out and cleaning all the mess I went out to the grocery store for some Mac ‘n’ cheese. Better safe than sorry because my mom isn’t the best cook! Now this is where things got a little strange and maybe I should have listened to my instincts of being a fat ass and driving the around the block instead of walking but I thought getting some exercise in was better than sitting on my ass. Everything went well on the way there but on the way back I was literally ran into by this teenager. He fell over me and dropped all my groceries. Besides that he gave me a bloody nose. “I’m so sorry.” He said trying to help me up but I wouldn’t take his hand. “Let me help you with these.” He said picking up my groceries and putting them back in the bag. “What are you doing running into me like that, are you crazy?” I was so annoyed. I held my head back to keep the blood from rushing out my nose. “Sorry I was on my way to the movie theater and I didn’t want to be late.” At least he sounded sincere about it and I could tell in his voice that he really was sorry. “Can I walk you home?” I said ok. There was something definitely weird about this boy because for one, he had long light brown hair that was strait and perfect down his back. He reminded me of one of those Japanese animation characters; kind of like Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VI minus the sword and with brown hair instead of blond. He seemed a bit on the awkward side. He held the bag by the bottom and not by the handles and he seemed unsure about what he was doing and where he was going. The strangest thing about him were his eyes; he had deep green eyes and if I looked to much at them I swear he was running around in

my head looking through my thoughts and screening my memories like a movie. Just when I thought that I was the weird one he shocked me with his words. “They’re called minions.” “What?” “Yeah. That thing that killed your friends is a minion.” I looked at him with a stunned look on my face. Did he just read my thoughts or am I crazy? “You’re not crazy either.” He replied shocking me again, “And yes I can read your thoughts and I know your memories and I know your heart. You’re scared it will come after you. You’re scared of dying and being alone when you die.” I couldn’t say anything. No words would form from the tight slit of my lips as I stared back at him in awe. This kid, this boy, can read my mind. Am I really that pathetic that my heart is on my sleeve like a melancholy, lovesick puppy? “How is that possible?” I murmured the words as he starred back at me with those innocent but all knowing eyes. They were the kind of eyes that strip you bare and leave you with shame and uncontrollable guilt. “I must apologize but our meeting here is purely coincidental. As I am currently behind schedule may we discuss this at a later time?” He stopped walking and I suddenly realized we were standing in front of my grandmother’s house. How did he know? “What could a boy your age possibly be in such a hurry for?” I blurted out. He smiled at me and I could see the straight white teeth peaking out between the crests of his lips. “I promise I will be back to see you again. Word of advice; be careful where you tread. You have a tail and he’s getting close.” He looked around quickly and then leaned towards me and whispered in my ear, “Don’t worry, I will get him for you but in the meantime please be careful. They hunt in pairs.” His words chilled me to the bone. I knew he was talking about the killer: Charlotte’s killer, and Blair’s killer. “What is your name?” my voice cracked with fear. “Nimai.” He left me standing there at the steps of my grandmother’s house and all I could do was watch him walk away. My legs were planted firmly to the ground and my mouth would not speak again as I watched him turn the corner and out of sight. December 26 2009 The boy Nimai has not returned. Each day that passes I think more and more that he isn’t going to come back. Sometimes I pace the living room and look out the window each time I pass it hoping to see him walking up to the door to give me his explanation but nothing. I’m going back home tomorrow so my anticipation to meet him again is irrepressible. I have too many questions that need answering and even more now that I met him. Who is this strange boy and how does he know my thoughts and more importantly how does he know me? January 1, 2010 My grandmother seems to be doing fine but the doctors still don’t think she’ll live long. I couldn’t stay out of work much longer so I went back on the 27th. I just got a new

phone a few days ago too and finally called Ian back. He left me 12 messages in the past week. Poor thing, I think I worried him. He said he knows who the killer is but he recently disappeared. No one in the FBI can find this guy and he thinks they might close the case as being unsolved if there are no new leads. I guess this FBI guy was the killer and Nimai already got to him. I didn’t tell Ian anything about Nimai but said I had a pleasant time visiting my grandmother. It was nice because I got to spend time with my mother and I think the experience made us both closer. I’m still wondering where he went off to but I guess that doesn’t matter anymore because I’m back at home in my little apartment and the nightmares have stopped. My mind has been so full of horrors in the past few weeks that I was completely taken aback when Ian invited me to a New Year’s Eve party. I was ecstatic and said yes as quickly as a schoolgirl. I think he know I was blushing in the phone. I went shopping right away for something extra special to wear. I needed something nice but elegant, not flashy and not too revealing. I settled on a red strapless knee-length dress that gathered in a heart-shaped knot in the front that accentuated my bosom. The fabric was thick and hugged my curves in way that gave me a perfect hourglass figure. I dyed my hair a chestnut brown. I haven’t had it that dark since I was a kid. I set my hair in a swarovski clip on one side so that the loose curls fell on my shoulders in a swanky, Susan Hayward way. I spent over two hours getting ready. I was so nervous the butterflies in my stomach would not calm down. I tried eating an orange and that didn’t work so I tried chewing some gum but that didn’t work either. When Ian picked me up my stomach was a mess and we were going to dinner first! Ian was ever the gentleman and wore a very nice black suit and dark grey tie with a light blue shirt. I swear the night was going fantastically over dinner. He ordered a very nice bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon to compliment the savory filet minion. My stomach was appeased but I think I had a little too much to drink because I was buzzing and laughing at the silly stories he was telling me about some of the guys he works with. Looking over at him across the table I could see the spark of fireworks getting ready to ignite and then we went to the party. He put my arm in his and stayed by my side the whole night. He introduced me as his “friend” but I didn’t mind. After all we can’t call ourselves anything else and “friend” is better than acquaintance. Most of the people he introduced me to work with him and most were cops there with their wives. The night was almost heavenly and perfect until she walked in and created a big scene. She was Ian’s ex-girlfriend. She was drunk and staggering about with a drink in her hand. Ian tried to conceal the fact that he was with me but she had already seen him with his arm around my waist. “What the fuck is this, Ian?” She slurred her words as she tried to balance on her wobbly legs. “Leslie, how are you?” He asked nonchalantly. He was doing his best to stay calm and focused but I think he knew she was going to ruin our night. “Don’t how are you, me!” She snapped back, “Who is this whore you’re with?” She stood accusingly pointing at me. The blood rushed through my cheeks. Ian looked at me with a sorry expression on his face. “Excuse me one minute, Jennifer.” He said and grabbed Leslie by the arm and dragged her out to the front yard. I stood there motionless watching the doorway for signs of his return.

“That woman is crazy.” Jacob his friend had overheard everything and came to my aid. “Sorry about all that. They’ve been broken up for over a year now but she still finds some way to show up everywhere he is and ruin things for him.” “Oh. That sucks.” My reply was so high school I almost bit my tongue in disgust. “I think they’re going to be a while, would you like me to get you a drink?” Although he was trying to be nice to me I was sick to my stomach and wanted to go home. “No, I’m fine. I think I just need some fresh air.” I walked out through the back and around to the front. I could hear her yelling at him from the top of her lungs as he was trying to calm her down. I managed to sneak out past them and several onlookers onto the quiet suburban street. I called a cab and in a few minutes it was there to take me home. I was glad to be back home but sad at the same time because my date with Ian ended so abruptly. I washed my face and changed into some sweat pants and a tee-shirt, turned on the TV to watch the ball drop and cuddled up by myself with a bowl of cookies n cream ice cream. I felt so embarrassed but didn’t want to cry. Then a knock came on the door. My heart leapt, was it Ian coming to sweep me off my feet? No, it was Nimai. I opened the door. “What are you doing here?” I asked. I was surprised to see him and even more surprised that he somehow knew where I lived. “I told you I’d be back. Why did you leave?” He said as I let him in. “I needed to go back to work. I have bills to pay you know, that’s what us grownups do.” I said motioning him to sit. I sat next to him on the couch and he eyed the TV. “What’s that?” He asked pointing. “Time Square.” I replied. “Oh…what are all those people doing there?” He was genuinely asking me something that I could have sworn everyone knew about. “It’s New Year’s eve. Everyone’s there to celebrate the New Year.” I said waving my spoon at him. “Oh.” He said trying to seem like he knew what I was implying. The 1-minute countdown started. “How did your date go?” He said breaking the silence between us as if he were looking for a conversation started but it was the wrong question to ask. “I don’t want to talk about it.” I said trying to squash the subject before it started. I put some ice cream in my mouth. At least that was one good thing that happened that night. “What is that?” He asked pointing at the bowl in my lap. I was beginning to think this kid was dumber than a box of rocks. “It’s ice cream, haven’t you ever had ice cream before?” He shook his head no and I passed the bowl to him. He scooped out a glob and shoved it into his mouth. He smiled back at me. At least someone was happy. Midnight. Everyone in time square was cheering and singing. Streamers were flying everywhere as couples kissed and friends hugged. My heart sank. “What’s wrong?” He asked. “Why aren’t you happy like the people in the box?” “Its complicated…why are you asking me questions like you don’t know anything? Were you that sheltered?” He starred back at me blankly. Maybe I shouldn’t have shouted at him but I was so frustrated. I looked away and starred at the TV. He put

the bowl on the coffee table and like an innocent little boy he planted a kiss on my cheek like a son would give his mom. I didn’t know what to say. I starred at him as he starred at me. “What are you doing?” He was confusing me. “Are you happy yet?” He replied. “Not really but thank you. Thank you for keeping me company. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have snapped at you.” I felt ashamed. “I’m not a little boy. I’m older than you think.” In that moment while the signing continued to pour out of the TV I saw in his eyes that he was telling me to truth and that I could trust him. He sat closer to me and leaned in towards me. Our lips touched, my eyes closed and I felt the warmth of his mouth over mine. I opened my mouth to receive his tongue and I felt a wave of emotions come over me in a blanket of anguish and confusion. “What am I doing?” I thought. Then I heard his voice in my head telling me not to worry and to let go. As if I had no control over my body, the despair subsided as my breathing became heavy with desire. I cupped the back of his head with one arm and moved my free hand down the hardness of his chest until I found what I was looking for; his belt. I quickly undid it as he watched me, a willing participant he helped me with the shirt, revealing a very nice six-pack. My mind strayed again but I quickly gained my footing that he was not a kid. I kissed his chest, his neck and helped him with my shirt and bra. He gently cupped my breast. His hands trembled as he brought his lips to kiss them. I could hardly stand the suspense as he pulled my pajama pants off and stood up to take off his. Kneeling beside me he crushed my lips with a hunger that nearly frightened me as it excited me all the more. He put his arms under me and brought me into the bedroom. Laying me on the bed still kissing me uncontrollably I put him inside me. The pleasure exploded all around me as my body tingled with every thrust. “Oh Nimai.” I moaned in between my shallow breathing. I arched my back and squeezed down on him. I heard him moan in my ear as he licked my earlobe. The thrusting became quicker and harder and I bit down on my lip unable to control the pulsing and beating of my heart. In a whirlwind as I struggled to catch a dying breath I came. The wetness between my thighs excited him as he bit down on my shoulder and trembled with an explosion of pleasure inside me. He lay on the bed next to me on his back. His eyes closed, sweat dripping from his forehead, his hair cascading on the pillowmy angel. I watched him breathing and then I got up and went to the restroom to push everything out, everything he left in side me. Again as I looked at him lying on my bed I wondered who was he. He seemed to have heard my thoughts, sat up and motioned me to join him. I did. “Who are you?” I asked lying next to him. “Do you want the truth or do you want me to tell you what you want to hear?” His eyes peered into me again leaving me with an uncanny feeling that he already knew what I wanted to hear but he didn’t say that. “I’m one of the earth’s guardians.” “Shut up.” I teased and smiled but the sincerity in his eyes told me he wasn’t joking. He went on ignoring what I said. “It was by chance that we met that day in Philadelphia. Honestly I had no intentions of coming back even though I said that I would but a minion was following you so as a guardian I had an obligation to destroy it. And I did but there’s still one out

there that knows of you. I can smell the faint odor in this place, he’s been here looking for your. Possibly while you were gone.” I looked at him dumbfounded, “He was here, in my apartment?” The notion was unbelievable and unbearable. “Yes. You can’t sense their presence because you’re human but I can. You have to be careful until I can find him. Your police office knows of him. I scanned his mind at the party you were at.” “You followed me?” “Yes, I did. After I killed the first minion I felt I had an obligation to make sure you were ok and since I’ll be sticking around a little longer to find the second one I decided to make my presence known.” “Are you some kind of immortal or something?” “Yes. I am a guardian of the earth. There are more of us here but they choose not to mix with the mortals. They are a lot older than me and have tired of your kind.” “How old are you?” “In your human years I’m 49.” “Oh wow.” I said under my breath relieved he didn’t say 16. “So what are these minions and why does this other one want to kill me?” “They are a kind of waste from the planet. In a sense they are a defense but if the planet does not need their defense then they become destructive and uncontrollable, running rampant in a vicious pandemonium. They’re carnivores so they’ll eat humans, animals, just about anything that lives. So that is why they must be destroyed. The reason why the other one is following you is because it knows who you are. It knows you can devastate its cover among the humans.” “So they’re some kind of animal running wild?” “No, you can say they’re mortal because they’re restricted to the same time patterns that you are. They grow old and die eventually but they look human and hid among you in order to survive but their lust for carnage always reveals their hiding places. They look like you too but their eyes are big and dark and their teeth are sharp like razors. That’s the only way a human can tell them apart.” I tried to compute all this but my mind raced with fear and anxiety. Perhaps I shouldn’t stay home in case it returns. “No, don’t do that. I’ll find it don’t worry.” He was reading my thoughts again. “You’re an amazing being. How did I get so lucky to meet you?” “Well maybe if you didn’t see that murder we might have never met and if I never run into you by your grandmother’s house then I wouldn’t be here.” He always responded with an unequivocal tone of voice that never pitched up or down making everything he said seem to calm my nerves and appease my mind as if he was massaging my brain with words. “Yeah, I guess so.” My mind wondered again and again he answered me without asking if he should. “I don’t care what you do. I know you are some sort of dancer and that you remove your clothes for the pleasures of men but that isn’t important to me. The only thing that is important to me is the safety of the earth and maintaining the balance of its inhabitants. I know others think it’s taboo and inappropriate concerning your job but that’s your choice in life, not theirs.” It never ceases to amaze me how this man who

looks like a teenager can be so insightful. This angel on my bed who came to me in the night again gently kissed my lips reassuring me that what he said was true. “Do you feel better now?” “Yes. Thank you.”

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