She was beautiful. The first time we spoke I was simply working a cash register at the convenience store. Her green eyes were like emeralds as we made small talk, darting all over while she spoke. Hair black as the night, but a smile that was full of innocence.
Eventually I started looking forward to seeing her. I learned she came to the store once every two weeks, always on Friday after she left her work. Some days we’d talk when business was slow, some day’s we’d simply exchange greetings and carry on. It was the highlight of my work.
One day she was in line, towards the back, I was eagerly waiting for her to move her way to the front, trying my best to pack bags for the others and speak to her. But someone else approached her. A stout man carrying himself with far more confidence than he should. I watched as he spoke to her, with a disgusting grin he leaned down to whisper in her ear. Her smile, her beautiful smile reserved for me, found its way to him.
Such an insult against me could not stand. An insult not cast by him, but by her, as she knew she was to be mine. Realizing her sick joke, her betrayal, I became enraged. But I did not show it. No, that would be most childish of me. Instead I treated her as I always have when she approached, exchanged pleasantries, and then waved good-bye as she left the store. For I knew now was not the time nor place.
It wasn’t hard to gather the information. I called in sick, stating that someone else should work the register, all the while waiting outside the store in a car burrowed from my cousin. Eventually she showed up, on the Friday as always, and left. I trailed behind a decent distance, learning the route she took, unnoticed as I stalked from afar. Slowly the businesses turned to homes, parking lots turned to alleys, and she turned onto her street. And that was all I needed. Driving past at a reasonable speed, I watched as she walked to her house. That was enough for tonight.
It became routine for me, claiming to have car troubles allowed me to burrow from close friends, so she wouldn’t notice my presence. I learned more about her than she ever spoke of. I learned that she worked at a school, from Monday through Friday. I learned every Saturday she would go to an animal shelter by the edge of town, probably volunteering. She went the same route to the same places every single time. It almost became dull just watching. She led such a simple and boring life, but it was beautifully innocent.
But that made it rather simple for me as well. Nobody ever went to her house, nobody ever rode with her to the shelter, to her school, to my store. She was almost alone, if not for me being there with her. Being there for her. Getting complacent, but not irrational I continued to watch. My routine was to follow her routine. No longer needing to burrow cars, I knew where she would be, when she would be there. It was too easy, as she never noticed me. And that’s what enraged me.
Not once did she see me. Not once did she look up to observe me as I observed her, not once did she even realize I was watching over her. Was I so insignificant to her? Was I nothing to her where she was everything to me? It was revolting, to think that she could do this. There would be punishment, and then she would notice me, then she would finally realize my presence! I knew her house simply by watching the lights, watching the ones that she kept on the longest, noticing the last ones to be turned off. The painting of the interior was burned into my mind as much as her disgusting smile. That smile I once thought to be beautiful. Oh how she would pay. And she did pay.
She was always leaving the shelter last sundown, never once had I seen another soul around the parking lot in all my weeks of observing her. It was the perfect spot. The perfect time. I waited beside her car, hearing her steps get closer, hearing the keys rattle in her hands as I hid out of sight. Once her shoes stopped beating the concrete, I dashed out from the other side, bringing my hands to her throat to prevent her screaming, her eyes wide with fear, finally noticing me. Her beloved angel. Her silent protector.
She did not know I wanted what’s best for her. She was mine, and I would not let anyone else hurt her. Her nails dug into my arms, but I passed her test. Slowly she became comfortable with me, trusting me to watch over her, and began to close her eyes. She slowly succumbed to me, her hands sliding down my arms, relaxing underneath me. Then she was still. I released my grip, still filling her neck pulsing. Picking up the keys and placing her in the car, I took one last look around, ensuring nobody would stop us. It was up to me to keep her protected from others. It is up to me to make her happy.