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Angelica Jenson was an odd girl. She didn’t talk much but when she did, there wasn’t much that could be done to shut her up. She had friends she trusted and socialized with people, and managed to put on a face of normalcy at office parties. Everyone thought, who got to know her, or at least the part of her she allowed them to, that she was a lovely person to be around. That being said, they only knew as much Angelica allowed them to know. Everyone was kept at a distance without them even knowing they were.
It was just another ordinary day at work. She was skimming through a manuscript for one of the client’s at the publishing firm she worked at. Just another day, another manuscript. To an outsider, there would seem nothing wrong with the picture, but Angelica knew that wasn’t the case. There was always a reason she kept walls between herself and everyone who ventured to get to know her better. Five coffee cups had gone by and the clock showed that it was almost time to head home. She bid her goodbyes to everyone who had stayed in till this hour. There was only Eric and Sisilia. Not many people stayed this late or were as big workaholics as this trio.
“I must be doing something right if I’m staying here even later than you, A.J,” Eric said with a wink.
“I don’t know about you but this just put me out of the mood to work any longer,” Sisilia said through her fingers as she stifled a yawn.
“Drive you back?” Angelica asked.
“Sure,” was the unanimous reply.
They sat quietly in the car listening to music and that is pretty much how the rest of the ride went, other than fragments of conversations that weren’t the most interesting ones.
Angelica got home after dropping each of her colleagues at their respective houses, kicked off her heels, and went to get a shower. This was what she looked forward to each day, sitting in the shower with her arms wrapped around her knees, and head between them. It was starting again, she thought. Every night around this time, she wondered what it would be like to prevent it somehow. She didn’t have much luck so far. She tightened her grip around her knees in hopes that this would do the trick. None whatsoever.
Suddenly her hands jumped out towards her sides, her head banged in the wall behind and started to bend backwards. She could hear her heartbeat within her chest and it was slowly becoming fainter and fainter. Not that it was slowing down, just that it started to seem as if she was experiencing it from a great distance. Her eyes rolled into her head and she tried to force it back into her. The slow slipping from the tip of her nose was the only thing she felt before there was a sudden freezing of time. Everything clung to the suspended air. Everything stopped in mid-motion. She suddenly felt her muscles relax and got up on her feet. She didn’t want to look behind her because it was an all too familiar sight and right now her mind was on other things.
A vision of cars passing my flashed before her eyes. No! Was it a vision? She looked around. No! It wasn’t. She was on the side of a street. It was as if looking through a peephole into a world that was not yours. She could feel nothing; no sensation of the cars racing by, or the concrete footpath slap her heels at each step. She could neither feel the wind on her face nor the locks that were now drifting over and mingling with her eyelashes. She kept walking as if she knew where she was going, without even actually knowing it. It was as if a magnetic pull was driving her to one direction. Which direction it was, she didn’t know yet. After walking for half an hour, she started to feel sensations again. The air was thickening and it was becoming harder to pull it into her lungs. Her heartbeat started beating faster and she started running complementary to its rhythm. She knew now where she had to head. As she turned the corner she saw that very hill that had been painted with the blood of seven young girls. It had been all over the news, and their pictures all over social media, but that’s not where she remembered those girls from, now did she. She knew why she must have been led here without actually knowing it, and also by who, and damn, was she ready to get some questions answered.