Dear whoever you are—
You know I think about you often. The way the edge of your coat was caked with mud. Mud that reminded me of chocolate icing and then I instantly felt stupid for the thought. Because what was going to happen next would be a lot more serious than chocolate cake. You left soggy footprints on the wool rug and I winced. I winced, and then I ran. At least I tried to. But you already know all this. I don’t know why I’m explaining it to you. You know. I should tell you what you don’t know.
Like, when you told me you only wanted money, you promised you wouldn’t hurt me, your throat closed up and your voice cracked. Not the most flattering tell, but that’s when I knew you were a liar. I heard you rummaging through my kitchen drawers looking for a knife.
I knew that when I sat mute and motionless on my couch for two hours you were still in the room with me even though you wanted me to believe you were gone. When I whimpered, you exhaled. I felt your hot breath brush across the back of my neck.
I knew when you closed the bedroom window you had opened to get in that you planned to kill me. You were afraid the neighbors would hear my scream. And it was a signal for me to move.
I knew I’d get out of the handcuffs because I have double-jointed thumbs. Lucky me, right? I waited until you left the room—for a glass of water you said—and fear and adrenaline, like an animal thrashing inside me, took over. You did not see me, even as I passed you in the hall as close as a ghost, and walked right out the front door.
Jules lives in Arizona. She likes to smell old books and drink red wine. Her chapbook ALL THE GHOSTS WE’VE ALWAYS HAD is out from Thirty West Publishing.