Read Part 1 – Watched
Marley and I were friends in high school. She was a star. The lead in every play. A perfect, graceful dancer. Popular, yet gracious and kind to everyone. After each school play, she invited the entire cast back to her house for an after-party, including those of us on the crew, like me. Once, she even let me see her room. It smelled like her, sweet and airy, like rosewater. There was a stack of laundry sitting in a basket on the floor and I slipped one of her shirts in my pocket when she wasn’t looking. Sometimes, I wore it to school, under my clothes. It was special and secret, like our friendship.
Everyone else just ignored me, but not Marley. She spoke to me every time she saw me in the halls, even if she was with her popular friends, the pretty girls who looked down their noses at me.
“Hi Liz,” she would say, offering me her usual sunny smile. “Have a great day!”
“You too!” I’d beam back at her.
When I found out she was performing in New York, I drove 12 hours to see her dance. I stood outside the theater in the frigid cold for over two hours, waiting for her to come out.
“Hi everyone!” She greeted the fans with a wave and the same bright smile, stopping to sign a few programs.
“Hi Marley!” I shouted. She turned to me. This is it, I thought to myself. The moment she would tell them to move the barrier that stood between us, that I was her friend. She’d invite me out for coffee where we’d catch up and laugh about old times. There was no recognition in her eyes. She smiled at me blandly, the same way she’d smiled at everyone else, scribbling her name on my program before she was whisked away to a waiting car. I didn’t want her pathetic autograph.
The crowd dispersed. People stared at me strangely as I tossed my signed program in the trash and stormed off. That was the moment I decided she would pay.
I’m watching her now. She thinks she’s safe, moving so far away, changing her name. But I’ve found her. I’ll always find her. The music ends. She looks up, right into the camera lens, slowly stepping closer. Her hand covers the monitor and the screen goes black.
Read Part 3 – Harmless