Read Part 1 – Watched
Read Part 2 – Watcher
The city would welcome her back. She’d conquered it once; she could do it again. This was what Marley was thinking as a bellman helped unload her suitcases from the back of a cab. She was at her favorite New York hotel. She’d run miles and miles away, changing her identity and hiding in the snow, only to learn that she wasn’t safe anywhere.
She was about to head inside the building when she heard a voice in the crowd. Someone was calling her name. A woman burst through the mass of people on the street, her cheeks flushed, frizzy hair flying, framing her face in a strange, brown halo.
“Hi, Marley!” The woman said. “It’s me, Liz.”
Liz? Do I know a Liz? Elizabeth Workman from college? No, she always went by Beth.
The woman, sensing her confusion, stepped closer. “Liz Randall. From high school. We were in drama together.”
Liz Randall. She’d barely thought of her in years. She hadn’t really thought of anyone from high school in years. The girl who’d followed her around with worshipful eyes at every after-party. The girl for whom she’d felt such compassion, seeing how she was tossed about and mistreated by the other girls. But they’d never been friends, had they? You wouldn’t know it by the way Liz was forcefully pulling her into a hug.
“Liz, it’s nice to see you again.” They chatted briefly on the street. Marley gave her the Cliffs Notes update on her life, leaving out the darker parts. Liz told her about her life back in their hometown, her job at the hospital, her little cottage walking distance from the town square. They quickly ran out of things to talk about and reached an awkward silence. Marley shifted her feet uncomfortably as Liz stared her down with those same moony eyes, just like high school, a girl hoping to be invited.
“Would you like to come up?” Marley asked, not believing the words as she said them. Liz nodded, her eyes brightening as she followed her into the lobby.
They’d have a cup of tea and then she’d say she was exhausted from her travels and needed to rest. Liz would understand. Shy, sweet little Liz from high school. She was harmless, right?
Read Part 4 – Caught