Someone Unexpected

By: Ashley Blake

Chapter One – The Dream

Okay, this is weird, everything seems too perfect. I was walking home through the park and something was different but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. The air was fresher than I had ever remembered, the grass was a beautiful bright green, the flowers were more vibrant and beautiful than the prettiest picture I had ever seen, and as I looked at the people around me everyone seemed to be happy and had a smile on their face. Could this day be any more perfect? I felt really happy as I walked toward my building and I couldn't quite tell why I was in such a good mood, but I felt a huge sense of peace and happiness all around me.

A couple was walking toward me and from a distance they looked so happy together. He had his arm draped over her shoulder and her head was lying on his shoulder, her arm around him. That’s so sweet, I can’t wait to have that with someone. I had a smile on my face as they got closer and it slowly turned to a frown when I saw her battered face and the look of fear in her eyes. He had a strong hold on her and a sinister look on his face. I could tell that she needed help but when I started to say something they disappeared into the trees. Okay, that was weird, what is going on?

As I turned into the vestibule of my building, I reached into my purse for my keys and I felt strong arms grab me as a large hand covered my mouth, snapping me out of my reverie. I tried to scream but my voice was gone.

“I told you I would see you again.” The voice in my ear was deep and familiar as chills of fear enveloped me, and I realized that he had finally found me.

My eyes flew open as I sat up straight in my bed, sweat pouring out of me, my heart banging against my chest cavity. I was completely disoriented for a minute as I looked around my room panting, trying to catch my breath. It took a few seconds for me to realize that I’d had the dream again but I was safe in my apartment. In that moment I wished so badly that my best friend Chloe and I were still roommates, but she had moved in with her boyfriend the month before and I still wasn’t totally used to her being gone. I’ve got to remember to place that ad for a new roommate. I hadn’t had that dream for at least six months and I was so happy about that because I thought the nightmare was finally over, I thought that I had finally broken through the fear. I dragged myself to the kitchen for a cup of coffee as I tried to shake it off. I had to remind myself that he was locked up in prison and he wouldn’t be getting out for at least six more years.

I downed my cup of coffee and shifted my focus to work because it was almost 7:00 and I had to be there at 8:00, so I went to hop in the shower. I was the front desk manager at the Blu Sierra Miami and I had been working there for just about two years. Having recently graduated from college with a double major in hotel management and marketing, I really wanted to own a boutique hotel in South Beach one day. My rise to manager was very fast and the swiftness with which I was promoted was unheard of in the industry. I worked my ass off at that hotel and took every opportunity to showcase my talent. I was currently hoping for another promotion to operations manager any day, so the last thing I needed to do was to be late for work.

The Blu Sierra Miami was the only six star hotel in the United States so we attracted many high end, über wealthy clients every day. When I originally got the call that I landed an interview for the job, I nearly fell off of my chair. I never thought in a million years that I would be able to get a job at such an exclusive hotel, at least not right of college. I graduated at the top of my class so I know that was a huge plus, but I was also a beautiful girl, not just pretty, but strikingly beautiful, so that probably helped too. All my life people told me how beautiful I was and I learned at an early age that boys, and later men, were putty in my hands. I always downplayed my looks because I wanted people to recognize that I was also a smart girl and not just a pretty face. It made me really uncomfortable to get compliments about my looks so I always changed the subject whenever the conversation was heading in that direction.

I put on my standard uniform of an azure blue mini skirt and crisp white blouse and black heels, pulled my long dark hair back into a low ponytail, and headed out the door. I walked in the door of the hotel at exactly 7:48 a.m. so I rushed to put my things away and quickly checked myself in the mirror before casually strolling out to the desk. I didn’t ever want to appear as if I was rushing around employees because I didn’t want to give my boss any kind of reason to question my professionalism.

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