Rocking of the train wakes me, my world is a blur when I open my eyes. It takes me a minute to shake off the dizziness and the sleepiness, hair falling over my face and covering my eyes. I sit upright in my seat and look out the window. I find the world of rain outside the train, the window glass blurred from the droplets that either slide down or are carried off by the wind. My eyes scan the vast valleys and trees that the train passes by, the gray clouds casting a scary shadow. Nonetheless, the scenery is very beautiful, making my lips twitch up in a small, barely noticeable smile. Judging by the mountains that slowly disappear from my view, I conclude that the town I am headed to is near.
Sounds of people whispering could be heard through the train, their hushed voices creating a low murmur. I look away from the window, now staring off at the long hallway and rows of seats with people calmly making themselves even more comfortable. Some are asleep, some are talking to their fellow passenger, while some simply nod their heads to chase away the sleepy cloud around them.
The darkness from the outside world also envelops the inside of the train. Lights on the top of the ceiling are dimmed and along with the moonlight they make soft contours of shadows from the figures of people. Everything is so calming and quiet, the right time to be asleep for hours.
I look at my wristwatch and see that it's almost 9 o'clock in the evening. Sighing inwardly, I rub my eyes slightly then lean back in the comfortable seat.
I slept for 4 hours. Suppose I'll be arriving soon.
I glance through the window again, only to see that the rain is pouring down really hard and thus making the view blocked from the intensity. Despite the atmosphere, the weather is horrible and I can only hope that, in the little time that I have to arrive at the train station, the rain will stop.
Guessing that I have about half an hour before arrival, I take my book out of my bag. For the time to pass quickly, it's best that I keep myself occupied as much as I can. Unintentionally, I steal a glance at the seat on the right side across from me. A man in long dark coat is sitting with arms crossed over his chest, his head slightly lowered. Strangely enough, even though it was warm in here the man was wearing all his clothes. I check the seat next to him and the upper part of the train where you can leave your things, finding nothing that seemed to belong to him. He had no bags, no luggage, nothing. My eyes travel to him again and finally I feel how his eyes are boring into my skin. He is watching me like a hawk over his pray, observing my every movement. Thankfully for the dimmed light that was right over his head, I can see how his eyes are moving over my whole form. The unfamiliar feeling of uneasiness washes over me, my skin slightly prickling. It’s that moment where you don’t know whether you are simply scared or want to let your insides turn upside down. Shifting in my seat, I open the book on the marked page and my eyes sweep over the letters printed in black ink.
But I'm not reading.
I can't leave out the feeling of the man's gaze, his narrowed eyes and the burning stare. It's making me more uncomfortable as the minutes pass, my shifting gives me away as I’m unable to sit still. I glance at my wristwatch, realizing that only 5 minutes have passed. The time passes so slowly when you needed it, but the scary part is that I felt as if the walls of the train were closing in on me.
I slowly raise my head, pretending to look outside before turning my head towards the man.
Our eyes lock.
As though I have caught him stealing, the man's eyes widen before he looks away in a hurry. I would have laughed at that, had I not been feeling as if my privacy was invaded. I take the chance to observe the man's features. His jaw is strong, with the slightly cubic face and beard old a couple of days. I can see that he is well built, probably from exercising, his legs are long and his thigh is probably the size of the two of mine. The dark shirt under the coat outlines his muscles in the dim light of the moon. He's probably in his late forties, with dark hair and dark piercing eyes. I would almost say that death was staring right at me. His clothing choice probably wasn’t the best, but it somehow reminded me of a father who has long days at work and a family that always warmly welcomes him home. Just, the fact that he was actually acting like a real stalker made that thought perish, shatter into million pieces and once again I felt dreadfulness seep in.
The sound of train horn jerks me from my observation. I quickly put the book in my bag and put on my jacket, standing up to exit the transportation vehicle. It all happened in a few seconds, in which I scrambled to get away from the ere feeling.
The town’s train station is in my sight, the street lights allowing me to see almost every detail. Screeching noise of brakes fill my ears and I jerk forward as the train slows down. Passengers are slowly getting up, some coming to stand beside me. The train stops and the doors open and people start pushing through, pulling me with them. My face has the expression of a struggle as I try to pass through without falling to the ground, pulling my bag only to be pushed or showed back in.
With the final pull, I see the man walking towards me and the crowd. His eyes lock with mine again and he cracks a smile that makes me cringe from uneasiness. In the next second I was outside in the cold air, with small droplets of rain falling onto me. My whole being shuddered at the image of the smile and I hugged myself with a frown. My thoughts go back to the beginning of my trip here and I realize that the man wasn’t there when I boarded the train. But he was there before I fell asleep.
Has he been watching me this whole time?
After pondering on that thought for a few minutes, I finally picked up my luggage from the train’s trunk and made my way to the first cab I could see.
Five and half hours of ride made my legs go numb, which makes me slightly wonder why I even accepted the job at such a faraway town. I'm supposed to babysit a boy, who is a son of this town's most respected gentleman. He is a billionaire that has a spoiled brat in his home. So he decided to take a break and torture a poor soul for two months. That was what I understood from the brief explanation of the man that approached me in my previous workplace. The pay is good so I didn't protest much and I considered the opportunity of going somewhere else, other than being stuck in the small, suffocating city for the rest of my life.
The man who had actually approached me didn’t have the standards to be the well known Billionaire, but more of a servant who did all the dirty work for him. That was also one of the things I was hesitant about when accepting the offer.
Subconsciously, while I was thinking, I was checking out the streets we passed through. It's a typical modern town, with streets buzzing even at this hour. Mostly youngsters my age or below. When I heard the name I was surprised that it even existed. It's pretty much between mountains, hidden from the rest of the world. Almost like a village.
The cab stops in front of a big gate, which reminded me that of a castle's. It leads to a courtyard and then to a big, two story house. I blink a couple of times, trying to process the size and beauty of the place.
I pay the man and exit the car before taking my luggage out of the trunk. Coming up to the gate, I press the button on one side that I guessed would be the bell. From what I could see, the yard was beautifully decorated that I was almost afraid to pass through it. Although, the roses were dead at this time of year, it was definitely a fascinating sight and a pleasing aesthetic to the eye. I peek through the gate some more, trying to see behind the bushes. Everything seemed as if it took a lot of time to be perfectly planned out and perfectly dibbled. The house, on the other hand, was a light, neutral color that would definitely fit into the surroundings. Two story and mostly reminding of the architectural style of renaissance, contrasting the modern floral design of the courtyard. The lot was a bit secluded from other houses, possibly because the man was too egoistic or too paranoid to be living with other citizens of this city.
Loud noise catches my attention, breaking me from the observant trance, and I turn around to look behind. Two cats are at each other’s throats, but what diverted my attention from them was the dark figure standing at the corner of the street. Breath catches in my throat and I suppress the urge to jump over the gate. The same man from the train is standing in the shadows looking straight into my eyes with the same crooked smile. I shudder and a small pang of fear washes over me. It’s as if someone splashed me with cold water to wake me up. He looked, now even more, like a serial killer that is silently yet creepily studying his next victim. But the question, filled with undying fear, was screaming in my head.
How the hell did he follow me here?
I ask myself, my hands starting to sweat from the rising nervousness. One car blocked my view for a second and in the next I see the man taking long strides towards me. My eyes widen, fear rooting me to my spot and all I could do was scream inside my head.
Oh, please open the gate.
He is halfway in crossing the road, when a loud screech of rusty gate is heard behind me. I jump at the sudden noise and turn around, finding a middle aged woman dressed in maid's outfit standing straight with a friendly smile. A sigh of relief escapes me and my tense muscles relax. I look back, only to see that the man is now gone. Vanished into thin air to leave me with the hallowing feeling in my stomach. Swallowing dryly, I tell myself that I could have imagined him, but that flies out of my mind when I remember the ugly smile. It was unlikely I had that much of an imagination, and even more so, that I could rationalize those thoughts. I was definitely being stalked from the moment I entered the train.
"Miss, is everything alright?"
The maid asks in a gentle voice.
"Are you Miss Anna Right?"
She asks again, her hand coming out to touch my forearm.
"Y-Yes I am."
I struggle to find my voice, swallowing again when I feel my throat go dry. This was the first time I had felt like this and not even the countless horror movies could have prepared me for this.
"Please, come in. We have been expecting your arrival."
I go through the gate with the last glance at the street and the feeling of those dark eyes boring into my blue ones.