Cindy Beitinger Cindy Beitinger
Recommendations: 37

"He had so little time but things were finally getting better now that(the/that) woman was out of the picture."

Cindy Beitinger Cindy Beitinger
Recommendations: 37

Do you mean wondered or wandered?

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Wendy Smith Wendy Smith
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An Unhealthy Obsession


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She had a friend.

Creative piece for Uni assignment - does it make sense?


An unhealthy Obsession
2 year earlier….


They had agreed to meet, midday, Holland Park and Sarah was excited.  Their first date had been brilliant even though she arrived late and slightly tipsy.  Her nerves had got the better of her.  She had been sure he wouldn’t turn up but as she walked to the back of the crowded pub, searching, there he was pint in hand, grinning at her.  God he was gorgeous.

The sun shone and the park was busy with people enjoying the unexpected heat.  A young boy jumped on the stepping stones singing to himself as he hopped from rock to rock.   As they strolled hand in hand chatting she felt Ryan’s body tense and he pulled her, forcing her to walk faster, his fingers squeezed tight around her hand.  They passed a young woman, pale legs stretched out, head leaning back against a rock, eyes shut against the bright light.   A notebook lay next to her, Amanda Moody scrawled across the front.  Sarah paused, the surname familiar.  Ryan dragged her on as she started to protest.


“Dad, Dad it’s you”. It was the little boy.  


He threw himself at Ryan, arms wound tight around his legs.  Their hands pulled apart abruptly and there in front of them was the young woman.  Her summer dress floated softly around her slight frame as she held out her hand.


“Hi I’m Amanda, Ryan’s wife”


Sarah gasped with horror.

Ryan spluttered “For fuck sake Amanda we’re practically divorced!”
?   ?   ?
Present


Sarah always walked through the cemetery on her way home.  The peace and quiet after the bustle and noise of her journey calmed her.  For a place full of dead people it felt alive, the birds and other creatures busy.  As she walked amongst the graves she imagined the lives of the people buried deep below.  She felt their presence.


What were they like?  What lives did they lead?  Today, it felt eerily quiet.
It was almost dusk as the light began to fade, Sarah shivered, her spine tensed and her heart pounded.  What was wrong with her, she was being bloody stupid.  A whoosh of icy air seemed to push through her body, her balance lost as she lurched forward on to her knees.
Behind her she sensed movement by one of the tall Gothic graves, she shot to her feet and spun round, her bag fell to the ground, a blackbird, beak yellow against the darkening sky, took flight, she jumped, her heart felt crushed inside her chest.
“Who’s there?”
The graveyard sparked into life, birds twittered madly and a pair of rooks cackled hysterically, the air seemed to crackle and hiss with tension.  Sarah grabbed her fallen bag and ran.
She paused to take a breath, the hammering in her chest eased.  As she fumbled for her keys, her mobile vibrated against her hand, as it started ringing making her jump.


“Hello” she almost screamed hysterically.
“Sarah, what’s wrong?” It was Ryan.  
“Nothing, just me being silly, I had that feeling again, like I was being followed, freaked me out, I know, stupid, anyway what time are we meeting tomorrow?”


She felt calmer after the call and glanced behind her as she opened the door to her flat.  She felt sure she was followed but couldn’t see anyone.  She entered the communal hallway of the tall Victorian terrace.  A cloying smell of perfume hit her senses, which was strange.  Tom on the ground floor was away and she was sure the couple on the top floor were still at work.  She made her way up the curved stairs to the next floor and gasped, the door to her flat was open.  Cautiously she pushed it.
“Is anyone there?” Her voice shook.  
That same perfume, the smell was in the flat, less intense though as if the person had already left.  


She was still jittery the next morning, as she searched for her favourite scarf, it wasn’t there in its usual place on the coat rack next to the door.  Never mind, she was looking forward to a day shopping and would forget this nonsense.   Buy something new to wear for her night out that evening with Ryan.  He had so little time but things were finally getting better now that woman was out of the picture.  The constant harassment, the switch between abusive then silent phone calls, Amanda had been persistent.  Ryan said he would deal with it. 1 comment


In her favourite shop she tried on a scarf and admired her reflection in the mirror.  She felt it again, like she was being watched. She wondered what was wrong with her.
Through the corner of her eye she caught a flash of vivid blue.
She looked up and just for a flash Amanda was reflected in the mirror, her hair cropped short so like her own.  Shocked with horror she twisted round, just shoppers.  Amanda if she had been there had gone.  A subtle smell of perfume lingered.


“Amanda was here in the shop watching me, I’m positive it was her!”
“Sarah calm down, it couldn’t have been Amanda, you know that.”


Sarah stood shaken outside the shop, her thoughts frantic, it all came rushing back, the fear and paranoia from those early days, the bitter taste of jealousy.  Amanda had been so persistent, she’d turn up unexpectedly. Sarah often wondered how she knew where they would be, it was like she watched their every move - drunken, obsessive and abusive.  Nights out ruined by her own insecurities caused by her boyfriend’s beautiful ex-wife.  Ryan reassured her that their marriage had been over well before they’d met.  Amanda was mad, psychotic, surely her behavior proved that.  But it got progressively worse especially when Jacob kept calling her at home, asking for his dad, how did that mad bitch get her number?  The times Amanda had screamed down the phone calling her a liar when she said Ryan wasn’t there.  It had turned her into a nervous wreck, no wonder she was on edge. 1 comment


She couldn’t stop crying, her evening with Ryan had ended badly.  Her thoughts went back to what he had said.  Her obsession with Amanda was unhealthy. It had taken over her life.  He couldn’t stand it. His priority had to be Jacob.  The woman was dead. Jacob’s mother was dead. Let it go.
She realised that even in death Amanda had taken over her life.  The look on her face, the fear, was imprinted on her brain, haunted her. What had possessed her?  
------
Her mind went back to that day.  She couldn’t help herself.  She was on her way to work.  The tube station as always was packed.  She had paused at the top of the stairs viewing the masses of people on the crowded platform.  And there she was.  That bloody scarf bright blue against the sombre black and grey of the business suits around her.  Why wouldn’t she leave them alone?
Ryan had tried to reassure her.  He couldn’t understand what was wrong with Amanda.  Their separation had been amicable, they had Jacob to consider.  This obsessive and abusive behaviour was so out of character.  It was not the Amanda he knew.  He claimed when he met with her, she seemed bemused, bewildered even by his accusations.
  
As she struggled towards Amanda, she felt vulnerable, her slight frame pushed and lifted as the train moved into the station.  The crowd moved as one towards the edge.  And there in front of her was Amanda. As the train pulled in the throng pushed forward desperate. Amanda, as if she sensed her presence, turned towards her and Sarah instinctively pushed her arms forward. The crowd enclosed her. The look of horror on Amanda’s face as she lost her balance would be imprinted on her brain forever.  The train screeched in, her screams lost to its noise.  The crowd en-masse bellowing in horror at what they’d witnessed.


TRAGEDY ON THE NORTHERN LINE by Barry James                        21st November 2010
Concerns about safety on the city’s tube system were bought to the fore yesterday, when a young women died tragically after she lost her balance on the overcrowded platform.  Witnesses claim, the single mother of one, Amanda Moody, was pushed forward by the throng of people as they moved towards the edge of the platform just as the tube train entered the station … It is unclear and out of character as to why she was on the platform at that time of day … Her ex-husband Ryan Moody spoke of her dedication and love for their 7 year old son Jacob … The city’s mayor has called for a full inquiry into safety measures and the problem of overcrowding on the ageing network.


Sarah had never told Ryan that she had been on the platform. His time was taken up now with Jacob. The first few weeks were hell. She was tormented with the image of Amanda, the panic on her face, her scarf floating as if in slow motion.  And now that constant feeling of being followed, the smell of her perfume and the flashes of blue.  She was going mad, retribution for her part in this nightmare.
?   ?   ?
Sarah wandered aimlessly through the grave yard.  Ryan was still refusing to meet.  One year later Jacob was still struggling to sleep, desperate for his mum.  He had to be there for him.  Sarah and her paranoia hadn’t helped.  Her mind flashed constantly back to that day, that image.  The air was cold as she pulled her coat tight around her.  She shivered.  The grave yard was bleak but beautiful, frost had turned it white. The bare trees whispered in the wind.  A robin hopped between the graves, searching for food.  She was drawn towards Amanda’s grave.  A helium balloon, deflating bobbed in the wind.  Mummy I love you. The bright flowers placed the day before, tinged with brown, petals shriveled against the bitterness, an anomaly against the stark shiny blackness of the new marble, itself odd alongside the worn old stone of the graves nearby.  Someone had placed a single white rose against the stone, smooth velvety petals, pure and yet unblemished from the cold. 2 comments


Amanda Jane Moody
Beloved mother, daughter and sister
Died accidentally
Gone too soon, rest in peace
21 November 1981 – 20 November 2010


As she read the inscription she realized that today Amanda would have been thirty.  Funny she hadn’t known anything about her.  She stood there shivering, her thoughts once again on that day.  She felt the roughness of Amanda’s coat beneath


her fingers.  She was glad she was gone.  Ryan would come round in time.  


It was an accident.


She had spoken out loud.  


“Was it?”


Startled her body tensed with fear, then recognition.   That voice, familiar, harsh, mad, Amanda?  Perfume sickly sweet.  She turned to face her nightmare.  


“Amanda?”


That face familiar but not quite, harder, thinner, filled with hate.  Who was this? Her eyes were drawn to the bright blue scarf whipping in the wind.  An arm raised above her, then blackness.


She sighed and shook her head.


“No, I’m Abigail.  You killed my twin sister.”


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