Short Story – Watching

Friday, May 22

Her luscious lips, her wavy hair, the way she squeaked when she fell. Immediately, at that moment, he knew he would do anything she asked him. Anything.

Bending over to offer a hand, James also caught a smell apple cobbler. That sweet perfume made her smell as good as he assumed she must taste. His eyes closed as breathed it in. So beautiful. So utterly beautiful.

“Do you need help getting up,” James said clearly, in a voice as masculine as he could muster.

“Oh no, I’m fine,” she replied, pushing herself up by her own hands. “Thanks though” she said as she walked away.

Anything. James would do absolutely anything for this girl…and he didn’t even know her name. As he watched her fade out of his life, he knew he had to see more of her; get her to pay attention to him for more than a second. She couldn’t just walk out the doors of that supermarket forever; he wouldn’t lose her, no way.

Briskly, James walked over to the doors looking for that pink and white striped top that symbolized everything he’d ever wanted in a woman.

There! Over by the shopping cart return was a blue Honda Civic…her blue Honda Civic! She got in and drove off.

Forgetting what he had come to the store for, James also drove off; not in the same direction of the plush lipped girl, but he was certainly cognizant of which direction she had driven. He couldn’t get her out of his mind, he couldn’t get the smell out of his nostrils, and most importantly, he couldn’t get on with his own life unless he saw her again. It was love at first sight…and like any man worthy of such love, He was willing to fight for it.


Friday, May 29

James sat nervously in the parking lot. He wasn’t sure why he was doing this, or if he even had the guts to try and speak to her, but he also didn’t care. He didn’t care about why or how; he just cared about the what…his love.

He’d calculated it, considered it, analyzed it. In the week that had passed, he thought about probabilities. He thought about the greatest likelihood that he may see her again, based on her schedule; if she worked that is.

See, if she worked, then there would be certain times that she could and could not come to the grocery store. Surely, she had to work, because it looked like she owned the car. If she owned the car, she had to pay for the car itself, for car insurance, and of course, for gas. And if she had to pay for gas, as expensive as that was to fill up once a week, then she certainly had a job.

If she had a job, James thought, then she probably had her own apartment too. After all, she didn’t look like she was young enough to be in high school, and she might have even graduated college. Not to mention, there is no way a classy girl like that would still live with her folks.

There was another reason he thought she would come back though. She was shopping for herself. When James lived at home, his parents did his shopping. This girl, however, this luscious lipped girl did her own shopping with her own list at that! And the majority of households in America, he supposed, only shopped enough for one week. Then they would come back. Then she would come back.

So, based on all these suppositions, James waited. He waited for her to fill up her fridge, and as he waited, he imagined himself sweeping her away, or protecting her from a bully, or taking her to a movie. James imagined their first kiss, his lips firmly planted on hers…long nights of staying awake, looking into each others eyes, loving each other.

Time passed though and her car didn’t show up. James was wrong. Somehow, he had missed her.


Saturday, May 30

He was back at the supermarket waiting in his car. James knew she would come and wondered if she had thought about him any since last week. She had to refill her food, she had to!

Hours went by, hours that felt like days. James was tired of imagining the things they would do together as he sat there, in his hot car, in a slump of depression. Just then, he saw it. The blue Civic!

His heart jumped with excitement. This was his chance. Nervously, he sprayed a Listerine cool mint pack into his mouth. His eyes watered from the sharp sting of the mint as it doused his tongue. He watched; not sure yet as to the time to strike.

James’ mind raced as she got out of her car. He watched the wavy blond hair that fluffed in the breeze. It was so light it almost floated off her shoulders as she walked. He watched her pucker those red lips; glossy and plump. As James watched, he closed his eyes and licked his own lips, imagining them locked in hers.

As she passed his car, he ducked down. Not because he was scared she might see him and think he was odd for watching her. Girls like that are surely watched all the time and are definitely used to it. He ducked down because he had to make it look like they bumped into each other again out of sheer coincidence. It had to be fate.

His heart fluttered as she passed by and into the store. He could almost smell the apple cobbler on her neck and the strawberry kiwi on her lips. He closed his eyes again.

“This is it, James.” He told himself. “This is it.”

But this wasn’t it. In fact, James didn’t even get out of the car. He was too intimidated by her looks, too frozen in fear by her confident demeanor. And look at him, he was a sweaty palmed loser. He could never get a girl like that…not with her at her best. James decided he would have to bring her down a notch. He would have to break that independence, that confidence, that higher than thou attitude he was so certain she had.

James would have to think some more; strategize some more. After all, he was most certainly smarter than her. A girl like that probably had no common sense at all; certainly no street smarts. A girl like that was used to things being handed to her. James knew how he would rip her confidence away. All he needed was a plan. First though, he was going to have to find out where she lived.


Wednesday, June 3

Following her car home last week was the best thing that had ever happened to him. James got a whole new perspective on the situation after spending a couple of late nights with her. In fact, James was so happy about the current situation, he had brought a gift to give her on this particular night.

But first, he went over all the facts to make sure he wasn’t missing anything: Amy left for work every morning (or at least the past three mornings) at 6 am. She got home from work, because of rush hour, at 7 pm. From what James could tell, working and shopping for groceries consumed Amy’s life. She didn’t even have a boyfriend; or none that he gathered based on her mail (which came promptly at 3 pm daily).

He was most pleased in his detective skills. Going through her mail gave him information on her name, hobbies, and financial situation. He went through her garbage to find out what she eats and buys. And finally, he did an excellent job watching without being noticed. It was his low profile, he surmised, that had gotten him so far in the first place.

“Oh man, will she love this gift,” James thought, staring into his lap. “I can’t wait to see the look on her face when she gets home today,”

He had found her, based on the cues he had gotten from her mail of course, a genuine cow skull. It was perfect. She received a lot of letters from her parents in Texas so she must be home sick. She often times wore cowgirl boots to work, and, most importantly, she had an orange Texas Longhorns bumper sticker.

The best part was the skull was completely free! He had found it in a meadow somewhere on Monday night, and after a little cleaning, it was good as new. Surely, she would appreciate the work he put into it.

After putting it by the door, he thought it best to not wait around for her to get home; instead he decided he would approach her some time later to claim his work. Maybe he would give her several more presents first. Maybe, just maybe.


Saturday, June 6

Sitting at the grocery store, he waited. Any minute now Amy would be pulling up in her blue Honda Civic with her blonde hair and her plush lips. James had dreamt about her again last night. Unlike the last two nights, however, this time his dream was worse…nightmarishly worse. They wouldn’t be together like he had hoped they could be. They would never be together. Amy had failed to recognize James and his undying passion for her. Amy was never going to recognize James, and unless he did something drastic, unless he did something completely out of this world, James would never be recognized by anyone ever again.

That’s what the dream had told him and in doing so, he realized he was a failure. But the dream also gave him hope. There was only one way a guy like himself could ever be recognized in this world or given any credit for his already pathetic life. James would have to kidnap and kill on Amy Lee. He’d be an instant star and forever famous. Women everywhere would know his name, they’d certainly look out for him, they’d give him respect! RESPECT. That’s what he wanted most.

So he waited. He waited in his car for the girl on the schedule that he knew so well. He waited for her to pull up. She always parked in the back…so another guy wouldn’t scratch her car. She thought she was better than everyone else, but this, this act of predictability that you could set your watch to was going to be her downfall. As she parked, James would simply speed up to her car, jump out his door, spray her with mace, throw her into his back seat and drive off.

Simple as that. Nothing to it.

He played nervously with the safety of the Interceptor mace bottle; waiting. Then he saw it. Her blue Civic was right on time. His eyes lit up as they had when he saw it the very first day, as if he was seeing it at first all over again…this time though, his eyes were opened, and he was much smarter. He was a hunter now, and he felt the empowered rush of adrenaline surge through his body. Finally, he wasn’t the victim anymore. James unbuckled his seat belt. Ready to pounce.

She’s out of her car. He romped on the accelerator. He only had seconds before his window of opportunity might close. It was timed perfectly. James raced between parking spaces. Illegally he swerved in and out of traffic lanes. 50 meters to his target. 40 meters. The speedometer read 30 in the crowded Saturday morning parking lot. 20 meters. He was close. His fingers gripped the steering wheel. His mind focused, honing his eyes in on the target, in on the goal. His head steady, watching Amy as she carelessly locked her doors.


Crunch! Perhaps he was too focused.


As Amy heard the noise, she jumped back behind her own car. Smoke and glass shattered all around her.

“Oh my god,” cried a man.

Amy could hear gasps as she looked through the smoke. There was a car accident. But who? Smoke cleared and a single body lay ejected from his windshield in the street beyond.

“He was driving like a mad man,” exclaimed another, in shock.

Amy didn’t want to see anymore. The scene was filling up fast, pedestrians all around, and all she wanted was to get the image of the pour soul laying on the concrete out of her mind. Amy Lee got in the car and left.

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