A virtual stranger in London, serial-killer, Raymond Lang. is delighted when he bumps into someone from his own country.
Cindy has a pleasant, innocent smile which seems to constantly light up her face, so much so, I have trouble looking at her gorgeous blue eyes as we talk because I‘m constantly drawn to her smile.
“So, what brings you to London from Tennessee?
“Work!” she replies, rolling her eyes as she pulls her hair back, exposing her soft pink neck. “I work for a small IT firm in Knoxville which was purchased by another firm based here in London. They flew a bunch of us over here to train us on ‘their way of doing things’. It’s so mundane; we do things almost exactly like they do. I guess they like hearing their own voices or something. Oh well, at least I get to see London finally and I’m getting paid to do it.”
“I never would have guessed you were the nerdy type. Where are your glasses and pocket protector?”
Cindy smiles while rolling her eyes. “I wear contacts, and ink pens are so last millennium! Besides, doesn’t a thirty-five-year-old woman wearing this T-shirt scream nerd?”
“First off, wow, thirty-five? I thought you looked twenty-five at the oldest; and secondly, no, if your T-shirt makes you a nerd, then I’d be a nerd myself, and I’m not a nerd!” I laugh then and Cindy laughs too.
“You sir, are full of shit but thank you, nonetheless, on the compliment about my age and yes, you are a nerd!” She takes a sip of her drink, scrunching her nose as it burns her tongue. “So what brings you to London?”
I point at my laptop and respond with a sheepish grin, “I came here to write. The story in the book I’m working on is based in London, so I came here to get some authentic inspiration from the city and its people.”
“So you’re an author? How many books have you written?”
“Actually, this is my first. The first of many, I hope.”
“That’s so neat! When you’re a bestselling author, I can tell all my friends I had coffee with you when you were still starting out.”
“I don’t know if I’ll ever be famous but, hopefully, I can get published some day.”
“Well, I’ll still be able to say I knew you when,” Cindy says checking her watch. “Oh crap, I’m going to be so very late! I was to meet a co-worker five minutes ago, to go sightseeing.” She rises from her seat.
“Well, it was great meeting you, Cindy from Tennessee. I hope you enjoy your sightseeing.”
Cindy, about to give a similar goodbye response pauses. Instead, she says, “I really don’t ever do this… but would you like to come to my hotel room for supper tonight? I have one of those rooms with a small kitchenette and was planning on making spaghetti and meatballs. There would be enough for two if you’d like to join me. I’m so used to cooking for myself and my grandma; I usually forget to cut back when I’m buying for just me.”
I give away my eagerness in the speed of my reply, “I’d love to!”
On a napkin, she writes details of where she’s staying. Then, as an afterthought, blushes and adds her cell number before handing it to me. “I put my number on there just in case something changes and you need it later.”
“Thank you, when would you like me there?”
“Sorry, let’s say around six?”
“Six it is.”
“I’ll see you then!” Cindy makes a hasty retreat to the door, giving a hurried wave as she steps outside.
I watch her leave and immediately she’s gone, I think of her invite and how it’s planted the seeds of doubt in the opinion I’d initially formed about her. She’s not as innocent as she first seems. Her offer is a little too forward for my taste, more the actions of a woman with loose morals. It’s always the same, just as I begin to think there’s a woman I can respect, she shows herself to be just like all the others. Knowing what I must do now, I begin to plan my night with her.
The timing of Cindy coming into the picture couldn’t have been more perfect. At least, if all goes well, I’ll be writing at full speed again by morning. The way I have it figured, all I need do is slip quietly into her room, hack her sexy, little body up and slip quietly back out. Her throat begged for my knife to lay it open. Her crimson blood would flow nicely down her milky-white chest. I can already see her laying there, her mouth twisted in pain. Her mouth… her smile… I can’t get it out of my mind.
I open my laptop to try and write again, but all I can see in front of me is her smile—her innocent, sweet smile. Maybe I have her all wrong; she may be different from the others after all. I stare at the screen for several more minutes, but her perfume still lingers and I can’t focus on the screen at all I can’t seem to make my mind up about her, don’t trust my own judgment. I tell myself I need this, I need to draw blood once more, and this couldn’t be more perfect.
I make up my mind, Cindy will die tonight… I will go through with this! Heaviness settles into my heart as I think about her smile again and how she must take care of her grandma. What if she’s telling the truth about that; it might not be a ruse to get me alone with her.
I’m struggling on the inside. Valerie, Tammy, Claudia, well, Claudia’s mom, and Amy were all motivated by anger, I have none towards Cindy, I don’t know how I could ever kill someone so sweet. Is she really as sweet as she seems though? She is, after all, a woman and women can’t be trusted. I bet if I push her, I’ll see her evil side. Then I’ll be doing the world a favor. All women have an evil side; the sweet side is just to draw men into their trap so they can spend the rest of their lives torturing those men. Why would Cindy be any different?
How hard could it be to draw the evil side into the light? I could use supper tonight as an opportunity to draw out Cindy’s evil side. Then I’d have no problem killing her. What if she’s real though? What if I can’t draw her out? What if there’s nothing to draw out? Is that even possible?
I close my laptop and unplug it before heading to the car. As I step outside, a happy young couple passes by and I think about being part of a couple. That could be Cindy and me. If there’s no evil to be found, I’ll follow her back to Tennessee; we’ll date, fall in love and get married. I’ve always wanted to be part of a couple and marry.
I set my laptop in the back seat and climb behind the wheel. My mind’s made up, I’m going to meet her for supper with an open mind and see what materializes. I haven’t felt this happy, this normal, in a long time. I don’t want to lose this feeling but, deep down, I know our meeting tonight would soon bring an end to it. I can’t help it! I know what I am and I know I’m no good—damaged goods. I’ll only bring pain and misery to her…