#Chapter 68: Intruder
“Of course I believe you, Nina.”
Relief flooded through me at Enzo’s words. “Thank you,” I whispered, looking down at the table.
Enzo wasted no time in getting to work. He opened his laptop and started scouring all of the Twitter threads that contained pictures of me, scanning through them until he had a list compiled of some of his biggest — and most angry — fans.
“Do any of these people look familiar to you?” he asked, turning the laptop toward me I furrowed my brow as I looked through the list then shook my head, handing him back his laptop.
“Not really,” I replied, “but I also haven’t seen the stalker. I know they were right next to me on multiple occasions, but I never saw them
“What about someone else?” Enzo asked “Like James. Or even Lisa. Those pictures taken from the quad the other day when Lisa threw her coffee on you were taken from relatively close range Maybe someone else saw.”
“I could ask James,” I replied. “I don’t think Lisa would even talk to me, let alone tell me the truth.”
Enzo nodded and shut his laptop. stuffing it back into his backpack.” That’s alright,” he said. “I’ll talk to her You go talk to James.” He stood, slinging his backpack over his shoulder, then started to head for the exit.
I found James in Tiffany’s office later that day, poring over paperwork. He was slightly upset that I had just run away from him the day before, but was understanding of the situation and
even more concerned when I told him
about the stalker “I haven’t seen anyone,” he said, his eyes wide after I told him about the
stalker. “Did you go to the police?”
I nodded. “I went this morning.” I replied. “The stalker somehow erased all of the evidence. They even stole the letter out of my bag. So, naturally, the police didn’t believe me.”
“Well, I’ll keep an eye out,” he said, standing from the table. “Let me know if you get any more letters or anything.
I nodded, feeling defeated as I walked out of Tiffany’s office The sun was already going down, which only added to the feeling of being watched.
When I arrived at home, Jessica and Lori were sitting on the couch. Both of them were visibly shaken.
“Did you go to the police? Jessica asked, jumping up from the couch as soon as I entered.
I nodded. “They didn’t believe me. The stalker somehow destroyed the evidence.”
Jessica immediately burst into tears. Lori jumped up and wrapped her arms. around Jessica, pulling her into a hug and narrowing her eyes at me over Jessica’s shoulder.
“Did something else happen?” I asked, my heart racing.
Jessica pulled away from Lori and nodded, wiping her tears with her sleeve “I was walking home from the dining hall earlier and saw something move in the bushes,” she said between sobs.
My eyes widened and I stepped closer to her “Did you see them? What did they look like?” Lasked.
Lori stepped in front of Jessica, whose sobs got even louder, and shielded her from me with an angry look in her eyes. “She didn’t see anything because she was so terrified she ran straight home,” she growled.
Sighing, I stepped back, walking to my door with my fists clenched. I put my hand on the doorknob, Lori calling after me before I went inside.
“This is all your fault for messing around with Enzo, you know,” she said. “Do the right thing and cut him off before this psycho does something really horrible to one of us.”
Lori’s words stung Of all people, I had expected my friends to be supportive through this entire thing, not accuse me of starting the problem. None of this was my fault!
I dug my nails into my palm and, without a word, went into my bedroom and slammed the door behind me. The
sound of Jessica’s sobs in the other room intensified, I heard Lori shushing her, followed by the sound of the sobs fading and the sound of Jessica’s
bedroom door closing and locking.
Cursing to myself, I paced back and forth across my room. I clenched and unclenched my fists as I waited with bated breath for a phone call from Enzo.
As I paced, however, I noticed something two things, really.
It started with the feeling of the cold autumn breeze on my cheek, blowing through my window. I stopped in my tracks and narrowed my eyes as I slowly turned to face the window.
“I know that window was closed,” I said aloud to myself, stepping warily toward it as the blinds rattled in the breeze My heart was practically pounding out of my chest. Horrible images of a crazed killer sitting in the tree outside my window flashed through my mind… Or perhaps they were hiding in my closet, or under my bed…
I whirled around toward the source of the male voice behind me, a scream catching in my throat as I felt my fight or flight kick in.
That feeling quickly faded when I saw
that it was Enzo standing there
“What the fuck?!” I half-shouted, half- whispered as I stormed toward him. I slapped his arm, which didn’t even make him flinch.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I guess 1 should’ve warned you before I teleported in here. I just thought it would be better if no one saw me come here”
“So, was that you who left my window open?” I asked.
Enzo’s eyebrows knit together. “No,” he replied. “Why? Was your window not open last time you were here?”
I shook my head vigorously and watched as Enzo stormed over to the window, pulling up the blinds and peering out. He stared out into the darkness for what felt like an eternity before turning around and walking over to me.
“I talked to Lisa,” he said, standing close enough to me that I could feel the warmth emanating from his body. “It wasn’t her She has no idea who’s been taking all of these pictures.”
“Really?” I asked. “Are you sure?”
Enzo nodded. “I know Lisa. She may be a raging bitch, but she’s a surprisingly horrible liar.”
I bit my lip, staring down at the ground as a million things raced through my mind. Tears started to well up in my eyes as I considered the possibility that it might be best to do what Lori suggested and just cut Enzo out of my life, once and for all, just like the stalker said in their letter, things would only get worse if I continued seeing him.
“Don’t worry, Nina,” Enzo said, pulling me into a tight hug. “We’ll find this stalker.”