A red maxi dress draped over Lucy’s baby bump and flowed down to the hardwood beneath her bare feet. She stood in the kitchen with her hair half up, half down. A large spoon, covered in whipped cream in one hand, and a bowl filled with a sweet mixture in the other. She smiled with cherry red lips as Luke walked through the back door. The house smelled of grilled salmon and garlic mashed potatoes. Her sensual perfume clung to him as he pulled his beautiful wife in for a kiss. She placed the dessert she was concocting down on the counter, as Luke kissed her neck. He picked her up and sat her down on the edge of the sink; his firm hands slipped under her dress and she moaned. They made love on the kitchen counter, and Lucy looked into Luke’s eyes with intense passion. She remembered looking into his eyes for the first time and knowing it was “him”. Her heart whispered, “Don’t let him get away”.
They sat at the dining room table, enhanced by candle light and bit into a colorful meal. Luke noticed that Lucy looked distracted, but he knew she was also feeling quite exhausted from the pregnancy. She drifted off, falling deep into her own thoughts, before Luke broke her spell.
“Sweetheart, what’s on your mind?” Luke asked.
“I’m worried, Luke. I didn’t want to tell you, because everything has been quiet, but I was shopping with Serena today and something happened,” Lucy began. Luke dropped his fork to the ceramic plate, which created a dramatic noise.
“What happened?” He questioned, sounding tenser than before.
“I bought a dress today, and when I was trying it on in the fitting room I found a message taped to the mirror. It warned me of losing our baby,” Lucy whined.
“Lucy, I don’t want you talking to any of your friends until we figure out who Omisha is,” Luke said with force.
“I know this is terrifying and frustrating, but how can I possibly cut everyone off?” Lucy questioned.
“You answer their calls and texts, but I don’t want you going out with anyone without me there. I’m not going to risk anything happening to you,” Luke exclaimed.
“Okay, babe. You’re right,” she agreed.
The house had a startling stillness to it at night, which never used to bother Lucy, but after Omisha arrived in her life every feeling changed. The home she lived in was a gift from her parents and it was her sanctuary. It was a cozy, two story Cape Cod with a white exterior and taupe shutters. The yard was lush and filled with trees and gorgeous flowers. When Luke moved in it felt even more like home, but every noise worried them; Omisha was everywhere and nowhere, which was a scary battle to face. Lucy wasn’t sleeping through the night with her growing baby keeping her awake, but Luke didn’t always hear his wife sneak out of bed. Usually, she’d sit on the couch in the living room and watch a favorite movie, or some nights she’d even sit on the back deck and read. Reading has a way of calming the mind. Chloe, her cat and Luna, her bouncy, Golden Retriever followed her down the steps and into the kitchen. The house was dark, but there was a glow from the moon lighting up sections.
The baby kicked and Lucy held her stomach while she poured herself a glass of lemonade. She wrapped herself in a grey, knitted blanket and opened up the back door to let Luna outside. Chloe meowed from the countertop, wanting food. A few minutes passed and Lucy realized Luna wasn’t leaving the back deck. She was whining. It was very unusual for Luna to need company while going outside, but Lucy walked out onto the porch, looking up at the shimmery moon. The night was beautiful and the air smelled inviting. Luna barked as Lucy approached the porch steps. Luna sat at the top of the steps, shuffling anxiously. Lucy began walking down the steps, urging her dog to follow, but before she could call Luna once more, an invisible object tripped her. She tumbled down the steps and crashed onto the patio brick below. Her hair collected in the foliage beside her. A scream echoed through the yard and woke Luke immediately. He heard Luna barking and crying from outside; a terrified dog and husband fell to Lucy’s unconscious side, and Luke picked her up off of the ground. She didn’t land on her stomach, but any fall during pregnancy can be life threatening to the baby and mother. Luke buckled her into his pickup truck and sped to the hospital, frantically calling her doctor.
She awoke as Luke was carrying her into the hospital, but she was confused. Sirens and flashing lights blurred beyond the beauty. She kept saying “baby” over and over again, and Luke wished he knew whether or not their baby was okay. She was placed on a gurney and wheeled into a room. They waited nervously for her doctor to arrive. Luke sat next to her bed, shifting back and forth in his seat. He held her hand and kissed her arm. She looked at him with tired eyes and said, “I love you”. He smiled and kissed her lips, answering “I love you more than anything”. Hours passed and the doctor checked on the baby, took her vitals, and sent her for several X-rays. The baby was safe and sound, but Lucy suffered from minor trauma. She was lucky the fall didn’t produce more damage. The doctor ordered Lucy to remain on bed rest until the next ultra sound, to ensure everything was truly fine. The doctor patted Luke on the back and left them alone for a moment.
“Babe, I’m so glad that you and our baby are safe, but I have to ask you…how did you fall? You’re not a clumsy person, by any means,” Luke stated. She was a dancer, after all.
“Luna refused to go out into the yard. Something was making her nervous, so I walked down the steps to encourage her to follow, but she didn’t. I don’t know what tripped me, but something latched onto my leg and I fell,” Lucy explained.
“I’ll look when we get home. The doctor wants you to stay overnight for observation, and I’m not leaving you,” Luke told her. She reached for him and smiled, feeling exhausted. He kissed her sweetly and she looked into his loving eyes with affection.
The doctor came in and smiled; he had exciting news. Lucy had taken a blood test weeks prior, which included finding out the sex of the baby, before the next ultra sound. Lucy initially didn’t want to know the sex, but decided it would be fun to find out.
“Lucy, Luke, are you finally ready to know the sex of your baby?” The doctor asked.
They both smiled and nodded.
“You’re having a boy, Lucy. Congratulations to you both!”
Luke almost fell over. He was going to have a son. Lucy started to cry when she saw how excited her husband was, and although she wanted a little girl to follow in her sparkly footsteps, she already loved her baby boy so much. She looked at Luke and they both laughed, knowing their lives were about to change in such an adventurous way.
They returned home the next morning, and Luke made his wife breakfast in bed. She wasn’t happy about bed rest, but she knew it was what she needed after the fall. Luna and Chloe accompanied her in bed with Vogue magazine and the morning news. The smell of eggs and waffles drifted through the house, making Lucy’s stomach growl. She was starving and yet, had no appetite. The fall traumatized her in more ways than one; she felt as though somehow, it was her fault. Luna had tried warning Lucy, but the signs were unclear. While Lucy caught up on current fashion trends and chatted on the phone with her mom, Luke went outside with Luna.
He noticed a thin, clear wire attached to a thin, metal rod on either side of the steps. Part of the setup had been derailed when Lucy fell, but that was clearly the intention. Luke knew Omisha had set up the wire, and there’s no way Lucy could’ve seen the clear wire below her, especially in the dark. Luke decided to set up expensive cameras in the backyard and the front yard, which they had attempted to do before, but Omisha had a way of sneaking in from any angle. Luke called a security company to come and install security cameras inside, which was costing a small fortune altogether. Luke was so angry; he couldn’t take the threats, or the harm anymore. His wife and child needed optimum protection. He told Lucy about Omisha’s invisible wire, and she then realized the warning on the fitting room mirror was real. She felt foolish for not doing more to prevent the fall, but Omisha was relentless. Lucy was tired and Luke was feeling powerless.
Detective Jones agreed that cameras were smart, but he knew Omisha was smarter. He hired two men to post up at Lucy’s house, for the second time. Lucy was uncomfortable with watchdogs skulking through her flowers, but Luke told her they were essential. Detective Jones knew the psycho was someone close to Lucy, but the lack of DNA left behind at any of the crime scenes, or any true link to a real, physical person made the case infuriating. Omisha’s mind was sick, but it was also exceptionally smart.
“I want to live a normal life again, and I want my son to have a normal life,” Lucy sighed.
“A psycho can only go for so long without becoming mentally exhausted. When someone becomes mentally exhausted they make mistakes; they become sloppy. We’ll catch Omisha, Lucy. I wish I could do more than I’m already doing, but this stalker is one of a kind,” Detective Jones replied.
“I guess I should be flattered that I have such a determined stalker, who has boggled the minds of law enforcement,” Lucy said with a smirk.
“Lucy, I know we’ve talked before, but we know this person is someone close to you. This enemy has been in your home, in your mind, and maybe even in your bed. Scorned lovers often make the scariest opponents, because they feel as though they’ve lost something that belongs to them. Stalking is about possession and power,” Detective Jones explained.
“I think about it every day. I feel as though Omisha is a woman, but I could be wrong,” Lucy remarked.
“Why?” Detective Jones asked.
“The way Omisha writes, follows my every move, as if this person truly understands the way a woman’s mind works, even after becoming pregnant…I don’t know, and again I could be completely wrong, but we both know how smart and cruel some women can be,” Lucy exhaled.
“Serena?” He questioned, as he pulled out files on everyone who attended Lucy’s wedding.
“She has been my best friend for so long, but she doesn’t know me as well as you’d think. She’s a great person, but reserved. She doesn’t get me the way Omisha does,” she responded.
“Do you view Omisha as more than just a stalker? Do you view Omisha as a person in your life who maybe, knows you better than anyone else, including yourself?” Detective Jones wondered.
“I sometimes view Omisha as a part of myself, as if that psycho lives in my head, but then Omisha kills someone I love, or severely harms me, and I realize this person is very real. This person loves and hates me, and yet, this person does in fact know me better than anyone. I don’t even recognize a person in my every day life who understands me, my secrets, and my desires the way this unknown person does,” Lucy cried. Detective Jones handed her a tissue and gave her a moment. He knew it was painful, but the more she thought about it the more they’d both discover.
“You’re beautiful, smart, driven, and many people adore you. I’m sure you’ve been with men, even before Luke, and before Liam that would’ve done anything for you. Are there any old boyfriends that could still be hanging around, feeling resentment?” Detective Jones continued.
“I was only ever really serious with Liam, and now Luke. I was with Liam for so long and I was so young and naïve when we met. I’ve slept with and gone out with guys since Liam and before him, but none of them were anything serious. None of them knew my mind or my secrets. They were just normal guys,” she explained with pretty eyes.
“Well, I hate to break it to you, but no guy is normal. They all have secrets, a past, and thoughts that would bother you. Most of them aren’t lunatics, but someone in your life sure as hell is. Do you remember telling me awhile back that when you were kidnapped, something smelled familiar to you?” He interviewed.
“Yes, I do. I smelled something that made me think I had been very, very close to my kidnapper before. I don’t know what the smell was from, but that wasn’t the only time I’ve smelled it. Sometimes, I think I smell that same smell while I’m grocery shopping, or even at home. But, then it fades away. It could be Omisha’s cologne, or perfume,” she murmured.
“What does it smell like?”
“It smells like the air after a rainstorm…it’s a heavy scent, too. I know you were looking for an easier explanation, but that’s what it smells like, a breeze after the rain has passed,” she breathed.
“I used to go for jogs every morning, and when it would rain it would leave the earth smelling fresh and renewed. It was a calming smell,” he remembered.
“Yes, exactly,” she smiled.
“You need to rest, but I do have to ask…do you think Luke is in any way involved in the stalking? I know you met Luke rather recently, compared to many, but maybe you in fact met him in the past?” Detective Jones pursued.
“No, I would’ve remembered meeting Luke in my very, complicated past. He has something special that sets him apart from anyone I’ve ever met, and I know he’d never hurt me. He’s everything,” she said with a sincere smile.
Lucy crept out of bed, waiting for Luke to come home and wandered out to the mailbox. The sun faded into a dark, stormy evening and she thought she smelled that same, familiar scent, Omisha’s scent. She pulled envelope after envelope out of the mailbox, holding the end of her long, lace nightgown in her hand. Her baby boy kicked and she made a face as she continued to shuffle through mail. The last envelope was from Omisha. The man posted up in her driveway looked at her, as her facial expression changed. She shook her head and read the note to herself.
”Lucy, I know you may be going crazy, stuck in bed and unable to leave the house, but I’ll show you what crazy really feels like. You’d look hot in a straight jacket.”