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The cool blast of the air conditioner hit me like a ton of bricks as I took my first step into the building of my new job. I could finally start fresh with a group of people that don’t know anything about me. I have the power to be whoever I want to be. But there was that feeling I couldn’t get rid of; ever since the incident I had felt it chilling the blood in my veins. I always felt like there was a pair of eyes on me at all times, and I couldn’t seem to shake that feeling. What if someone really was following me around?
“Are you Angela Brown?” The woman at the front desk peered over her glasses at me, shaking me from my own thoughts.
“Yes, sorry! It’s my first day on the job, I was told to ask for a Ms. Johnson?” I gave the woman the name of my new boss.
“Ella will be right with you. You may have a seat over there.” The receptionist pointed me in the direction of a red velvet chair surrounded by magazines and artwork. Immediately I selected a fashion magazine, my favorite.
I have always wished I could be like the models in magazines. That could never happen with my short height, blonde hair, and pale green eyes. I’m not secure enough in my skin to flaunt fancy clothes in front of a camera. I used to be very flamboyant, but ever since the incident occurred, I have been extremely guarded. No one can ever find out what I did that night, or people will never look at me the same way again.
“Angela?” I heard my name and turned around to face a towering woman with an exquisite sense of style. She had dark brown hair, sculpted into a sleek bob and piercing blue eyes that sent ice to my soul. She was a giraffe, extending her arm downwards to shake my trembling hand. “It’s such a pleasure to finally meet you! Come, let’s show you around your new home, shall we?”
I trailed behind my new boss, stunned by the frightening looks everyone seemed to shoot in her direction. She seemed like such a genuine woman, and I found comfort in the fact that I could have sworn I had seen those beautiful blue eyes before. Oh well, I guess someone else is the lucky owner of those peepers too.
She showed me to my office and I sat down in my new mahogany desk, breathing in the power. I couldn’t wait to get right to work and focus on something new in my life. Ella leaned on my desk and I noticed a silver bracelet with a ‘J’ charm dangling off of it.
“I’m going to take off and you can start setting up your new office! Welcome to the team, Angela. I’m so excited to be working with you as we move on to future endeavors.” With that, Ella left the room and started down the hall.
That was when I noticed the package with the intricate wrapping paper, tied with a classy black bow. I tore into the paper, and unveiled the box. I opened it and found a flash drive and a note. My heart skipped a beat as I read the note. It read: “I know what you did. And I’m coming for you.”
I quickly plugged the flashdrive into my laptop and watched the one night I had tried so hard to forget play on the screen in front of me. I watched the light leave the man’s eyes, and I watched the panic strike my face as I realized that I had killed him. It really was an accident, I was set up. My best friend wanted that man dead because he threatened her business. Her name was Jennifer, and the night she took me to the alley to help her kill the man, her eyes were filled with pure evil. At the time, I only thought it was frustration until she made me give him the drink that would “save” him. Little did I know, that drink would be his last.
The last thing I remember of that night before passing out was Jennifer, standing over me, her vibrant blue eyes sparkling with the joy that her enemy would no longer bother her.
“Oh my God,” I whispered out loud. How could I have been so incredibly stupid! The blue eyes, the charm on Ella’s bracelet, it all made sense now! Ella wasn’t who she said she was. She was Jennifer. The Jennifer that made me kill someone, the Jennifer that turned me into an accidental murderer.
The phone began to ring in that instant. I looked at the caller ID and read the name Ella Johnson. I ignored the call and began to calculate my escape from the building. I ran to the door, only to find it locked from the outside. I glanced around the room in desperation and spotted the fire escape just outside the window. I bolted across the room until I reached the window. I froze where I was as I heard the doorknob turning and watched Jennifer enter the room.
“Thought you could get away with it, did you? You killed that man, Angela. You are the one that gave him the drink that happened to poison him. You tried to tell the police that it was all my idea, but you shouldn’t have done that.” Jennifer shot daggers at me with her eyes as she spat out her words. “I will tell them that it was you, and they will believe me. You know it, and I do too. So how are you planning to get out of this one?”
I stood there and stared at the girl I had once trusted and tried to understand why she had to do what she did. I tried to get in that twisted mind of hers, and find the one thing I could use against her. It was safe to say, I barely knew this person standing in front of me. She knew everything about me, but I knew nothing about her.
I watched as she took the knife out of her pocket. My mind was telling me I needed to run out the door, but my feet stayed firmly planted in the ground, as if I had roots attaching me to the dull gray fibers in the carpet.
“What are you going to do with that? I know you’re mad at me, but don’t you think you are taking this a little too far? I remember how close we used to be, when we would spend almost every single day with each other. I wish we could have that back.” I tried to talk to her in a way that would make her forget about killing me. I slowly inched toward the pistol I stashed away in my desk. I fumbled around, trying to be discreet, while I kept one eye on the criminal standing a few yards away from me.
Finally, I felt the cold, unforgiving handle of the gun in my palm. I tried to pull it out of the drawer without detection, but the gun slipped out of my hand and landed on the ground with a dull thud. Within seconds, Jennifer was holding me against the wall, hand on throat, knife against my heart.
“Tried to pull a fast one on me, Angela? Did you really think you could kill me too? I may admit that I tricked you into killing that other man, but this is just something different. I told you I would come for you. You couldn’t escape me for long, sweetheart. Your time is up.” Jennifer plunged the knife deep into my body, and I felt the blood pool around me as I dropped to the floor.
I could feel my soul being torn from my body, and I welcomed the sense of peace that surrounded me as I left the cruel world I once belonged to. I would never be like the girls in those magazines, but I never was to begin with anyway. But now I was okay with that.