OK, so on with our story. In case you’ve forgotten, Chryssie our bartender/student witnessed a murder. All she wants to do is get home, then take her final exam to be a nurse. The shooter has other plans for her. If you want you can go to the archives to read the first three chapters.
Chryssie was sure the man could hear her heart thumping. The gravel bit into her cheek as she stared at his shoes from her vantage point under the car. She had no idea what she should or would do if he bent down and found her.
Why didn’t he leave? What was he waiting for? Could he hear her heart slamming into her chest? Was he waiting for the other man to come help him?
The shoes moved—finally.
Very quietly, she took a breath.
She counted to five hundred before she found the courage to crawl out from under the car. After several surreptitious peeks, she decided the man had left the parking lot. At least for now. Maybe he’d given up the search for good, but she doubted it.
She stood up and brushed off the dirt from her clothes. It didn’t help much. She was quite the mess. Her wig had fallen off again and her own hair was half-pinned up and half-falling down. Now she was filthy, thanks to laying in the gravel.
Oh, well. It couldn’t be helped.
Looking towards the complex’s door, someone was coming out.
This was her chance.
Taking a deep breath, she straightened up and half-walked, half-jogged, smiling at the man as she passed him. She could only hope she wouldn’t notice what a mess she was.
She caught the door just before it closed.
More tears threatened, she was so glad to be home. She took a deep breath. Get hold of yourself. Don’t fall apart yet. Afraid to go to the lobby because the men might still be waiting for her, she took the fire stairs up to the third floor where Mr. Roberts’ apartment was located.
Chryssie closed the door of her apartment behind her.
She’d made it. As always, her gaze fell on Misty’s photo. Tears fell as she picked it up. Her little sister needed her. She wasn’t go to let this mess stop her from helping Misty.
Unlike their mother, Chryssie wouldn’t fail her.
She would get to that exam so she could graduate from nursing school. She already had a nursing job lined up—if she managed to graduate. Then she could get Misty out of foster care.
No more worm life for them. They would soar like the butterflies.
Chryssie wiped away the tears. This was not the time to cry for her or her sister right now. She had just enough time to shower and get to class. Her apartment was only a few blocks from school so she could walk there.
The shower revived her. Hopefully enough to take the exam. Gone was the flashy bartender, she’d morphed back into a college student. Her long brown hair hung past her shoulders. Wearing blue jeans and a loose T-shirt, she no longer resembled Chryssie the bartender in any way.
She might even be able to walk past the two men stalking her without them recognizing her. She smiled grimly at the thought. Not that she wanted to. She planned to take the back way out of the apartment building.
Chryssie went to her hidden money stash and pulled out two twenty dollar bills. It was part of her rent money, but she’d need it to take a taxi to her car. There was no way she could walk there as exhausted as she was.
She only hoped she had enough energy to get through the exam.
Her lips quivered at the thought of the tips she’d lost last night when she’d dropped her purse. Oh, well, the money was gone now. There was nothing that could be done about it.
Lucky for her, she had a spare key to her car. After the exam, she’d take a taxi to her car. Then, she’d drive to the police station and tell them what she’d seen. She took the last sip of her coffee and then headed for the door.
The door bell rang.
A moment later a voice said, “Police Department.”
Chryssie stared at the door. Why were the police at her door? They couldn’t know what she witnessed last night. They had no reason to be there—unless… She didn’t like the place her thoughts were taking her.
She hadn’t had time to think about it, but how had those men found her in the first place? It had to have been when she dropped her purse the first time. Something might have fallen out of it.
Something that identified her.
That had to be what happened.
The door bell rang again.
But how could the police have her ID—if the shooter had found it? He wouldn’t have given it to the police, would he? Maybe someone else had found it and turned it in along with her tip money.
That was hopeful thinking on her part. She was sure he’d found it. That’s how he knew where she lived. Maybe it wasn’t really the police at the door. Maybe it was the men who’d chased her.
Police or chasers?
She had no way to know, but she was sure of one thing. There was no way she was opening that door to find out. Had they talked with Mr. Roberts? Did they know she was here?
Stop panicking. That wouldn’t help anything. She took a deep breath. Think. Think. She had to get out of here. Of course, the fire escape. The apartment was an old building with old-fashioned fire escapes on the outside.
The door bell rang again. “Look, we know you’re in there. Open up so we can talk with you. We’re the police, we need to talk with you. We ain’t gonna hurt you.”
Yeah, right. They didn’t want to talk to her. If that was a policeman, he sure had bad grammar.
Chryssie checked her pockets to make sure she had the key and the money. Money—she might need more. Going back to the tip jar, she pulled out all the cash. Stuffing it into her jeans as she ran quietly to her bedroom.
As she opened the bedroom window, she heard a loud thump. They were going to break down her door. She crawled through the window, but took the time to close it. She didn’t want them to know how she’d escaped.
Her footsteps echoed as she ran down the iron fire escape. She could only hope they wouldn’t look out the window and see where she was going.
Poor Chryssie…will she ever get to the exam? Will she get her car so she can go tell the police what she saw? And the bigger question, will the police believe her?
UNTL NEXT TIME…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!