Tuesday, October 23, 2012

"Text Message" | Chapter 6


It had been a whole month. Tracy was happy. She got a new apartment in Soho. Work was going just fine besides the normal problems here and there. She now considered Eva a reliable ally as well as a good friend. There hadn't been any text messages. She was overjoyed and felt like her world was finally going in the right direction. From time to time she would think about Jake. Since he didn't put forth an effort to contact her, she felt it was best to assume things were over between them, even though confirmation of the thought would've been nice too.

"Hey girlfriend!" Eva popped her head in Tracy's office.

"Hey! What's up?" Tracy smiled and flicked her curly hair out of her face.

"Did you get the memo?" Eva came and had a seat.

Without knowing Eva, one would never assume she was a mother. By her stylish fashion and her young face made her age indeterminable. She was truly a sight to be seen.

"Straighten hair and bangs huh?" Tracy turned on her computer.

"Yeah! I felt it was one of those days," Eva fingered her bangs, "it's been awhile since I had straightened my hair since you decided to go curly on us all. I just couldn't deal with the competition." Eva flipped her hair behind both shoulders.

Tracy laughed, "You are so silly."

As she turned on her computer and let it boot up. Tracy checked her company email and saw the memo Eva had mentioned.

"A meeting? This afternoon?" Tracy said scrolling the message up and down looking for more information.

"Yeah, Lucinda told me about it. Why did you get an email and I get an actual piece of paper?"

"Good question. Think they're back to their old trick?"

"Probably so," Eva crossed her legs, "But I wonder what's so important?"

"Have you heard any more about the job?" Tracy turned in her chair to face Eva.

"Unh-unh no. Nothing actually."

"What about your friend? Have you heard from her?"

"Not a thing. Something's crazy is about to take place. I don't like the feeling of this at all. Well anyway, I guess we'll find out at the meeting eh?" Eva stood up and approached the door.

"Yeah I suppose so."

"Alrighty, I'll see you there."

The impromptu meeting started a little after 2pm. As the Executives approached the conference room, they could see Mr. Monroe and Mr. Sullivan already seated at the large table. As everyone took a seat, Tracy and Eva both equally wondered what was in store for this meeting.

"Well thank you all for coming to the meeting on time and promptly, I have a few announcements to make." Mr. Sullivan passed around a thick booklet.

"What's this Mr. Sullivan?" Robert who usually says little to nothing, asked.

"This is the new handbook. There are a few new rules. A couple policy changes and things made to be equal to everyone who works here."

"We also like to introduce the five of you to our newest team members." Said Mr. Monroe.

Newest Members?

"You both can come in." Mr. Monroe waved his hand.

The door creaked open and before anyone could ask what duties these people would be in charge of. Everyone's expression each spoke of something different.

"Meet Linda Beaumont our newest female Executive. So now there are six of you, equally in gender."

"Hello everyone." Linda had a motherly tone but was friendly.

"Thank you Linda, please have a seat. Now I would also like to introduce you all to Jake Williamson, who's also my nephew." Mr. Monroe smiled wryly.

"Jake?!" Tracy stood up and stared in horror. What the hell is going on?

"Oh and for those of you that doesn't know. Jake and Tracy are engaged to be married next spring."

"Wait—I'm sorry?" Tracy was not only confused but felt betrayed. What made it worse was the fact Jake just stared at Tracy like he never met her before.

"Ah, I've said too much. I couldn't help myself Tracy. It's so nice to finally have a niece I couldn't contain my excitement." Mr. Monroe smirked.

"Tracy, could you please sit so we can start the meeting and be on our way?" Mr. Sullivan said.

"Huh? Wha-yes sir." Tracy slumped down in the soft leather chair. She felt her stomach tying tight knots.

When the meeting was over, Eva took Tracy and Linda down to Sweet Revenge.

"I can't believe that son of a bitch would do that to you!" Eva was pissed.

"Eva, control your temper." Linda tapped Eva's thigh.

"I haven't seen or heard from him. He turns out to be the nephew of the sick man who’s determine to make my life hell. Who said we were getting married next spring?! Jake asked but we never really set a date or anything like that." Tracy slammed her head on the table.

"They're up to something." Eva lit a cigarette and puffed out smoke like a train.

"Well I did do some research and there is something going on. Between the secrecy and I heard someone mention something of a big embezzlement about to take place. For all either of us knows it could be bigger than that."

*Buzz Buzz Buzzzz*

"Hmm?" Tracy shot up and dug in her purse for the pulsating phone.

Without looking she opened the text message. She gasped and threw the phone down on the table and jumped out of her chair. Tripping over her purse she fell to the ground mumbling and pointing to the phone.

"What's wrong with her?" Linda felt uneasy.

"I don't know," Eva grabbed the phone and read the contents, "OH MY GOD!"

"What?" Linda said taking the phone.

There was a text message that read:

"Losers Weepers; Finders Keepers"

Then below it was a severed head. Who not only was a female but resembled Tracy way too much to be just a coincidence.

"Wait—" Eva snatched the phone from Linda and read who it from. She stared at Tracy.

"What's wrong?" Linda was perplexed

"Tracy, it's from, um-from, it's from 53097."

"What?!" Tracy's high pitched shriek disrupted the rest of the customers.

The women quickly grabbed their things and left.

While at Central Park in a secluded area, Linda tried to calm Tracy down.

"We changed your number. How did it get your new number? How can it? What is this about?" Eva puffed on a cigarette and paced threw the autumnal leaves that decorated the ground.

"Ugh, I think I'm going to be sick." Tracy put her head between her knees and tried to un-see what she had saw.

"Tracy...do you think it could be Jake?"

"How can it be him, he doesn't have the new number and I didn't pass it out to anyone else. Just the people I talk to." Tracy fanned herself.

"Does Miranda have it?"


"I know I didn't pass it out." Eva pointed to herself and paced some more.

"So what's the deal with the short code? If this is the first time it shouldn't be taken seriously." Linda mentioned.

"This isn't the first time." Eva sat down on the bench.

"I changed my number because of this." Tracy whispered.

"Oh my god. Did you go to the police about it?" Linda asked.

"Yes, they told us if we didn't have a person or know any more information that there wasn't anything they could do."

"That sounds bogus."

"Whoever it is, either has an out for me or is trying to taunt me." Tracy stared in a daze.

"You have any enemies, besides the ones we have, like people that you had to cross." Eva asked.

"No," then Tracy took a moment to think, "Wait there is one. Michael. Michael Van Adrichem. He's a nasty vindictive little prick."

"Well maybe we need to go investigate him." Said Linda.

"What do you mean he doesn't work here any more?" Eva put her hands hard on her hips which caused her large breasts to jiggle.

"Like I said he has worked here in over four months." Said the Attendance Officer.

"But that's impossible I just saw him last month. We were both up for the same promotion."

"I'm sorry, miss. Michael Van Adrichem hasn't worked here in over four months."

"C'mon lets go," Linda waved the two distraught women along, "Thank you for all your help." She smiled.

"Not a problem. Sorry I couldn't be more of assistance to you."

"I can't believe this shit!" Eva bulldozed her way through a crowd of people and snatched out her cigarettes.

"You believe me right?" Tracy held her head down.

Eva and Linda stopped to looked and noticed the concrete began to change in color.

"Aww honey, of course we do. Please don't cry about it." Eva rubbed Tracy's arms.

"I think for once I might be going crazy."

"You are not crazy!" Linda said in a motherly tone.

"How about tonight, you spend the night with me to make sure you're safe and all. Then well have some take out and browse the phone book for this Michael character. How does that sound?" Eva lifted up Tracy's chin and began to wipe her tears away.

"Yeah, and I'll check the Internet for something and see if I can get a friend to do a favor for me." Linda said as she pinched Tracy's cheek.

"Linda she's grown, no need to baby her."

"I can't help it! I'm a mom of three kids. Just can't flick it off when I want to."

"Thanks, you girls have been so good to me." Tracy sniffled as she hugged Eva tight.

"Don't worry okay? We'll get to the bottom of this nightmare."

Tracy had a hard time focusing on work. Either way she knew she had to get it done. They were having a projection meeting next week and she wanted to be prepared for any and everything.

As the work day dragged on a tapping came to Tracy's door.

"Come in!" Tracy wanted to finish her current task before seeing who was at her door.

Whoever it was had settled into one of the chairs. Didn't say a word and didn't ask any questions. So Tracy thought she should break the ice.

"Is there anything I can help you with? If you give me a minute and let me finish this one thing I'll be with you shortly okay?" She'd hope that would get the unknown person to talk. Unfortunately no such luck.

When Tracy finally finished her task, she swiveled around in her chair to tend to the person. When she came to a stop she couldn't help but frown at the person. She couldn't believe they sat there the whole time without saying anything.

"Is there something I can help you with?"

"When are you coming back home?"

"I'm not. You put me out remember."

"Yes I know that and that was stupid of me." Jake said.

"Stupid?! Try rude, nasty and just down right arrogant, Jake." Tracy was mad he had to nerve to talk to her like all that happened last month was a petty argument.

"Okay, look I'm sorry. I'm sorry okay?"

"That's not good enough. You hurt me, and then put me out. You didn't call, or say anything to me for a whole month. Did you really think I'd be waiting patiently for you to take me back? If so you need to reevaluate your thoughts."

"How was I supposed to call you if you changed your number and didn't tell me where you moved to."

"Wait—how so you know about any of that?" Could it be him?

"Tracy, look I still love you."

Something's definitely wrong.

"Get out."

"Tracy, would you please listen to me."

"I don't want to hear anything you've got to say! Get out of my office Jake! And I mean right now!"

Jake got up and approached Tracy.

"No don't touch me!" Tracy looked at him.

"Look I'm sorry."

"What?! Are you stalking me?" She had to ask.

"No, hell no Tracy." Jake reached for her arm.

"I SAID NO!" Snatching her arm away, Tracy blocked him getting to her with a chair.


"You're probably the one. You're the one sending me those awful text messages aren’t you?"

"What text messages?" Jake was bewildered.

"YOU KNOW WHAT TEXT MESSAGES! Don't play stupid with me!"

"I'm not playing stupid—UGH TRACY!"

Tracy snatched open her office door, "GET OUT NOW!!"

Jake scoffed and left. As Tracy slammed the door behind her, all she could do was cry. The one person she thought loved her most was tormenting her and keeping secrets.

As the work day wind down, Tracy felt drained and exhausted at the same time. If there were such a feeling, she truly felt it today. She began to pack up her things to go when she dropped a piece of paper. Going to retrieve it, she noticed another piece of paper sitting on the floor folded neatly by the chair. She picked up the paper she dropped and placed it on her desk. Then picked up the neatly folded paper and one side it said 'read me' in big letters. She sat in the chair and opened it up and noticed it was three sheets stapled together. She skimmed it at first and wondered who could've left it. When she checked the last page, it had a signature. Jake's signature. She instantly got a sour taste in her mouth and didn't like it. But something told her to read it. She did.

"Hey Trace, I was thinking you could stop home grab some stuff and then I can come pick you up and well rustle up something good. Then I definitely think we should cuddle tonight. I heard it was going to cold tonight and..." Eva threw her arms around Tracy's shoulders.

Eva tried to make out what the letter was about. But the gibberish and crossed out words here and there made it hard to comprehend.

"Who's this from?" Eva asked.

"Jake. He was here earlier."

"Oh I heard about that. So what's the letter about?" Eva rubbed Tracy's shoulders.

"I'm not sure. A part of me believes it and another part says no, you'll get fooled and taken advantage of again."

"Mind if I read it?"

Tracy handed the papers to Eva. Eva propped her large backside on Tracy's desk and began to read the letter. It was heartfelt and full of emotion.

"I think you should go see him tonight." Eva said.

"But what if something bad happens...again?" Tracy sniffled.

"Well you don't know that for sure babe. How about this? I'll take you and drop you off. And as soon as things get too heated or crazy you call me and I'll come in 5 seconds flat!" Eva smiled and rubbed Tracy's knee.

Tracy chuckled, "Alright. I'll go talk to him tonight."

Tracy got home and took a long shower. As she was getting dressed she felt restless about meeting Jake. Her stomach felt butterflied. She sat on the edge of her bed wondering if this was a good idea. Would he harm her? Or love her? Kiss or touch her? So many things ran through her mind that it was impossible to focus on anything. Tracy knew she had to get it together. You can do this, she told herself.

After Eva dropped her off, Tracy headed to her old living quarters. The reminiscent memories flooded towards her. For a split second she regretted coming here but knew if she didn't she wouldn't know what could happen. She inhaled and exhaled and knocked on the door. Before she could knock a second time the door flew open. There stood Jake. Jake snatched her into the apartment.

Shocked Tracy wasn't sure as to what to do. Before she could think of something, Jake was on his knees and had his face buried into her chest. He held her tight and wouldn't let go. She wondered if this was an act or if he was truly being sincere.

"I'm so happy" he said.

"What are you happy for?" Tracy asked.

"I'm happy you're here and I'm happy you read my letter." He got off his knees and pulled her close and hugged her.

"Jake?" Tracy was confused.

Before she could say anything else, Jake kissed her. He held the kiss like he wanted to remember how it felt many years to come.

"Oh, Jake. I-I..." Tracy sighed, "I can't do this, and I can't trust you. I just can't do this."

"Tracy. Tracy I'm sorry. I lied and kept things from you. I also got tired of my uncle bitching and moaning about every little thing. But that whole month without you, I felt empty, I felt lost and I didn't like it. I didn't like coming home to nothing but silence and dark. It broke my heart when I thought about what I did to you." He hugged her tight again.

"Then why'd you do it? Do you even know Jake?" She pushed him away.

They stood there in the dimly lit room. Jake pushed Tracy up against the wall and kissed her passionately. He kissed and touched her like old time. It was as if they had rekindled an old flame that was on the verge of going out. Even though Tracy wanted to resist and say no. The way he was kissing and feeling her body, she couldn't help but enjoy it. She missed it when they were passionate like this. Then she realized how much she truly missed him. Before she could object one last time, they were in their old bedroom, clothes off on the verge of making love.

"Jake I don't think this is a good idea—" Tracy was trying to think realistically.

"Just give me this much Tracy, please."

"But Jake..."

"Tracy, please."

She didn't like it when he begged her. He knew as much as she did that she couldn't say no.

"Okay, Jake. But put a condom on first."


"No? What do you mean no? I could get pregnant!"

"That's what I want."

Tracy stared at him and couldn’t believe what he was saying.

"Jake you can't be serious."

"I am serious. No condom."

"What?! What about me—"

"I'll explain it later. Tracy please."

She stared at him. She hated to do this but she had to tell him the truth.

"Jake I'm sorry but I can't do this." She tried to push him off top of her.

Jake wasn't taking no for an answer. He did everything he knew that would get her to sway. As Tracy whispered no every chance she got. Jake refused to stop. Tracy wondered what had gotten into him to make his so determined to have unprotected sex with the hopes of getting her pregnant. Tracy tried hard to resist, but the way he made her feel, she soon lost control. She finally gave in.

Tracy awoke to Jake shaking her. He helped her get dressed and took her to the living room.

"What's going on?" Tracy wasn't fully awake.

"It's time to go." Jake said briskly

"Go where?"

"Look," Jake crouched down on his legs, "I just want you to know I've always loved you. No matter what, I love you. When I asked you to marry me I meant that. Not next spring of course, but when you were ready. I still hope you'll have me. But it's dangerous for you to be here right now. You've got to go."

Tracy stared at Jake, now fully awake. She watched him run about the apartment and grabbing different things.

"Call Eva."

"Eva?" Tracy was concerned.

"I know she dropped you off. It's best if she comes to get you too." He disappeared to the back of the apartment and came back with a duffle bag.

"Jake, what is this? What's going on?" What was up with his sudden change feelings about Eva?

"You'll know soon enough," he handed her the filled duffle bag, "Think you can have an argument with me?" He looked at her seriously.

"An argument?"

Jake sighed, "They've tapped the apartment, but I put on an old video we recorded a few years ago."

"Who's tapped it?"

"My uncle and his minions, he's an evil man and will do anything to get what he wants and if that includes getting rid of people or hurting people he will. I'm sure Eva told you about Sandra, right?"

Tracy stared and knew this had gotten serious. What did Jake know about all of this?

"So, can you do an argument with me? That's what they want."

"Were you sleeping with me and getting me pregnant what they wanted to?" Tracy fought hard to hold the tears back.

"No, no babe. That's what I wanted. That's what I want for us." He looked at her with this pained look on his face.

"Alright. I'll fight with you."

"After today, we can't talk for a while, okay? Well talk about it later." He hugged and kissed her.

Tracy started crying, "Jake I really hate this."

"I know, but only for a little while longer, okay? It'll be over soon. But that's good, keep crying." He ran over to this flap of torn wallpaper and took off a pair of pliers.

He walked over to Tracy, motioned her to silent her sniffles. She covered her mouth with her hands as Jake walked over to a vase she had never seen before. He picked it up and tossed it in his hand a bit. He hurled the glass vase up against the wall.


"GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!" He shouted.

Tracy jumped at the tone of his voice.


Tracy couldn't help but shout, "I HATE YOU!" As she cried reminiscing about the last fight they had.

As their argument got heated, Tracy headed towards the door. Jake grabbed her arm and pulled her.

"Don't forget your shit either. I'm tired of it cluttering up my house." He said.

"Fine!" Said Tracy as she threw the door open.

Before she could reach the hallway, Jake grabbed her from behind and hugged her tight. Tracy dropped the duffle bag and held his embrace.

"Tracy, I love you very much. Don't look in the duffle bag until you get to Eva’s. I also think it's best if you move back in with her. I don't know what I'd do if something happened to you." He whispered in her ear.

"Okay," she whispered, "Jake?" She turned to face him. She pulled him close and kissed him.

They stood there hugging.

"It's time to go." He pushed her.

"Jake...I love you very much." Tracy kissed him again.

As she ran down to the lobby, she couldn't stop the tears from falling. The ache in her heart was making her sick. She took time to gain composure and called Eva. Wondering the whole time she waited what all of this had to do with her and why it was eating away at her life. She knew she had to get to the bottom of this if she wanted to survive and live a happy life.


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