A few weeks went by and nothing new had happened pertaining to Emma’s mystery man. She tried forgetting the gifts even existed. She was beginning to go crazy thinking and over thinking about who they could be from, where they were coming from, what would be next or why he chose her.
She was beginning to act crazy around every man she came in contact with until she was satisfied he wasn’t the one. She started dreaming about who he could be. One night he would be a prince charming, debonair and
sophisticated. The next night she’d have a nightmare that he was a serial killer and reeled his prey in with expensive gifts before raping and killing them.
“You really have to either figure this out or get it all out of your mind. It’s making you crazy Emma.”
“You don’t think I don’t know that? I feel like I’m obsessed. Why haven’t I gotten anything lately? A letter, a phone call, something! It’s been almost a month.”
“Maybe you should wear your pendant again.” Emma looked at Hilana. “The day you wore it another package showed up.” Hilana shrugged. “Could work.”
“That was just coincidence. It takes more than just a few hours to send out a package. I got the Scorpio pendant the same morning I wore the Virgo symbol.” Emma knew this, but it got her mind turning again. She reached into her purse and pulled out the Virgo pendant.
“You have them with you?” Hilana was smiling.
“In case I finally met him, I could politely return them.” She held it in her hands for a few minutes almost contemplating wearing it or not. “I’m almost afraid to.”
Hilana walked over to her and took it from her hands. Encircling it around her neck she clasped it for her and straightened her hair for her.
“You need to do this.” Emma nodded in agreement.
“I know this.”
Returning from lunch, Emma walked in and went directly to the front desk scanning the area.
“Is there… anything for me?” Emma’s eyes were bright.
“No.” Hilana’s one word answer quickly let the wind out of Emma’s sail. “You were hoping for something weren’t you?” Emma nodded and walked away.
The next morning Emma’s alarm was ringing at 5am. One day a month she was required to go to work early, before the museum opened to do inventory and be sure the market accurately depicted the pieces they had in stock.
She groaned and rolled out of bed. It was always difficult getting up so early but she enjoyed what she did. It just took her a few minutes to wake up and realize this.
Getting ready after her shower, she made sure to add the pendant to her wardrobe that day just in case. She needed for this charade to end.
“I see you’re wearing the pendant.” Emma spun around and immediately recognized the tall thin man. She expected to see him in the coffee shop like she did most days she visited, but she rarely ever spoke to him. “I take it you found out who your secret admirer is?”
“No.” Emma looked down. “I…um, was hoping by wearing it he would come forward and introduce himself.” The man’s eyes widened.
The attendant asked to take Emma’s order but the man behind her kept badgering her, almost teasing. She looked at the attendant and tried to think of something to order that would get her out of there quickly.
“You should have asked me for help. I would have figured it out by now.” Emma looked back at the attendant and just shook her head no before leaving the coffee shop quickly. All she heard what the cackling of the tall thin man as she ran out the door.
She always managed to avoid him in the past, why was he so adamant about talking to her this time? And why was he so mean? It was as if he needed to taunt her.
She found another shop not too far out of her way and went inside vowing to never step foot in the other one again. She pushed the door open and a shiver seized her as she kept hearing the cackling of that man.
Arriving at the museum, she knew she was running late when the door opened without her key. She knew Mr. Peters, the manager, arrived soon after she did. She tripped as she pushed through the doors with her coffee spilling on her and her croissant falling from her hands. The door swung closed and hit her knocking what was left of her coffee onto the floor of the lobby.
“Just great. It’s going to be a wonderful day.” She said sarcastically. No one was around yet, but she figured Mr. Peters was there someplace. She walked to the reception desk and grabbed some napkins behind the desk. Wiping her jacket lightly as she silently cursed her bad luck she glanced on the desk. There was a package sitting there with just the words ‘For Emma’ written on the top. She froze.
She looked around with the thought that he could be the one in that museum with her. Did he work there too? Or did he just have access somehow? She started getting nervous. There were still people she didn’t know associated with the museum, other shifts and the cleaning crew.
She touched the pendant she wore. Was she walking around with a sign around her neck that was telling this man it was ok to do this to her? Immediately she wanted it off her. She wanted all of this to be over with. Should she leave? Oh yea, and what would she tell her boss? ‘I felt threatened by a package on the desk?’ She took a deep breath and removed the necklace. Pocketing it she finished wiping the excess coffee from her jacket.
Her initial intentions were to leave the package until Hilana came in but her curiosity was getting the best of her. She picked it up and began unwrapping it, then…she stopped and put it back down.
“No. I’m not going to do this alone. I’ll wait.” She put it behind the desk and walked away to begin her shift.
Through most of the morning she forced herself to think about her work and not the box behind the desk even though she was constantly checking the time. When inventory was completed she signed off on the paperwork and jetted out to the lobby. Hilana was on the phone with a client and smiled when Emma came into view.
Instead of waiting she popped around the corner of the desk to grab the package, but it wasn’t there. Emma wondered why Hilana would move it. She waited an agonizing five minutes until the phone call was completed.
“Where’s my package?”
“Good morning to you too.” She cocked her head and smiled.
“Sorry. Good morning.” Emma raised her eyebrows in an ‘ok-now-where-is-it’ look.
“I…don’t know anything about a package. But I do have an envelope. It was sitting on my chair when I came in.” She handed Emma an envelope addressed to her at the museum. Emma just looked at it puzzled and a little bit annoyed. She opened it quickly and read the letter inside.
Looking around she set the letter down and didn’t say anything at first.
“Are you ok? What does it say?”
“Someone is watching me. Somehow, someone knows when I ….” She walked to the door and turned around to look into the lobby. Hilana picked up the letter.
‘Emma took the pendant off so Emma gets no reward.’
“Whoa, that’s creepy. Emma, who is doing this?”
“I wish I knew. Honestly, this isn’t so fun anymore.”
“Well, if you don’t wear the pendant, nothing happens, right? Only thing is, you’ll never know.” Hilana shrugged.
Emma took the pendant from her pocket and looked at it, contemplating what to do.
“I’ll leave them both here, in my locker in the back. You know the combination. If anyone comes in looking for them, just give them back to them and we’ll be done with this whole thing.”
“I am. I can’t go through my life in a daze wondering who this person is. Hell, he could be some sort of maniac who gets off on freaking women out. I’m done with it.” She walked away and went to her locker. Pulling the Scorpio pendant out of her purse, she put them both in the envelope the letter came in and she left them there.
Closing the locker door and locking it she took a deep breath and tried clearing her mind of everything that happened. She didn’t know what happened to the package, and she didn’t know how the stranger knew she took her necklace off, but she was done being freaked out on a moments notice. It was time for her to get on with her life.