You know what? There’s nothing to get worked up about. So Annelise has a crush…and a telephoto-lens camera trained on your building. What’s the harm in that? You’ve had office crushes before. It’s kind of nice to finally be on the receiving end of one.
You rummage around until you find the deodorant, stick it through the neckhole of your shirt to swipe some under your arms, and replace it in the drawer.
When Annelise shows up twenty minutes later, though, you can’t help but watch her out of the corner of your eye.
Is she watching you? Is she filming you? Where would she have put the camera?
After about an hour she opens the drawer and makes a little squeaking sound.
“Umm, I’m sorry, did you…need to borrow something from me this morning?” She looks at you, eyes wild.
“No,” you say, smiling blandly. Just imagine you’re lying to your parents. Or your boss. Someone you have practice with. “Not me.”
“Did you see anyone else looking in them?”
“Nope. But I only got in a few minutes before you.” She’s staring at you, eyes glassy and dead. You need to give her something else, something to turn her suspicions. “Though you know, I think last night was one of the ‘deep cleans’ from the after-hours crew. Maybe they went through for food items? I heard someone in accounting saw a mouse.”
“Oh,” she sits back, her body slightly less tense. “Yes, that must be it.” She’s staring into the drawer sightlessly, like she’s in some sort of weird catatonic place. You turn around, forcing yourself not to shudder. That was a close call.
You wait until Annelise heads to the bathroom to look again.
Wait, what the fuck? The drawer’s empty. Nothing there at all. Were you…dreaming it? Did you imagine the entire thing? Where would she even have put the contents?
Is she onto you?
As the afternoon wears on, you become more and more paranoid. This person has been watching you without you knowing for weeks now, maybe months. You don’t know what she might be capable of. If she has a camera trained on your house, why not a gun? Maybe she’d rather kill you than let anyone else have you. Maybe she wants to stuff you and keep you mounted in her bedroom. People definitely do that. You’re certain of it.
Should you move? But she’s watching you, she’d know.
Or maybe take another job? She might find another target then. But you’re not really qualified for any other jobs, and you don’t have the vacation time left to use for interviews.
Oh god, you’re stuck here.
Just inches away from her.
And you can feel her watching…
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