Logan pulled into the parking lot of a small city park not far from her house. He opened the trunk and lifted out the bag of gifts, wedding gifts, for Rachel. They were going to be one soon. He’d waited patiently each day for her to come home but she never did. It was time to force the issue. The day was overcast with maybe a small drizzle. Aunt Tulla said it was good luck if it rained on your wedding day.
He walked out of the parking lot and over to the sidewalk on the other side. Despite the drizzly day the temperature was warm and he passed a few houses with their windows still open. Family chatter and noise from television came out. Tonight he was going to be one of them. Not in this neighborhood but he would start a new life.
He’d be a good daddy. His little boy would grow to love the structure and discipline he had learned as a boy. He rounded the corner. A police cruiser went up the road. Logan smiled and waved as the officer drove past. He’d want to have all boys. Rachel would give him handsome sons. Maybe four or five then a daughter who would be as beautiful and loyal as Rachel.
He came around the final corner. Rachel’s house was down on the left and Guardian’s house was closer on the right.
“Guardian. How’s my good boy?” He bent over and rubbed the dog’s ears. Guardian responded by licking Logan’s hand.
“Yes, I have a treat for you today.” He pulled a handful of dog biscuits out of his pocket and gave them to the dog one at a time.
“Got a secret for you boy.” Logan leaned in closer. “I’m getting married today. Rachel’s gonna be mine tonight.” The dog sniffed toward Logan, searching for the biscuits. “I know, I’ve said that every night for the last week but this time it’s really going to happen. She’s going to come to me.”
He handed Guardian another dog biscuit. “And you know what that means? This is the last day of being chained up in this awful place.” He rubbed Guardian. It was finally happening. He was going to settle down with the woman of his dreams with his dog on the farm he’d found for them. It was the beginning of his forever.
“Time to go get my bride.” He said and stood. “How do I look?”
Logan continued down the street past Rachel’s house then around to the street that ran behind her house. He went up the driveway of the couple whose house sat directly behind hers. The owners of that house were retired and traveled often. If you looked like you belonged somewhere people never asked you what you were doing. He moved through the trees and into the back yard.
He looked at his watch. It was Four-fifteen. That gave him a solid hour before Rachel would get home. She left at the exact same time every day. He followed Rachel to her parent’s house. After dark Logan would watch her through the windows at their home. Seeing her body through the windows, so close, but being completely unable to touch her made him hunger for her more.
Alpha Mu Epsilon
That was what sustained him. And tonight he would be rewarded. “Childish.” He picked up the walnut that had fallen out of the door. It was one thing to booby-trap a medicine cabinet but the back door was too easy to fix. When Rachel tried to act strong was when she was the most adorable. He unlocked the door and punched in the code. Then he closed the screen door, leaned the walnut against the screen door and closed the storm door.
He took off his shoes, reset the alarm and went to their bedroom. He slipped off his pants and shirt and put them in the hamper. Women didn’t like it when men left their clothes in a pile on the floor. He was going to be her dream man.
He shaved and put on cologne before he put on his black slacks, crisp white shirt and blue tie that he had bought for this occasion. Exercising self-control was going to be the hardest thing about today.
“Agape Makrothumia Egkrateia” He chanted in the mirror. Love, Patience and Self-Control. Now he had proven all three.
“Against these there is no law.” He said chanting the verse that had driven his life.
“You didn’t think I could do it. All you good church people with your wooden pews and starched shirts thought you were better than me.” Those men like Curtis. He snarled at the thought of the man’s name.
He stared at his reflection in the mirror but in his heart he was at home with his Aunt Tulla. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” He was too dumb to understand these higher things of God. She’d made sure he knew that. Just the same she thought maybe some of it would stick.
“Alpha Mu Epsilon stuck.”
And today was this big pay out. He would have his precious Rachel, the perfect number twelve. They would live the perfect life of a romance novel. He handsome and romantic and she beautiful and madly in love with him. He folded the covers back on the bed and walked back down the steps. The overcast sky made the world like one big shadow. He loved the time of shadow. He put his tennis shoes in the bag he had brought along then set his wedding gift for Rachel on the table.
He slipped on the black shoes he’d spit shined and stepped back into the corner of the living room.
Into the shadow.
You are reading A Face in the Shadow by Tiffany Colter.
Tiffany is a writer, speaker and writing career coach. She is a frequent contributor to print and online publications in addition to her regular marketing blog at http://www.writingcareercoach.com/
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