Crossing the dirty-looking river, she enjoyed the wonderful view of the city. She took a deep breath in, a deep breath out. Glancing at the people surrounding her, her heart hammered inside her chest.
Keep calm, she thought, everything's fine. You're going to be married soon. He's definitely the one. I probably shouldn't tell him about the man who blew me a kiss this very morning, scaring me to death ever since.
Thinking about that incident, she was walking, fast, faster, running down the bridge. As she reached the shore, she was breathing heavily.
What the heck is wrong with me? I'm taking that way every single day of my life. Why am I so panicky? There's nothing to worry about.
Still, she felt like someone was observing her, knowing exactly what she was doing, how she was feeling.
She was going straight ahead. Her destination was nearly within reach. Only twenty meters left; ten, five, two. Finally, there it was: the art gallery.
Everything seemed so familiar. The lowered voices of other visitors. The paintings. Even the sound of the many radios arranged like a tower she had listened to many times before. But today was different. Somehow she just couldn't get rid of a special feeling. A special feeling which made her uncomfortable. She left the building.
Making her way to the little market near her favorite gallery, she was looking around carefully. She felt like there was somebody... somebody who was watching her. That feeling didn't go away, not even when she stood among the thousands of stalls. Usually, she loved talking to the many many dealers offering their goods, giving tourists some recommendations, being right in the center of the action. But today, she couldn't stand that. The noises, the scents, the people. She had to escape, to save herself, just like a rat leaving the sinking ship. She tried to put one foot in front of the other.
Even though she wasn't feeling quite well, she wanted to continue her daily trip through the city. Going through the tunnel with its lots and lots of graffiti on the walls, she listened tensely. No one was around. The only noise was the sound of her steps on the ground. Click, clack. But then: A whisper. She stopped, listened again. No man blowing her kisses. Nothing. It gave her the creeps. Her palms were wet. The hair on the back of her neck stood on end. She began to run, faster and faster, out of the tunnel, right to the nearest underground station.
As she got on the train, she tried to slow her heartbeat and to breath deeply. No one was looking at her. The constriction of the carriage made her feel uncomfortable. She was always looking around carefully, staring into people's faces.
Why do I feel so observed? There isn't a single reason to do that. I am just really stupid. Freaking paranoia.
At the next station, she left the tube. After passing the stairs, she found herself bathed in light even though the sun had set. All those colourful advertisements, so shiny and bright, blinded her eyes. She sat down on the stairs in front of a fountain. Ten meters away, a street musician was playing the guitar. She watched him, listened to his music. Again, she took a deep breath in, a deep breath out. The music was quite relaxing. She even began to smile when someone started playing the bagpipe, interfering with the romantic guitar music. It was kind of a relief, just sitting there, listening to music after that strange day.
She decided to go into a shop emitting the charm of an American diner. When she got her milkshake, she sat down in one of those cozy red leather chairs. Sip. She scanned her environment. Sip. She started to feel uncomfortable again. Sip. She watched every person in the shop. There he was. The man. The man who had blown her kisses. He was looking at his smartphone. Her heart raced. Her breath came to a hold. He lifted up his head. He turned his face towards her. He stared into her eyes. Then, suddenly, the man stood up. He was approaching her.
“Good evening, Mademoiselle. I'd like to apologize for today's morning. I did not want to blow kisses at you. My wife's got the same stunning dress. I am very, very sorry. I hope, I didn't scare you.”
He smiled. Not a scary smile, just an honest, apologizing smile. She exhaled loudly. A few seconds passed before she was able to answer:
“Oh, no problem. You didn't scare me. Everything's fine.”
She smiled back.
“Well, then... Have a wonderful evening.”
He left. She relaxed. Being alone again, she finished her milkshake and decided to go for a walk.
Heading to the nearest park, she was completely drowned in her thoughts.
I knew it was just my stupid paranoia. Haha, as if someone would have the urge to follow me. Silly! I am such an idiot.
Darkness covered the flowers, the bushes, the trees, the walkers. She was surrounded by deathly silence.
Why do I always have to overreact? There was not a single thing to worry about. I should talk to my therapist again.
Suddenly, she heard footsteps. Anxiety was calling. She stopped abruptly. Footsteps again. Her heart was almost jumping out her chest. She listened. Heavy breathing. Right next to her. It was coming closer. She could feel someone's breath stroking her ear.
"I've been waiting all day long for you, my beautiful fiancée."
She exhaled deeply.
Then, again, silence.