Peter Sheridan realised that if he put his mind to it, he could easily become the worst stalker ever.
He had been crazy about Eilís for several years, starting that day in school when she tripped over his school bag that was blocking the narrowest part of the hall, causing her to fall and launch into the most poetic use of foul and abusive language he had ever heard. Her hazel eyes blazed with a fury he knew only women had and her Titian coloured hair glowed as a halo as she stood up. He didn’t know what she had said. He merely responded with ‘as you wish.’ He was simply thrilled that she was speaking to him at all. At him, his friends tried to clarify later but none the less, it was for him and he had loved her since. He memorised the three freckles on the bridge of her nose as she ranted against him and found a speck of spittle that had lodged at the corner of her lips encouraged a jealousy in him that something so small could be so intimate with her and he couldn’t.
Since that encounter, his arrival at, departure from and going for lunch at school coincided with her times of arrival, departure and lunching. Her friends had taken to singing the Divine Comedy’s song, ‘Everybody knows that I love you, except you!’ whenever he was near causing her, in his eyes to glow, but to others, to glower at him.
He never spoke to her. He couldn’t. She had bewitched him. She was perfect. His friends hated her and told him not to waste his time on her, that she had no interest in him.
He never saw that.
He managed to buy two tickets to the sold-out concert at Christmas. He would ask her to be his date. He practiced the words in front of the mirror. He practiced how to stand as he asked her, how many buttons on his shirt to leave open, which foot to keep forward.
He got stuck on how to say ‘hello’!
Was ‘hi’ better? Excuse me was too formal. Could he just say ‘Eilís?’
He told no-one of his plan. Time though, was of the essence. He knew where she lived. He had watched the house between trips to the library and football training. He cycled home the long way so as to pass the house and catch a heart bursting glimpse of her. She was different at home. She smiled more, bringing her sunset golden hair alive.
He had to ask today.
He strode purposefully to the front door, his steps echoing loudly. He ignored the rapid beat of his heart and controlled his breathing.
He checked his stance.
He reached forward and pressed the doorbell.
He heard the life changing ring.
He heard her voice within shout melodically ‘I’ll get it.’
He heard the key turn in the lock.
He heard the door start to open.
And he ran …
- : General Fiction