When I got home, my phone was ringing. The only person I gave my new number to was Aunt Helen, so it had to be her. “Hi, Aunty.”
“Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha,” came a hi pitched laugh. “You thought you could get rid of me, didn’t you? I told you that was impossible.”
“How did you get my number? I told no one.”
“You underestimate me Amanda Blake!”
“Now look here–.”
But it was too late. He hung up. “AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!” I slammed the phone down in its cradle then telephoned Aunt Helen. “Aunt Hellen, I need you to come over. He called again, and this time he used my new number.”
“I’ll be right over to pick you up. We’re going to the police, and this time they’re going to listen.”
When we reached the station, we were directed to Detective Blanche’s desk. His tough demeanor was accentuated with his crooked nose and broad shoulders. Maybe he was a football player at one time. Although, he kind of reminded me of a freight train that trampled everything in its path.
“Why don’t you start by telling me what’s going on,” he said.
Knot by knot, I unraveled my story, from the phone calls to the notes to the death threats.
“Well,” he said. “It’s obvious that it’s someone you know. He knows where you work and live. He could be a colleague at work. Is there anyone at work who’s been acting rather strange lately?”
I thought a minute.
Aunt Helen joined in by telling her story of Mr. Dodge.
“We’ll keep Mr. Dodge on the list of suspects. I don’t know about the janitor though. That might be just a coincidence. But I’ll keep my eye on it all the same. In the meantime, we’re going to bug your phone. And possibly trace some of those calls.”
“Is that all you’re going to do? Can’t you assign an officer to watch her house?” said Aunt Helen.
“No, because, as it stands now, no one’s made any attempt to break in or come near her at this point.”
“Oh, so you’re going to wait until someone tries to hurt her before you’ll actually protect her.”
“I’m sorry, but my hands are tied at this point. We’ll tap the phone, though.”
“Thanks a lot. Thanks a whole lot,” Aunt Helen’s dripped with sarcasm.
“Aunt Helen, it’s ok. You’re not going to change his mind. Let’s go. Thank you, detective.” I gave him my phone number and left.
The next day I decided to stay home from work. I figured that if the stalker was someone at work, then home was the best place for me. At this point anyway.
I was in the middle of laundry, when the phone rang.
“This is Detective Blanche. We traced some of those calls yesterday to a Mr. Dodge at the number in his office. He’s just been arrested.”
“You sound sure that he’s the guy. Maybe someone else stole his office key and has been using the phone in his office. Remember? The janitor said Mr. Dodge’s office key was missing.”
“Yeah, I’m way ahead of you on that.”
I leaned back into my recliner and covered up with my grandmother’s knitted afghan. The deafening silence of the house ground at my nerves, so I picked up the TV remote. Before I clicked the power button, a tap on the air conditioner broke the quiet. I listened for the noise again, nothing. Maybe it was a bird. I raised my arm again to hit the power button and froze as another tap sounded. The tap continued and crescendo-ed until it became a bang.