Impractical Paranoia

Thanks for taking the time to read this, it isn't much but I'm too lazy to do more so oh well.

Ring! Ring! The bell attached to the mantle of the front door jingled as a customer strode in. I sighed, another day of catering to a customer. I would've rather stay at home, curling into an armchair by the fireplace to read a good horror book like Laws of Magi.

But alas in the real world I needed a job to support myself, especially since I had just moved out of the country and into the city. Being here wasn't so bad though. It was louder and full of life, people bustling through the crowded streets in a brisk pace to get to work and eccentric food vendors advertising their snacks in a radical manner.

Unsurprisingly it was never quiet due to all of the honks and tires screeching when automobiles came to a turn. I missed the country sometimes though. Where everybody knew each other and would greet with a smile, the smell of newly baked pastries radiating from the local bakery and the familiar, glittering stars that I use to see every night. They weren't visible in the city though, due to all of the lights.

I sighed again. More people hustled into the diner. I could tell that most of them were teenagers due to the fact that they were all laughing and chattering animatedly.

"Peggy!" My boss called from across the counter.

"Would you take table 13 please?

Elise is busy with the other tables."

"Damn!" I muttered quietly. I was hoping to get through the day without actually working.

Sighing once more I straighten out my gaudy uniform which consisted of a short-sleeve white dress that puffed out below the waist, striped knee-high stockings, a lacy, white headband and nametag. Throwing my long, curly, golden-brown across one shoulder, I loosely tied on a red & white apron that had a logo for STAN'S DINER on the bottom. Then tightening the straps on the matching rollerblades, I slide towards table 13 where I noticed the teenagers from before sat.

Softening my stoic expression I put on my fakest, brightest smile and asked them in a chirpy voice what they'd like, writing down the vast amount of orders in my little green note book. Through middle of it I started to feel a stare roaming up and down my body, sending shivers up my spine. I wondered briefly if this was what it felt like to be a cornered animal, inspected by a predator for any weakness. Quickly shaking out of my paranoia I finished up the order in my little green notepad. Grimacing slightly at the amount of grease and fat the junk food contained.

Turning to the last teen I froze. He looked about 17 years old with messy, dirty-blond hair and bright, green eyes. He was a little thin but I was pretty sure if he was standing he'd be a good foot taller than me. Henson, what I overheard his friends called him was attractive too, but that wasn't why I was staring. He had menacing eyes I realized. They were dark and endless. Two clear pools that seem to see through all protective armor and into your true self. They unnerved me.

Quickly finishing up the orders and taking them to the cook, I shivered. I had a feeling that something bad was going to happen soon. The image of piercing eyes and the slightly more than creepy smile passed through my mind.

It was late now and my shift was thankfully over. I was the last person left since it was my turn to lock up. Skimming my eyes across the room I concluded that the diner definitely didn't retain its usual pleasant atmosphere during the night. Now it just looked dead and gray. Not even the red & gold wallpaper seemed cheery anymore.

I started locking up. The jingling of the keys were the only sounds that broke the dead silence. After I finished securing all the doors and windows I walked my way down the hallway towards the back exit, which leads to the parking lot. One of the many light bulbs that hung down from the ceiling started to flicker. Casting shadows across the tiled floor. My forehead started sweating and the hairs on the back of my neck stood, but from what I didn't know. Hesitantly, I turned the door knob and flinched. Nobody was there. The parking lot was bare with the exception of a tiny, beat-up car, my car. Chuckling nervously I silently pledged to stop reading horror books at night.

Hurriedly making my way towards the car while scolding myself of my paranoia I looked towards the direction of where my little buggy was parked and yelped. On closer inspection my car was a mess! Glass was littered everywhere and both front windows were broken. However that wasn't what made me so horrified. There upon all the glass and runnel, pinned to the hood of the car was a note. I'm watching you my dear was the only sentence written on it. So like any sane person I promptly screamed.

The next day wasn't much better. Because of the note I was too terrified to sleep at night and ended up staying awake till 4:35 in the morning, where I then awoke 2 hours later to get ready for work. To top it all off I had to take 2 buses just to get to STAN'S DINER and on the way there some snotty-nosed brat spilled grape juice all over my apron. So now I'm sitting behind the counter grumpy and wet. It didn't help that I had gotten in late and embarrassed myself in front of everybody in the diner, sighing tiredly which I vaguely remember doing the day before. I started to clean my uniform with a napkin I took from one of the tables.

"Bad day Peggy?" said a feminine voice to my right.

I looked over, it was Meg, one of the cleaning ladies who mopped the floor and washed the dishes at the end of the day. Deciding to humor her I answered her question with a simple summary of what happened to me recently, minus the car incident.

"Wow, no wonder you were so grouchy today. I'd be pretty cranky too if I had such a crappy day."

Meg said shaking her head slightly, making some blond strands of hair fall out of her loose pony tail.

" If I were you I wouldn't let that get to me though, especially since you have such a handsome stud after you."

Surprised at her response, I looked towards the direction where Meg was not-so-discretely pointing at my so-called admirer. Dirty-blond hair, thin stature, and shocking green eyes, I gasped silently. I was him! The boy's whose very same smile haunts my mind.

"Henson", I whispered softly.

"Hmm, you say something Peg?"

"No, it's nothing." I could only hope that he wouldn't stay too long and go away soon.

I was not in luck. Two weeks later the teen was still here, now that wouldn't have been too bad except for the fact that his intense eyes would follow me everywhere, drilling holes in my back. He would sit in a little corner, in one of the singles table isolated from everybody else. It was the perfect place to view the whole layout of the diner.

I was unnerved when I first found him staring. My coworkers however thought differently, thinking that it was cute and would constantly tease me about it. But I knew Henson, what I have come to call him in my mind wasn't staring because of some silly little crush. His eyes, clouded with an unreadable emotion never ceased to fail in paralyzing me when our gazes locked.

It was 6'oclock and my shift had finally ended. Henson, strangely enough wasn't here today which made me uneasy but I was immensely glad that I was relieved of his gaze. Picking up the last of the leftover dishes and placing them in the sink. I said my usual goodbyes to the few coworkers left and walked towards the backdoor.

A bounce in my steps was the only indication of my happy mood. Reaching the end of the hall I was suddenly hit with a sense of déjà vu. It dampened my mood a little, but I didn't let that get to me. It was probably my impractical paranoia acting up again up again anyways.

Opening the door all color drained from my face and I started to shiver uncontrollable. Standing in the middle of the parking lot was Henson, a familiar smile on his face. My eyes locked with his and as if on cue from a cheesy, horror movie he came towards me. Willing my frozen limbs to work I started running the opposite direction.

Wouldn't you know, I ended up doing something terribly cliché. I tripped on a crack. Now don't even get me started on how lame and corny that was. But before I was even able to muse about it my senses tingled. I was suddenly aware of something moving behind me. Turning around I screeched. I was faintly aware of him making a grab for me though determined not to let my numb state beat me, I violently shook out of his clutches and ran. I could hear some voices from behind calling my name but I ignored them and ran on.

"Jeez Henson, what did you do to her I haven't seen her that scared ever!"

"It wasn't my fault Meg. In truth I haven't the slightest idea to why she screamed and ran off like she was crazy in the first place. I mean one minute I'm tapping her on the shoulder the next thing I know she's gone. Honestly, just when I gathered up my courage to ask her out to dinner she runs off."

"Don't worry about it Henson, I'm sure Peg will come around in no time. Did you take my advice on being romantic and giving her love notes?"

"Yeah, but for some reason no matter what I do everything goes wrong. I smile she frowns. I try to give her hidden love notes and accidently crash into her car with my bike. I guess these are signs to stop chasing after her."

"Henson, you just had a bit of bad luck is all. I'm sure Peggy will fall for you sooner or later."