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"It's time we talked..." She smiled. Running a damp towel over her neck as she finished the set of exercises she'd been doing on a rug in her bedroom floor. Her voice sounded as loud as thunder. We hadn't spoken a word to each other for days.

"All right." I leaned back against her wall, studying her intently. Her breasts rose and fell with the recent exertion of her aerobics. She stretched and got up, padded over to her chest of drawers and withdrew a box. "here ... this will explain.." She laughed ... arching her throat and exposing it to my curious glance.

"That's all?" My own voice sounded funny in my ears. I was that unused to speaking with her.

"Yes...." She sat down on her bed and waited for me to open the box. It was filled with pictures of me ... from even before I had known she was watching me. I felt like I was watching a stranger. She had caught me in private ways that made me look very vulnerable ... and in others I looked self assured and poised ... 

She was a masterful photographer ... good enough to make money with her talent. I raised my eyes to tell her this, but she had other things on her mind.


"That was the first time, wasn't it?" His lips twisted in a tight grimace.

"Yes ... it was like nothing I ever dreamed of with her. She had studied me so long and so well she knew my every thought, anticipated my every feeling, as I did hers. I thought it would go on forever."

"...but it didn't..."

"No .... you're right ... it didn't ... there was never another time. That's when I began stalking her, instead of her stalking me ... I couldn't help it ... she ..."
"I know ... and you killed the one before you, didn't you ... the one she said was 'bothering' her .... the one she said she was afraid of ..."

"That's right ... I did ... how did you know?"

"... because .... tonight is the same ... for me." He said simply, drawing out the gun and pointing it at me. 

"I'm too late then, aren't I?"

He nodded, turning the pistol against his own head. The explosion rocked the room we were in and I gasped as I noticed HER sitting nearby, close enough to be listening to both of us. She had been watching the whole time.

The gun was in my hands. People were shouting. She was caught between them and the door. I smiled. She had been a good teacher. How tempting she looked, but the stalking time was over.

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Revised: March 6, 1999
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