The shock of the encounter. Who the hell is this guy? She tries to walk to the register. Her mind focused on fleeing. The strange guy has disappeared. Maybe it’s nothing. Her mind doesn’t like he knows her child’s name. She can’t remember seeing him. Nor remembers a Joshua playing soccer with Devon.
The urge to call her son is overwhelming. She can’t call panic stricken. The self serve registers will have to due. They are off to the side, safer. Maybe he won’t see her there. They are close to the door, maybe she can get out unseen.
He sits in the white truck outside. He plays with his phone. He blew it. Why did he use that name? She’ll know he’s lying about Joshua. But he had to buy time. Maybe there is one on the team, or last year, or recently. Kids move around all the time. At least, he can try going by her place.
She comes out of the store. Her eyes spy him quickly under the sign. She walks toward her SUV trying not to stare. It’s impossible not to. She slides her phone out and takes a picture of his truck.
“I guess we’ll find out who you are Billy Harden.” She speaks to the phone. Her picture has his face and plate number.
She loads up her groceries. Turning back to her pursuer, he is gone.
Her fingers find her phone quickly.
“Katie, It’s Liz. I need a favor. Do you remember a kid named Joshua playing soccer with Greenville? Or the last name of Harden? I had the strangest guy approach me….” She tries to stay calm. ” No! I’m not looking to date this one. He came up to me……”
“Ok, maybe he seen me before. But you don’t throw out a child’s name to hook up with mom if mom never saw you before. He has to be a creep! Ask Jesse to run his plate! Please? I just want to be sure about this…….Your right it’s probably nothing. If I dated more…yeah, yeah! I’m happy…..really happy without anyone.” She hangs up the phone.
She gazing from the confines of the driver’s seat. Her surrounds seem clear. Jesse has used the Sherrif’s computer before to help his sister in law. This doesn’t feel like nothing this time.
She tries the phone again. “Devon, I’m on the way. Are you outside or inside? …. Well, stay inside and play through level six, or whatever it is. I’m on the way now. Hey, do you remember a Joshua playing soccer? Oh he did! Last year? Was his name Harden? I may have met someone who says Joshua played soccer with you…..well, if you don’t remember….it’s ok.”
She is both comforted and distrurb. What if he’s not a creep and was just being friendly? If you overreact to everyone…you end up alone.
He drives past the house. A grey cat with white feet sits out front. It seems to look for someone to let him in.
Socks the cat see him. His eyes get big and he slinks away. Socks doesn’t trust strangers.