Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Escape #6

Eric walked Frances back to her apartment, making sure she was safely inside. Then she invited him in for a cup of coffee. She turned on some music on the small radio she had purchased at a second hand shop.

“Eric, I would like to share something with you,” she said as she poured his coffee. “We haven’t known each other very long, but I think I can trust you. I came to Spain to get away from a bad situation in America. My husband was extremely abusive, and one night when he came home drunk, things went from bad to worse. In self-defense, I cut him with a large piece of glass, and he fell to the floor dead.”

“But it was self-defense, right?”

“Yes, but my husband is from a family of really bad people. I knew they would come after me, regardless of the circumstances, so I had to escape to somewhere they couldn’t find me.” Frances sat in a chair at the table, her face reflecting her fear. “If they find me, I am still in danger.”

Eric looked into her eyes and reached for her hand. “All the more reason for me to hang around,” he said, smiling at her and touching her cheek.

“I’m feeling very vulnerable right now. Would you stay here tonight? I can’t get over the feeling that I’m not safe here in Spain, and I don’t know why.”

Before Frances fell into her bed that night, with Eric on her living room couch wrapped in a blanket, she turned off her light and looked out her window. She couldn’t see the figure lurking in the shadows away from the streetlight, watching her window.

“I’m just too paranoid,” she thought. She picked up the vase on her nightstand that held the tiny flower. She sniffed the aroma, and thought, “Maybe I will feel better tomorrow.”

The next several days were uneventful as Frances continued her job at the cafe, waiting on some of now regular customers and tourists traveling through Madrid. Her Spanish was much more fluid. But she was always watching for something that might indicate she had been discovered.

“Una taza de café, por favor,” the man at the table in the corner of the patio requested. Frances thought is accent indicated he was not Spanish, but she decided not to pursue that question. She brought him the coffee. After a few minutes passed, she made one final attempt to serve him.

“¿Te traigo algo más?” she asked, preferring to speak in Spanish. But the man just raised his hand to wave her away, obviously wanting nothing else from her. He picked up his copy of the Wall Street Journal, and she noted it was in English.

After Frances had walked away from him, he picked up his cell phone and placed a call.

“I’m pretty sure she is our girl. She is going by the name Frances and her hair and coloring seem a lot different. I’ll keep checking. She seems to have a boyfriend here, an artist who paints at the Plaza. When do you want me to make a move?” He shook his head to acknowledge the voice on the other end of the phone.

The final chapter of Escape will appear next Tuesday. Linking in today with Josie at Two Shoes Tuesday with the words "final" and "flower". Thanks for hosting, Josie.

Have a great day!
Linda Kay
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