Ellen stood anxiously at the bus stop, her eyes darting nervously back and forth. She searched the streets for the shiny black car with the tinted windows. Not wanting to draw attention to herself, she attempted to move with ease. Panic shook her body, as she stepped nearer to the curb and gazed down the street hoping to see the bus. Instead she saw it. The black car parked a short distance down the street, the circular headlights glaring like arrows piercing her soul. Ellen wanted to scream. She tried to calm herself. Please Lord make the bus come soon – Ellen prayed silently to herself.
Within seconds the bus arrived. Ellen walked straight to the back of the crowded bus. Tired, drawn faces encircled her. She couldn’t help but look out the back window. There it was, the third car behind the bus, she swallowed hard and turned away.
The force of the bus stopping propelled Ellen forward causing her to bump into the lady with the red blazer, who abruptly gathered her bags and pushed her way toward the open door. Ellen dropped into the still warm seat. Staring straight ahead she fought the urge to look back. She knew the car would still be following. For almost two weeks now she had been pursued by this same mysterious vehicle. Ellen took a deep breath as her apartment building came into view. She reached up and pulled the cord for her stop. Without looking around she hurried to the entrance. Once inside her apartment she hooked the chain and double locked the door, feeling safe within her own four walls. As she quickly drew the blinds, a bright glare caught her eye. There it was on the street below- the sun shining off the chrome mirror on the driver’s side.
“Why me! Why! What does this person want from me?” Ellen cried out in frustration.
That night, as in every night for the past two weeks, Ellen’s sleep was plagued with terrible visions of being kidnapped, beaten, even killed. Just before her demise she would wake up, her nightgown drenched in perspiration. In the morning she rushed to the window, hoping the whole thing had been a bad dream. There it was, the eerie sight of the lone black car waiting like a vulture. Who was inside? The smoky windows prevented her from seeing. Feeling helpless Ellen searched her soul for any clue as to who might want to do this to her. Was it any of her friends, ex-friends, boyfriends, ex-boyfriends? The answer was always the same unremitting no. Ellen had very few friends, her focus has always been her career, as she was often accused of being a workaholic.
Ellen wanted to tell her parents, but knew she couldn’t. They were getting on in years and their health had been failing recently. Jennifer was the only person who knew.
“Ellen you’ve got to report this to the police.” Jennifer’s words were insistent.
“I don’t want to make a big deal about it.”
“Come on Ellen. There’s obviously some weirdo in that car. Who knows what he’ll do next.”
Ellen thought about what Jennifer had said. She knew she was right. The next morning she called the police department and made an appointment to meet with an officer at her apartment. That evening a gentle rapping disturbed Ellen’s tormented thoughts.
“Who is it?”
“It’s Officers Brennan and McGee.”
Ellen looked through the peep hole. There stood two middle age men.
“How do I know you’re police officers?”
Suddenly her view of the officers was disturbed, by a silver badge accompanied by a picture of the man who was speaking. She opened the door.
“I’m Officer Brennan and this is Officer McGee.” He couldn’t help but notice a subtle beauty about Ellen as she smiled slightly. She shook each of their outstretched hands.
“Sorry about the uniforms. We felt due to the nature of the situation it would be best if we came in plain clothes. We didn’t want to draw any undo attention to ourselves.”
Officer Brennan asked questions while Officer McGee took notes. As Ellen told her story, she felt somewhat relieved to be finally disclosing it.
“Is the car outside right now?”
“Yes I believe so.”
“Would you mind going to the window to see if you can identify it for us?”
Ellen apprehensively went to the window.
“Yes it’s there. It’s right across the street.”
“Okay on our way out we’ll get the license plate number. You did you say you weren’t able to obtain the number did you not?”
“No I’m sorry, I never even thought of it.”
“That’s okay. You get a good night sleep Miss Jackson.” Ellen smiled, feeling somewhat safer now.
“We’ll let you know if we learn anything about this guy.” Officer Brennan closed the door as he left. Ellen immediately locked the door, then finished her dinner and went to bed.
After another agonizing nights’ sleep Ellen awoke with a throbbing headache. There was no way she could go to work. She looked out the window and there it was, like a vulture it stood, nameless, faceless waiting for its prey. After calling work Ellen tried to rest, but was startled by the ringing of her phone.
“Hello Miss Jackson.” Ellen recognized the voice.
“Oh hello Officer Brennan. Have you got any news for me?” She asked apprehensively.
“Well actually yes. The car belongs to a David Miles, he lives at 108 Glengarry here in town.”
“David Miles?” Ellen questioned.
“Does that name mean anything to you?”
“No, nothing. I don’t know anyone by that name. What does he want with me?”
“We are hoping to find that out when we talk to him. We’ll be going over to his house later this evening. Try to stay indoors until we find out what David Miles has on his mind.”
Ellen agreed. She looked out the window. There it was. She hated that car, she wanted to rush down there and scream – LEAVE ME ALONE! Somehow she felt even more frightened knowing the name of the person inside.
Who was David Miles and what did he want with her? Ellen spent the day in her apartment pacing nervously to and from the window. It was almost 10 o’clock when she went to bed enduring another restless night. As soon as she got up in the morning she looked out the window and was startled to see the car was nowhere in sight. Perhaps the police had scared him off. In that instant the phone rang.
“Good morning Miss Jackson, Officer Brennan here. Officer McGee and I would like to escort you to work this morning. What time do you usually leave?”
“Around 8:30. Why? What’s happened?”
“Oh there’s nothing to worry about. This is just a precautionary measure.”
“Did you talk to this David Miles? What does he want from me?”
“Yes we did but now is not the time to talk. We’ll discuss it with you later.”
When they arrived Officer Brennan avoided answering Ellen’s multiple questions.
“Now we want you to go to work the same way you do every day. Use the same route.” Officer McGee said as they followed Ellen toward the elevator. She pressed B for basement. As soon as the elevator door opened to the parking garage the officers instantly moved in front of Ellen, almost like a shield. Within seconds she felt herself being pushed, then heard a deafening bang. Officer Brennan was enveloping Ellen behind a cement pole. Officer McGee was perched, gun in hand, behind another pole. Ellen was frozen in fear. Seconds later she heard the roar of a car. Then she heard a barrage of gunshots and a loud crash. Ellen buried her face in Officer Brennan’s chest. The only sound left was that of a car horn screaming.
Officer Brennan pulled away. Ellen looked up. Her eyes resting on a haunting sight. The shiny black car was wrapped around a pole. The dark windows were all but gone. Fragments of glass still framed a jagged windshield, inside she could see a blood stained man’s face, his body lying lifeless across the steering wheel. The horn was deafening. Office McGee gently pushed the body back from the steering wheel.
Ellen searched the face. Nothing was familiar. She was overcome with anguish. Why did this horrible thing happen to her? She turned questioningly to Officer Brennan.
“David Miles was a troubled man. That became painfully apparent from our conversation with him yesterday.”
Ellen didn’t know what to say. Without them she feared she would have been dead. She couldn’t believe how quickly it was over. Weeks and weeks of torment over in a matter of seconds.
Ellen stayed home from work for the next few days. Jennifer came over to check on her.
“Ellen aren’t you at all curious why this maniac was after you?”
“Then call the Police Department and insist on some answers.”
“I guess I should.”
The next morning Ellen called Officer Brennan. He came over that evening.
“Were you able to find out why David Miles was after me?”.
“Yes, we think we know.” Officer Brennan knew Ellen deserved some answers. He reached into his inside jacket pocket.
“Here, have a look at this.” He handed her a snapshot. Ellen felt as though someone had knocked the wind out of her. The woman in the picture was almost a mirror image of herself.
She searched the face, the eyes – the only difference was that the woman in the picture had longer hair than Ellen :
“Who is this woman?” Ellen asked when she was able to regain her composure.
“This is a picture of David Miles’ estranged wife Judy. She could be your twin.”
“Oh my God, he must have thought I was her!” Ellen gasped.
“Well the story goes that Judy Miles took their three children and disappeared. Prior to her disappearance Judy Miles charged her husband with assault. Apparently this wasn’t the first time she had called the police. David Miles was not a stable person. His wife leaving just seemed to push him over the edge.”
Ellen listened intently as Officer Brennan continued.
“Apparently after she left, David had a complete breakdown and has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals since. Many people had overheard him say he would kill his wife if he ever found her.”
“So he thought I was his wife. ”
“Seems that way.”
A few days later decided Ellen decided she needed to see her parents. She put her suitcase in the trunk and headed up north. She was trying to imagine how her parents would react when she told them what had happened. Her parents had always been very open about the fact that she had been adopted. However, up until now Ellen had never had an interest in finding her biological parents. Her life had been secure and happy. She didn’t want to complicate things. Could it be possible that she was a twin? Could Judy Miles be her sister?
Mr. and Mrs. Jackson greeted their daughter with open arms. Ellen had always felt loved and special. They had a leisurely lunch, as Ellen tried to conceal her nervousness. When her father went to lie down, Ellen felt this was the opportunity she had been waiting for. She wanted to wait until she was alone with her mother. Her dad had a heart attack last year and Ellen was fearful of putting any extra stress on him.
“Mom, leave the dishes and come and sit here with me.”
Mrs. Jackson could see the concerned look on her daughter’s face.
“Is there anything wrong love?”
“Mom I want you to look at this.” Ellen handed her the snapshot.
“Oh you look kind of funny in this picture dear.”
“Mom this isn’t me.”
Ellen went on to explain everything that had transpired in the last few weeks. Mrs. Jackson was in tears when Ellen finished.
“Mom I need to know the truth. Was I a twin?”
Mrs. Jackson hesitated momentarily.
“Yes dear you were. You were one of twin girls. Your father and I felt so bad that we couldn’t adopt you both.”
“Why didn’t you ever tell me?” Ellen interrupted.
“You were never interested. Every time I brought up the subject of your adoption you didn’t want to hear about it.”
Ellen knew her mother was right, she had never asked and didn’t care about her biological family. But now she did care. She had a sister, a twin sister. Ellen was now ready to find the answers to the questions she never ventured to ask before.
On Sunday evening she packed her car and headed back to London. Upon leaving, her mother asked what she was going to do.
“I’m going to do the only thing I can do. I’m going to find my sister.”
“Be careful dear.” Mrs. Jackson understood what her daughter had to do.
“I love you Mom.”