Creative Writing Portfolio By: Kara Green

Table of Contents

Short Stories

  1. Creative Writing Space
  2. Time Machine
  3. A Meal for the Ages
  4. Nighthawks
  5. The Scream

Poetry

  1. The Persistance of Memory
  2. Haiku
  3. Voting Open Letter
  4. Rude Awakining

Fiction Story

  1. Always Watching

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Short Stories

Creative Writing Space:

My creative writing space would be alone, with a desk, computer, and journal. I would most likely have a comfortable chair and would have my headphones in. I might e-mail a friend or talk to someone to help me brainstorm ideas. The room would have to be cold but not freezing. I would be wearing sweatpants or pajamas so that I could be more relaxed and comfortable. Depending of the time of the year, I would either have the windows open to smell the outdoors, or have a blanket wrapped around me. The room would smell of books and the coffee that would always be sitting nest to my pencil jar. The pencil jar would hold pencils of all kinds, pens in various colors, and and markers so that I can scratch out words. There would be a chai latte very hot but also just cool enough to drink. The desk would be a dark wood and would have a drawer full of gum and mints. This desk would also have drawers full of everything from food to old full journals. This room would be full of pillows and places to think. Along the wall on the left of the desk, there would be books for inspiration and for when I have writer's block. the room would be dimly lit but just bright enough to write and see what was all in the room. This room would be in the city but you wouldn't be able to see the traffic and the noise would be limited. The only noise would be the scrape of pencils and the music that is playing in the room. According to my preference on a specific day, I would either write in a notebook or type on my computer. The computer is black with good keys that are easy to type on. When I had guests there would be a beanbag chair in the corner across from my desk and my egg chair. If my guest wanted to write there is a spare laptop, stack of journals, and a small box full of pens and pencils for their use. That is the perfect writing space.

Time Machine:

Do you believe that the past needs changing? Many people would like to change things that happened in their past. I on the other hand would only like to change one thing. My childhood. If only time machines existed right?

It was just like every other day. Wake up, swim at 5:30, go to school. That may seem like a boring schedule, but I was content. I had a few friends, but I was never the first choice friend. not to hang out, or to talk to. In fact sometimes I feel like an extra on a movie set that I'm supposed to be the main character in. I also got nervous fairly often. So that formed my nasty habit of talking to myself. I sometimes even talk to people. His name is Zodeus. He is the god of space and time. Also totally fictional. Almost every day after school, I end up talking to him. He is obviously very kind but he has his faults. This particular story begins on a day that I was talking to him. It was a good life. Why did everything have to change?

"Mom, I'm home!" My mother had gotten sick a few days earlier. She had the flu so since that is a contagious disease, she had to stay home from work. Not that that mattered to me. I would do what I always did. Plug in my headphones, head upstairs. and do homework. The homework that I did have was very simple. It was completed within 10 minutes. I had an idea. It was the perfect time to talk to Zodeus. So, I closed my eyes and fell backwards onto my bed. As soon as my head hit the pillow I opened my eyes in a new world. Zodeus' room appeared before me. It was just a small universe that was currently uninhabited. Though it wasn't really a room. It was more of the universe blanketed around us and stars supporting our bodies. Zodeus on the other hand was much less magical. If you can imagine the strongest person alive then double what you see. That man was holding the world in one had and then in the other hand he held a large hourglass. He wore a cape made of suns which covered his body entirely. The cape was tattered and torn around the edges. We said out hellos and I told him about life on Earth. That's when the strange thing happened. It appeared. Nothing special. A small black box with two buttons on the top. One button was red. One was green. And on the front in bright red ink and in Zodeus' handwritting it said TIME MACHINE. Why was this here? Before my question could be answered a loud bang revertibrated through the room. Zodeus grabbed me by my hand and then pushed the green button on the Time Machine. Then I was off.

A Meal for the Ages:

It was Thanksgiving Day in the year 2014. The sun was shining bright through the window next to my bed. It was the first time I'd slept in during Winter Break. Since I had slept so well the intensely bright sun was not my friend. Groggily, I got out of bed and closed the window curtains. Next, I got dressed but since it was Thanksgiving and I was going to eat a lot, I put on some jeans and a sweatshirt. 11:15 flashed on my bedside alarm. The parade had already started. I rushed out of my room to the intense smell of delicious food that was being prepared for lunch. It was also the food that I would be eating for the next few weeks. The living room TV was on with the bright colors of the parade. As I had thought the parade was already going. My mother and father said good morning to me then my brother made a comment about how late I had slept. There was a bag of Panera Bagels that my mom had picked up which I helped myself to. The parade was a blur while I waiting for the family to arrive. My mother's side of the family came up for Thanksgiving. But this was an especially special Thanksgiving meal. This was the last Thanksgiving until the kids went to college. It would be a meal for all ages! I thought as the bell rang and the first family member arrived.

Nighthawks:

The old and tired bartender served the young man another drink. He sat alone with nothing but the empty cups in front of him and a photo in his hand. From the bartender's perspective it was a young man in the photo. He seemed to be about the same age as the man holding the photo. The photo looked worn and the photo was of a soldier. In the Phillies many men left to fight for the country. Sadly, just as many didn't come back. "Another for my lady, please!" On the opposite side of the bar there was a soldier and his fiance. The soldier whose name from his uniform was Tim Schuyler, had proposed earlier that night. After the exciting proposal had calmed down, they ordered their favorite drink at their favorite bar. As a bartender he had memorized the couple's orders since they were there almost every day. Since he was the only bartender, he had a special connection with every customer. They had just invited him to their wedding. Lots of weirdos in Philly. A soldier, a trophy wife, a sad friend, and an old and tired bartender.

The Scream:

This world had always been like this. Dark yet bright. Cold yet warm. Human yet wrong. This was how it had been for as long as he could remember. The skies had great streaks of color that made the sky burn. The water was so very wrong. It was a dark blue. Like the deepest depths of the sea. But as water normally did, this water did not. This water instead of reflection light, absorbed it into it's black surface. For many years no one drank from the black river. Monks thought it was poisoned. Later after over 6,000 churches had blessed the water, they realized that the water was not wrong. That was when the man began to notice that not everything was right. No one else seemed to notice it though. The wrongness. The wrongness he could not explain. The sky and the water were wrong. Everyone knew but no one cared. Maybe it was because no one could put their finger on what was wrong. He began going mad. Why do these people not care? Why do they not notice? The fire sky, black river, and the wrong people. There was nothing wrong with them. They were not idiotic or mean. But something was wrong. One day he went to the bridge. His name was Johnathon. Now this bridge was were Johnathon was abandoned at the age of 12. He came here when he was upset or scared. And he prayed. This time he prayed for the knowledge of what was wrong. For two hours he prayed. Then his prayer was answered. And he screamed.

Poems

The Persistance of Memory:

  • Time doesn't work anymore
  • Clocks droop
  • Stopwatches don't start
  • It BROKE
  • Natural things stop
  • Nothing grows
  • Nothing dies
  • It BROKE
  • Water is still
  • No waves
  • No ripples
  • It BROKE
  • Humans don't move
  • They don't die
  • Just trapped in their own mind
  • It BROKE
  • Nothing lives
  • Nothing dies
  • No wind blows
  • It BROKE
  • The mountains do not loom
  • no snow falls
  • nor does the wind blow
  • It BROKE
  • The sun blares nonstop
  • melting the broken
  • falling like leaves
  • It BROKE
  • Never right
  • never cold
  • nothing lives
  • This world BROKE
  • Broken
  • Broken
  • Broken
  • Dead
  • BUT NOT YET

Haiku:

  • Orange, red, yellow, green, tree
  • Leaves fall down off of the tree
  • Orange, red, yellow, green, tree

Rude Awakening:

  • Dead emotionless
  • No feeling
  • Frozen soul
  • Empty
  • Music sings
  • Joy, pain, beauty
  • Gentle, harsh, happy
  • Realization
  • Yin & Yang
  • Joy & Pain
  • Light & Dark
  • Good & Bad
  • Reverse
  • Bad is Good
  • Darkness is Bright
  • Pain brings Joy
  • Fog lifted

Ode to a Random Day:

  • I see
  • a few meters away
  • walking happily
  • tail wagging
  • A hitch of breath
  • and heart warmed
  • getting closer
  • closer
  • Large, fluffy
  • Pinch your cheeks
  • And contact!
  • Word with the owner
  • Yes they say, go ahead
  • Happy dog
  • soft fun
  • rough tongue
  • Good boy

Fiction Story

Always Watching:

Lunar Stern was 5 years old when it happened. She was playing with her father and mother. It was a normal day. Then a knock on the door was heard throughout the house. The two toys she was playing with were laid out in front of her. As smart as she was, she liked to play like the normal kids. With normal toys and normal things. The door opened and she heard her mother and the stranger talking. From a very young age, she had been taught never to talk to strangers.

“Why is mommy talking to a stranger dadd-” She never finished that thought as a loud gunshot rang through the house. In all happened in a blur of moving limbs. Her father pushed her under the couch and ran to the door. There was a small amount of shouting and yelling from her father and the stranger. The door closed and the house was silent. Dead silent. Nurses and butlers ran around the mansion. While the chaos ensued in the playroom, she snuck over to the crime scene. Her mother was laying on the ground motionless. A small pool of red stuff...blood... leaked out of her stomach.

“Momma? Are you ok momma? Momma get up!” After her cries for help went unanswered, she ran to the kitchen to find the nurses and cooks cleaning up their things. They saw the blood on her hands and gasped. It was true. The lady of the house was dead. She dragged the nurse that raised her over to where her mother was. Mary Rose was her name. After that day she never saw Mary Rose. She placed a Band-Aid on her mother’s wound. That would fix it. She thought. It didn’t fix it though. Band-Aids don’t fix bullet holes. And fathers don’t always stay.

That was 17 years ago. Little Lunar Stern was not as innocent as back then. She knew that the world was not all smiles and rainbows. She went to a martial arts academy for a reason. She had raised herself for those 17 years by. She learned all of her years of school in a small amount of time. As soon as she was done with her studies, she went into martial arts and then into normal art. Even at a young age she had a passion for art and creating. You could make something, out of nothing but a few materials. It made her very pleased. When you are alone living by yourself in a house, it’s a good idea to find something to do in your freetime. Which brings us to where we are now.

Lunar was 22 years old, had a 4.0 GPA, and was about to attend Harvard on a full ride scholarship. Even though she was a very rich child, she had been determined not to spend a cent on Harvard. Going to Harvard had been one of her mother’s dreams for her. Before she had died anyway. Mrs. Stern was a very kind woman and had been all her life. After starting her own business at the age of 20, she had quickly become very well known and respected in the business world. Lunar was 22 and already behind. She intended to attend Harvard to follow in her mother’s footsteps. When her mother died and her father walked out, the company was left without a leader or an heir. In her mother’s will she wrote, Mr. and Mrs. Kaden will take over the company until my daughter is of right age and intellect to take over. She has a list of things to do before then. Once she is at that age she can choose whether or not that she wants to take over the company. So here she was. About to make her way in the world. At Harvard.

The flight was leaving at 5 a.m. Lunar didn’t mind the mornings, but it wasn’t always a nice thing when she was woken up and then shoved onto a plane. Her seat was in the farthest back row. Even though she was a rich girl, she did not like to show it off. She was wearing a long cream trench coat and a short black dress. The airplane would drop her off right where she wanted to be. A fun airport smack dab in the middle of Massachusetts. Harvard was not far from the airport but all she needed was some shut eye. Worrying about college was something that could wait. It wasn’t like she hadn’t done this before. Art college was much more daunting than Harvard, wasn’t it? In a matter of minutes, she was passed out in the plane.

A flight attendant walked down the aisles asking each passenger if they wanted anything. She was the average flight attendant. Blond, pretty, nice, and obviously hating the stares that the men gave her. Lunar was shaken awake by one of these men. He was a funny looking guy, with reddish brown hair, freckles, and a six pack that she could see through his thin shirt.

“Hey, gorgeous! Can I get you anything from the trolley?” She woke up and sighed. This was not the first time a seemingly obnoxious guy had hit on her,Though she had no clue why. In her case, she was a medium sized person with dark brown black hair, tips she had bleached, and a few piercings on her ears. Besides her physical appearance she was also very sassy to most people and had trust issues.

“Sorry sir. I respect myself too much to give a pig like you the idea that you could pull it off with me.” He looked taken aback. Most men, especially ones with a cute face, didn’t expect to get a no from people like herself. They usually looked a little surprised when they got rejected. This ginger had talked to the flight attendant whose name I could see was Angelica. When they were done talking he had two diet sodas and a couple bags of chips.

“Did you not get the hint, sir?” The poor guy must have mistaken her sarcasm for a bad form of flirting.

“Who said any of this was for you? The name is Oliver, by the way. Since you’re cute and sarcastic you can call me Ollie. We’re friends now.” He smirked. Wow. Someone who could match her sarcasm. This Oliver fellow might not be so bad. Lunar had never had a friend before. Since she raised herself, she didn’t want any friends to go snooping or get her sent to a foster home.

“Mr. Oliver. Are you denying a fine lady of my obvious class a beverage? What sort of friend are you?” That statement got her a laugh from the cute guy. As he laughed he passed her back a drink and a bag of chips. They were best friends from that moment on. They talked the whole rest of the way from Chicago to Massachusetts. She had slept for most of it. But for the remaining five hours, she and Ollie talked. He was also going to Harvard but he was studying law. Oliver had apparently wanted to be a lawyer since he was a kid. The only family he had was his mother and father. His father was one of his mother’s employees but was not very good at his job and became an alcoholic. His mother,on the other hand,was a very responsible woman. She had owned the chain of stores that Oliver’s father worked at. But after the cancer struck his mother, the family became poor. Oliver had to work very hard to get into Harvard. The loan he took out of the bank would hang over his family forever. They barely had enough money to afford the cancer treatments.

The plane landed. After 15 hours on a plane, Lunar wanted to stretch out her legs and Oliver joined her. They got off the plane and entered the airport. Now back to the original problem. How was she going to get to Harvard? Taxis were not the easiest thing to get in the city. Oliver didn’t seem worried. It was strange. Someone with so many problems acting like he had none. Somehow as if by a miracle, Oliver had gotten a cab hailed.

“Hey babe? I know that you love to just stand and look stupid in airports but can you get in the cab? Harvard awaits.” She glared at him. He knew she didn’t like anyone to call her any names that were fond or loving. As bad as that sounds, he didn’t blame her. After having a walkout father, dead mother, and the caregiver leave you, it can affect a child.

“I’m coming Mr. Sassypants! Anything else you need, honey?” The duo was extremely sarcastic. Even the little conversations they had would usually end with one of the two collapsing in laughter.

“A kiss on the cheek for my dearest.” She laughed and gave him a gentle slap to the cheek. As she got in the car she heard him mutter the word “harsh” under his breath. Oh well. The cab ride was a full 25 minutes of sarcastic comments between the two. They were becoming very fast friends. Cabs stop a little ways away from the location. Just like this cab did. She and Oliver hopped out of the car and paid the driver. He saluted Oliver and then drove away. Oliver tipped an invisible hat back at the disappearing cab. They were off to their separate dorms. Oliver waved goodbye and handed her a slip of paper. It read.

“Here’s your honey’s number. Don’t yell, you said it, not me!” She smirked and added his number into her phone. The dorm hall that she went into was larger but not as big as her whole house. It would be different to live inside a small room again. School started the next day. She had specially requested to have no roommate. It would be easier if there was no partying or noise. So she started unpacking. A few bushes rustled outside even though it was a windless day. Was she already going to have to deal with a peeping tom? Her room was close to the entrance to the dorm so maybe it was someone else moving in. Though she thought everyone else was moved in. Not to be worried about. She went to go explore the campus. First the cafeteria, food was of massive importance to her. Since she didn’t like to go to grocery stores and shop, the cafeteria was good. It happened to be the building the farthest away from her room but she didn’t really care, she needed the exercise. On the way over she swore she saw someone following her but she was probably just paranoid. Upon arrival, she found Oliver stuffing his face with some sort of food that she couldn’t put her finger on. He waved her over with the hand he wasn’t using to stuff his face.

“Hey babe!” For that he got a thump on his head and a glare from across the table. He pushed a piece of pizza over to her. She scarfed it down. Plane rides really take it out of you and she was not going to turn down free food. Especially pizza. Even up close she had no clue what Oliver was eating. He noticed that she was staring at him and smirked. She knew what he was thinking and thought it might be better if she asked before he did.

“Hey Ollie? What are you eating there?” Again he smirked. When he smirked she either wanted to punch him or laugh with him. After wiping his mouth he decided to finally answer.

“Food.” That’s typical Oliver. He knew he was cute and he also knew how to use sarcasm. She pulled out her phone and looked up what the food was. It was some sort of sea creature that she had never tried previously. How did Oliver afford such nice food? He was practically poor enough to be homeless. Oliver paused his eating and looked down at his lap. His face looked like a combo of sad and upset. He put down his fork and cleared his throat.

“Um, Lunar? I logged into your account for food. I thought since you were rich you wouldn’t mind.” He trailed off. It hit her right away. He didn’t have enough money to pay for food. She had always been wealthy but she had never thought about not having something. Oliver had bought the stuff on the plane for her. That was probably all the money he had. He did it just to be nice and to try to make a friend. He had spent all his money on her.

“Ollie. Buy all that you want. Just don’t spend it all in one place, ok? You’re my friend and I’d never let a friend go hungry.” She smiled and hugged him before she left to explore the rest of the campus. A bush rustled outside the window.

It had taken her the rest of the day to explore the campus. Oliver had gone to unpack his stuff after lunch. They were supposed to meet in the cafeteria for dinner. He was her only friend so it was normal to eat and hang out with him. She did need another friend,though. Oliver arrived 10 minutes late with a pair of aviators on and a sweater. He was dressed to impress.

“Tell me you didn’t get my credit card number too?” Lunar was being sarcastic and he knew it but he laughed anyway. After flirting with around 10 girls, he sat down next to her with a full pizza. There was never enough pizza for one day. They talked over their classes and free periods and found times to meet up and copy each other's homework. Oliver left the table at around 9 pm to go flirt with other girls. If there ever was an adorable flirt in the world, it was him. Again, she saw the bush outside the window rustle. It was semi-windy tonight so she didn’t think anything of it.

Oliver came back a half an hour to say that he was going to go find all of his classes. She didn’t mind. The cafeteria was almost deserted. She didn’t see anyone that looked like good friend material. A few already drunk girls, a guy hitting on everyone, and a few people smoking outside the entrance. A new fellow walked in. He didn’t look too bad. He was about six feet tall, short cropped brown hair, and very muscular. If you put Oliver and this stranger next to each other there wasn’t one thing in common. He came over to her table and sat down.

“May I?” The stranger’s voice was very rough and gravelly. She had no problem with this though. It was semi handsome. She nodded and he sat down. There was still two pieces of pizza left which the stranger helped himself to. She was curious as to why the stranger came and sat with her. Maybe it was just for the pizza, but she wasn’t certain.

“My name is Brad. Brad Lee. I came over here because a pretty lady like you shouldn’t be lonely.” Wow. This stranger was mysteriously sweet. He grabbed her schedule to check over her classes. As close as Lunar was to snatching it back from him, she was in no spot to turn down anyone, especially a potential friend. He looked up from the schedule and to her.

“Lunar, we have a few classes together. Finance and Intro to Business. We also have some breaks together. Hopefully this will lead to a friendship.” He was thinking the same thing that she was. A possible friend. She stood up and he followed her example. After a few seconds of awkward silence,she spoke up.

“Well I need to be getting to bed. It was nice to meet you, Brad. I’ll see you tomorrow in class, ok?” Brad nodded and smiled at her. She walked out. Through the corner of her eye she saw Brad waving her away. Even though he came on a little strong she thought he was very cute. Her trust issues came in and she realized the only way that they would be anything more than friends was if he could gain her trust. Not to be worried about at the moment. For now she needed definite sleep and a chance to get her head in order and unscrambled. Before she went to sleep, though, she saw a pair of eyes outside her window.

The day was September 6th. Classes were starting and so apparently was the cold weather. She left the dorm wearing a flannel shirt over a black top, a scarf, a beanie, and a pair of ripped jeans. Her first period was a study hall for the homework that they didn’t do the night before. She was too responsible for a first period study hall so she chose to join another class. Oliver said his first class was debate. She loved debating so she went to join his class. He wouldn’t mind, she thought. On the way over she almost ran right into Brad. It wasn’t her fault, she was distracted. Oliver was walking about 15 meters in front of her. With a girl who from the looks of her was someone who wanted the wrong kind of attention. His arm was around her shoulder and she was leaning into him. Brad saw her pause.

“Hey! What’s up?” She pointed over to Oliver and the new girl. Brad looked thoughtfully over to her. From her face she was not jealous but questioning what was happening. He thought for a minute and then responded.

“It seems that she is having more fun than he is. He is just being friendly and she sees more. I have a study hall right now. We can talk if you want.” She sighed a sigh of relief at seeing what Brad said was true and then followed him to talk. Oliver was just being friendly and that girl didn’t get it. Brad found a place in one of the commons. Lunar seated herself on one of the couches and Brad sat across from her in a beanbag chair. Brad was very nice. They talked about school and friends and their past for an hour before they both left for second period, which they had together. He put his arm around her shoulder. Lunar told herself that it was just Brad being nice. After they talked, she wouldn’t mind if it wasn’t. He was such a kind, caring, and understanding person. Not like the other men she knew. Second period was Finance and was a very easy class. Another reason she wanted friends was because school was so easy and boring. The class dragged on and on. When the bell finally rang, Brad and she went their separate ways. Because of her previous classes that she took at art school, she only needed to take a few classes in order to be eligible to take over her mother’s business. Banking was a very large business. Her next class was about the law and happened to be shared with Oliver. She had two study halls until that class. Time to take a nap.

When she woke up from her almost 4 hour nap she was very groggy. She texted Oliver and asked him when class started.

Lunar: When does class start?

Ollie: 15 minutes. Were u sleeping?

Lunar: Maybe. Can u bring me some coffee?

Oliver: My baby girl needs coffee I’m on my way over.

Lunar: Don’t call me that -_- I want black coffee btw

Oliver: You’re cute. I’m on my way over from Starbucks.

Lunar: Cya soon then.

She didn’t think he would have actually picked her up coffee. Someone knocked on her dorm room door. She looked through the peephole to see Oliver with some coffee and a box of chocolates. Lunar let him in and he sat down on her bed right away.

“Nice look honey.” Oliver was almost laughing at what she was wearing. Every time he had seen her she was fairly dressed up. Now she was wearing a tank top and black sweatpants. With plenty of sass, she walked over to Oliver and snatched her coffee cup and the box of chocolates.

“I have told you more than once to not give me pet names. Also thanks for the chocolates. How did you know?” Oliver started laughing very very hard just then. She frowned. The coffee was just like she liked it and the chocolates were sweet and delicious.

“I accidentally grabbed your bag off of the carry on and I noticed feminine products. Since my mom always bought chocolate when it was her shark week I thought you would like some.” Lunar blushed. Little Ollie actually cared about her. In one of the spots where a chocolate should have been, there was a small container of Advil. Oliver really knew what he was doing. She muttered a thank you and took another sip of coffee.

“Have I ever told you how beau-” Oliver was interrupted. Which he looked very annoyed that he was interrupted . The knock that interrupted him was still going. Whoever was at the door was not very patient. Lunar answered the door and saw it was Brad. She opened it. Brad’s jovial face changed to a hard stone cold glare.

“What is he doing here?” The jealousy could be heard a mile away. Oliver stood up, grabbed her by the wrist, and took her outside the room. The chocolates and coffee were abandoned by the chair where she was sitting.

“We are going to our class. And since when do you control who she is hanging out with?” Brad was left staring dumbfounded after the duo as they disappeared into the distance towards their law class. Oliver was not going to be someone that Brad would get along with. Lunar could tell that right away. Oliver did not talk to her the whole way to class. She could tell that he was on edge during class and he didn’t talk at all. She knew she needed to talk to him after class.

“Ollie why are you so mad?” Lunar knew that Oliver loved to be called that but it was hard for her to do so. Pet names were not something she was fond of. Her parents used to give her a ton of pet names. Oliver did not answer her question at first. He just sat down and pouted. She sat down next to him and waited. After she stared at him for a solid 10 minutes, she had a feeling that he wasn’t going to answer. Lunar picked up her bag and stood up. As she walked away she heard Ollie talking after her.

“Are you going to see him? Just when I thought that someone could be friends with me, and not try to replace me after finding out who I really am. Let me guess. He’s attractive and wealthy and a much better friend for when you take over your mother’s buisness.” Lunar paused. Did Oliver really think that she was replacing him? Did he think that she was so petty as to ditch him because of his money and the way that he lived? A single tear ran down her face. She needed to talk to him.

“No in fact Oliver, I was not trying to replace you with Brad. I wanted another friend because I’ve never had friends before and I liked it. So I thought maybe I can be friends with Brad and you. I would never ditch someone because of something like how much money they have. What about all of the girls you hang out with?” Her tears were racing down her face now. She struggled to get out all of the words she wanted to say. “You were the first person to not befriend me merely for my business, money, or mother. I don’t care if you aren’t the richest or the most attractive and I can’t believe you thought I was that petty.” As soon as she got the last word out she ran for the hills. They were sitting outside the cafeteria so it was a long run back to her dorm. Once she arrived she threw open the door and dived into bed. The tears had not stopped. If anything they had become more intense. A knock rang on the door. Lunar had forgotten to lock it. Brad came in holding a two liter bottle of Root Beer in one hand and a pint of ice cream in the other.

“I saw you crying when you ran past me so I picked some stuff up on the way over to see what was wrong. If you don’t wanna talk about it, you can make the biggest Root Beer Float.” That was her breaking point. Her crying turned into loud obnoxious sobs and Brad’s shirt became a towel. The ice cream was vanilla heaven as she explained the whole situation to Brad. He didn’t say a thing through the whole rant. Once Lunar was done with the explaining he just sat, not saying anything or offering any advice. She had eaten the whole pint of ice cream and started drinking the soda. He started talking as she starting drinking.

“Lunar, Oliver seems like a very nice fellow, but maybe he is jealous and that may be a problem. We are friends and I would not like that to end because he is a little jealous of our friendship.” She thanked him and he left for his next class. For the rest of that week she just sat in her room and contemplated life. After pouring herself a cup of water into her glass she sat down to study for the classes she was skipping. She could learn faster this way anyway. The classes were boring and had little to nothing different from the book except an obnoxious professor. It was around 8:30 on a Friday when she was done with her studies. Time for her to go get dinner.

On her way out she ran into Brad. He had a box of pizza and a bag of movies. It seemed very coincidental that as she was going to get food she ran into Brad. He looked tired after classes but when he saw her he smiled bright.

“I bought some movies and got some pizza. I thought you might wanna hang out with me at my dorm to get your mind off of him.” How sweet. Lunar nodded right away and accepted his invitation. For about 10 minutes she looked through her closet to find an outfit. What she finally ended up wearing was a cropped sweater with a high waisted skirt and black tights. Lunar knew that she was dressed very fancy for a pizza and movie hang out but Brad was wearing a polo so she didn’t wanna look crappy. They walked over to his dorm room. It took about 30 minutes into a romance movie until she started crying again. She had never had a guy friend before or a friend in general so when they fought she became very upset. Brad was there for her through the whole thing. When she started crying he hugged her and when she sniffled or shivered he got her a blanket. He seemed like he wanted to ask her something and her suspicions were confirmed.

“Hey Lunar I know this is a really bad time but would you maybe want to go out? You don’t have to if you don’t want to but I really like you and I think you’re sweet.” Lunar’s mouth had dropped a to a few inches away from the floor. That was not what she was expecting. Lunar thought about it. He was cute, nice, and super sweet. Why not? She’d try this. Brad would be her first boyfriend.

“Yes of course. That sounds alright. Are you my boyfriend now?” Brad grinned from ear to ear once he heard her response. It seemed like he would burst from excitement. For the rest of the night he would not stop smiling. She seemed lighter as well. During one of the movies she explained what she wanted from the relationship and that she didn’t want to go fast. He totally ignored her. After they finished the movie he decided to walk her home. It was raining, but she didn’t mind she liked the rain. The umbrella that Brad had covered them both if they huddled together. Brad had no problem doing that. She was not someone who was comfortable for cuddling. Hugs were ok but cuddling was not something that she was fond of. He stopped for a moment in the rain, but because of the her need of the umbrella, she stopped too. He looked into her eyes and she into his. Before Lunar could stop him, he kissed her. It was her first kiss. Instead of going with her gut and instinct, she kissed him back. They stood like that for seconds in the rain. Little did she know that Oliver looked on from afar. Heartbroken. Oliver didn’t stay to see Lunar push Brad away. Her common sense had taken over again. When she was young she vowed to be careful around men. They were not to be trusted.

“What do you think you are doing?” She had to practically scream over the sound of the rain.

“I love you Lunar. I wanted you to know.” What did he just say? There was no way that he could love her. They didn’t know each other that well. They had known each other for a week. He was just another man who wanted to use her.

“I thought that being in a relationship with you would be good but you are going way too fast for me. I told you about what I wanted in this relationship and you ignored my request. This does not need to continue.” She stomped away from him as fast as she could. Brad had longer legs though and caught up relatively fast.

“Lunar did you not hear me? I love you. I’m not just going to let you walk away from me! You like hugs right? Let’s sew ourselves together then we can be together forever.” With each word that came out of his mouth, she realized how little she knew about him. And about how scary he actually was. The sweet little things that he did for her looked more and more obsessive and creepy.

“I heard you psycho! Don’t follow me. Don’t talk to me. Don’t come near me. Stay away!” She was screaming in fear as she ran away in the rain. The pitter pat of her feet was the only thing as she ran away from the psycho.

Oliver heard a distant scream but it didn’t matter. He was screaming on the inside. He had left the cafeteria to go visit Lunar and apologize. He didn’t own her and they were by no means dating. Just because she talked to another guy and became close to him did not give him the right to yell at her about it. Nothing could describe how he felt. Lunar had never been a love interest for him, but when he saw her kissing Brad, it was something that hurt him deep down. As if he had become replaced in a little amount of time. A tear slid down his cheek. That’s when he realized what was happening. He had fallen in love with his best friend. The one who had helped him through everything. And he was severely jealous and protective of her. So why did she love another? More tears followed the first.

“Look at you Oliver, crying by yourself on the way home.” He stopped walking and stood staring at the sky crying. “At least you aren’t crying alone. The sky will cry with you.” That was the moment when he realized why people found peace in rain. They weren’t crying by themselves anymore. At that moment he too realized that he found peace in the rain. Then he could describe Lunar. She was the most beautiful flower but she was also the rain. She was a day full of beauty but nights full of pain. Oliver laughed at how poetic he was becoming from his little time at Harvard, and finished his long walk home.

As soon as Lunar got home she cried a light cry. Brad had seemed so nice too! Oh how she wished to see Oliver. He was her only friend and seemed to cheer her up when she was sad. He hadn’t contacted her since after their fight. Her trust in men had gotten her in so much trouble. It was the end of hunting season in a couple weeks. The shooting range should be open soon. That’s what she should be doing. As she drifted to sleep she swore she saw a pair of mournful eyes watching her.

The shooting range close to Harvard was almost empty. The man at the front asked her if she wanted any specific type of gun to shoot. A few taps on the waistband of her jeans where her pistol hid and the man up front knew that she would not be needing a gun. She had had the 13 mm caliber pistol since she graduated ther martial arts school. A person walked in after her but she didn’t think anything of it. When you have a pistol at your hip not much scares you. That peace lasted until she heard the voice.

“So... What kind of guns do you have here?” It was Oliver. Why was he at the gun shop? Ollie was not a violent person. That was one feature that she liked about him. Jonathan (the front desk man) was explaining every different type of gun to Oliver. He was writing as quickly as he could in his notepad. Why was he taking notes? Lunar just hoped that he didn’t see her. Which was unlucky for her when she was spotted a few moments later.

“Lunar! What are you doing here? I haven’t seen you in forever…” He fell off in the last sentence. Oliver seemed happy to see her but his voice said that he was also very sad. Why?

“I’m here to blow off some steam. I come here to practice when I’m upset. What are you doing here? Last I was aware you were not someone who would want to come to a shooting range.” Oliver seemed concerned as to why she needed to blow off steam. She could see it in his face. Confusion, concern, and absorbing what she had told him.

“You know how I was accepted to the internship program for lawyers? One of our cases is a murder. A shooting no less. I know nothing about guns so I thought maybe coming here would help. Why do you need to blow off steam?” Lunar knew that the question was coming but she really didn’t want to answer. She should blow off the steam before she tried to explain anything. It was nice that he was accepted into the program. She motioned for him to follow her into the shooting room.

“You’ll need these.” She handed him headphones to block out to noise. She had been in this room long enough to not be bothered by the noise. Sure it was loud but when you know the sound and have heard it since you were a kid it’s not as intense. She pulled her pistol and shot. 5 shots. Reload. 5 shots. Reload. Every single shot hit somewhere deadly or where it would really hurt. When she thought about losing Oliver she shot for the head. When she thought about her family and life she shot and the chest. Finally, when she thought about Brad she shot at the crotch. Oliver flinched every time she shot the gun. After she spent all of the free rounds that the company gave her, she walked out. Oliver followed right behind her.

“Do you wanna explain over coffee?” Was little Ollie asking her on a date? It didn’t matter. They both only saw each other as friends anyways. She hadn’t had a quality cup of coffee since the day that Ollie bought her some. She nodded and hopped into her car. Oliver got into the passenger’s seat. Apparently he had gotten dropped off here by another one of the interns. The car ride was quiet. Not awkwardly so, but quiet enough to bother Lunar. The coffee shop wasn’t far, though, so the silence wasn’t permanent. They both walked in. Lunar went to find some seats and Oliver ordered the coffee. He came back over with two cups of black coffee.

“So Lunar would you like to explain what happened? I would certainly like to know.” She knew that he wanted to know. He felt like she had replaced him with Brad. So she explained. Brad had invited her over because she was upset about she and Ollie fighting and how he had asked her out. From there she explained what he had seen. Oliver took a moment to absorb all the information. Then he spoke.

“So all of this happened because you were upset that we were fighting? Guess I am your honey after all sweetheart.” She smacked him gently across the table. Both of them laughed and continued the conversation. About halfway through the conversation they heard a sob from behind them. As Lunar turned to see who was crying, the stranger stood up and left. How strange.

“So Ollie what do you need to know about the guns?” That one sentence started a conversation that wouldn’t be over until four cups of coffee and five pages of notes later. Oliver looked at his watch and noticed that it was already 7:30. She decided to invite him to dinner.

“Hey Ollie do you want to go to dinner? I still haven’t caught up on what you’ve been doing.” He accepted graciously. They left after paying the final bill. Someone was outside of the door of her car. Oliver ran up to shoo him away. The stranger couldn’t run fast enough. Oliver opened the door for her then jumped into the passenger’s seat. A note laid right where both of them should have been sitting. Lunar’s read This one does not love you. How peculiar. Why did her note seem so personal? Oliver seemed very frightened of his. Lunar snatched it then read it out loud.

Stay away.” Who would write a note like this?” Ollie just shrugged and hopped into the car. He didn’t seem frightened or like he cared. Lunar realized just then how lucky she was to have a friend like Oliver. He had practically received a death threat and still he stayed to be friends with her.

Ollie if you don’t want to stay you can leave. I’ll be ok-” Oliver told her to stop talking by interrupting her.

“Lunar! I’m not going to leave you or stop being your friend because some jerk wrote me a scary note. I’m assuming that your letter also isn’t too nice. I’ll always be here for you sweetheart.” Oliver hopped out of the car and walked around the front. Lunar was wondering what he was doing until he hugged her. Her eyes teared up.

“Don’t worry I won’t leave. I’ll never leave you unless you want me to. I am not your dad. You can count on me.” Oliver was the only one who she could count on. He wasn’t her father. The only one who stayed. The tears that had been collecting in her eyes fell. She nestled her head into his shoulder. He patted her head and kept saying it’s okay until she stopped crying. He kissed her forehead. After that they both hopped into the car and drove back to campus. All Harvard students know that the best food is Harvard food.

“Hey Ollie. I feel like I’m being watched sometimes. Or being followed. The notes we got might have confirmed it.” Oliver and Lunar walked into the cafeteria. They ordered some Chinese food from their favorite kiosk. Right before they sat down Oliver noticed someone was sitting where they normally sat. Brad.

“Hey Lunar do you want to come and stay at my dorm tonight? Nothing romantic but I want you to be safe after the letter you got.” Miraculous. He really did care for her. She nodded her head and followed him. He turned right past where they normally sat to the door. And then she knew why. A glaring Brad sat where they normally were. Lunar raced to where Oliver was waiting at the door. And they left.

Over Chinese the two discussed what had been happening. Oliver had been offered an internship at a major law firm. He had been stressed because of the fact that he knew nothing about guns. With her help he had been less and less stressed. By the time they were done talking it was 11 pm.

“Ollie, I’m tired and I have a big test tomorrow. Where should I sleep?” Oliver grabbed a blanket and pillow from a drawer in his dresser. He laid them out on the floor next to the bed.

“Lunar you can have the bed. I’ll sleep on the floor. You buy my food so I’ll let you sleep there.” She thanked him and crawled in. She didn’t need to change. She wore sweats when she went to the shooting range so it was comfortable enough to sleep in. About half way through the night she woke up. The same uneasy feeling of being watched came over her. The air was cold and she didn’t want to get up. She could hardly imagine how Oliver was feeling.

“Hey. Hey Ollie. I feel like I'm being watched.” A groan came from Oliver’s form. She had woken him up. Oops.

“Well what do you want me to do about it?” His voice was a combination between tired, irritated, and worried. The feeling of uneasiness got worse. The sound of breathing came. It was too rough to be hers or Oliver’s.

“Get in bed with me. You’re comforting.” Oliver turned over to face her. A smirk was on his face.

“Lunar if you wanted to do that we should have done it earlier.” He laughed. From his experience with her, he knew she was glaring at him.

“Not like that! Just lay next to me til I go back to sleep.” For a few very long moments no one spoke or moved. Then, Oliver stood up and walked over to her. Lunar scooched over to make room. He crawled under the covers and faced her. He held her hands under the covers.

“Don’t get any funny ideas Oliver.” He laughed and got closer to her. She needed to get a drink, so she crawled over him so get to the sink. Once she had drank about three cups of water, she went back to the bed. For some reason, she was more comforted by Oliver. She was almost asleep when Oliver wrapped his arms around her. He pulled her closer to his chest. She blushed but didn’t resist or move. That was how they laid for the rest of the night. Curled around each other totally relaxed and asleep.

The next year and a half passed by in a blur. Oliver finished the case with flying colors. He had identified the gun perfectly and had won the case for his law firm. By winning that case he was that much closer to getting a job. Winning internship cases was not something done often and looked very good on resumes. Meanwhile her feeling of being watched became less and less intense. When it was bad though she went over to Ollie’s apartment. Both of the students had gotten apartments for the last couple years of college at Harvard. Both of them only had a year and half left. That was when everything went wrong.

“Lunar! I passed my finals!” Oliver came running into her apartment with 4 sheets of paper with good grades on them. Her test results hadn’t come back yet. It was a weekend and they were supposed to be emailed about it. She had a date today no less. Oliver was doing some weird dance in her kitchen. Both of them were laughing. She snatched the papers from his hand. English: 91, Intro to Buisness: 92, Statistics: 86, Law: 98, and FInance: 92. It was very good for Oliver.

“Good job buddy! Guess the late night study sessions with me helped you a little, huh? Oliver laughed. He nodded and then pointed to his watch. It was 2:54. Crap! Her date was at three and it was almost all the way across town. The kid who had asked her out was one of Oliver’s friends and he had invited her to the movies. Lunar quick threw on a dress and tights. Oliver was waiting by the door with her purse and car keys.

“Thanks Ollie. See you after. Be back no later than 6:30. If I’m not back by then come looking for me.” She blazed out of the apartment. Oliver would lock the door for her. He had a key for a reason. The black car she had bought roared to life. The car ride over was fairly quiet. It seemed that a red truck was following her though. Her date stood outside waiting for her. His name was Lucas and he was fairly cute. He had blond hair and a similar build as Oliver. They had met when she went over to help Ollie study. He was smart and silly. They had hung out at Oliver’s for a while and he asked her if she wanted to go on a date after finals week was over. She accepted. Brad and her breakup was long enough ago that she was ready to go on a date.

“Hey Lunar! The movie’s about to start!” She ran up to him and followed him in. The movie was a superhero movie. It was one that he had been talking to Oliver about every time they saw each other. It was a good movie but the only problem was that he had read the comic book so he spoiled the whole movie for her. Afterwards he would not shut up about the movie. This was not someone who was going to get a second date.

“Lucas. You’re sweet and nice and cute but I don’t think that this is going to work out.” Lucas stopped talking finally for one sweet moment. His smile dropped for a second. It didn’t stay that way for long though.

“That’s ok. This was fun. Let’s stay friends. Okay?” She smiled and nodded. He took the denial better than anyone else she had dated. Who was currently only Brad. She went to the car and hopped in. Parked right next to her was the red truck that had followed her. She drove out of there faster than she had ever drove. She needed to talk to Oliver.

It was 11 pm at the McDonalds on campus. Lucas Parker sat down outside the shop and ate. He checked his watch twice and then decided to pack his dinner up and walk home. Perfect. The shadows smirked as he took the alley shortcut. Halfway through the alley something popped out in front of him.

“Who are you?” Lucas didn’t have time to scream as he was murdered. The blood from his body drained into the alley drain and was wiped off of his assailants knife. An evil smirk rose on the killer’s face.

“Stay friends with this knife. That’s what you should be doing.” The killer walked away. Repeating those words over and over. Over and Over.

“Oliver I’m back!” He bombarded her with questions as soon as she walked in. How was it? Is there a second date? Was the movie good? She answered almost as fast as he asked. Upstairs her sweatpants and sweaters were awaiting her. Oliver left to go pick up some food. By the time he got back, there was coffee brewing and a smile on her face. He placed the Chipotle on the table. Chipotle and black coffee for dinner. How classy. It was certainly different than the normal ramen and water that they ate at his house. Ollie had gotten a job at a law firm as a secretary. He saw all the cases and sent them to the departments that needed the case. If he kept working there, a job as a full time lawyer was pretty much in the bag.

“Turn on the news, Ollie. I haven’t watched it in forever.” She tried to neatly eat her corn tacos. Oliver didn’t even try anymore. The burrito he was eating was gone before the TV in her living room connected. The normal news lady was up on screen with a scary caption below. College student murdered on Harvard Campus. Classes have been canceled until the murderer is caught.

“Oliver isn’t that Lucas?” The camera panned to the victim. All that we could see was part of the face. The rest was covered in blood. Oliver’s face had lost all color as he nodded. Lucas had been murdered on the same day as their date. A doorbell rang loud and clear through the house. Oliver went to go see what it was. Two notes had flown through the letter hatch. It was handwriting that the pair of friends hadn’t seen in a very long time. Lunar saw the handwriting and screamed. The red truck, the fact that it had happened the same day as their date. Someone did not want her to see anyone. Oliver read them aloud.

“Mine says, watch your back. I warned you to stay away.” A look of fear passed between the two. “Yours says, your move my lady.” Oliver grabbed the door and locked all four locks, closed the window shades, and ran over to her. Whoever had sent these letters did not want them to be friends. And definitely didn’t want her to date. She knew that look. Oliver was furious. This person was terrorizing her and he did not like that. He was staying the night. After rustling around in her laundry for a couple minutes she found a pair of his pajama pants that for some reason made it over to her house.

“Ollie? Turn off the news. I don’t want to hear anymore. And carry this with you for now.” She handed him one of her spare pistols. He had come with her to shooting lessons before and was a decent shot now. He took the gun graciously and put it in his waistband. He put on the pajama pants and they both walked upstairs. The bed upstairs was messy but after a couple minutes they laid down. The TV turned on and they watched Netflix til she fell asleep. He wrapped his arm around her sleeping form. Oliver wasn’t going anywhere. By the morning they were curled around each other comfortably.

Lunar woke up before he did and went downstairs to go brew some coffee. Her finals results were in. Perfects in everything except Math. Her math teacher had something against giving perfect scores. He said it was because there is always something more to learn. School was boring anyway. Oliver was one of the only things that made it tolerable. A groggy but still awake Oliver stumbled down the stairs. He was usually a zombie until he got his coffee. He had to go to work in 25 minutes so it was a good thing he finally got up.

“So do you want your coffee sleepy head?” Oliver made grumbling noises and grabbed the cup of coffee from her hand. He liked his coffee with two sugars and cream in the morning. Any other time of the day though he liked jet black just like her. He gave her a quick hug before he ran off to work. TIme for another boring day. The news was just information about Lucas’ death and the stock market. Her mother’s banking company was doing well as were the stocks. With the stocks she had in her inheritance doing well she might be able to take Oliver out to a nice restaurant for his birthday. She did some research on the company and reread her mother’s will. One more year and she could take over the company. As a birthday present she wanted to get Oliver a job at the law firm branched off of her mother’s company.

Oliver called her cell and said he was coming over again. With the letters they had received again he didn’t want to take any chances. He had been serious when he said he wouldn’t leave her. And it made her very happy. His birthday was in 5 weeks and she couldn’t wait to take him out and repay him for all the stuff he had done for her. He stayed at her house for a week just to make sure nothing would happen. Nothing did and his birthday was a month away. Oliver had set her up with another date to see if it was her fault that Lucas had gotten murdered. It was with an accountant from his work named Jeremy. She was told that Jeremy told really bad jokes. Apparently they were going to a bar. Lunar was not someone who ever drank or planned to, but this way they could find out if the murder was connected to her. The date was scheduled for a Friday night.

She was wearing a long sleeved dress with a low cut neckline a had her gun stashed away in her purse. Oliver was waiting at the door with her purse and a necklace. Her purse had her loaded gun, wallet, and pepper spray. Oliver didn’t want her to leave unprotected. The necklace was a surprise. He saw the look on her face and he smiled.

“I know what you are thinking. I got this necklace for you because when I saw it I thought of you.” The necklace was very expensive by the looks of it. It had a silver chain with an emerald and two diamonds on each side of the emerald. With the salary that Oliver was making this must have cost him a fortune. It took her breath away when she saw it. Before she could thank him he walked behind her and put the necklace around her neck.

“Oliver… Thank you so much. I don’t have words.” He gave her her purse and the other things he was holding for her. A smile lit up his face. He ruffled his hair and smirked.

“What are friends for, right? Go get ‘em!” He patted her head before she headed out to door. The car was already warmed up. Oliver really did take care of her. She was off to the date. As soon as she arrived at the bar she wondered why she had dressed so nicely. It wasn’t very run down but it still wasn’t very nice. Her date was sitting inside watching the Patriots game. He cheered as they scored a touchdown. It took him a long time to notice that she was trying to get his attention. He walked over and waved at her.

“God bless you. Do you know anything about football?” They walked over to the bar and he ordered a beer. She passed with a water. 15 minutes into the date and she knew she didn’t like this fellow. Jeremy’s jokes were mostly awful accountant puns and his ‘God bless you comment’ were not great ways to earn a second date. She was not a math geek so most of the jokes he would take forever to explain and as a devout atheist it was not a super fun thing to be around someone pressuring you.

“Jeremy? This date was, well, I’m not going to lie, it was pretty bad. I think I’m gonna head home.” Jeremy nodded still very interested in the TV and not quite listening. She wondered how long it would take for him to notice her leaving. About halfway to the door she heard him calling after her.

“Lunar! I forgot to say something nice. I have a habit to say something nice at every date even if it doesn’t go well. Your necklace is beautiful.” He waved her away and then went back to his beer and game. Most men didn’t notice necklaces. Oliver truly did a very good job. She had to make his birthday that much better. She touched the necklace and as she drove away she almost missed the red truck parked right next to where she was parked. Almost.

He had no reason to be near her! How dare a washed up bar junkie like him be near her! Revenge would be his. Just wait another hour then he would pay. Just like the last one. Only one person could be with her. Only one. Definitely not the red haired idiot. He’s next.

“Ollie I’m back!” No response came from the house. Not to be worried about he was probably going back to his apartment. He was over at her apartment so much that it was strange when he wasn’t there. Oh well. Lunar walked over to the fridge and looked around. She decided to take some cheese and crackers for dinner. Jeremy didn’t even buy her dinner. Jerk. By the time she was done eating it was late. Harvard’s school grounds hadn’t been opened up yet. Oliver’s stuff was still there. But where was Oliver. She should call for him one more time to see if he was in the house.

“Oliver!” She waited. And waited. And waited some more. No answer. Then she decided to lock the door and go to bed. Oliver had a key and knew how to pick the lock. At around midnight she heard a knock on the bedroom door. Opening her eyes she saw a fluff of ginger hair lay down on the floor. He didn’t want to wake her up. Lunar crawled over to that side of the bed and dragged all of the sheets onto the floor with her. The two of them fell asleep side by side laying on the floor of her apartment. Right before she fell asleep a warm hand grabbed hers. The two hands intertwined and she fell into sleep.

When she woke up the next morning she was alone. The smell of bacon and roasted coffee filled her senses. For a brief moment she was transported back to the breakfasts that she had when she was young. In a zombie like state she half walked half fell down the stairs to where she saw Oliver making breakfast. He waved and blew a kiss. She glared back to his laughter. The TV was off which was strange. Oliver almost always watched the news before going to work. On that note why wasn’t he at work? It was 9:30. She reached for the remote to turn on the TV.

“Lunar don’t turn on the TV. Not now ok?” Why did he sound worried. Concern was painfully obvious on his face. When he was concerned she needed to know why. Against his request she turned on the TV only to see a horrifying story.

Mr. Jeremy Flynn was found dead outside of the bar Crazy Brews at 2:30 am. An announcer came on reporting more news. The stab wounds found on his body were similar to that of the recently dead college student Lucas Parker. Authorities are questioning if these two cases are related. More news will be available once we have more information.

This couldn’t be happening. Lunar felt sick. Another person was found dead the day after her date with them. She sat down and tried to absorb all that was happening. Oliver sat down next to her and tried to comfort her. It didn’t work. What if Oliver was the next victim? She would be lost. He turned off the TV and explained why he wasn’t at work. Since the bar was so close to where he worked the manager gave all the people not currently on a very important case, time off. And time to mourn the death of Jeremy. The doorbell rang and she screamed. It was happening just like it happened last time. The doorbell. A note at the door. Neither of them seemed in any rush to go fetch the letter. Oliver grabbed a blanket and a couple pillows and tossed them at her. She bundled up as he went to go get the letters. When he returned she wasn’t shivering as bad. The shock hadn’t faded but she wanted to be calm so she was. Just as she thought, Oliver came back holding two slips of paper. Her name on the back of one, and his on the other. Oliver gave her a questioning look and she nodded. She needed to know what they said. He read her’s first. I will take anyone and everyone important to you until all you have left is I. What kind of sicko would write that. Two men she barely knew were killed because she was ‘close’ to them. And who would want to be with her? Oliver then read his note. When he read it his voice was a little quieter and not as confident. Oliver Hunter. You have ignored my last warnings. You’re next. Lunar started shaking again. It was happening. She was going to Oliver and she couldn’t stop it. She looked straight into his eyes and saw fear. He was scared like any normal person. His life was on the line for someone he could easily leave.

“Ollie I understand if you want to leave. It’s ok I’ll be fine.” Oliver looked up from the note again and frowned. What was he thinking? Shouldn’t he be running for the hills by now?

“Still trying to get rid of me huh? I told you before that I’m not going to go anywhere. Nothing has changed Lunar.” Tears welled up in her eyes. They were angry and happy tears. She was so happy that he was staying but was also mad that he was because it put him in harm's way. She started crying a couple moments later. He was there as a shoulder to cry on and to comfort her. He wiped away her tears and then looked her in the eye.

“Do you want to go to the shooting range tomorrow sweetheart?” She elbowed him in the gut then nodded. They would go to practice when they were mad or annoyed at the other one. He rubbed his side and made noises as if he were in pain.

“Maybe you aren’t worth it after all!” She stuck her tongue out at him and then hugged him closer to her. Oliver was her best friend and she couldn’t hope for a better one. They laid in the house for the rest of the day, both of them trying to take a day off.

Netflix was in full gear and there was popcorn popping in the microwave. Oliver was making a pillow fort while she cried during Titanic. The microwave beeped and she rushed over to get the popcorn bowl. They both crawled into the pillow fort and cuddled under a blanket. For the rest of the afternoon and night they watched Disney movies and sang off key High School Musical songs. Before she could help herself she fell asleep in the pillow fort. Oliver sat running his fingers through her hair and smiling.

They hadn’t left the house the whole day. What could they be doing? His blood boiled thinking of the time he got to spend with her. He should be dead by now. He should be in there loving her and not out here waiting and watching. They had to leave the house sometime. He would be there when they did.

Lunar woke up with a backache. Oliver was asleep from what she could tell. She quietly snuck out of the fort and ran upstairs to get her computer. She ordered a dozen original doughnuts from Krispy Kreme. Oliver loved their doughnuts. So she thought why not? She creeped downstairs to brew some coffee. The coffee smell must have woken Oliver because as soon as the coffee was done he crawled out of the fort and yawned. She poured both of them a cup. Almost right after the doorbell rang and she walked over. Doughnuts were awaiting after all. The total was $8.99 with tax. All she had was a 20. The doughnut man went and grabbed another dozen from his car. Now Lunar and Oliver had two dozen doughnuts and the doughnut man had tip money. The doughnuts would be gone before they went to the range. Both could easily eat a dozen doughnuts. Especially if they were Krispy Kreme. Lunar went to shower and Oliver ate his donuts. Then they switched. Once they were full of doughnuts and clean they left for the shooting range. For some reason they were matching. A black T-shirt, sweater or sweatshirt, and blue jeans. Her hair was in a ponytail and he had slicked his hair back with gel.

The car ride was not that long considering that the range wasn’t that far from where she lived. It was cold since it was the end of February. Oliver’s birthday was March 15 so she didn’t have much time left to find a present. Jonathan waved them into the shooting range. She paid the normal amount and pulled out her pistol for inspection. It was in bad shape.

“Lunar I hate to say this to you, but it’s unsafe to continue shooting this gun. It’s so old and in such bad condition. I would hate for it to blow up on you. I have another gun exactly like this one except it’s safer. I’ll discount it for one of my favorite customers.” She bought it gladly and thanked Jonathan. He was one person that the murderer would not go after. He was in the military for almost 20 years and was a sniper. Even Oliver wouldn’t be sassy towards him.

Oliver held the door open for her. They shot for almost two hours. Most of it was her teaching Ollie how to. The new gun that she had bought shot perfectly. Right on the dot where she was aiming every single time. They checked the clock and decided to go out to eat. Lunar paid for them to go to get some nice Chinese. They walked from the car to the restaurant. The walking would help them work off the doughnuts. It was 11:35 pm when they walked back from the restaurant. It was almost pitch black except for the streetlights.

Oliver had given her his coat when he noticed her shivering. They chatted for most of the way. Oliver had seemed very quiet though. He wasn’t his usual sassy talkative self. They walked in silence as she tried to figure out why he was upset. Then it struck her. Like a slap to the face. It was night, they were on what may seem like a date, and they were walking on an almost deserted path. The letter had warned him that he was next.

“Oliver, it will be ok. No one is going to hurt us.” He looked up from his shoes and smiled a little bit. The uneasiness was still there but her words had comforted him. He patted her head and the conversation started up again. They talked about family, troubles, life after college, and jobs. Halfway through their conversation about their troubles someone appeared in the dark alley in front of them. The form was tall and thick. From what she could tell it was a man and he was holding something. As the figure ran towards her she saw what it was. A large dagger was in the man’s hand. It was about 6 inches long and serrated. The street light reflected off of the surface of the dagger. The man was sprinting towards her knife drawn and in front of him. This was it, she was going to die. Oliver had different ideas.

“Lunar move!” Oliver shoved her behind him and prepared for the knife. The dagger stabbed right between two of his ribs. Blood exploded out of his mouth and seeped from his side. He coughed and held hs chest. The stranger looked like they were going in for another stab. Oliver wouldn’t be able to survive another one. He saved her, now it was her turn to save him. Lunar silently thanked Jonathan as she pulled the pistol out a flipped off the safety. Whoever the stranger was stopped his course of action. Lunar was pissed off. Whoever this was had stabbed Oliver and for that they would pay.

“Who are you? Back away from him. Put the knife down and pull down your hood.” The pistol was aimed at the chest. If he didn’t do what she wanted then there was no survival. The stranger put down the dagger and stepped away from it. He backed away from Oliver into the light where he took down his hood. Lunar felt sick. The kind of sick that made her want to cower and puke. It was the one person that she never wanted to see again. Brad. He looked innocent and happy when he pulled his hood down. Like he had stabbed people all the time.

“Lunar it’s great you see me again. I’ve been waiting for this moment. You have been doing well and so have I. Once that one dies we can be together. I told you loved you didn’t I? Now you just need to love me.” Why was he talking like he knew how she’d been doing and had seen her recently. Goosebumps crawled up and down her arm. This was the man that had wanted to befriend her when they didn’t even know each other’s names. He was the one who was always and scarily in the exact right place and time. Why was he obsessed with her?

“I hoped I would never see you again. Quit talking like you know what’s going on with me and him.” As soon as she mentioned Oliver, Brad’s normally calm and happy face turned into one of rage. Oliver was closer to her than he ever was.

“I warned him about staying close to you. You are mine and mine alone. No one else can have you.” As he spoke he walked closer to her and she tightened her grip on the gun. He stopped and backed up again. He had sent the notes? The feelings of being watched. Was all of that him? Had he been stalking her this whole time? Only one way to find out.

“Brad have you been killing all of those men I went on dates with? Have you been stalking me?” He laughed the gravelly laugh that used to calm her. Now her hair stood on end and she got her trigger finger ready. What a sicko. He laughed at her being stalked and at the deaths of other human beings. She didn’t have time to catch up with Brad she needed to get Ollie to a hospital.

“Yes my dearest Lunar, I did kill those inadequate peasants. They got to spend time with you that they didn’t deserve. They were not worthy of taking up our time. Also the word stalking is such a bad word I prefer, protecting from afar.” Brad was demented. He took the lives of two men and tried to kill Oliver because they were not worthy of ‘their’ time. He had also just admitted to stalking her. The feeling of being watched all the time, the bushes rustling, and the red truck were all his doing. A mixture of emotions filled her. Rage, fear, anger, disgust, and worry. Oliver might get hurt again.

“Brad if you truly love me then you will leave me alone for today. Oliver’s death would make me sad. You don’t want to make me sad do you?” His eyes softened and she became sickened. He would kill for her and then let the person he tried to kill live instead of risk her sadness.

“Tell me you love me and then I will leave. Also never let me see you wearing that necklace again. A gift from someone so disgusting should not lay on a creature as fine as you.” Shivers ran up and down her spine. A lump formed in her throat and she couldn’t speak. The first thing she did was take the necklace off and put it in her bag. Brad exhaled a sigh of relief and stared at her neck. It took everything in her to not fire the gun or barf. He was waiting for his first request to be fulfilled she knew it.

“Brad I-I-I love you.” The words felt like toxic in her throat. Bile rose in her stomach. She did not mean those words but Brad did not seem to care. He exhaled in pure joy and then smiled a smile that sickened her to the core.

“Alright my gorgeous. That sounds better, yes? I shall leave you and your friend while he dies.” Before he disappeared into the shadows he blew her a kiss. Every part of her shivered in fear. Now she needed to carry bullets. The ambulance came much faster than she thought. Oliver was unconscious by the time the ambulance drove him away. She ran to the car and hopped in following the ambulance all the way to the hospital.

It had been three days and they still hadn’t let her see Ollie. A nurse would come out every so often with updates. The doctors had removed the bullet and sew up his wound while he was unconscious. Today was the day that they had promised that she would get to see him. She walked into the hospital room. He looked awful. There was blood all over the towels in the room. Apparently his breathing kept opening his stitches. Oliver’s form was small and frail. The time he had been in here he could not eat and he was currently getting nutrients from the IV hooked up to his arm. The nurse left her alone with Ollie.

“Ollie? I’m here now.” She grasped his hand, “The nurse just let me in and I can only stay for 10 minutes.” Tears pricked at her eyes. It was her fault that Ollie was in this condition. Brad was her mistake and he was paying for it. She couldn’t put him in harm’s way again. This was the turning point for her. Brad was not going to harm her or Oliver. There was only one way to do that. Put Brad behind bars.

There were 3 weeks until Oliver’s birthday. There was no way that she could miss that. From the information that she had gathered in her little chat with Brad he was always watching her. That scared her more than anything. Today she was going into the mall to search for a birthday gift. Four hours later she realized that there was nothing good enough for Oliver. Something would strike her eventually. A strange and familiar feeling washed over her. The feeling of being watched. In the middle of a mall and she knew that Brad was there. Why was he there though? After a few moments of standing still she found him in the crowd. Wearing a suit without the jacket. He looked like he was going on a date. For all she knew the psycho might think that they were on a date. Why would he be here? He noticed her stare and waved. Then he started walking towards her.

Her eyes widened as she turned to run. At a full sprint she ran through the mall. There was a small women's changing room nearby she just had to find it. A few boy scouts waited nearby for the troupe to leave. She could ask them where the store was. They barked some directions and after looking behind her she ran. Brad was approaching quickly the same scary smile on his face as before. The store was not far away and at the speed she was going she could get there before he did. It was around the corner. This mall was extremely large and would be very hard for him to find where she went. But knowing Brad he wouldn’t stop until he found her.

Three girls in pink dresses and others changing questioned her as she walked in. It was around Christmas time and these girls were performers. She answered their questions and explained the situation. Half of the girls thought that it was cute and half wanted to help her. The half that wanted to help her hid her behind a few changing lockers and dressers. The ones who did not want to help her were making noise. Brad had apparently gotten the hint because a few minutes later he walked in.

“Lunar are you in here babe? I just want to talk. Why won’t you love me like I love you? I have done everything for you.” She shook in fear trying not to breathe too much. This man had killed for her. The girls that were supporting Brad awed at his words. The others who had sided with me were guarding my hiding spot. I screamed from my hiding spot for him to go away. Sweat drops dribbled down my brow in waves.

“Babe you don’t need to be scared. I won’t hurt you ever. I’ll do anything. I’ll change myself for you. I will kill to keep what is mine.” She couldn’t take it. The wall of girls that were protecting her moved aside. Psycho smiled wide as soon as she walked out.

“Leave me alone Brad. You don’t love me, I know that. You’re just crazy!” His face flashed through so many emotions at once and then settled on anger. It wasn’t an anger that could be contained and she knew something bad was coming.

“Me? Crazy? What’s crazy is that this world won’t let me be with you. I do love you Lunar more than myself and I will prove it. Girls I need your help.” The pack of girls on his side followed him out. What was he going to do? Tears composed of pure fear streamed down her already frightened face. She sat down on one of the comfortable benches in the lobby. That’s when she broke down. She cried and screamed and cried some more. Oliver was in the hospital, Brad had her cornered, and nothing was helping her out right now. The stalker was here and trying to win her heart. She called the cops as soon as she had walked into the changing room and they still weren’t there. Her heart and mind raced.

An hour passed. Every time she time she tried to leave the changing room one of Brad’s girls would stop her. The kind ladies who were helping her had gotten her a blanket to wrap around her shoulders. It was a common light gray fleece blanket. Her shoulders were still shaking in fear. Every so often she would scream as the events of the day replayed through her head. Others who were crowded around her rubbed her back and tried to comfort her. Another hour passed. A few of the girls had some food and made her eat. She puked up the food almost right after she ate it. The fear made her uneasy. One of the girls (Brooklyn) was calling the staff and security. Sadly the only guards on duty today were men and they could get fired if they went into the room.

Brad walked in a half an hour later. The little food that she had been able to stomach was about to come up. It didn’t but a scream did. Brad looked wrong but still like Brad. Every body part had been modified. His hair was a stark red that was too wrong to be natural. His cheek bones had been broken and moved into a different place. His chin looked like it had been sawed at and shrunken. His arms were being squeezed so that they looked smaller. His muscles were being contained. Fake freckles had been painted on as well. His hair was styled and he was wearing colored eye contacts and male makeup. His feet had been broken and cut so that they could fit into certain shoes. His nose had also been broken and reshaped. It was as if he was trying to fit into another skin. Her eyes widened and she screamed when she found out who.

“Lunar I look just like him. Will you love me now? I have gone the distance for you babe. Love me!” Lunar stood up from where she had been sitting. Fell would have been more accurate. She ran back into a wall. He wasn’t natural. Nothing was. Panic filled her body as she screamed at him to stay away from her. He seemed sad that she wouldn’t accept him.

“You will never be Oliver! Stop trying to make me fall in love with you. It. Will. Never. Happen!” Every word she said was another step back. There was a bathroom around the corner if she could just get there. Brad’s jovial face drooped. Then a smile that she had only ever seen in horror movies came to the psycho’s face.

“If you won’t love me by choice I will make you love me!” That was when the chase began she sprinted around the corner and out of the dressing room. The original blockade of girls had moved. She spotted the bathroom across the mall. With Brad’s broken feet he could go no faster than a walk. His legs were plenty long to make her normal run a full sprint. Her feet pounded against the hard floor as she ran. Adrenaline pushed her to keep running. It felt like an eternity as she glanced back every so often and seemed to get no closer to the bathrooms.

“Quit running babe. I just wanna talk. What more do I need to do?” His voice was sad and mournful. When he healed from the broken nose and his other injuries he would never be the same. Looks didn’t matter in prison though. Brad stopped. She turned to see him crying as he readjusted his new foot. Then he fixed his nose and muscles. Lunar gagged but used the extra time to run into the bathroom. She took the random stall with the best lock. She clutched her phone. Where were the police? A stupid idea came to her head.

“Hey God? I know we’ve had our ups and downs but if you do exist can you give a girl a hand?” The crude prayer was the only sound made. Brad had yet to find her. Sweat dribbled down her face in waves. Her legs were pulled up onto the toilet seat. Her foot was cramping up but there was no way that she would let it down. Her pupils widened and she tensed as the bathroom door opened. Lunar held her breath as best she could. After running though it was hard. His footsteps were odd and hard. Blood dripped from his foot and muscles. The drain beneath her was filling fast. Barfing was not an option but it seemed like a good idea. There was no escape other than running past him.

“Lunar I know that you’re in here. I will make you love me. I will recreate you and if anyone tries to stop our love or tries to take you from me they will pay!” Hot tears streamed down her face as she clamped a hand over her mouth. No noise could escape her as she stifled her sobs. She was going to die and Oliver would wake up not knowing what happened to her. Her tears soaked into her shirt. Brad started crying. Why was he crying she was the one who was being stalked wasn’t she? Then she realized why. Brad was kicking open the stall doors. He had broken his feet into so many shapes and he was kicking down door to get to her.

“Lunar please!” Fear gripped her as she swallowed. Brad was obviously willing to do anything for her love. When would her prayer be answered? She whispered the prayer again under her breath with the addition of saying that she needed him and that she would believe and serve him if he helped her. By the time she was done with her prayer he was one stall away from her. She said a silent goodbye just in case she didn’t survive and sent Oliver a text of where she was and what was happening. She relaxed and closed her eyes preparing for the worst. She choked on air and mouthed a cry for Oliver to help her. But no one could save her. No one was there to. It was only her and Brad. A quiet cry for help reached up her throat as a hot tear slid down her cheek. It was the end of the road for her.

“Put your hands in the air you freak. Brooklyn called us and told us what was up. Hands up you freak!” Her hand covered her mouth to stop the joy from flooding out. She thanked God quietly as the police escorted him away. The cops didn’t even try looking for her. They must have thought that the blood on the floor was hers. She collapsed on the floor falling off the toilet. Sobs racked her whole body as she cried getting it all out. So much had happened. Oliver, Brad, Brooklyn, and the police. She cried but did not call for help. She was paralyzed in fear. Her tears did not recede. It felt like she was crying for hours. Every so often she would stop crying to call for Oliver or to thank God for saving her. A couple minutes later she heard someone walk in.

“LUNAR WHERE ARE YOU?” It was Oliver. Another sob racked her frail body. But for the first time in weeks it was a sob of joy. Oliver busted through all of the doors until her found her. She was a mess. Makeup smeared from the tear and bloodshot eyes. Her clothes were clinging to her sweat slicked body. Oliver had seen her ugly morning face but this was different.

“Honey…” Oliver didn’t say anything else. He sat down next to her on the floor. He scooped her small form into his arms and whispered it’s ok over and over. Lunar was shaking uncontrollably. Oliver’s stitches opened at her shaking but he didn’t even flinch. He was there to help her not to worry about himself. Ollie rocked her back and forth in his arms until the shaking was less intense. He ran his fingers through her hair. She had told him once that it comforted her. Her face was buried into Oliver’s shoulder as she cried in his arms. Her arms were curled up under her small form. He looked down at her and a tear slid down his face. She was ok.

“Lunar. I’m so sorry for leaving you. I’ll never do it again. I’m so glad you’re ok.” He buried his face into her hair and held her closer to him. A police officer and medial nurse walked in. They talked for a moment until they brought the stretcher out to pick them up. The nurses yelled at them to separate but Oliver wouldn’t let her. They laid on the stretcher silently. As they were put in an ambulance, Lunar saw Brad in the police car next to the ambulance. His sad face turned to one of fury as he saw the two curled around each other. That was the last thing she saw before she fell asleep on Oliver’s chest still in his embrace.

She woke up in the hospital ward. She looked around. It was an average room. She was sitting in a chair opposite a bed. Oliver laid there sitting almost straight up. When she wiped the grogginess out of her eyes, Oliver smiled seeing that she was awake. His stitches had been repaired. When she tried to stand up she felt a pull back down. Her arm was connected to an IV tube. A nurse came in when the machine said she woke up.

“You have suffered major trauma after what happened with your stalker. He will be put on trial but because of the severity of the trauma you will not have to attest. You also have a visitor.” The door behind the nurse creaked open to reveal Brooklyn’s face. She rushed in and hugged Lunar.

“I’m so glad that you are alright. I was locked out of here until you woke up. I have to go to work but I’ll be back. I’m over at Stern Bank if you need me.” Wow! Her first female friend worked at her company. Brooklyn waved to Oliver and then left. Oliver and Lunar sat in silence for a few moments until Oliver started crying. It broke her heart to see Little Ollie crying like that.

“I couldn’t protect you. I’m so sorry Lunar.” Oliver had literally taken a knife for her. She stood up and then hugged him as tight as she could without hurting him. He hugged her back as tears streamed down his face. His heartbeat monitor beeped. She looked up as she broke from the hug. His heart rate was spiking. A nurse came in a few minutes later and gave him some pain killers. He took them and as soon as his heart rate declined the nurse left. Oliver tried to stand up but needed to grab the side of his bead for support. He smiled when he became steady. Next he got down on his hands and knees. Lunar tried to support him but he waved her away. Something was in Oliver’s hand but she couldn’t see what.

“Lunar. Will you marry me?” Out of his previously clenched hand he revealed a beautiful ring. She gasped and happy tears streamed down her face. When she looked back to him he was smiling up at her, He was smirking the smirk that she had grown to love.After all of the stress and terror she had to indure, she could not speak. Her vocal chords were so strained from screaming. Tears of joy streamed down her face.

“Yes. A thousand times yes. Ollie I couldn’t imagine a better person!” He smiled a smile that she had only seen when he was amazingly happy. He stood up and put the ring on her finger. She wouldn’t care if the ring was made of plastic. It was Ollie. Now he was her Ollie. He lifted her off the ground as he hugged her. For the first time in her life she had someone for her that really loved her, and she loved him back.

“I love you Lunar. More than myself, money, more than anything. You are the smartest person and you have an amazing personality. Without you I’d be nothing. I love you so much.” More tears of joy fell. This was true love as cliche as it was. He would do anything and he had proved that with a wound that was currently healing. Then she said five words that she never imagined every saying. But after they came out she knew she was waiting to say them to him the whole time.

“I love you too Oliver!” She looked into his eyes and smiled a genuine smile of joy and love. They touched foreheads and stared into each other's eyes for a few moments. Then like something out of a book he kissed her. It was the first kiss that she agreed her to. She wrapped her arms around his neck and enjoyed their first kiss. After the most wonderful eternity they broke apart. She laid down next to him on the hospital bed. He pulled her closer to him.

“I hope you’re paying for the medical bills. I have been waiting to tell you that I loved you for so long. It has always been you.” She smiled and cuddled into his shoulder. At that moment she knew what to get him for his birthday. She nodded to him that she would be paying the medical bills.

“Oliver I know what I’m getting you for your birthday now.” His eyebrow raised up and he smirked. He picked up her arm and kissed the finger that the ring was on.

“I thought you already gave it to me.” Obviously talking about her positive proposal repsonse. “I am curious as to what it is though.” She smiled as she admired the ring. It was a gold band with one basic diamond in the middle. He always believed in simplicity just like their relationship. Sort of.

“I’m going to get you out of debt. I will pay for my mother in-law’s cancer treatments and I will pay off your student loans. But to make up for it you have to accept a job at my mother’s company. I don’t know what else I can get you. Hopefully my money can be used for good.” Ollie’s eyes widened in surprise. The beautiful blue eyes that she loved welled up with tears. A smile grew on his face and he hugged her to his chest. His red hair tickled her face as he tightened the embrace.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have no debt, a mother who will be in perfect care, and the best fiance that I could ever ask for. On top of that you are giving me a job as a lawyer at one of the most known businesses in the nation. I don’t have words. Sweetheart I don’t think I can love you any more. I will love you no matter how much money you do or don’t have.” He hugged her again and kissed her. She enjoyed the kiss. So this is what it’s like to have love. Real love. Not what she had with Brad.

A doctor came in saying that he could leave in a day or two. Lunar said she would leave to get the debt and medical bills in order. She gave him one last kiss on the cheek before she left. The first thing was school bills. Harvard was glad to pay them off with little interest since she was paying for them in full. So they even discounted the payment. Next was her visit to Chicago.

She arrived at the hospital in time to see Mrs. Hunter. She told Oliver’s mother everything. About how Oliver and she met, how she was stalked, Ollie’s proposal, and her birthday gift to him. Mrs. Hunter cried tears of joy at meeting her daughter in-law and wouldn’t stop thanking her for all that she had done. She also told her what she had not told Ollie. The final part of the gift was to get his father help for his alcoholism and give Oliver part of the company. She left Chicago and arrived back at her apartment the day after.

“Ollie I’m home!” Standing in the doorframe was Oliver wearing a suit and holding the same box of chocolates that he had when they met. He looked rather handsome in a suit she had to admit. He walked over to her and gave her a short kiss.

“Would you like to go on our first official date as fiancees?” She smiled and they had their first date with no problems other than the sun setting.

The last year of college together passed in a blur. They had decided not to get married until Harvard was in their past. Oliver’s father had gotten over his alcoholism and his mother had beaten the cancer. Mrs. Hunter was recovering well and sent her home baked cookies occasionally. They were the most heavenly cookies ever. Which really didn’t last that long when there was both her and Oliver to feed. They both graduated with flying colors and no more murders occurred. She and Oliver had started going to church as well considering she had kind of promised to if she survived. They had even found a nice church to get married at.

No one really knew where Brad was. He was not in prison from what she knew and he had dropped out of Harvard. Police departments had stopped researching the college murders. As long as she never saw him again she was ok, but she still wouldn’t feel truly safe until he waws behind bars or dead. Oliver had promised to protect her if they ever saw him again. He constantly like to remind her of how awful she was that she let him get stabbed and how amazing she was as a person and a fiance.

They had graduated in the spring and the wedding was planned for July 5th. One day after Independance Day and on Oliver’s half birthday. That way he wouldn’t forget their anniversary. It was going to be in the catherdral where her mother and father had gotten married. It would be one last connection to her mother. All of Oliver’s family was invited plus many of his friends. Lunar had laid an invitation on her mother’s grave. It was laid under flower’s in the family's private cemetery. The only other person she had invited was Brooklyn. After the whole incident with Brad, the two had become fast friends. She was to be the Maid of Honor. And she was totally getting a promotion once she took over the company again. Especially since she had helped with the impossible task of buying a wedding gown.

July 5th was in a couple days. Brooklyn had always wanted to plan a wedding just not her own so she did all of the wedding planning for free as long as she got a good shot at catching the bouquet. Everything was planned to perfection and after Ollie had been working for a few months at the Stern Bank as a lawyer he said he wanted to take the ring in. His reason was that he wanted the ring to mirror her immeasurable beauty. The Christian wedding was going to be officiated by Oliver and Lunar’s favorite teacher at Harvard. He was also an ordained minister so why not? Lunar just hoped that everything went well at the wedding.

* * *

It was the day of July 5th. Brooklyn stood in the room with her and helped her into her dress. It was a long very beautiful dress that was tight and loose in all the right places. Her hair was pulled up on top of her head in cascading curls that fell from a gorgeous bun. The veil was lined with small sequins to reflect the light. Brooklyn had chosen pretty much all of the decorations and was priding herself on the dresses. The bridesmaids dress was a long light pink dress that was very loose and wavy. Brooklyn had just chosen her favorite dress since she was the only bridesmaid. Oliver’s best man came knocked and said that it was getting close to time. His name was Jackson Iliad and was apparently one of Oliver’s childhood friends. Lunar wasn’t sure if she was ready but she was going out.

Mr. Hunter stood ready to walk her down the aisle. He had felt bad knowing that her father wouldn’t be there, so he volunteered to fill in. All of Oliver’s family had come. Somewhere deep down she knew that he mother was watching. Somewhere. Somehow. Her mother was there seeing her little girl getting married. Canon in D began then changed to the marriage song she couldn’t remember the name of, as she walked down the aisle. Oliver stood at the end smiling at her. His tux was black and he had worn a nice copper bowtie. Very classy Ollie. When she reached the alter her veil was removed. Everything was just perfect. Then it was time to exchange vows.

“Do you Oliver Logan Hunter take Lunar to be your bride?” Oliver looked into the eyes of the sucker he was marrying and smirked.

“I guess I kinda do!” She frowned but also smiled inside. It was very exciting. She almost missed her turn to say I do when she spaced off.

“Lunar Sophia Stern do you take Oliver to be your loving husband?” She looked out to the crowd. All of the people who were now going to be in her family. They weren’t rich or famous. They didn’t own anything important or were related to politicians. The only one who was successful was Mrs. Hunter. They had something that was better. Family.

“I do with honor.” The priest finished the ceremony. It was everything she hated with weddings. The neverending speeches and such.

“You may kiss the bride.” Oliver leaned down to kiss her. It was their first kiss and a husband and wife. Then she remembered that she didn’t have a ring. Oliver had taken the one that he had proposed to her with in for repairs and additions. Oliver looked at her and saw the worry on her face. He smiled and then whisted. A small black and white husky puppy ran to the door with a ring in his mouth. She gasped. Even at a young age she wanted a dog, but since you had to be 18 to adopt and she was at art school when she was 18, she didn’t.

“Meet Bear, Lunar. He’s the ring bearer.” The ring looked virtually the same except it matched her necklace. A emerald in the middle of two diamonds. She smiled and hugged Oliver tight. She picked up Bear and cuddled him. He was tiny, fluffy, and had blue eyes just like his dad. Someone came to take him off of her hands. She was told that he would be watched until the party was over. As the music started and everyone started dancing she noticed someone standing off to the side. She swore she recognized that person but she couldn’t remember a name. He started walking towards her and she stiffened. It was definitely him but she hadn’t seen him in 21 years. How dare he show his face here! It was her father. His posture was perfect and his beard was cleanly shaven. It may be true that her mother was wealthy but her father was no slouch. He had worked at Wall Street for a long time. His suit was perfect with no fold or crease out of place. Just like he had been before he abandoned her as a child.

“Hello my daughter. It has been some time hasn’t it.” Oliver stepped in front of her as a guard. She didn’t blame him she wasn’t sure if he was real. There was no way that Oliver was letting him get to her

“Who are you and what are you doing here?” Oliver’s posture was defensive and aggresive. He had taken a self defense class with her and a karat class for help. He was a klutz so he felt he needed personal help.

“Oliver move away from my daughter. You may call me Benjamin. I’m here for my daughter’s wedding. I know who you are and I’m wondering why my daughter didn’t find someone better. Or at least wealthier. Step away or I will have you moved.” Three bodyguards stood a few meters away. Oliver sneered and then moved away as requested. Benjamin looked her up and down obviously admiring his work. She wanted to shrink under his gaze just like she did when she was younger when he scolded her. He took her hand in his and then turned to Oliver. It was useless to resist so she went along with it.

“May I have the first dance? My daughter and I have much to catch up on.” A look was exchanged between the newlyweds and then Oliver indicated that she was all his. He squeezed the hand that wasn’t in her father’s as a reasurrance. It didn’t work. The music began and her father swept her onto the dance floor. It was an awkward dance because neither spoke and she refused to look at him. He had abandoned her when she was 5 and after her mother had just died. How did he expect her to act around him? He didn’t deserve to be there.

“Would you like to tell me why you abandoned me? I’d certainly like to know.” Her walkout dad looked at her and seemed confused. How dare he look as if he had done nothing wrong. There was no way that he could play innocent. She had 21 years worth of proof. He walked her over to a table. A briefcase laid on the table and he flipped it’s contents out. Thousands of papers flew out all with one name in print. Laura Michelle Stern.

“I have been looking for the murderers this whole time. I started a company for insurance so that if this happens to anyone else they can get the help we never got. I did this research for you.” It was too much to take in. Her father had abandoned her all those years and never once tried to contact her. She looked up tears in her eyes as she read the documents. There was no single suspect and no reason for the killing. How was she supposed to believe and trust him with so little evidence and no contact.

“I couldn’t contact you until I had something but I wanted to come to my little girl’s wedding.” What had he found. Nothing. Nothing that was worth anything. The people who had killed her mother deserved to be put in prison. Tears streamed down her face. All this time he had just wanted the best for her. She stopped herself from crying though.. It was her wedding day and she didn’t want to ruin the makeup Brooklyn had done for her. He stood up and patted her back.

“Daddy’s gotta go to the bathroom I’ll leave my suit jacket and phone here with you.” He left and she began sifting through the papers. Suspects and information were scattered everywhere. Nothing that she could use. Nothing that anyone could use. They were interesting until her father’s phone rang. She knew it was wrong but she wanted to read the e-mail. It was from an unknown number. How strange. His phone had a password but if his story was credible she knew what it was. She entered her mother’s full name and it opened. Her father wasn’t lying or he was very dedicated to the lie. Then the email opened. It read,

Dear Mr.Stern,

I have done my job. I followed your daughter around and kept watch on her for the past few years. The part where I fell in love with her calls for bonus payment. The surgery to get me to look how I used to is not needed. I do expect compensation for the roughness of your private police force. I do love her though. Deliver her to me and there will be no payment.

Brad M. Lee

There was no way. Her hand shook and sweat began to bead up. Right before she screamed she felt a heavy hand on her shoulder.

“Lunar why do you have my phone? What are you looking at there?” Her father looked down at her with eyes that looked too similar to Brad’s crazy ones.

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