He saw her come out of her house through the cluster of branches and leaves of the tree he hid in. He instantly felt his heart sink in the horror of the thought of getting caught by her. The last time he talked to her she had threatened to kill him the next time he followed her, and he could tell by her tone she was very serious. Yet he came out here anyway. He had remembered from one of the times before the threat when he'd come out to her house and he saw the tree and thought about how easy it would be to climb it. It was full of branches and leaves; he knew it would be the perfect hiding spot.
He knew still that if she did catch him, he was dead. She was alone. The night was humid and dark, despite the full moon. She walked down the sidewalk for a while with her arms around her and her head down. She stopped against the very tree he hid in. He suddenly found it hard to breathe. He clenched the branches he held on to tighter in fear of falling.
She sighed deeply and fell to the ground against the tree. He looked straight down onto her dyed red hair that shined in the streetlight. Then he made a mistake. He suddenly thought of how one sneeze could expose him and he'd be in serious trouble. Then came the urge. He felt the sneeze coming on. He tried covering his nose as he'd done before when he didn't want to sneeze. This time, however, he couldn't get it to work. He nearly ripped his nose right off trying to cover it hard enough to stop the sneeze but nothing worked. With terror in his eyes and a starting tremble in his whole body, he sneezed and practically fell out of the tree along with it.
She jumped up as soon as she heard it and instantly looked up into the tree and saw him. His jaw dropped. This was it. Her eyes widened and her mouth opened wide. She whispered a few curse words and said in a deep, determined tone, "I am going to kill you."
She turned to run off toward her house but he managed to stop by her by spitting out, "Wait! I am so, so sorry." He found it hard to breathe between each single word. He remembered the question she had asked him during that confrontation in which she'd threatened to kill him. She had asked him why he followed her. All he could give her was that he wanted to see her and wanted her attention, but he'd finally discovered the true answer and felt the need to say it now. "I can tell you now why I followed you."
She stopped and turned back to look up at him. She shook her head slowly. "Get down here," she demanded. He hesitated and she assured him she wouldn't beat him up.
Reluctantly, he climbed down.
"Okay," she said. "Fine, I'm going to give you one last chance-after I get something. Wait right here." She walked back into her house.
He stood there. His mind racing through the possibilities of what she meant by "get something". Of course it focused on the few reasons that involved her going to get something to hurt, or even kill him, with. He told himself that right now was his one chance to run. His one chance to get away in case she did come back with something to kill him with. He very nearly did run. But he wouldn't let himself. He also knew that if she was giving him one last chance this was his last chance to tell her what he wanted to tell her. That was too important to run away from.
When she came back out, he saw nothing in hand, which was good. She looked into him. "Okay," she said, "go ahead."
He paused for a moment to stare into her eyes as he had done during the confrontation before. She stared back into his, as she had during the confrontation. Finally he said, "I'm still following you, even after that little confrontation the other day 's still a little bit of-as tiny as it may be, a little bit of hope in me left that one day-one day, we may have something together. I can't begin to tell you how sorry I am, and I know that doesn't make up for it. I never meant to stalk you or intrude in your life, it just happened.
"I know you said you hated me, and you want me to die," he continued, "but that hope is still there. You can go and call David right now to come and beat me to a bloody pulp. You can beat me to a bloody pulp yourself even, but it's not going to kill my hope. I can almost assure you I'll just end up back here again. You can take this as permission from me to do so if you like, but I think the only way you could ever really make me stop is if you killed me. So go ahead and get it over with if you want, 'cause I can't imagine any better way of dying than by your hands."
She nodded her head slowly and a smile grew wide on her face. Then she pulled a gun out of her jacket and pointed it straight at his head. "Okay," she said. "Any last words?"
When he saw the gun he nearly fainted. Yet he still stood there. He had decided to allow her. But there was one thing he had to get off his mind first. "Yes, actually," he said. "The other day, during our little confrontation, when you finally got me to actually look up from the ground at you I stared straight into your eyes. I noticed you stared straight back into mine." He paused. "I was wondering if at all when you looked into mine?"
Her smile faded and her arm dropped, the gun now pointing away from his head and at the ground. Her face fell to the ground and he was unable to see her expression. He began to feel hopeful the way she pointed the gun away from him and she paused to think about it, as if thinking about how she had felt something.
They stood there like that for what felt like an eternity to him. Finally his impatience kicked in and he blurted out, "You did, didn't you?" He was very anxious and he started to feel a smile grow on his face.
Suddenly, before he actually got the chance to smile, she looked back up at him and pointed the gun in his face again. She smiled and said, "Nope." Then she pulled the trigger.