THE SECRET ADMIRER
Newlyweds Mais and Eric have been together for about 3 years and have only been married for 2 months. They met through their friends and after one encounter they fell for each other. They were quite the clichés according to their friends. They lived in the nicer parts of town finally able to save up for their own home together, itching to start up a family. Mais was certainly beautiful. Her light brown locks curled slightly at the ends and fell perfectly in the middle of her back. She had a gentle face that matched her serene heart. Her eyes a pale blue that drove Eric insane.
He wasn’t the only one to fall for Mais, there were many others Mais had never been interested in dating until she met Eric. During her high school years plenty had tried but none had succeeded. Mais was Eric’s trophy, especially since she was way out of his league. Eric was fit but he embraced the “nerd style”. He had large glasses that took almost half of his face, his shirt was always tucked into his pants with suspenders holding them up. Many of their friends described them as the ‘Up’ couple since their routine was almost identical to theirs. Every morning Mais would help with Eric’s bow tie and straighten his glasses. They were adorably disgusting. Though one afternoon, their first piece of mail at their new home would jeopardize everything.
Mais had just returned home from work, she had many papers to correct but kindergarten work wasn’t necessarily a hard task to grade. Her binder was pressed up against her chest held there by her arm while her free hand searched for her keys. She was so busy trying to fish out her keys, she stumbled over a bouquet of roses at her doorstep. She managed to catch her binder but unfortunately the vase containing the flowers had cracked. Her eyebrows furrowed together as she carefully placed her things on the ground. She braced herself for the cold cement, kneeling down to the flowers. A bright pink card caught her attention and she quickly retrieved it.
Every day I fall more and more in love with you.
— your love
A smile appeared on her face as she brought the card up to her chest. Her mind quickly going to Eric, he was always displaying cheesy acts such as this one. “If only you left this on the table...” she sighed as she sadly looked at the beautiful transparent vase that was now scattered across her steps. She tucked the letter into her pocket and placed her items inside the kitchen on top of one of the boxes entitled “FRAGILE, GLASS”. She then proceeded to bring in the flowers and placing them in a larger glass cup and swept up the rest of the mess, cautiously placing the remains in the garbage.
After a few hours Eric finally arrived home. By this time Mais had successfully graded all the papers and was on their last box for the kitchen. Eric stepped inside and curiously looked around their kitchen.
“I thought we agreed on unpacking together?” He questioned but was quickly greeted with an eager kiss. Before they had the chance to intensify the kiss he broke free of Mais. “What was that for?” He asked breathlessly, his glasses slipping off of the bridge of his nose.
“Well...” she started as she slowly pushed his glasses back up his nose. “Think of it as a thank you present for those beautiful roses you left me.” Eric stood there curiously and looked over at the flowers in a cup, his eyebrow raised as he looked back over at his wife who was beaming with excitement. “Leaving it inside would’ve been easier but I guess it was a cute surprise.” She continued as she tidied up the flowers to make them more presentable. Eric stood there at the door quizzically, studying the flowers.
“I didn’t send that.” His statue became slightly defensive as he eyed the flowers on the table.
Mais’s smile morphed into a thin line as she rubbed her lips together. “You didn’t?” She looked over at the flowers, quickly pulled out the card and scanned for an address. “Huh, there’s no address on it.” She looked back over at Eric and her smile came back and she tossed the card on the table. “C’mon Eric!” She teased. “I know you sent it you nerd.” She continued,
gently snaking her finger under his left side suspender and lifting it up so the thin fabric snapped back down on his shirt. Eric seemed unphased by this action as he pushed past Mais and walked towards the table grabbing the small envelope.
His eyes scanned over the pink paper and he slowly pulled out the letter. He read the words and looked back up at Mais who seemed beyond confused. “I didn’t send it”, he repeated.
Mais was naturally an optimistic person so her smile in this situation wasn’t unusual but Eric didn’t find it very necessary. His brows furrowed together and the corner of his lip curved downwards. He proceeded to crumble up the letter and tossed it aside next to the flowers. Suddenly Mais erupted into giggles and Eric looked over at her angrily.
“What?” His voice showing traits or irritation.
“You’re jealous aren’t you?” Her giggling never ceased as she made her way over to an enraged Eric.
“Of course not!” He seemed highly insulted to be accused of this even though a small voice in his head agreed with Mais. “You don’t find it odd that some guy-” he was cut off with “Or girl” by Mais. “Guy or girl whatever! A stranger just left this on our doorstep a week after we move in?” He asked and Mais just shook her head as she wrapped her arms around his middle and looked up at him.
“Think of it as a welcome to the neighborhood gift.” Her voice deemed sincere but Eric could sense the teasingness in her voice. Rolling his eyes finally looking down at his wife who as certainly amused by this. He couldn’t help but smile down at her “A welcome to the neighborhood by Your Love,” he paused and his smile turned into a concerned frown. “But I’M your love, right?” His question was answered by a quick peck to his lips by Mais.
“My one and only.”
That night Eric and Mais slept good. A few days had passed since the flowers incident and half of their house was unpacked. It was a Saturday afternoon and Mais was home finishing
up unpacking the living room decorations that her and Eric started with the night before. She smiled at their wedding pictures and hung them up behind their beige couch. The sound of an unsuspecting doorbell triggered a jump from Mais and she dropped one of the smaller pictures. Thankfully it didn’t break, the soft couch broke its fall. The doorbell rang again and Mais sighed heavily and cautiously got off the couch.
“I’m coming!” Her voice elevated as she moved towards the front door.
She opened it but she didn’t see anyone. She stepped out and looked around but she still didn’t see anything. “Ding dong ditch already?” She asked no one in particular and made her way back inside. Then the sound of heavy knocking on her backdoor scared her almost half to death. “Really?” She yelled as she made her way to the backdoor. She swung the kitchen door open and again was greeted by no one. She was just about to close the door when a heart shaped box and a small card caught her attention. She bent down curiously, the corner of her eyes searching for someone then focusing on the card that read,
“Your one and only”
She quickly grabbed the box and brought it inside, quick to dial Eric. “Where are you?”
“What do you mean? I’m at work I’ll be home around 4.” His voice was rushed and she could hear him furiously typing away at his own keyboard.
“You mean you didn’t…” Her voice trailed off as she looked out through the small window on the kitchen door.
“Didn’t what?” He asked but then dismissed it. ”Listen I have to go I’ll see you when I get home okay?”
Before she could protest Eric had hung up. Nervously she tossed the the box of chocolates in the trash. Her hands began to tremble as she looked at the letter, whoever he or she was, they had just made it clear they were watching her.
She never mentioned the package to Eric. With his reaction the first time she could tell he was angry and if this mystery person kept sending things he’d probably assume she’s been having an affair. Mais didn’t want to lose everything they had worked so hard for so if she got the occasional packaging she’d just toss it out. The person seemed to be a desperate romantic most likely harmless.
The love letters and gifts became more regular, every other day. Always around a time Eric wouldn’t be home. Though she was terrified this person had memorized their schedules she was also somewhat thankful Eric wasn’t around to witness it.
Mais tried to make contact with the person but even when she waited at the door they’d just drop the gift off at the other. She couldn’t win so she stopped trying. The letters often were cheesy lines or cutesy poems. Mais would let her imagination wonder, she wanted to believe Eric was the one writing them. With that mindset she didn’t feel so bad receiving them even though she knew it wasn’t the case. The doorbell rang and Mais followed with the routine of her checking first the front door then the back door. A baseball bat in hand as she did so (she started carrying it with her just in case this person ever became handsy).
The present surprised Mais, which was weird considering she’d been at this for at least two months now. The envelope was simple, plain white. Usually the letters had always been colorful but this was the first white one she had gotten. Perhaps it wasn’t her secret admirer. Hesitantly she retrieved the letter and quickly shut and locked the door behind her. The light haired beaut leaned the wooden bat against the wall and took a seat at the kitchen table. As she teared through the envelope she could tell something was off. There was indeed a single piece of paper folded up.
The tips of her finger grazed the crease of the fold. She proceeded to pull it out again surprised at how many times the paper had been folded. An entire sheet was a small square barely the size of her palm. As she began to unfold it she noticed all the words were messier than usual and were written in all caps to portray yelling. After a few seconds the small square was now an average sized piece of paper. The fear in her eyes present as she read the words on the page.
HELLO LOVE, REMEMBER ME? PROBABLY NOT. YOU TAKE MY GIFTS AND LEAVE NOTHING FOR ME. WHY IS THAT? YOUR BEAUTY STRUCK ME THE FIRST TIME I SAW YOU I JUST HAD TO MEET YOU IN PERSON. I THOUGHT THESE LETTERS AND PRESENTS WOULD MAKE YOU FEEL MORE COMPELLED TO SEE ME. WHY DO YOUR WASTE YOUR TIME WITH ERIC? YOU CAN DO SO MUCH BETTER, TOGETHER WE’D BE SUCH A BEAUTIFUL COUPLE. YOU CAN’T DENY THAT. LET ME MAKE THIS CLEAR, I WILL NOT LET YOU WASTE YOU’RE TIME WITH THAT MAN. I REFUSE. WE BELONG TOGETHER. WAIT FOR ME.
Her hands felt sweaty, quickly Mais crumbled the letter and tossed it into the trash. Just as quickly as she had thrown the letter out, she snatched it back. This was a threat, wasn’t it? She continued to re-read the letter while nervously biting the skin around her finger nails. She had to tell Eric, this person was becoming dangerous. Mais tried his cellphone but it went straight to voicemail, she looked over her shoulder and noticed his charger casually laid on the counter. He had forgotten to bring it with him to work. She took a long breath and considered contacting the police but she knew she needed to speak with Eric before everything got out of hand.
Needing to regain a peace of mind before this note drove her crazy with worries, Mais found her way straight to the cabinet to the left of the sink, where they decided to keep their wine until they could afford a wine cooler. She didn’t bother with a wine glass, she simply grabbed the first glass she could get her hands on and gulped down the red liquid. Sometime during her few drinks (3-4) she found herself beginning to doze off watching a random televised show being aired that day.
After a few hours passed she found herself groggily opening her eyes. For a moment she had forgotten all about her secret admirer but when the name Eric crossed her memory she straightened. Her eyes glanced at the cable box reading 12:03am.
At this realization she was at her feet and ran right to the window, Eric’s car was safely parked in the driveway. She smiled and made her way up to their bedroom, she was halfway up the stairs when the doorbell rang. She froze in her steps and glanced upwards, he was probably sleeping. Besides it was way out of schedule for her crazed fan. It was probably some delinquent teenagers or their friends. Steadily she pivoted on the heel of her foot and made her way down the steep growing steps. When she finally reached the bottom she gently opened the front door. Her heart almost gave out when she saw a neat black package tied with a red bow.
Everything in her body told her to turn back around and wait until morning but there was something about this particular box that compelled her to open it. This time she didn’t move the box indoors, she knelt down in front of it and began to tug at the aesthetically pleasing bow. It wasn’t hard to undo the knot since it was only tied over once. The second she lifted the top of the box you could see a mixture of horror, sadness, and fear that partook in those pale beautiful eyes. A scream like no other escaped her delicate lips as she fell over on her backside. Mais began to crab walk backwards until her back hit the first step. “Eric!” She screamed again, scrambling to her feet as she raced up the stairs. Practically tripping over herself until she made it into their room and ran straight to the body under the covers.
Frantically she began to shake her husband. “Eric, Eric you need to wake up now!” She demanded but her words were cut short when she felt something warm and moist skin her palm. Her clean hand lunged straight for the lamp and you could see the immediate realization on her face as she saw the crimson liquid staining her hand. “Oh no no...” her frantic cries became blubbering sobs as she pulled the blanket off of Eric to reveal a wound deep in his chest. Right where his heart should’ve been was a craved hole, his face as pale as her eyes.
His heart was the lifeless, bloodied heart in her most recent package.