Phase 2

I never really questioned Denzel.  I never really questioned Denzel about why he chose me, why he was here, why he wants to hurt me, why his words are so gentle, why he seems so troubled.  Has he ever been hurt?  How can he do this?  I try not to ask those things, believing they will only ricochet and turn into more pain for me.  I don’t need this kind of pain now.  I’ve got a good job as an editor at a publishing firm and I’ve got good friends.  If I start getting all beat up, I might lose my job and my friends.  I need them to keep me level-headed and sane.  Only I know about Denzel.  Besides, who would believe me?

Work hasn’t been busy recently.  I’ve been sitting at my desk, reading over stories and editing them, yes, but it hasn’t been as busy as before.  I would usually have several books lined up in need for editing, but recently I’ve only had two or three I’ve been working on.  My boss, Jillian, a bit strict, but manageable.  Just bring her coffee in the morning and she should be set unless a client upsets her.  She’s pretty good at making other people miserable.

I stopped reading in mid-sentence when I heard a slam in front of my on my desk.  I looked up to see Jillian, adjusting her glasses and brushing away her blonde curls.  Her dark green eyes glared at me then said, “here’s another book.  It’s a long one.  If you find more typos than you can handle, call him and tell him the deal’s off.  Tell him to either find another editor or go back to grade school.”  After saying yes, she turned and left my office.  I leaned back in my chair and gave out a sigh.  It’s not that I was aggravated by adding another book to the pile, four books is nothing, it’s the fact that I was woken up in the middle of the night last night for no good reason.  I let out a relieving yawn.

I was just a bit nervous that Denzel would interrupt me.  He didn’t usually interrupt me while I was working, but it didn’t make me worry any less.  I wanted to get ahead in my editing work, so I looked back down at page 134 and began reading again, red pen in hand.

I curled my brown hair around the pen, then pulled the pen away, letting my faint curls bounce back to my shoulder.  I repeated that about twenty times as I read the next few paragraphs.  I stopped when I found a typo, “their” instead of “they’re”.  I circled the word, making a red ellipse, then wrote “they’re” above it in the small margin.  I put the pen back up to the side of my head, and began twisting my hair around it again.


I finished the book around 3:15 in the afternoon.  The hair on the right side of my head was the curliest it had ever been.  I put down my pen and stretched my arms in front of me.  My finger tips tapped the papers in front of me, stacked at the far end of my desk.  I twisted my neck around because it was sore.  Again, I had been bent over a desk reading all day.

The room became a bit colder and I rubbed my hands up and down my arms.  What did he want with me now?  I wanted to yell to him “Why don’t you just leave me alone!” …but I was too afraid.  He could hurt me again.  I tensed up my shoulders, and I knew that he knew.


He said my name with such tenderness.  If he was to speak any louder, he could have broken my name; that tender.  My shoulders lowered and I said quietly, “yes?”  I’ve come to think of Denzel as a moth.  He’ll creep into the room, maybe bump into you or something else a few times, then he’s quiet as he becomes the wallflower.  Then, you might hear him flutter a few times.

“Can I ask you more questions?” He asked.

“Not right now, I’ve got a bit more work to do.”  I rolled my chair to the left to face my computer, “I have to contact the author…” My voice faded as I became concentrated on the task at hand.  The room was still cold for another ten minutes, then the moth fluttered away.

Jillian walked in five minutes later and stopped at the door.  She folded her arms and asked, “goodness, does the heat work in here?”

“Well,” I began, “I just opened the window for a bit.”  I lied.  Then, with a chill down my spine, I felt Denzel’s hand touch my shoulder.  My eyes became larger from the surprise.

“Well,” Jillian rubbed her forearms, “you’ve got a call on line 1.”  With that, she left, shutting the glass door, probably to keep the cold just in my office.  I stopped the email I was writing to Mr. Braren and I picked up the phone.  After pressing a few buttons on the phone, I heard someone speak.

“Roslyn, Roslyn!” Darby said.

“Hey Darby, we haven’t talked in a while…” I felt Denzel’s hand leave my shoulder, “What do you need? … Ok … When? … Got it.  See you there.”  I hung up the phone.  I pulled a sticky note from my desk drawer and wrote “Hardrock Café, northern San Fran, 5:00PM”.  That was where I was going to meet Darby.


4:15, my work is done!

I lived a block away from my work place, so I stopped by my apartment and put on more comfortable clothes.  Three blocks away was the café near the beach; I started walking at 4:30.

Phase 1 ----- Phase 3