Her eyes snapped up.
“Too personal?” He said and he walked away from the door, still keeping a distance between them, as if he knew she was afraid and didn’t want to startle her, but at the same time moving away from the door.
“I’ve broken into your apartment, your personal space and you…” She shook her head.
He smiled and looked at her and she felt a blush hit her cheeks.
“So, I should go.” She said slowly.
“And you are welcome to come back –”
“Really? Just like that?” She said taken aback by how easy going he was taking everything.
“Sure, though I don’t think you need to lose any more weight Olivia, but then I’ve always thought you looked perfect.” He said with a shrug.
He said it so casually, something so personal, so intimate, like he had known her for a while, like they always spoke like this.
Olivia blinked, not sure what to do with herself or the compliments, she looked up at him; his eyes were so brown, like deep mahogany. He saw too much and for once the news didn’t disturb her.
“Well erm, thank you.”
“For the compliment or for letting you use my place?” He said cocking his head to the side.
“Your quite forward, Isaiah.” She said and noted his surprise at her using his name.
“And you didn’t answer my question Olivia.” He said with an easy smile, everything he did seemed effortless, even his posture, his arms loosely folded one long leg kicked casually over the other.
Olivia found herself smiling.
“For both,” She said before leaving.
It had been a week since her roommates had asked her down the pub, and she had made a point to purposely talk about eating food and actually be caught with food on her since then, but if anything this seemed to make things worse, like they saw right through her, and for some strange reason the idea made the tension in her chest ease a little, she didn’t want to examine why that was she just knew she felt a little better.
She was mid-way through her pre-work stretching routine that followed her normal workout when the door burst open and the owner walked in. Olivia’s first thought was that she could continue stretching if he just stood there with a surprised look on his face.
She had never gotten a good look at him, despite using his apartment to work out every day she avoided the pictures on his shelf and never used any room but the living room.
“Olivia?” He asked, his voice surprisingly deep and calm despite his evident surprise.
“Erm yeah?” She said getting up slowly.
“Are you using my apartment to work out?” He said taking a step forward; he dropped his backpack onto the floor, his gaze never leaving hers.
Suddenly Olivia felt exposed in her workout clothes, he was taller than she remembered and bigger too, he was also standing in front of her only route to freedom.
She glanced at the door and looked back at him, he seemed oddly amused.
“Aren’t you angry? Or going to press charges?” She blurted out.
He laughed and it was a deep throaty sound that had her smiling nervously.
“No, I kind of figured someone was breaking in, but since you never took anything, I figured you used it to paint,” she gave him a surprised look and he said; “you used to paint all the time. I used to see you on the bench in the clearing, always covered in paint, but you don’t do it any more figured you came here to get away and paint, it is getting cold.”
Olivia stared at him for a long moment, suddenly she wanted out of his apartment, she looked around for an escape.
Out of her backpack she takes out a bag of salt, every step must be calculated. She throws some salt forward as she takes a step forward; she skids a little on the slippery tile before she finds purchase. Not taking any chances but conscious of the time, she throws and walks, throws and walks.
She makes it across the roof; she has three more to go.
Focusing her mind and bracing herself against the dropping temperature she commits herself to her rooftop walk. It’s slow going but she makes no mistakes. The caution has cost her; she is seven minutes behind schedule.
Her destination is up ahead.
Sliding herself to the edge of the roof she crouches down and listens.
All is silent.
Protected by nosy neighbours by the extensive back garden she edges herself over the ledge, her boots skim the window and for a breath-taking moment she loses her footing. She forgot to place more salt, too late, she has both hands supporting her weight and the salt safely tucked away in her backpack. Legs dangling in mid-air, weight supported solely by her arms, she tries to feel for the windowsill. The edge of the windowsill is slippery and her months of exercising is being put to the test. She slowly lowers herself onto the ledge and grasps the curve of the window that’s been left open a crack before she falls back.
Not wasting a moment to consider her quick breathing, she inches the window open by small increments, it’s soundless, a previous visit oiling it into silence.
She’s inside the house.
She’s sure and steady as she picks up the final blade. The blade is light almost weightless and she marvel at its beauty; made from obsidian and sharpened to absolute perfection it’s lethal. She tucks it into the small of her back where a small holder she designed eagerly receives its prize.
Dressed in black, she merges with the shadows as she steps out of her front door.
The night embraces her like an old friend, even the street light seems to skirt away from her, as though afraid.
She’s mapped out the route a hundred times in her mind and walked the path even more.
Her steps are measured but rapid, her focus an almost physical force.
She’s nearing her destination and here things become complex, but she’s prepared. She edges to a side of a building readying her body, which she has spent months priming for this very day, success her only outcome.
The bricks on the building have been dampened by the rain, but again, she’s made provisions for this, and has been setting aside time every day to file away at the mortar so there are groves for her fingers in several buildings along the way.
With a steadying breath she places her fingers in the groves, her path clear she begins to climb, she works her way up with a cool efficiency which though expected surprises even her.
She allows herself an almost smile at scaling the four floored building.
Up on the roof, though away from prying eyes; is far more dangerous and the rain has added a new challenge to her balance.