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As the phone rang, Chloe stared at it, wide eyed, frozen with fear. She let it ring; she knew who it was. A shiver ran down her spine as questions raced through her mind like they did every time the phone rang. ‘Is he here? Can he see me? Is he watching me right now?’ Chloe turned the television volume up; tried to ignore the answer machine as it automatically switched on. But the voice that followed after the beep was not the low, husky voice she had expected to hear.

“Hi Chloe, it’s Mum,” came her mothers singsong voice from the speaker on the small grey box. Chloe was still sitting on the sofa, still staring at the phone, more surprised than anything. It was the first time in three months when the phone had rang and Chloe had been at home alone and the caller wasn’t him.

“Just phoning to check that you’re all right.” Chloe dashed over and picked up the phone. “Hi mum, everything’s fine, Katie and Adam are in bed. How’s the party?” It was Chloe’s Aunt and Uncle’s silver wedding anniversary, but she had to stay home and baby-sit her brother and sister. “It’s great. Look love, I’ve got to go, they’re about to cut the cake, are you sure you’re okay?” “I’m fine.” ” All right then, I’ll see you later, bye.” The sound of the dialling tone after her Mother had put the phone down, made Chloe suddenly realise she was on her own again, and she didn’t like it.

Eight weeks ago, Chloe had been attacked. The police reckoned it was just a crazy person, trying to scare her. Now, for the past month, someone had been following her, stalking her, watching every move she made, and yet, something inside Chloe, told her things were about to get worse.

Ever since the attack, Chloe had been different. She had been jumpy, nervous, quiet. Several nights, she had woken up crying and screaming. It was amazing how two minutes of her life had affected her so badly.

Chloe looked around, just to make sure that no one was there, watching her. Still she was unsure. She ran upstairs to check on her brother and sister and peeked round the doorways to their bedrooms to find they were both sound asleep. Chloe closed the door with a sigh of relief. ‘Why am I so paranoid?’ she asked herself, wishing there was someone there to answer her question. ‘Why am I the one he wants?’

An hour later, as Chloe was in the kitchen, making a snack, the phone rang again. She was a little more relaxed this time. ‘It’s probably just my Mum, checking up on me again.’ She told herself. ‘Nothing to be worried about.’ By the time she reached the phone the answer machine had just kicked in. But yet again, the caller was not who Chloe had expected it to be. This time, it was him.

“Hey Chloe,” came the soft, raspy voice. Chloe couldn’t move. The terror ripped through her body like fire. “Guess what?” Chloe swallowed hard. Her pulse raced. “I saw you walking home from school this afternoon. Who was that girl you were with?” Chloe panicked. Her breathing became harder every second. ‘Please, leave me alone, don’t do this to me’ her mind begged.

“Why aren’t you picking up the phone? What’s the matter? Don’t you want to speak to me? I thought you might want someone to talk to, since you’re all alone in that big house.” Everything fell silent. Chloe was still unable to move. ‘How does he know I’m on my own? Oh God, please help me. I have to go somewhere, be with somebody.’ There was a knock at the door.

Chloe’s eyes filled up with tears as she stood there, petrified. She didn’t know what to do, where to go. There was another knock at the door. The phone rang again. “Aren’t you going to answer the door?” It was him. Chloe couldn’t take it any longer “Leave me alone” she screamed “leave me alone.” He had heard. “But I thought you didn’t want to be alone,” came his calm voice from the machine. With this, Chloe stormed over and pulled the plug from its socket. He knocked on the door again.

‘I have to get out of here.’ Chloe scanned her surroundings, desperately trying to find a means of escape. She needed a plan. ‘The dining room! How could I be so stupid?” she asked herself. “The French doors in the dining room!”

Chloe heard another knock on the door. She ran through to the hall, grabbed her mobile phone, car keys, purse and coat, then dashed back to the dining room, fumbling with the keys, hopelessly trying to find the right one for the French doors. She reached the doors. ‘Ah, found it.’ She inserted the key into the lock. Turned it and then looked up. Two glowing eyes stared back at her through the glass. The same two eyes she had seen eight weeks ago when he attacked her.

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