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Maggie noticed that Clytia was behaving unusually. Clytia kept looking back as if she was looking for someone she knew. Maggie couldn’t help but give voice to her concern: “Clytia, are you alright? I am getting worried!”.
Clytia was still looking at the crowd face by face and answered without paying attention: “oh, yeah”. Unfamiliar faces, as lifeless as pieces of a puzzle, had been put together randomly by a cold hand to form the view in which she searched so eagerly.
This occasion was already the third time today that Clytia has stopped in the middle of Oxford Street, caught up in staring at the tide of heads. Her search had been prompted, as on both other occasions; by her back tensing up without visible reason. A curious coldness had slid along her spinal cord, triggering a shiver. She had known instinctively that someone was behind her and had always been there.
This was by no means the first day on which she had got that uncanny feeling; attacks like that having been occurring for a while. However, every time she had turned around to look for her presumed observer Clytia saw nothing.
But this time was different - she could have sworn that she just met the eyes of the stalker at that moment. An astonishingly green eye, containing a fierce fire.
“No worry, I just thought I saw an old friend of mine.” Clytia finally told Maggie.
Maggie said no more on the subject and Clytia held her arm as if nothing had happened. As she turned back to her procession down the street, she felt the cold eyesight bite on her back as a maggot will bite onto flesh. Clytia shook her head with an extremely uncomfortable disgust and set her head forward.
The stalker had been following her for a while - since a time even Clytia was not sure about. The feeling of being watched had gotten even sharper when Clytia was walking back home, alone.
On one such occasion, Clytia was walking back down that same old road - beside a park, sheltered by dim yellow street lamps. Several couples were talking loudly passing by, while some kids were skating or playing with skateboards. Busy traffic speeded up and down the street due to the traffic lights on the cross-roads. All in all, the scene was too normal for her to pay attention to. This was part of the boring routine of every day.
That all changed when she saw a man. He was right there - tall, leaning against the street lamp, his legs crossed in a relaxed way as if he is waiting for someone. You could see that kind of guy everywhere around London, but this one was distinctive in that he wore a shiny black PVC coat and narrow, pointed leather boots that gleam with a well-maintained polish.
Upon her eyes meeting this sight, Clytia's throat was too tight to speak. She licked her lips, which seemed to be newly dry and salty; the only thing she could hear was a drum pounding heavily inside her head.
Initially, she couldn’t help walking faster towards that man, but eventually she managed to slow herself. Five meters away from where he stood, a cash machine was built into the wall - Clytia strolled to it and inserted her card, taking the opportunity to size him up quickly.
He had shoulder length black hair.
He was really skinny. Clytia knew that it would hurt when he places his pointed, body jaw over her shoulder. His bare skin was as pale as wax, but Clytia knew that it was as smooth as silk, an opinion she held as strongly as if she had already stroked it a thousand times.
He was bowed slightly and was smoking, hiding his glamorous green eyes by well manicured finger sporting black nail polish.
At the moment, the cash machine beeped loudly, making Clytia jump. She busied herself with entering her PIN, still keeping her eyes on that man, but seeing only a cigarette light flashing in the cold winter night. The cash machine made a noise, drawing her attention and gaze once again. She wasn't planning on withdrawing any cash, but for the sake of prolonging her time by this man she went ahead and pressed the appropriate button.
At this point, the strangest thing happened.
On the deep blue screen, a line built of body white letters appeared: “feed me with blood”.
In the next moment, Clytia saw a huge drop of blood dripping from her hand, which was entirely covered by viscous blood! The blood drop ducked into a gap in the keyboard of the ATM as lithely as a snake and disappeared in a second.
“God!” she exclaimed. Her eyes were wide open, and she could not help but stand back, staggering and almost losing her footing to tumble to the group. That man noticed her weird movement and looked at her, just meeting her eyes so their gazes locked.
His eyes were black and cat-like.
He is not Darren!
Darren’s eyes were as green as the last drop of Chartreuse, and whoever gazed into his eyes became fascinated.
“Are you okay?” that man asked, smiling and walking to her.
“That…” Clytia hid her hand in her coat, and averted her eyes so they rested on the cash machine.
He followed her gaze and smiled in a flirtatious manner: “Miss, its asking you how much cash you would like to withdraw.” Clytia focused and, the illusion shattered, saw that he spoke the truth. Drawing her hand from her pocket, she furthermore saw that there was no sign of a blood stain there. That man didn’t speak，just looked at her quietly with a significant smile. Clytia knew the meaning behind that smile.
He opened up: “I am going to clubbing with friends, would you like….”
Before he finished, Clytia grasped her card from the machine and ran away without looking back. The gaze of a pair of cold eyes digging into her back with every step, but she doesn’t care anymore. She just wondered why Darren didn’t come to her anymore! Was he really serious when he said he wanted to be with that woman? Is he really going to get married to her?
"I am sorry Clytia. It’s not because you are not as good as her, it’s simply because you are not the right one for me."
We are always offer the chance of destroying ourselves to our lovers. Darren, you used that chance to destroy my whole life and now you are claiming you are not mine…how dare you?
I told you, it's just a matter of time.
Maybe that was his decision after all - not to see her anymore. Thinking of that, the coldness of winter swallowed the last bit of warmth left inside her heart. She opened the door of her home and was welcomed by the endless darkness within.
Standing beyond that door is like standing beyond the grave. No one is home. Clytia remembered that Lila went to the Lake District a few days ago - enjoying her sweet holiday with her dearest boyfriend.
Clytia was left alone.
She stood in the cold corridor, leaning against the wall in the dark - she didn't turn on the light. Damned London was so cold that the chill of the wall invaded her deepest depths, transforming itself to her soul.
Clytia had failed her exams last year, so now she was doing her second year again. She had been trying to like her new, ignorant, friends from the second year. However, she couldn't help remembering that there was someone who said nothing but always warmed her up with his arms - his shoulder used to be her second home. He always tolerated her tricks and failings with mildness, and comforted her by a warming kiss. Where did he go?
Is there a gentle long-haired girl sleeping beside him? Just like she did?
Is his heart, which used to belong to her, substituting her for another girl little by little?
Is it true that the tears she shed inside of his heart will never reflect her shadow anymore?
“Yes, yes.” Her mind answered her questions, “it will be fine - you will get it over, it's just a matter of time.”
From the bottom of her heart, she disagreed. Nothing would go back to normal again.
Clytia slid slowly down the wall in despair. As she glanced at the door she saw a field of light green peeking out from it's edge, and with renewed energy she unhesitatingly got to her feet and opened the door.
The sight that greeted her was that of a slim girl in a skirt of a green and the freshest touch of chartreuse - the colour reminded Clytia of the eyes of Darren. The girl looked at Clytia awkwardly: the traces of astonishment and discomposure in her moist sky-blue eyes hadn’t yet vanished.
With the first sight of her, Clytia knew that she must have seen those eyes before - they were unforgettable.
“How can I help?” Clytia softly inquired.
The woman’s face went back to normal in the next second and she smiled back and answered in a girly voice: “I’m Darren’s fiancée, Audrey.”
Now Clytia knew the reason why this woman is so familiar to her. Darren wore a blue crystal pendant and that crystal looks exact like part of Audrey's eyes.
“Darren’s gone missing. I am wondering if you know anything helpful.” Audrey continued.