The wreck had left her needing disability insurance. There was no doubt about that. Too many times she had awakened in the middle of the night screaming from the pain in her lower back. Sometimes if she wondered would it ever really end or would she have to live this way for the rest of her life.
There was a knock at her front door and she wondered who could be dropping by for a visit at 3am. She hoisted herself out of the chair and slowly walked across the living room to the front door. Every little step was met with excruciating pain. When she did finally make it to the door, it was exhausting to even open it.
A tall man with long dark hair wearing a leather trench coat stood in her doorway. He was soaked from the pouring rain and looked even more exhausted than she did. "Forgive me Beth. Can I come in please."
She stared at him and blinked. "Gabe?" She had not seen her ex-boyfriend since high school and the man standing before her was almost unrecognizable. Instead of the prep uniform he'd worn so long ago, he was dressed as dark as the night. And instead of the short haircut she'd remembered, it was long and un-kept. But then, there was that hint of recognition in his voice and in his steel gray eyes.
She gestured for him to come in out of the rain and as he swept past her, a sudden sense of fear rushed through her. She turned and followed him into the living room as he sat down on the sofa, leaned his head back and closed his eyes. "Thank you." He said.
"Not a problem" She replied as remembered she'd left the television on in the kitchen. "I'll be right back." She saw him nod in response, so she slowly made her way toward the kitchen.
The television was showing the news which caught her eye. The news wasn't supposed to come on for another 3 hours, but there was an emergency broadcast of some kind. She stopped in front of the tv and stared. KNTW8 was broadcasting about a killer in the area. There were three victims so far and the police were on the lookout for a man who just happened to be sitting on her living room sofa. "I'm sorry." She froze up at the sound of his voice whispering in her ear and felt his hands on her waist. "I'm so very sorry."
She closed her eyes wishing that some way, somehow she would not be victim number four. "You don't deserve the pain as they did. This is all my fault." She couldn't breathe. She wanted him to hurry up and get it over with. At least she would be free of the pain in her back. Would be free to live her life again. She just needed to be free.
But it never came. Instead, she felt him kiss her neck, then felt his hands leave her waist, and heard him whisper, "Thank you." She opened her eyes, ready to face him, to put her fears aside and ask him why. But, as she turned, she realized he was gone. And as she pushed forward in a panic to stop him from hurting anyone else, she realized something more. Something far more greater than she could ever imagine. The pain in her back was gone.