The alarm rang, 6:00am. Allison rolled over and hit the snooze button, not going back to sleep she laid there thinking, Friday, the end of another week. Life was pretty routine since moving to the city, not that life in her home town had been overly exciting, but it was worlds apart from her life now. The alarm buzzed again prompting her to get up, heading to the kitchen she made coffee and took an apple out of the refrigerator, her standard breakfast, she peeled it putting the skins in the small compost bucket on the counter, placed the knife down beside it. After her coffee and apple she headed to the bathroom to get ready for work. The bathroom was small as was the rest of her apartment, the walls were thin but it was what she needed, a small affordable place in this neighbourhood. She had been there 5 months now and knew most of the neighbours, her favorite ones were the Sinclair family across the hall. They were her closest friends in the city and they reminded her of her own family, Dwayne, Debbie and their daughters Abby who was 7 and Emily who had just turned 5. Friday was date night for Dwayne and Debbie, for the last three and a half months, Allison would get pizza delivered and take it over and stay with the girls. She loved doing this, watching the girls together reminded her of how things use to be with her and her sister Elizabeth. Allison often thought of the similarities, the same initials A and E, how Elizabeth was two years younger than she was, but most of all how Abby doted on Emily. Sometimes watching the love they shared brought tears to Allison’s eyes, knowing just how it felt to love your little sister more than anyone else in the world.
She headed out the door, checking her watch to make sure not to miss the bus. It was a forty-five minutes bus ride to work, but that was the way it had to be. She got to the office, put her things in the staff room and headed to her desk. Being a receptionist for a major company had its perks and its little things that made her feel more important like a name plate. ALLISON WOODBURN she read, it was still strange seeing it since legally changing her name a year ago from Allison Lawrence, she could always change it back later if she wanted to, after the right amount of time passed, but for now it was best not to be recognised. Being a receptionist for a business was only a slight change from her job as dispatch for her small town police department. Her day went quickly, Fridays were her busiest day of the week, which suited her just fine, it kept her mind from wandering back to a particular Friday night she was waiting for.
Returning home she placed her coat on the rack and went into the kitchen and put her purse on the little stand beside the compost bucket and knife, took her phone out and ordered the medium cheese pizza. She checked her watch for the time and her calendar for the delivery persons scheduled for that night, hmmm K.C okay, two dollar tip night, then went to change into comfy clothes, her favorite soft sweat shirt and leggings.
Her buzzer rang, “Hello”
“Come on up”
She opened the door “K.C. right on time” she smiled
“Of course I am, I wouldn’t keep you waiting” he laughed as he followed her into the kitchen. He put the pizza on the counter as Allison took the money out of her purse and handed it to him “Keep the change” she smiled.
“Thanks, have a great night” and he left. Allison picked up the pizza and headed across the hall.
The girls greeted her with giggles of excitement. “Allie you really don’t have to do this every week” said Debbie
“I like too”
“Well you could at least let us pay for the pizza”
“It’s my treat, I don’t have any nieces to spoil, this is more for me than for them” she laughed, while thinking to herself ‘and I never will have any nieces or nephews.’
Dwayne and Debbie said their goodnights to the girls and the routine “be good” speech then headed out
“Have fun” Allison said as she locked the door behind them. The evening played out normally, pizza playing games, then putting the girls to bed with a storybook. After the story, Abby asked “Allie, did you and Lizzy read this story when you were little?” Allison swallowed hard “Yes, yes we did, as a matter of fact it was Lizzy’s favorite”
“I thought so”
“You did? Why”
“Because you looked sad when you read it and you never looked sad before”
Allison stood up and tucked the girls in “I’m not sad, just remembering that’s all”
“I think you are sad”
“You better get to sleep before your parents get home” she kissed their foreheads and left the room.
Sitting in the living room, the t.v was on but she wasn’t paying attention to it, she was lost in thought. Her memories returned to a year and a half ago. She and Lizzy were shopping for Lizzy’s wedding dress and Allies maid of honor dress, it was a great day of laughter and dreams of the future, but it was also the last time she saw Lizzy smile or laugh. Later that night Lizzy was brutally attacked, the beating had left her facial muscles to damaged to smile and the rape so violent she had to have a hysterectomy. She never got married and remains hidden in her bedroom in their parents home. Allison was the only one she relied on, recounting the attack was horrible to hear, but she knew her little sister needed to say it to help heal and since Allison couldn’t change what happened, she would be there for her then. She had heard the story over and over during the months that followed the attack, the one thing that stuck in her mind was what the attacker said just before his first punch “I have been watching you, I hope you like it rough”
The police didn’t have a lot to go on to catch the guy, a composite drawing that her sister described and some trace transfer of what was thought to be pizza sauce, none of which were solid enough leads. Even though the police did not stay active on the case for long, Allison did. Having access to all the databases in the police station, she spent her lunch hours looking for clues, patterns or anything she could find that would bring her closer to finding the man who had destroyed her sister and to delivering her own justice. Her thoughts were interrupted by the door opening, causing her to jumped.
“Hi, how were the girls?”
“Great as usual, how was your night?”
“It was good, except for the rain” Deb said “Of all nights to forget my coat”
“I gave you mine” Dwayne piped in
“Yes you did, my hero” as she hugged him
“Well I am exhausted, I am heading home” Allison said “see you guys tomorrow”
The rest of the weekend was routine for Allison, laundry, cleaning the apartment and grocery shopping which included seven more apples. Friday was much the same as every other Friday. She woke up, had her coffee and apple, this time placing the knife in front of the compost bucket. Off to work with a little skip in her walk as she headed to the bus.
She got home, hung her coat on the rack, put her purse on the counter beside the bucket, took her phone out and ordered a cheese pizza. She looked at her watch and then her calendar, hmmm looks like it is Evan’s night to deliver, no tip necessary she thought as she smiled then went into change her clothes. Tonight she put on track pants and a T-shirt that had the left sleeve partially ripped off. The buzzer rang “Hello”
“Come on up”
She opened the door and he stepped in, she closed the door behind him and walked towards the kitchen. He put the pizza on the counter and turned towards her, his eyes got wide as he gasped in pain, he was stunned as he felt the knife that was plunged into his side, being pulled out as Allison threw her body against his and plunged the knife back in again, this time closer to his back. It all happened so fast he didn’t have time to think, he reached out as she stepped back, he managed to grab onto her shirt while falling causing it to tear further. He took her down with him in the fall, just before his final gasp she whispered to him, “I’ve been watching you, I hope it was rough enough” then she screamed hysterically for Dwayne, he burst through the door and immediately grabbed Evan off of her, about to punch him, he stopped in horror and released him, Evans dead body slumped to the floor. Debbie was at the door dialing 911 and looking across the hall telling the girls to stay inside. The police arrived quickly, feigning a shaken and numb demeanor, she gave her statement. No charges were laid, deemed as self defense. Later that week the police phoned to inform her that she was a very lucky woman, the DNA from the attacker was linked to multiple cases of violent assaults, across the country spanning the last 7 years.
One month later, last box packed in the van she turned to hug her neighbours good bye. City life wasn’t for her she told them, “I’m going home”