CHAPTER 4

John cupped his face in both hands, still looking down at the three photos on the table.

The first showed John sitting on the couch in his apartment, watching TV, at night. What was scary was the photo was taken from outside John’s apartment, apparently with a long-range, telephoto lens, probably from another apartment in nearby building.

The second photo was of John walking in the lobby of the building where he worked.

The third photo showed John sitting in his cubicle at work, and it was taken from ten or fifteen feet away.

This was more than a threat. A threat would’ve been the Asian man saying, “We’ll kill you if you don’t do this for us.” And, coming from the Asian man, that would have been scary.

But this was a demonstration. It was proof that they already knew John Martin, and where he lived, and where he worked. And it was proof that they could get as close as fifteen feet from him while he was sitting in his cubicle, in the middle of a private office, crowded with people, in the middle of a workday, without him even knowing.

This was frightening.

John’s mind raced.

But he had to get back to the office, because he had at least another seven or eight hours of work to do today.

John finished his work for the day at nearly 11 PM and he took a car back to his apartment.

He walked in his front door, dumped his shit on the table, and fell down onto his couch. He was exhausted, physically, mentally and emotionally. He’d never felt stress like this before. He had no idea what to do. Should he tell the police about the Asian man? Should he tell his parents? Or his brother?

A few minutes later, John passed out on the couch, fully dressed, shoes still on.

 

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