I moved around the whole store a lot throughout the day, shelving different sections and filling in at cash. No sight of Travis over the rest of my eight-hour shift. I assumed he’d left not long after he picked out his books.
At 5:30pm, I clocked out and left the store through the front door. The second I went out the door, I felt someone fall into step with me. “Hi SleepyBee! It’s Travis, remember me?”
Chilled blood. “I didn’t want to bother you while you were working, SleepyBee, so I waited until you finished your shift! Are you going home? I can walk you.” He’d researched many kidnappings and serial killers while he waited for me, he said. Heart hammered. Oh, I said, I have to go to the bank. Stop saying my name, I thought.
The bank was next door to the bookstore. I hoped that there were other people inside, that he might leave if others were around. But no: he followed me inside. The bank had closed so no one was there. “You could use the ATM,” Travis suggested helpfully. Uh, I said, right. He waited for me while I withdrew ten dollars. He held the door open for me as we left the bank. It was already dark outside.
“Do you know who my favourite serial killer is?”
Oh, oh, I said, I forgot something at work, I have to go back right away. I took off, leaving him on the sidewalk and ran inside the store. Found the store manager and the regional manager in the office, gasped out that someone obsessed with famous kidnappings stalked me over my whole shift and tried to follow me home. They asked me call my boyfriend to pick me up, and to go by the register while they sent the plainclothes security guard over to wait with me. Act like the security guard is your friend, they said, so if Travis comes back, he won’t know you said anything and we can grab him; we’ll notify the staff to keep an eye out.
The security guard was bristling for action and trying to play it cool. My boyfriend came and we went home. Travis never returned.
So I’m a petite, college-aged girl working my way through school in retail as a cashier. On Friday night I was on the front register of our small store. The place was pretty dead since it was foggy, dark and freezing outside. This guy came in and bought a phone case that came in one of those hard to open plastic packages (you know…the kind that you can only get open with scissors or a knife or something). He didn’t talk much during the transaction…just grunted when I said hello, and nodded when I asked if he had found everything alright. After he had paid for it, he was fumbling to open the package for a few minutes. He then came over to me and asked if he could borrow our scissors to cut the package open.
I said “Sure, no problem”, and as I handed him the scissors, he leaned close to me, his hand sliding over mine as he took them. He looked me dead in the eye and said in a quiet, steady voice “All the better to stab you with” before smoothly walking out and stealing my fucking scissors.
I made sure to double-check the back seat of my car when I got off work that night.