The first time she heard those four words, it awakened her from a sound sleep.
“I’m looking for you.”
As she rubbed her eyes and let them adjust to the darkness, she scanned the room. “Hello?” she said.
She wasn’t scared even though she had lived alone for many years. The voice sounded familiar and as she tried to shake herself into reality, again she said “hello? Who’s there?”
After a few minutes, she shook her head and lay back down as she said “it was just a dream.” She never remembered her dreams and this one would be forgotten in the morning.
As predicted, the next morning she got up, fixed a cup of coffee and had forgotten the dream but something was gnawing at her. She thought she could almost touch the remnants of the dream but it didn’t quite come into focus.
She read somewhere that if you didn’t remember your dreams, it meant that you weren’t in touch with your soul. She laughed as she thought “I’ve been out of touch with my soul for so long, I’m not sure I even have one anymore.”
By all accounts, she was a bit of a recluse and to the neighbors the reason was unknown. They’d see her now and then, driving out of the neighborhood and she’d wave but never stopped to talk. Her solitary life seemed to be what she chose and it suited her although she often thought that she was wasting her life. She knew she should “get out and live” but she was just too comfortable within the confines of her self-imposed tomb.
Part of her daily routine was walking through her house, touching things as if trying to sear them into her memory or perhaps, wishing to erase them.
As she reached the third bedroom she rarely entered, she heard the voice. “I’m looking for you.” This time she wasn’t asleep. She turned and was startled to find no one behind her. Again, she said “hello?” Again, no response.
This continued for weeks with no explanation and she started to question her sanity. Along with the information she read about souls she had also read that “if you think you’re insane, you probably aren’t but if you think everyone else is insane, you probably are.”
“Whew!” she thought. “So far, so good in the insanity department.”
She had never been one to entertain the idea of Karma or sending something to the “Universe.” Bad “sends” would bounce back and smack you in the face and good “sends” would pat you on the back. She called bullshit on those ideas but she did believe in signs. Signs, such as finding a dime and a penny or finding a bird feather in a most unlikely place.
Bird feathers have different meanings, depending on their color and size and even where they fall. They’re supposed to be sent from angels, according to what information she could gather. Dimes and pennies are also supposed to be signs from angels.
“What are these angels trying to tell me?” she wondered.
Suddenly, she thought “they’re telling me that my Prince Charming is looking for me! That’s his voice! He’s looking for me!”
She had spent so many years alone, thinking that was how it was supposed to be and how it was supposed to end but these “signs” had given her hope. Every emotion she ever had was dead but they say hope is the last to die.
“Tomorrow,” she said. “Tomorrow, I am going to get dressed up and walk uptown. The angels are sending me messages. What better reason than to find my Prince Charming? What better reason than to find my destiny?”
That night, just as she was about to fall asleep, she heard those words.
“I’m looking for you.” She smiled and whispered “I know.”
The next morning, she got up with a renewed enthusiasm. She got dressed and for the first time in as long as she could remember, put on make-up.
There was a lightness in her step as she made her way uptown. She found herself smiling at people as she passed them on the way. A park bench she had never noticed seemed to beckon a brief rest.
There were many little shops that she had never frequented and she noticed “welcome” signs hovered over every door. “Why have I never wanted to discover what little treasures these stores might hold?” she asked herself. “Maybe later,” she thought. She had a different purpose today.
He was there. She just knew it. All she had to do was find him…or maybe just go back to the bench and wait for him to find her.
Before she realized how long she had been gone, darkness began to fall. Disappointment also descended as she hadn’t been approached by her Prince Charming.
Her enthusiasm had waned and hope was beginning to fade. As she started the long walk home, she cut down an alley which was a known shortcut.
Halfway down the alley, she heard “I’ve been looking for you.”
A slight glimpse of a dark figure was all she saw before he slashed her throat.