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NO ONE IS SAFE
by Susan Tepper

I had pretty much told the same thing to the police; only face to face. Then shaken and exhausted after their long interrogation, I went home and fried some eggs. Ended up throwing them away. And because there was no one else at home to tell, I had told Ronald: "I'm not sure the police believed me. They looked at me like I had two heads."

"In a way you do," Ronald had answered. "Considering that you look just like the dead woman in the park."

I had wanted to hit him. Hard. Because we did look so much alike - me and that poor dead woman.

Ronald being first to discover her picture in the newspaper, coming into the living room that morning and waving the paper close to where I'd been sitting on the couch - trying to steer clear of whatever rooms I thought he might pass through while getting himself ready for work.

"Look at this!" He practically shoved it in my face.

"Stay away!" I'd jumped off the couch but he grabbed onto the belt of my bathrobe.

"Carly, you've got to see this, it's just unbelievable." And he held up the paper, and there it was: a photo of me.

Or so I'd thought for a moment. Because that's how closely I resembled her. Or she resembled me. Right down to the way she wore her hair - blunt-cut sharp and straight, angled along her jaw line. Same as I wore mine - flirty and swingy like a 'twenties flapper-girl. But it was more than hair. The expression in her round eyes - serious, yet playful. Trusting.

Then my own eyes had grabbed onto the headline: WOMAN STABBED LAST NIGHT IN CLEAR MOUNTAIN PARK.

Shrieking, I felt my knees turn to water; pulling the paper out of Ronald's hands I'd collapsed into a chair.

 

Copyright 2007 by Susan Tepper


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