Juanita had left the bright lights of Vegas to take up a year-long contract in the breathtaking beauty of South Africa’s ‘jewel’. And still he had found her. The single slip of paper pushed under her door reminded her that she couldn’t escape her tormentor. It was always the same message – ‘One day my love’. Nothing more than that. She had hoped that by publicly announcing that she was moving to England and then slipping out of America unnoticed, he would not have been able to find her. She had been wrong.
When she first started receiving the notes she discounted them as the ramblings of a love-struck stalker. She had had to deal with a few of those over the years and they didn’t worry her. However, when it became obvious that the person responsible for the notes was familiar with her every move, her naturally calm feathers were ruffled.
At first she found notes under her windscreen wipers, in her letterbox and tied to the microphone at the recording studio. These did not worry her too much. It was only when she found a note on the table at Starbucks while she was having coffee with a friend, and another taped to her back door that her senses were on full alert. She started to check under the bed before climbing into it and she jumped every time her phone rang.
Sitting cross-legged in bed one night she tried to think of anyone who might want to scare her, but she generally got on well with everybody. She thought of previous relationships but they had all ended amicably, with the men involved feeling neglected by her tight schedule and wishing her well with her career. There had to be someone. Then snippets of a conversation held just over a year before between her and a reporter from one of the magazines covering the release of her latest album replayed in her mind.
“Did you always want to be a singer?” the breathy man with the piercing stare had asked, almost accusingly. “Surely you must have had dreams of getting married and having children?”
She had laughed at the intensity of the man and banality of his questions, which she had fielded numerous times over the course of her career. “What makes you think I can’t have both?”
He had stared at her for an uncomfortable length of time before leaning forward and exclaiming earnestly, “I can give you both.”
The directness of his statement had disturbed her slightly but she had brushed it aside with her usual wrapping up of an interview. She had stood up, smiled and extended her hand, saying, “Thank you for your time.”
The impeccably dressed man, who would have been quite good-looking were it not for the deeply etched frown he wore, had also stood and taken her hand. Making sure he had her full attention, he had leaned into her and whispered, “One day, my love.” Before she had had time to respond, he had drifted off through the crowds and she had given him no further thought.
Juanita felt quite light-headed when she realised she had solved the mystery of the note-giver. All she had to do was remember which publication she had appeared in that month and track down the reporter. It was easier than she thought. She managed to find out the following morning that he still worked for ET magazine and that his name was Edward Harrison. Armed with that information she had approached the police.
The police showed little interest in her plight, thinking it no more than a publicity stunt because Juanita had not actually been threatened. However, they questioned Edward and he had no idea what they were on about. He remembered saying the words to ‘the young singer’ but denied any knowledge of the notes. He was even able to provide an alibi of being out of the country on business when the note was taped to her door.
The notes continued, but now they contained crude drawings of the weapons from the game Cluedo. Sometimes the picture would be a rope, other times a revolver or a wrench. Finally, they also included what ostensibly was a drop of blood and she began to fear for her safety. She wished, once again, that she had a man in her life, someone who would protect her.
Then Frank suggested they move the show to an obscure location where anyone following her would be easily spotted. And so the African adventure began.
Now it seemed the nightmare she tried to leave behind had followed her.