I give him a faint smile, too aware of the ominous figure prowling behind my back nearby to try and make myself seem more appreciative. "Thank you very much sir, I'll try and be back as soon as possible"
While re-adjusting the canvas bag strap on my shoulder, my sneakers squeak on the wooden floors as I swivel on my toes and begin to walk out of there. My throat feels as dry as the Sahara desert, and I jump when I feel my phone vibrating in my bag. I pause in my steps just long enough to rip my phone from its location, bringing it to my ears as I continue walking.
The feeling of the hooded man behind me is still a heavily palpable one, a picture of a lion slowly narrowing the distance between it and its prey by crawling through the grass flashing across my mind. Using my other hand, I take out the cold, steel knife in my shorts pocket and conceal it in my hand.
"Hello, this is Elena Kristal speaking, how can I help you?" My skin feels prickly, and the hands holding my phone and the knife feel slick with sweat as I exit the store and notice that the man is making his way out of the new and second hand book shop too.
"Lena! It's me, Anna...don't you have caller I.D on your phone? Anyways, your coffee is here and I thought I would call you since you haven't been answering your text messages. It's getting cold and reaching that gross middle stage where it is no longer an enjoyable piping hot but is not cold enough yet to be iced coffee and trendy."
"Thanks An, I'll be there now" I pick up my pace, looking over my shoulder nervously when I see him still behind me. He's closed the distance between us, shortening it from five metres to two, almost close enough to nearly be breathing down my neck.
"Okay Len, see you soo-"
I hang up before hearing her finish, thrusting my phone back into my bag. I look back one more time, beginning to jog back in the direction of Wilbur's to the safety of a slightly larger group of people. The man has lengthened his stride, walking towards me.
I sprint, no longer caring how much of an idiot I must look like running through the mall as if I'm being hunted by cannibals.
When I run into Wilbur's, crashing into my seat with my heaving and panting breath, Anna looks at me with an eyebrow raised in question."Jeez Len, are you okay? You look like you've seen a ghost..."
I ignore her questioning stare, rather looking through the front of the café and seeing the figure walking with his same gait straight past the restuarant and towards the exit of the mall. He looks at his watch as if he's late for an appointment.
The knife is slid back into my pocket, while I feel like an absolute fool.