When it was time to go home, they decided to stop and have tea at Fuccinelli's on the way. A quaint Italian restaurant, the kind with wooden walls and white and red checkered tables, that usually smelled of delicious home-made pizzas, Fuccinelli's would only start serving at six, but recently it had started to serve tea in the afternoon. Although the girls were always the only ones having tea here. They sat at a table and a boy in a waiter's apron showed up with a tray containing a steaming tea pot, two cups, and some biscuits. Jerry Fuccinelli, the owners' son, was a boy from their school, a bit older than them, he was already in Year 11. Jerry was quite a strange bloke, for he looked just like a "jock" from American high school movies, tall, broad-shouldered, dark-haired, handsome-looking, fond of sports and... well, to be honest, not very smart. But unlike the typical movie jock, Jerry was actually incredibly nice. Never mean to anyone, and always as they saw him now, smiling and cute as a puppy. When asked about it, he would just say it's the Italian way, always nice and warm, until they get angry. The only times when he looked angry were when he was in the ring, because he took amateur boxing way more seriously than school.
"Hey, girls!" he greeted them as he put down the tray. "How're you doing?"
"Fine, thank you! And you?"
"Pretty good. Here's your tea, girls... Sally, I remembered you liked cinnamon, so I made these biscuits..." A deafening crashing sound from the kitchen interrupted him and made them all startle. "Sorry," he said, "that's my dad, he's been having some joint problems. I better go check it out."
After he left, Rebecca let out a giggle.
"What's the matter ?" Sally asked.
"Don't you find it strange we're always the only ones having tea here? Feels like Jerry does this just for us."
Sally snickered. "Becca, sometimes your imagination goes way out of control. Why would he do that?"
"Perhaps because he likes a pretty little ginger to come and have tea."
"Have a biscuit, Sally, I made them for you... come on!"
"Sounds like you really need a boyfriend, you're always talking about boys!"
"No," she teased, "I want you to have a boyfriend."
Jerry came back before Sally had a chance to reply. "By the way, girls," he said, "I have a match next month, you wanna come and watch?"
"Oh yeah, sure!" Rebecca replied, before she gave Sally a wink that seemed to say: Now he's inviting you!
They kept chatting until Sally noticed it was really dark outside. "Oh no," she yelled, "I'm gonna be late for dinner! Hurry, Becca!"
The girls bid Jerry goodbye and hurried outside, in the cold November night.
"Let's hurry," Sally said, "I don't like it when it's night."
"Afraid of the dark, aren't you?"
"No, Becca! I know that tone, you're trying to scare me again!"
"No, just saying... you're right to be afraid of the night, we could meet Jack the Ripper around here..."
"Jack the Ripper?"
"Haven't seen the news? Another girl disappeared last night... her name was Amelia, she was a college student. Just gone, without a trace. She's the fourth one to disappear like that, all four girls, all four young... so, what if we're next?"
"I'm not listening anymore, it's not funny!"
They were two blocks from the restaurant when Rebecca bumped into a man on the narrow pavement. She apologized, but the man didn't answer, he just turned around and looked at her without a word. A spooky guy, she thought, young, like in his early twenties, in a leather jacket, his hair done in a somewhat outdated New Wave fashion, and freakishly pale. A junkie? She didn't want to know and tried to walk past him, but he swiftly took a step to block their way, still looking at them with a scary, predatory look. Rebecca gasped as the man shoved the two girls into a dark alley. Sally yelped as she lost balance, and her friend caught her just in time and helped her up. They looked around and saw there were four of them, four young men of pale complexion, with an anguishing glimmer in their eyes. Rebecca was still holding Sally's arms, and the ginger girl clutched her, trembling with terror.