A week later Lexie was surprised when she was waiting on customers at the counter and David walked in the door. He smiled when he saw her and she offered a small smile in return.
When it was his turn at the counter, David asked, “What would you recommend?”
“Well, if you like chocolate and peanut butter, the chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter creme filling and peanut butter icing are delicious.”
“I’ll take two with two cups of coffee, if you can join me for a few minutes.”
Lexie was due for a break, but she wasn’t sure she wanted to spend it with David. She finally decided it would be a good opportunity to let him off the hook, so she said, “Okay. I can take ten minutes.”
She gave David the cupcakes and one cup of coffee, collected his money, grabbed a cup of coffee for herself and joined him at a small table in the back.
“I wanted to come by and check out the bakery since I’d never been here, and it gave me a good excuse to see you.”
“Look, David, you don’t have to pretend you’re interested in me and keep trying. Brad will understand. He knows that none of the guys he tries to set me up with ever work out.”
“Lexie, I’m not pretending. You are a beautiful young woman, and after the discussion last week, I thought maybe you’d like to talk some more. Maybe I could answer some more questions for you.”
“Didn’t your mother ever teach you that beauty is only skin deep? You’re a nice guy but I don’t think we have much in common, and I really don’t think your Jesus is for me.”
“I think we may have more in common than you think. We may discover quite a bit, if we take the time to get to know one another. We already share a love of dogs. Why don’t we have dinner tonight? You choose the place.”
“I’m really sorry, David, but I don’t think so. Even if we found that we have a lot in common, you deserve better than me. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to work.”
That evening after Lexie had finished her dinner, she dug in her closet until she found the Bible her mother had given her when she was about ten years old. She took it to the living room, put it on the coffee table and sat down and stared at it. Bo sat next to her feet and looked at her quizzically.
“Don’t look at me like that. It’s not like other books and I have no idea where I should start reading.”
She went to the kitchen and picked up the phone.
“Lexie, how are you?”
“I’m fine. I was just wondering, if I were to start reading the Bible, where’s the best place to start?”
The line was silent for so long that Lexie said, “Brad, are you still there?”
“Yes, yes, sorry Lex, I’m still here. I would suggest you start with the book of John. That book will explain what David talked about last week.”
“You’re welcome. Love you, Sis.”
“Love you, too. Bye.”
“Bye.” Brad hung up the phone, told Patty about the conversation, and they bowed their heads in prayer.
Lexie read from the Book of John every evening for the next week. That Friday evening a thunderstorm hit the area. Lexie sat on the sofa reading from the Book of John with Bo’s head in her lap, when the telephone rang.
“Hi, Kitten. It’s been a long time and I miss you.” It was a raspy whisper.
Lexie slammed the phone down and began to tremble violently. She picked the phone back up and struggled to keep it in her grip and dial the number. Her hands were shaking so badly.
“Brad, he’s coming for me.” She was sobbing uncontrollably and the words were unintelligible.
“Lexie, is that you? Honey, calm down. I can’t understand you.”
Lexie’s sobs just grew more intense until they sounded like bad hiccups.
“Lexie, I’m coming over.”
Lexie clung to the phone even though the connection was broken. She slid to the floor and hugged her knees to her chest. Bo lay down beside her, whining.
Brad drove as quickly as he could in the storm. His gut was clenched in a tight fist of fear. He didn’t know why, but his sister was terrified and he knew it was more than the storm. He prayed that God would protect her, as he drove through the pouring rain.
Brad arrived at Lexie’s door twenty minutes after receiving her call. He knocked but got no response. The only sound coming from inside was Bo barking.
“Lexie, it’s Brad. I’m coming in, honey.” He used his key to quickly let himself in. Bo greeted him at the door and turned to run toward the kitchen, stopping, turning and barking for Brad to follow him.
Brad found Lexie sitting on the floor in the corner of the kitchen. She was hugging her knees and trembling. She was no longer sobbing but was staring without really seeing. Brad squatted down in front of her.
“Lexie, it’s me, Brad.”
After a few seconds, her eyes seemed to focus. “Oh, Brad!” She threw herself into his arms and clung to him.
“It’s okay, Lexie, I’m here. Can you tell me what happened?”
He held her for a long time until he could feel the trembling dissipate. Then she pulled away from him just far enough to look in his face, but still clinging to his hands.
“It’s Kevin. He’s back. He called and said he misses me.”
Brad sat looking at her for a long time trying to determine whether or not Lexie was in her right mind.
“I know it sounds crazy, but the phone rang and when I answered, it was him. he called me ‘Kitten’.”
“You recognized his voice?”
“No. He spoke in a raspy whisper.”
Anger suddenly welled up inside of him. Someone was playing a cruel joke on his sister, or was it something more?
“Lexie, it couldn’t be Kevin. Kevin’s dead, remember?”
“But no one else ever called me Kitten.”
“He must have called you that around other people. It can’t be Kevin.”
Lexie just looked at him with fear and tears in her eyes.
The phone rang and Lexie’s eyes grew larger in fear. Brad picked up the phone but said nothing.
“Why’d you hang up on me, Kitten? Haven’t you missed me? It’s been eight long years.”
“Who is this?” Brad demanded, and then he heard a click as the person on the other end hung up.
Lexie looked at Brad questioningly.
“It was that creep again. I don’t know who it is but there’s no way it’s Kevin. Kevin’s dead.”
Lexie wondered if he was trying to convince her or himself.
“What are we going to do, Brad?”
“I’m going to call Bruce. Then I have to call Patty and let her know that I am here and that you are okay physically.”
Brad dialed a number.
“Detective Bruce Rivers please.”
A few minutes passed and then Brad said, “Bruce, it’s Brad, Brad Williams. Yeah, I know, it’s been too long. This should be a social call, but it’s not. I’m with my sister right now. She’s just received two calls from some creep acting as though he were Kevin.”
“Yeah, that Kevin. These weren’t simple prank calls. Do you think you could stop by in the morning? I’ll stay here for the night.”
“Oh, okay. See you soon then.”
Brad hung up the phone.
“He doesn’t want to wait until the morning. He’ll be here with an officer and equipment to set up a tracer on your phone in about an hour.”