Draped in all her favorite colors, it was the book cover that drew Rada in. The fact that the main character shared her unusual name was what made her buy it. After cracking the spine, the story pulled her in with how eerily it mirrored her own life. Page after page riddled with details that even those closest to her could never have known. Private thoughts and embarrassing moments captured and preserved in black and white.
Rada grew increasingly paranoid with each chapter read. Once outgoing and vibrant, she now spent her days scouring the apartment for spyware and obsessing over the author, Peter Jacobs. Details didn't seem to exist to explain their connection. Web searches only served to frustrate as every link led only to his sole published work, Lost Time.
She read the book slowly knowing this moment would come. Her fingers drummed over the words about the dread that filled her. About the fear that coursed through her veins as she stood on the precipice of her future. She had no doubt that the pages ahead held as much truth as those that had come before.
She wasn't ready to know what the future held.
Tossing the book on the floor, it landed splayed out on the hardwood. Hints of looped red ink peeked at her from between the pages. She had never written in it and the sight of it sent her mind racing. When curiosity trumped all else, she reached for it as she struggled to steady her hands.
You are my greatest inspiration.
She sunk into the nearest chair and tried to slow her breathing. The beat of her heart pulsed between her finger and the page as she traced the letters over and over. She'd never seen the handwriting before, but it felt oddly familiar.
There was only one way to sate the question pounding against her skull demanding an answer. She found where she'd left off and her entire body trembled as she turned the page. The room spun as she stared at the two photographs that filled it. One of a slight man hunched over a laptop tagged Peter Jacobs and the other was of her.
She frantically flipped through the pages finding more photos. Every time the same thing, one of him and one of her. She stared at the only image of Peter facing the camera. Looking into his eyes chilled Rada to the core as she realized it was her own eyes staring back.