Janie sat fixated on the TV screen, her blood draining from her face.
“Please contact Wanted Criminals if you have any information about this individual and use extreme caution if you come into contact with her.”
A loud creaking noise sent Jamie’s heart leaping into her throat. She sprang to her feet to find her roommate, Rachel, stepping out of a bedroom.
“Oh, it’s just you.” Jamie drew her hand to her chest and caught her breath. “I forgot you were here.”
“What’s up with you?” Rachel walked into the kitchen and began gathering the elements of a PB&J sandwich.
Jamie paused the TV show, marched over to Rachel and grabbed her hand. “Come sit down.”
“Forget the sandwich. I have to tell you something.”
The two roommates sat on the sofa facing each other.
Rachel eyed Jamie curiously. “You’re starting to freak me out.”
“You and me both.” Jamie swallowed and took a deep breath. “Okay, so you know that show, Wanted Criminals?”
“Well, there’s a story of a woman in her twenties named Amanda, who rented a room from another woman. The two practically became best friends over night. A month later, Amanda up and kills her roommate. With a knife!”
“Wow.” Rachel digested the information. “Okay, and … ?”
“They linked her to another crime, which took place six months earlier in another state. Same thing. Only that time she murdered her two female roommates.”
Rachel’s face contorted. “That’s horrible! She killed them both? With a knife?”
“Yes, and it was also about a month after she moved in.”
“So, what? She didn’t want to pay rent, so she killed them?”
“I don’t know. They say she’s psychotic. She seems normal at first, makes friends easily, but then something snaps and she goes psycho.”
“Okay, but I still don’t get why you’re so freaked out.”
Jamie grabbed the remote and backed up the program to a close-up image of the woman and paused it.
Rachel grabbed her face. “Oh my gosh … you don’t think … “
“I don’t know. She looks a lot like her, don’t you think? I mean this woman’s hair is long and dark and Emily’s is short and blond, but Emily could have cut and dyed her hair.”
“Okay, it can’t really be her, right? What did you say her name was?”
“Amanda. But that’s not her real name. She went by Kelly when she killed those other roommates. But there’s more.” Jamie gripped her friend’s arm to get her attention. “The woman on the show is a flight attendant.”
“Okay, now you’re seriously freaking me out.”
“And Rachel … how long has Emily been our roommate?”
Rachel’s eyes widened. She could barely utter the words. “A month.”
Suddenly the front door flew open and both girls leapt to their feet staring wide-eyed at the door.
Emily stood in the doorway. She grasped the door jam with an outstretched arm and leaned into it. Her jaw was clenched and her breathing heavy.
Acid swirled in Rachel’s stomach. Her eyes scanned the kitchen counter where her cell phone sat far from reach.
Emily then spoke in a controlled tone, enunciating each syllable. “If that man in C-12 parks his stupid BMW in my parking space again, I swear I’m going to rip his tires to shreds.”
She stepped inside rolling her bag behind her and closed the door.
“I just had the worst day. The plane was grounded for an hour, a baby screamed the entire flight and, thanks to the fabulous turbulence, a passenger threw up all over me. I finally get home and, wouldn’t you know, that moron is parked in my designated space … again. After ten minutes of circling I ended up on the far side of the complex and hiked back.”
Emily ambled into the kitchen and grabbed an apple. Pulling a knife out of the knife block, she headed toward Jamie and Rachel, who stood paralyzed, eyes glued to the knife.
Emily plopped down on the couch, cut a slice off the apple and tossed it in her mouth.
“So what’s up with you guys?”
Before they could muster a word, Emily glanced at the image of the woman on the TV screen.
“Hey, did you hear they caught her? What a freaky story, right? I thought I deleted this episode after I watched it a few weeks ago.”
She cut another apple slice.
“Oh, before I forget, my rent check is on the table.”
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