Paranoia was Gemma's curse. She was always sure people were out to get her, and could never walk 10 steps without looking over her shoulder at least once. Every simple task was a landslide, every conversation an earthquake, every day was the end of the world.
Though, she never experienced something drastic or traumatic happen to her to trigger this paranoia, she's never been able to shake the feeling of eyes watching her every move.
Each day while driving to school, she never once rips her eyes from the road. It will lead to a fatal mistake. She never lets her grip loosen while holding her bag. She never lets a person borrow a pen because that could open a window for conversation, and she's not looking to make friends or have meaningless small talk with a stranger she sits next to for 45 minutes each day.
It was one particular Monday she rushed to Jason in the parking lot of her highschool, a complete wreck. She was breathing so hard her startled friend was on the verge of calling an ambulance to get her to the trauma center. Afraid of her fainting, he picked her up and sat her on the tailgate of his truck and laid his leather coat over her shoulders. Unable to understand her, he just assured she'd be okay until she calmed down.
After 15 minutes of her sobbing into his coat, she eventually was able to stammer out what she was so upset about. She kept telling him the same thing, “A black Lamborghini with tinted windows following her.”
Being followed was a common fear of her's, and she actively got upset over the small things that were actually things her paranoia turned into an overwhelming issue. Like another 'Boy Who Cried Wolf' story, Jason brushed it under the rug, but he couldn't get the sinking feeling out of his chest that maybe something really was wrong.
The entire day she held onto him, never going to her own classes. The whole school knew about “the crazy schizo girl with irrational paranoia”, but never once took it seriously. She wasn't crazy, nor schizophrenic. The irrational paranoia was the only accurate part of their rumor.
She never let go of Jason's hand until the day was over with and the school's parking lot was empty. She was sitting with him on the school's front steps, both smoking cigarettes and quietly talking about everything that didn't involve Gemma's pressing thoughts.
As it was reaching 5:00p.m Jason decided he should head home. He never liked leaving his little sister Ana alone in the house for too long. He was always overprotective like that. Gemma reluctantly nodded and told him she was going to finish her cigarette and then head off.
Jason offered to stay, but Gemma, as usual, politely declined, not wanting to hold him up any longer. He laughed softly and leaned down, kissing her forehead as he usually does and told her goodbye. She watched him start up his beautiful Camaro that, to this day, he still brags about, before speeding down the blacktop. She sighed and pressed the cigarette back to her carmel-stained lips. She couldn't stop her fear from eating her alive even as she was smoking her only stress reliever.
Not two minutes later, just as she was coming to the end of her relief, her mouth parted in shock as she watched the same Lamborghini turn into the parking lot at an outrageous speed. With a fear filled scream, she bolted down the stairs. The still burning cigarette laid next to her jacket up on the highest stair of the school's entrance.
The sleek car came to a screeching halt right in front of her car's front bumper, stopping her mad dash. The door swung open right in front of her and who stepped out chilled her blood. A 6'8 man with whitish-gray skin who had black dreads and arms that were filled with brightly colored tattoos.
Another cry was let out, her harsh breathing and erratic heartbeat ringing in her ears. She turned on her heel and ran as fast as her body would allow across the parking lot. She heard the heavy footsteps of her pursuer right behind her as she tried to escape her greatest fear from becoming true. She failed.
With a masculine growl piercing her ear, she felt her wrist yanked back. At first, she was able to steady herself, violently ripping out of his grip. This came as a surprise to her attacker; his guard was low enough that he let her slip out of his grasp.
Gemma's eyes were brimmed with tears while she cursed the god in the sky repeatedly, begging him to help her. She wasn't religious, but she knew she had to believe in something. Something had to be there to grace her. Something. Her sprint ended in a furious kick to the back.
Her hands failed to catch her as she dropped to the ground, causing the side of her face to become red with road rash. She laid on the ground with no valor- no will to fight. All she could do was listen as the footsteps stopped right next to her head. With her cowardice painted across her face, she rolled onto her back, looking up at the shadowed features of her attacker as he peered down at her.
When they locked eyes, the blue meeting gold, she swore she saw the devil. Without another beat, he kneeled down, grabbing her by the hair and roughly pulling her towards the car. Shrieking, she tried to break free, but to no avail. She did her best to keep up with his pace as she was practically dragged across the ground.
He viciously wrenched her hair when she stopped crawling next to him, demanding her to keep crawling. She let out pitiful whimpers, continuing to lag behind. Her hands and knees were scraped deeply, pebbles and dirt pressing into her skin. When they finally stopped, it was next to the car that blocked her escape.
“Get up,” he yanked her hair to further his command.
When she didn't move, he knotted his fingers in her hair and brutally slammed her head into the car door. A sudden burst of rage caused Gemma to buck up and headbutt her captor straight in the jaw. Blood dripped from her nose while she struggled to break free of the tightened knuckles against her scalp, but even a upsurge to the teeth did nothing to loosen his grasp.
Her attacker's tolerance for conflict was gone, and his patience as well. Furious, he savagely smashed her head into the side of the car, knocking her into abrupt unconsciousness.
Laying her slack body on the ground, he wasted no time before reaching into the car and pulling out two long cables. He bound her arms and legs together tightly. After he did so, he paused for a minute, looking down at her. Her nose was spouting blood, obviously broken, her face scraped and bruised, her hair mangled. His mind started wander into a sympathetic thoughts, but he caught himself in an instant.
He kept her body upright as he sat her in the backseat, preventing her from drowning in her own blood. The blood continued to slide down her face, to her chin and neck, eventually soaking into her shirt. He shut the the door with a grunt, giving one last glance to the school building before getting into the driver's seat and starting the car.