A Sense
By DeShuntrice Jones
My fingers ached painfully, blood red from tapping on the small keys on the old keyboard. Warm sweat had collected between my
trimmed brows during the long hours of collecting calls and exploring the ancient computer. I ran my sore fingers through my rumpled
hair, loosening deep knots. Christy- owner of Beauty'z- was going to have a fit once she caught sight of the lop-sided mess. It was a
total mistake to tell her to- and I quote- " Surprise me."
" Nikki, I heard about your promotion. Congrats! " I plastered on a confident smile before I turned to face Jenny.
" Thanks Jen, I really appreciate it," I said hoping she heard the dismiss in the statement. Before I could focus my attention back on
the computer, Jenny began to talk again. I guess she didn't.
" Everyone believed Gates would get the spot." Honestly, I thought he would get it too. " Some were practically betting that he had it
in the bag." She frowned. " I guess they all were in for a surprise. Anyway, I'm happy you got the job." She smiled before she lightly
turned on her heels, and paced back to her tidy desk. Okay? The chair squeaked as I leaned back on its two back legs. Crossing my
arms across my chest, I relished the familiar joy that had attacked me yesterday when Grayson announced that I would fill the spot as
his assistant. I celebrated to good measures, treated myself to a bottle of champagne and a date with Jonathan, who nearly bored me to
death, but didn't spoil my drinking fest. I woke up with a major headache and no memory what-so-ever of what happened the day
before.
But it was worth it...right?
All joyous feelings were lost when my eyes feel upon the photo of Jason.
My husband.
My...dead... husband.
I plucked the framed photo from its mantel. It had been taken nearly ten years ago when, Jason, a successful businessman, was about
to board a plane, destined to travel many places. He stood with his back towards the plane, wearing an almost cocky grin. The kind
where his lips lifted slightly exposing bright white teeth and his greens eye twinkled devilishly. His long, sandy brown curly hair- which I
complained about daily but, secretly loved- caught in the wind. Little did he know that the plane was destined to crash just moments
after it took flight. My pupils burned where warm tears threaten to fall.
" I need something to drink." Sure, anything to drain away the memories of my late husband. I stood, grabbed my purse, and started
towards the soda machine. I didn't realize how thirsty I really was until I stood directly in front of the machine. I reached into my purse
and pulled out a wrinkled dollar. The machine hummed as the dollar slid into the slot.  I pressed the button for a Sprite, the rack
rattled when the soda dropped into the bottom bucket. I bent to grab the soda and began to walk back to my desk. The sun was still
high above the horizon and though it was evening, half of the employers were long gone. I sat at my seat and was about to began typing
again, when a envelope caught my eye. The paper was crumbled, with ragged edges as if viciously torn from a notebook. Almost
instantly, I jumped up and began to zero in on those who were still lacking around. No one so much as glance in my direction. Gates
talked loudly on the phone, his feet crossed above his desk. Self-centered loser. Jenny was typing furiously on her computer, and talking
to a client at the same time.. Josh-part of the cleaning crew- whistled to himself as he expertly wiped down the small windows. And the
others continue with their usual routine.  Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. My hands shook as I tore open the envelope. The sheet
smelled of perfume, a familiar scent, yet I couldn't recognize it at the moment. I unfolded the paper and scanned for a name, it was
anonymous:
A sense. Faint. Unrecognizable, but recognizable. A moment. A tingle. Annoying, yet enjoyable. A sense!
Huh?
I looked up again, still, everyone was focused on their work. Before I could try to decipher the note, Jenny interrupted to tell me that
Grayson wanted me in his office. I sighed before I stood to walk to his room. The minute I stepped over the threshold, a sickly smell
pounded against my nose. I squeezed my eyes tightly as I approached Grayson, who sat behind his desk unfazed by the horrible stench.
Loads of paper flooded across his desk in an unorganized manner. The chair groaned as he twisted to face me.. Again, I smiled
thinking of the last time I was in this very spot, Jenny to my left and Gates to my right, as Grayson explained what he expected in his
assistant. During the whole meeting Gates glared at me, making sarcastic remarks when I asked questions. I grinned thinking of how he
must have felt when he heard that I had the job instead of him. Jenny seemed to not care.
" I just brought you in here to congratulate you on the job...," My mind drifted back to the note on my desk, determined to figure out
who left it there.
Was it suppose to be romantic?
A warning?
A threat?
My throat tighten at the thought. Grayson seem to buy into the foolish grin I had on my face, though what I had on my mind was far
from a joyous feeling.
" So are you up for the challenge?" Grayson grinned from behind his thick glasses.
" Uh, yeah, of course!" I plastered on a bigger smile.
" Well, okay. You may leave now," He motioned with his hand towards the door. Just as the door closed behind I rushed to my desk.
My heart dropped when I spotted a second note on top of my folders. It was very similar to the first, crumbled, with ragged edges, and
of course, anonymous. And if I wasn't mistaken, I could smell the faint scent of peach on the note yet again:
A sense. A thought. A slight memory. A vision. A smell. A sense!

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I stood watching her, saw the confusing look on her face. Enjoying how she kept looking around, not knowing who sent her the note.
The pleasure in it all, I mustered the bubble of laughter in my stomach. She made a mistake, a mistake so little she didn't even notice it.
Oh well. I gave her a hint. If only she'd listened.

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My tongue caught in my throat. Someone is taunting me. No, threatening me! I raced to Grayson's room and opened the door without
knocking.
" Grayson, I have to run home really quick, .... it's an emergency"
" Uh, okay, may I ask why?"
" Uh, female problems," I added a fake blush for good measures.
" Yeah, okay." He didn't bother to hide the look of disguise as he turned back to work. Purse in hand, I raced passed the cubicles,
down the stairs to the underground parking garage. My heart was pounding against my chest, adrenaline raced through my veins. I
fumbled with the keys, swore when I clumsily dropped the metal on the thick concrete. God I don't have time for this! I finally pushed
the keys into the slot when two hands grabbed my shoulders from behind, and forced me to the ground. My shoulder scraped a broken
glass. I winced in agony.  My mouth went dry and before I could manage a weak scream, a hand clamped down forcefully over my
mouth. It all happened to fast before I could actually react.  One day I would look back and go over this step-by-step and wish things
had happened differently. The sound of a released blade, the tight grip over my mouth, the sheer pain of skin breaking as the blade
pierced my neck. Warm blood dripping unto my shirt, the recognition of my assaulter, and the quick thought as I remember- before
darkness took over-  where I smelt the peach perfume from.....

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She sat at her desk and began to type her latest project on her computer. She let out a desired giggle as she congratulated herself on the
kill.  An easy kill since Nikki was so weak. She had been so excellent at hiding her true emotions that day in Grayson's office. Faking a
who-gives-a-crap expression when really she wanted to strangle Nikki there on the spot. It angered her that her work went unnoticed
when she worked the hardest of all. But, it humored her to see the look on Nikki's face when she recognized her, if only for a few
seconds. The last seconds of her life. She giggled again, this time not hiding her laughing fest.
" Jenny, can you come here for a second?"
" Sure Grayson!"
Before she stood, she dashed on her favorite perfume.
Peach.
Oh well, I gave her a hint : A smell. A sense!