15 in Locked-In

  • Dec. 3, 2021, 7:57 a.m.
  • |
  • Public

Another week passed without incident. Melissa pulled into her driveway in the middle of the week after work.

She hit the clicker to open the garage door and guided her silver Lexus into the garage. Before entering the home from the garage, she placed her handbag on the hood of the car and walked down to the end of the driveway to retrieve the mail from the mailbox. On her way, she spotted a tall slender woman with long straight strawberry-blond hair and a pale complexion across the street. The woman was holding an envelope in her hand. Melissa had never seen her before.

The woman spotted her and smiled, and then she crossed the road. “Hello,” she called out cheerily. “Are you Melissa Goldstein?”

“Yes, I am,” Melissa said with a nod, assuming that the woman had accidentally been delivered a piece of her mail and had come to return it. “Have we met before?”

The woman went to hand Melissa the envelope. However, just as Melissa went to reach for it, the woman raised her other arm and slammed a fist into Melissa’s forehead.

“Oh!!” Melissa exclaimed, shocked by the sudden attack. She stumbled backward a few steps but retained her balance. Pain shot through her head and her vision blurred. Heart pounding in fear, she glanced at the woman to find her now heading back across the street. Only the woman didn’t enter any of the homes. Instead, she disappeared in back of the house directly across from hers.

Moving quickly before the woman had a chance to return, she ran into the garage, hit the button by the entry door to lower the garage door, and then she called the police.

Again they came out and again they took a report. Melissa described the woman for the officers. This time it was an Asian male with a woman that seemed fresh out of the academy.

“You’ve never seen this woman before?” asked the male officer, S. Chu.

“Never. I do intend to ask my neighbors if they’ve seen anyone around that resembles her, but no. I’ve never seen her before.”

“Can you think of anyone that may want to harm you that knows where you live?”

“No one other than the same possibility I gave the other officers.” With her frustration growing, Melissa quickly filled them in. “I received threatening emails both at home and at work in which the police then investigated, but they said the messages came through an untraceable proxy. I’ve had threats painted on my garage door, and now I’ve been assaulted. What’s next?”

L. Acevedo, the woman, spoke up this time. “I’d say that now it’s time for you to stay somewhere else for your safety while we investigate this Katie Nyland you suspect, and any other questionable patient you may’ve treated or are still treating. We’ll need you to give us a list of names other than Nyland’s.”

Melissa briefly considered doctor-patient confidentiality at first, but then she quickly dismissed those concerns when she realized that if she were seriously hurt later on, she would regret not sharing the info. “I can fax or email that information to you in the morning. I’ll just need to know where to send it.”

Acevedo scribbled something down on a piece of paper. “Here you go.”

Melissa thanked her and took the paper.

“You should consider getting that checked out,” Chu said, nodding toward Melissa’s forehead.

Melissa put a hand to her forehead. The area felt swollen.

“I think it’ll be ok for now.”

“Would you like us to stay with you while you gather your stuff until this is resolved?”

“Uhhh… no, I don’t think so. It will only take me a few minutes to gather some things and then head to a friend’s house.

The officers left and Melissa went into the house to gather a few of her belongings. She’d call Nanette, and if she weren’t up for company, she’d stay with Nita.

Less than ten minutes later, she was backing out of her driveway, now a lot angrier than she was scared or bruised.

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