Emma knew that something weird was going on, but she was at a loss for words when she spotted the handwritten note hidden between the napkins. Her face flushed as she read the girl’s message. She had to act fast.
The couple could leave at any moment, and she couldn’t let them get away. She let the note drop to the floor as she rushed for the doors, locking everyone inside.
The Strange Couple
Emma noticed the couple’s strange behavior the second they walked into the small diner. She’d had bad gut feelings before, but none were quite this strong. The girl’s eyes were covered by large sunglasses while the man led her to a table in the back
The last thing Emma wanted to do was serve them. Stacking two menus on top of each other, she sighed and headed for their table. If only she had known what she was getting herself into.
An Uncomfortable Interaction
When Emma introduced herself, the man hardly acknowledged her presence. He simply grumbled their drink orders, his eyes not leaving his phone screen for even a second.
His girlfriend didn’t say a word as she sat beside him, her eyes focused firmly on the hard wooden table before them. Emma always despised serving impolite customers. But she was about to deal with a lot more than just rude customers.
She couldn’t explain the odd sense of discomfort she felt around the couple. The man was constantly looking over his shoulder while the girl sat motionless, her dark glasses covering more than half of her face.
When Emma expressed her concern to a fellow waitress, she assured her that there was nothing to worry about. “Strange people pass through here all the time,” She tried to comfort Emma. But she was about to be proven horribly wrong.
She agreed with her friend, comforting herself with the fact that they would leave eventually, and she would never have to see them again. All she had to do was mind her own business.
She managed to convince herself, and everything seemed to be going fine. That was until Emma noticed one tiny interaction between the couple that sent shivers down her spine. Before she knew it, she was calling 911.
A Working Student
Born and raised in Franklin, Massachusetts, Emma Davis was your average twenty-year-old student. When she wasn’t on campus, focusing on her degree, she was working as a waitress at one of the most popular diners in town.
After a year and a half of serving customers for four days a week, Emma thought she had seen it all. However, she was not prepared for the events that took place one Thursday afternoon.
Emma was nearly late for her shift that day. After sitting in campus traffic for over half an hour, she thanked her lucky stars that she managed to clock in two minutes early. She was particularly tired on this day.
Having just handed in her final assignment for the semester, she couldn’t wait to get home and watch her favorite TV show. But Emma had a tough shift ahead of her.
The first two hours of her shift went by in a flash. It was a casual day at work. No customers were overly rude, and most of her tables left decent tips.
Emma was serving one of her regular customers when the doors swung open behind her. The bell above the door rang through the small space, but hardly anyone paid it any attention. When Emma turned to face her new customers, her stomach dropped.
Not Her Usual Customers
One of the first things Emma noticed was the thick scar around the woman’s neck. It was 82 degrees outside, surely she wasn’t getting cold. Her face was hidden behind a large pair of sunglasses, making it impossible to see what she really looked like.
The man stood in scruffy clothes. His eyebrows were scrunched together, his forehead creased and his jaw tensed. These were not the friendly customers Emma was used to serving.
A Seat In The Back
It was immediately obvious to Emma that the man was a few years older than the girl. Their hands were locked together as he walked ahead of her, almost dragging her to a table in the back.
Once they had taken a seat in Emma’s section, she collected two menus, sighing deeply before approaching their table. In the pit of her stomach, she could tell there was something suspicious going on.
“Hello, my name is Emma. I will be serving you today. Is there anything I can get you in the meantime?” Despite the unease she felt, she spoke as politely as ever.
The man hardly acknowledged her presence as he muttered their drink orders. His girlfriend didn’t even look at Emma, instead, her eyes were focused firmly on the wooden table before her.
As she put their drink orders through, she wondered if the man even asked his girlfriend what she wanted to drink. He simply ordered for her. Emma knew a red flag when she saw one, but what was their deal?
The girl seemed as suspicious as her partner. Every time Emma passed their table or spoke to them, she avoided eye contact and refused to speak. Was she hiding something?
Talking To Her Friend
Emma observed their table from afar as she stood beside one of her waitress friends. She mentioned her suspicions, but her friend didn’t seem bothered, claiming that it wasn’t a big deal.
“Weird people come in here all the time, it’s something you just have to deal with,” She shrugged it off. Emma agreed, perhaps she was just being overly suspicious. But things were about to become a lot stranger.
Diverting Her Attention
She tried to divert her attention to the other tables in her section, and once she managed to stop thinking about the couple, things became a lot easier.
She only had two more hours left of her shift, and she couldn’t wait to go home. She had planned it all out. She was going to sit on the couch with tons of snacks and binge-watch her favorite show. But despite her plans, she wouldn’t make it home any time soon.
Approaching their table again, Emma took their food orders. The man spoke for his girlfriend once again. After ordering a large pizza for himself, he glanced down at the menu, his eyes locking on the salad section. .
“She’ll have the greek salad,” He said, “And that’s all.” Did he just decide what she would be having for lunch? The girl said nothing, instead, she lowered her head once again, fidgeting with her hands in her lap.
Not Her Business
Emma nodded uncomfortably, stepping away from their table. She tried to remind herself that it wasn’t her business, but the interaction made her stomach twist into a tight knot.
She punched their orders into a machine, mindlessly letting her eyes trail back to their table. It was at that moment that she noticed the tiniest interaction between the couple. Once she noticed it, she kept seeing it.
Ever so often, while the man was distracted by his phone, the girl would try to scootch away from him. But as soon as the man noticed, he instantly grabbed her by the arm and pulled her back.
Not only did he get to choose what she ordered, he got to choose where she sat. Emma was sick to her stomach when she noticed this behavior. What was she supposed to do? Was it as bad as she thought it was?
She Had To Try
With shaky hands, Emma made her way to their table. She wasn’t sure what the best course of action was, but she had to do something. When she placed their meals on the table, she made sure to acknowledge the girl.
“There you go, please, let me know if there is anything else I can do to make the experience more comfortable for you.” She looked straight at the girl as she spoke, and this time, the girl glanced back at her.
Keeping A Close Eye
As she walked away from their table, she noticed the girl glancing over her shoulder. She was watching Emma as she walked away.
Emma went about serving the rest of her tables, but she made sure to glance back at their table ever so often, waiting for a sign. She knew something fishy was going on, but she had no idea how bad it really was.
She was leaving one of her tables when she noticed motion from the corner of her eye. Turning to their table, the girl waved her over. She took a deep breath and walked closer with butterflies in her stomach.
“What can I do for you, ma’am?” She smiled politely. “Could I get this in a box to go? And could you take these napkins with you?” She spoke, holding a stack of napkins up to Emma, “You might want to check them, one had a little something on it.”
A Stack Of Napkins
Emma looked down at the untouched bowl of salad. The girl hadn’t taken a single bite. “Of course, ma’am,” She nodded and removed it from their table.
She was confused as she carried it into the back, quickly tossing the salad into a container. “Why the stack of napkins?”
One of her colleagues laughed. “A customer asked me to check them,” she shrugged. But she was about to find something truly horrifying.
Upon checking the first few napkins, Emma rolled her eyes. There was no trace of anything unusual on any of them. As far as she was concerned, they were all clean. Was the girl giving her unnecessary work just because she could?
She placed the first stack of napkins on the counter beside her, dropping the rest in front of her. As they landed on the cold marble counter, she noticed strange black lines across one of them.
Digging through the pile, she grabbed ahold of it, muttering a quiet, “What the heck?” Messy lines painted the inside. As soon as she opened it, she realized what she was really looking at.
The girl had written something on the napkin, but the words were nearly indecipherable. She squinted down at it, tracing every letter carefully. When she was finally able to read what it said, she dropped the napkin and ran.
Running toward the manager, she explained the situation. Her voice shook as she stammered on every second word. Her heart was pounding in her chest, she knew she had to act fast.
Her manager was cool, calm and collected. He ordered her to lock the doors before the couple could leave. He understood the gravity of the situation, and he wasn’t going to let them get away with this.
While Emma locked the door, he called 911. He requested that someone be sent out immediately. The doors were locked, and for the next little while, no one would be allowed to leave or enter the diner.
Emma stood by the doors, her hand over her heart as she took deep breaths. Panicking would only make the situation worse. When she noticed the girl’s eyes on her, she tried to smile, but it quickly faltered.
She wondered how long this had been going on. Who knows what would’ve happened if they never came to the diner on that ordinary Thursday afternoon?
The girl’s note flashed behind Emma’s eyes. She knew something sinister was going on, but she never expected it to be this bad. She closed her eyes, hoping and praying that the police would arrive in time.
Help Was On The Way
The manager walked over with the note in his hand. They would have to show it to the police once they got there. But would it be enough to make an arrest?
When Emma spotted the flashing blue lights through one of the windows, she took a deep breath. Help had finally arrived. She quickly unlocked the doors and let the officers step inside.
How Can I Help?
The girl watched from afar while her boyfriend had his back to the door. He was unaware of what was unfolding right behind him.
“What can I help you with today, sir?” One of the officers turned to the manager. He handed the note over, watching as the officer squinted to read the girl’s messy handwriting. Slowly, Emma watched as his expression shifted into one of horror.
Wasting No Time
He turned to the two officers behind him, reading the note aloud, “Please send help. He won’t let me leave. He’ll hurt me.” The girl’s message sent shivers down their spines.
As soon as Emma pointed at their table, the officers headed over. They wasted no time as they grabbed the man by his arm and yanked him from his seat, “Sir, we would like to have a word with you outside.”
The man tried to fight the three officers off as they walked him out the doors. Emma watched as they pressed him up against one of their patrol cars
The girl jumped up from her seat and ran to Emma. She embraced her in a tight hug, crying into her shoulder, “Thank you, thank you so much,” She sobbed. When she stepped away and removed her sunglasses, Emma spotted a large black bruise around one of her eyes.
It Was Over
Emma couldn’t help but shed a few tears. The poor girl had been in an abusive relationship for months, with no way out of it.
The officers arrested the man and assured the girl that he would never bother her again. She could finally sleep peacefully at night. However, the girl couldn’t help but wonder what would happen once he was released.
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.