kelly-alice Kelly Alice

Anneth, a woman in her late twenties is set to meet a life long friend at their usual restaurant for dinner. With what Anneth knows about her friend's life, how will she react when her deepest fear may have become a reality? This is a depiction of an all too real scenario that occurs every day. You are not alone. Please read at your own discretion.


Short Story Not for children under 13.

#mystery #thriller #love #friendship #fear #anger #anxiety #sadness #diary #meaning #abuse #divorce #triggerwarning #restlessness #alltoowell #worry #dv
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Galyna, Galyna, Galyna

Galyna: A girl who stays calm and quiet in every situation; Calmness. (ancient greek)

Dearest diary, 4:20p.m.

Today is October 6th, 2026. Turning twenty-eight yesterday really shed light on some of the things I had been questioning lately. I was never one to put things together right away. It took me some time. Even as a little girl. Maybe the age had something to do with it. Maybe it had something to do with the craftsmanship, the skill, he possessed. I don't think I'll truly ever know. I do know, however, that the 'It gets easier' thing...isn't linear.

With love,

Galyna (P.S. A woman scorned, is often a woman reborn)

Dearest diary, 4:20p.m.

October 7th, 2026. A day after the 6th, and a year's time since it happened. I'm old enough now, I'm strong enough now, but there's always something about remembering. Or recalling, or writing or talking. It's weird now that I think about it. 365 days can amount to so little, but so much at the same time. Dr. Nastka gives the same speech every session. "It gets easier every time you write how you feel about it. Then one day, you'll be able to talk about it, without the wound reopening."

She's right of course. She has science, and years of peer-reviewed evidence to back her up. My stubbornness, however, refuses to allow it.

Deception, and years of manipulation can do that to you. Reduce you to nothing, I mean. It shouldn't still, the divorce is final in a week. Parker's 'mistakes,' as he put it, had cost both of us a lot more pain than what the relationship was already worth. I hope that soon, he will be just another of those memories...like pasta night. Much darker, but similar, I guess.

Shit. Anneth. Tuesday night's Olive Garden Night. I need some five cheese ziti.

With love,

Galyna

Tuesday: October 7th, 2026 5:45p.m. Portland, Oregon

Anneth parked her car perfectly between the bulging yellow lines, and adjusted her attire. Wrinkles formed on her silk blouse from the car ride, and she wanted to look presentable.

She yanked the visor down, and lifted the aging plastic to reveal the mirror. She'd sprouted a deep tan over the summer, and she smiled at herself. She'd taken the painstaking effort of applying self-care methods to her daily routine, and it had paid off.

Galyna shouldn't be kept too much longer. She couldn't see her car from her position in the lot, but Anneth knew that woman would be fifteen minutes early.

In the ten years she'd known her, Galyna deemed that to be on time. A small chuckle erupted from her lips, and she flipped the visor back up. She turned the ignition, and the keys plopped into her hand.

With one final adjustment of her curls, she opened her door, and proceeded to the restaurant. Olive Garden didn't seem to have their dinner rush just yet. A few stragglers stood by the door as she entered, but as she studied the place, most tables were vacant. Her emerald eyes scanned a few moments more, before her heart stopped.

There was no sight of Galyna, not at their usual table, not anywhere. Anneth took in a sharp breath, and determined that she was either late or in the restroom. She refused to believe anything, not until it was undeniable, but worry still crept into her soul. Her friend was never late. She had to be on time. Everywhere

When she approached the hostess stand, she was greeted by a young girl, no older than seventeen. Not the usual, greying Meridia she'd come to know.

"How many?" she chirped, prematurely gathering menus.

"Uhm, I'm meeting someone here? A small, blonde woman." She responded, determined to keep the desperation from her voice.

The girl looked a bit confused, and recognition covered her features. Anneth nearly breathed a sigh of relief. She'd at least had some clue of their existence. Thank you, Meridia.

"Oh, yes. I was told that you guys come in every Tuesday. The woman normally here called out sick, so they had me come in early. She hasn't come in yet, can I get you guys a table?" She replied, and gathered two menus to her chest.

Anneth could only nod, throat tightening a bit further. She wasn't here.

She wasn't here.

She was led to a small table in the center of the restaurant, and Anneth mentally thanked the girl. She'd given her a clear view of the doors and windows.

Anneth called Galyna's cell, and left a voice message stating she was at the restaurant. Then proceeded to send her a quick text. She placed her phone face-up on the table's linen top, and looked at the door in anticipation.

She's only a few minutes late. Something could have come up.

All Anneth could do was stare at the empty seat in front of her. Memories flooded her mind, one in particular taking up prime real-estate.

Tuesday October 7th, 2025. Olive Garden, Tenth Street. Portland, Oregon

Galyna sipped at her wine, the merlot staining just above her cupid's bow. It was her second glass, and the salad hadn't arrived just yet. Anneth noted that something was off.

Her friend was never so jittery. Never so quiet.

"Lyn? What's going on?" Anneth's words slipped from her tongue, and she held her breath.

Galyna sighed, and circled her pointer finger around the base of the glass' stem. Her brows furrowed together, presumably to form the words she wanted to say.

Anneth saw her do that often. There was so much Lyn wanted to say, but not much that she would let out. The walls had sprouted around her the day after her and Parker's second anniversary.

"I think he did it. This time, I mean." Galyna spoke, softly, but loud enough for Anneth's ears to pick it up.

She knew what her friend meant, but she wanted clarification. Her own brows pinched together, and she leaned over to Lyn.

"What do you mean, Galyna?" She opted for her full name, to show she was serious.

"I saw her name on his phone again, Anneth. Again. I don't think I'm paranoid this time. I'm going through his phone. Tonight." Galyna murmured.

Her gentle nature forbade Galyna from exerting the anger Anneth knew she felt inside. Her heart broke for Lyn. All she'd ever wanted was to be loved. Parker, in her opinion, had only ever done the opposite. He barely tolerated her existence.

"I'm sorry, Lyn. You deserve so much better. You know, Sheri never liked him." Anneth attempted to joke with her.

Galyna only sighed, and finished the rest of her glass. Sadness shone in her eyes when Anneth's own met them. A small droplet of red liquid cascaded down her chin, and the blonde wiped at it furiously. A stain on her blouse, and Parker would ridicule her.

"There was a heart by her name." She choked out after the tangible silence.

Dinner ended solemnly and after a more strenuous discussion about the timeline of events, both said their goodbyes.

As they approached their cars, Anneth felt her heartrate pick up. Not understanding why, she shrugged it off and turned towards her friend once more, reaching for the plastic handle behind her.

With one final wave, Anneth drove off towards her apartment.

Neither would know that a week later, once the papers were served, Parker would enact his own personal hell upon Galyna.

Tuesday, October 7th, 2026 6:00p.m.

Torturous minutes ticked by on the aggitating clock ahead of her, and Anneth grew more concerned. Each tick sending shivers down her spine.

Sweat trickled down her neck, and she pulled at her blouse to gather some air. She'd send another text, and in a few minutes, she'd call again.

The waitress slipped a glass of Cabernet in front of her, and she mumbled a polite 'thank you.' Absently, she traced the glass edge in hopes to quell the impending nerves. Anneth tapped the screen of her phone twice to reveal her lockscreen. A simple, yet sweet photo of them from last halloween.

6:15 p.m.

There was no need to panic. She'd told herself this multiple times. Galyna was a strong woman. Stronger now than she ever was. Since Dr. Nastka had entered the picture, there'd been a peace to her aura, one she'd felt determined to protect.

But she knew about the text messages. The ones Galyna refused to show anyone else, and it only edged her further into her anxiety stricken state. Anneth had read the books, she'd done the homework. She knew the dangers. Yet, time and time again, Galyna assured her of the harmlessness her 'soon-to-be' ex husband exuded.

The text messages weren't harmless, She thought.

Another glance at the door. Nothing.

Anneth brought the phone to her ear, expecting a ringtone, or a voicemail. When all she heard was a dial tone, she immediately hung up, and rang Galyna's mother.

Something was wrong.

Sheri answered on the third ring, and sprung into action. She told Anneth to start driving to Galyna's apartment, and to notify her when she arrived. Galyna'd ignored her own texts, and she'd been worried too.

Sheri never took to Parker's manipulation tactics, so Anneth knew she would understand the severity of the situation. Sheri knew her daughter, how she rarely strayed from routine.

Anneth's breath hitched in her throat, and she hung up Sheri. For a moment, she wondered if she were being silly about this. That Lyn was just caught up in traffic, and would arrive through the doors. The pit in her stomach told her otherwise.

Without another thought, she sprung from her seat and reached into her clutch. She flung a few ten dollar bills onto the table, and exited Olive Garden.

Anneth sped through the streets of Portland, desperate to reach her friend's place. She needed confirmation that Galyna was okay. Her speedometer read fifty miles an hour, and she was certain if a cop had been present, she would have been arrested. She'd never been so reckless before.

Galyna's apartment building was secure, and only a select few were allowed onto her floor. The perks of owning an art gallery benefited her friend more often than not. Anneth prayed that this ammenity...had worked today as she rushed to the clerk's desk.

Maybe something did happen, but she's just shook up about it. That's why she didn't answer, She told herself.

The woman at the desk worked painfully slow at gathering her information, despite word vomiting the situation. Anneth could only tap her fingers against the linoleum in frustration. A quick glance at the clock had goosebumps bubbling on her skin.

6:45p.m.

This wasn't the time to blow up, not when Galyna's well being was in question.

Once the lady handed her a visitor's pass, she ran to the stairs. She brought the pass to the black square next to the door. A blatant sigh of relief escaped when she saw the green light appear. Anneth wasted no time, fleeing up the three flights of stairs to her friend's floor.

Galyna's hallway felt empty, hollow. Soft carpet cushioned her heavy footsteps. The air was still, and the light above her door flickered with eeriness. Anneth's heart pounded in her throat, and she bit back a sob. None of this felt normal. None of it felt right.

Anneth's footsteps faltered as she approached apartment 416. The door was slightly ajar, and it looked as if the lock had been broken. The scene in front of her, confirmed her deepest fear.

Anneth's brain, aware of the danger ahead, begged for her to stay put. To dial 911. To wait for someone more equipped, someone more inept to handle such a heavy situation.

This wasn't a situation though, not a normal one where the victim wasn't connected to her. This was someone she cared about. Her feet, however, hovered just before the threshold.

She leaned into the apartment further, scanning briefly for any immediate threat. She wasn't a large woman, but she stood at five foot seven. She could handle herself for the most part. Hopefully.

When she saw no movement, she ventured inside, careful not to touch anything. The room was small, Galyna wanted a studio. Something that fit her, and only her. It was the one thing she demanded when she started looking for a place of her own.

The divorce had been brought upon in light of infidelity on Parker's part. Though, from their Tuesday night conversations, it was something that had built up over the years. The relationship had taken a toll on Galyna, and she needed space for herself. Anneth knew she needed it to be able to heal.

A small desk in the corner of her room caught her attention. Galyna wrote constantly at her desk, she noticed her diary. It was open, the pen sprawled across the center. Shivers ran down her spine, and she examined the desk further. A deep mahogany, with a few scratches on the legs.

Toaster! Galyna's cat!

"Toastie!" Anneth called out, praying the fat bastard would respond to her call.

He never did, but he needed to. She tried a few more times before getting onto her knees. Checking under the couch, she found no sign of the cat in its usual hiding spot.

Fear encapsulated Anneth's movements, and made it difficult to bring herself to her feet. With shaky hands, she dug her phone from her purse, and dialed three numbers before bringing it to her ear.

She'd gone numb when the dispatcher answered. Reality sunk into her bones, and she repeated the events leading up to her entering her friend's apartment. She bit her lip to keep it from trembling.

This couldn't be real. It just couldn't.

As the dispatcher was giving her directions, she strayed further into the apartment, and peered over to the bathroom door. It was the only other room in the apartment, and that door was cracked open.

"Ma'am? Did you hear me?"

The voice brought her from her daze and she shook her head. After she whispered a faint 'no' to the woman, she pushed the door open completely. The phone slipped from her hand as her eyes took in the scene before her. She could hear the woman's voice from the floor.

"Ma'am, I need you to stay on the phone with me until the police arrive. Okay?"

One strangled scream erupted from Anneth's throat.

"Ma'am?" The dispatcher called out to her. She couldn't answer.

Tears welled in her ducts, and lined her cheekbones in rivers. She couldn't speak, she couldn't breathe. Her heart sank into the deepest pits of hell at the sight of her best friend. Panic set in, and she fell to the ground, sobs wracking her body. Anneth buried her face in her hands. The most recent image, haunting every millimeter of her brain. Searing in it, an agonizing memory.

Galyna, face down, in a pool of blood.


A.N: Thank you so much for reading my short story. Even though this is fiction, this heartbreaking scenario happens far too often in every day life. Education on detecting the signs of these situations can be the difference between life and death. You are not alone.

DV Hotline: 800-799-7233

Oct. 6, 2023, 11:24 p.m. 0 Report Embed Follow story
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Meet the author

Kelly Alice I just want to be able to accurately portray the stories in my head. Most are dreams, but some are the ones that everyone needs to see. To experience a world aside from their own. All it takes is the power of one story, for one person to grow. ❤️

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