Monday, July 18, 2011

Chapter 9: Problems

Nora and Tristan both got a few days off after the incident with the gunmen. Their boss said it was because of their bravery and valiant acts, but they both thought it was so that they would be free to answer the police’s questions at any time during the day.

Nora and Tristan also learned that the entire park had been closed for a day so that the police could make proper examinations of the area. Nora watched the news for a while during her break and was surprised to see how much coverage the attempted robbery got. It seemed to her as if the news stations had nothing better to talk about, even on the national level. Nora was even more surprised, however, when she walked to the grocery store and was suddenly surrounded by reporters and cameras.

“What was it like to stare down the barrel of a gun?”

“Did you ever feel like you were really going to die?”

“How is your relationship with Tristan Motgomery?”

Nora stopped dead in her tracks when she heard a question about Tristan. What were they thinking when they said “relationship”?

“Tristan and I are…just acquaintances.” Nora said quickly, trying to shield her eyes from the flashing cameras.

“How did you two meet?”

“Did you really get his job for him?”

“What was your first date like?”

“First date?” Nora said, trying to figure out which reporter had asked her that question. “We never went on a date!” she exclaimed.

“Do you have plans to further a relationship with Tristan?”

“Do you think a relationship with him would last?”

“What would your first child’s name be?”

Nora broke out into a sprint, freeing herself from the crowd. She ran towards the electronic doors of the grocery store and only stopped long enough for them to open. She glanced over her shoulder and noticed that the mob of reporters was following her. She wasn’t sure which was scarier: a gunman holding his weapon to her face or a mob of reporters pressing in on her and asking her about a relationship that never was.

Once Nora had entered the store, she decided it was safe to walk at a normal pace again. However, she kept her eyes flashing in all directions, just in case the reporters happened to follow her into the store.

Nora was pleased to find that her shopping experience was paparazzi free. She pushed her cart through the entire store and not a single person asked her a question or took her picture. A few people cast her curious expressions, wondering why they recognized her, but other than that, her shopping experience was perfectly normal. Until she got to the check out line, that is.

Nora was putting a gallon of milk onto the conveyor belt when she heard someone call out her name. She made the mistake of glancing over her shoulder, just to see a man with a microphone walking towards her, a cameraman on his heels. Soon, a whole flock of reporters was heading towards her. Nora turned away from them all and began putting her items on the conveyor belt as quickly as she could, but before she knew it, the mob was on top of her.

Nora closed her eyes as the shouted questions of at least twelve people met her ears. She could still see the flashes from the cameras, even with her eyes closed. She couldn’t stop herself from covering her ears with her hands, trying to block out the noise.

“All right, that’s enough!” Nora heard a man’s voice boom over the voices of all of the reporters. Nora opened her eyes a crack and noticed that the reporters were all looking in another direction. Nora turned to look and saw an older man, about her height but much wider, walking towards them. He was waving his arms as if to shoo the reporters away.

“I will not tolerate my customers being harassed!” the man exclaimed. “What you are doing is completely disrespectful to this young lady and to everyone else around! You’re causing a ruckus and I won’t put up with it! Now, if you’ll all be so kind as to leave, I’d gladly appreciate it.” the man finished, putting his hands on his hips. He gave all of the reporters a pointed look and they exchanged confused glances with one another.

“Or, if you’d prefer, I could call the police on you all with charges of public disturbance or suspicious activity…” the man threatened, tapping his foot. The reporters all began to scurry away, none of them wanting to be the last one in the store. They mumbled their apologies as they left.

Once the reporters were gone, Nora turned to the man who had defended her. “Thank you so much.” Nora said, breathing a sigh of relief.

“It was my pleasure, miss. I know how they can be. They’re all just bloodhounds looking for the next dead body they can drag around for a while. Soon enough something else will catch they’re attention and they’ll chase after that, but for now, you’re the catch of the day.” the man said with a sigh.

“I hope something else comes along soon…” Nora muttered. “I didn’t realize I was going to be mobbed the moment I stepped out in public…” she said as she turned back to putting items on the conveyor belt. The man shrugged.

“For your sake, I hope something else comes along soon, too.” he said with a nod. Nora finished checking out then turned to the man again.

“Thanks again for your help.” she said, smiling softly.

“No problem, dear. Just remember one thing…” the man took a step closer to her. “Once you get out that door, I can’t help you any more.” he smiled a little and Nora laughed.

“I guess I’ll just have to run for it.” she said with a shrug. The man chuckled as Nora began walking away.

“Have a good day, miss!” he called, waving after her.

“Thanks! You too!” Nora said over her shoulder. As Nora walked out the electronic doors and dashed to her car, she thought of Tristan. She wondered if he was encountering the same problems she was…

No comments:

Post a Comment