The café had a few customers that night. Tina was alone at a table in one corner, quietly sipping a cup of mocha cappuccino while stabbing a slice of chocolate cake with a fork. To her left a group of boisterous young men sometimes glanced at her. They were obviously talking about her. Two girls, in their late teens, from another table ogled a professional-looking guy who just entered the café with a girl in tow. Another guy with a very expensive wristwatch was talking on his iPhone 6 at the table near the counter. Tina’s phone rang, catching the attention of other customers. She picked it up and answered the call.
“Hello?” she said softly.
“Hi,” the guy on the other line responded. “I’m so sorry but I can’t make it there tonight. Something came up and I have to take care of it.”
Tina’s smile faded.
“Oh, that’s unfortunate,” she said.
“I know but I really have to take care of this. I hope you don’t mind?”
“Oh, not at all. It’s alright.”
“Thank you. I owe you one. Say, what about I make it up to you Monday night?”
“Sure, why not?”
“Great! See you Monday, gorgeous. Call you later. Take care, okay? Bye”
“You too. Bye.”
Tina stared at her phone for a while after the call ended. It was disappointing not being able to spend some time with him on a Saturday night. She wasn’t mad at him. He understood and accepted what she was.
She paid her bill and walked out of the café. The cool evening breeze greeted her as she approached her car, the key in her hand.
“Don’t make a noise.” Tina felt the pointed tip a knife pressed against her back. A strong arm wrapped around her neck. There were two of them. The other guy, in his early thirties stood guard watching out for possible passersby that might foil their plan.
“If you make any scene I’ll gut you. Open the door,” the man holding her growled.
She unlocked the car with a steady hand and opened the door at the driver’s seat.
“Get inside,” the man with the knife pushed her in. She went in without resistance and sat next to the man, her eyes fixed on him as he started the engine. The guy in his early thirties sat in the passenger seat behind her. She knew what they were up to. Robbers, carjackers, and serial rapists lurked in the city, preying on innocent civilians. But something else lurked in the city. The two criminals failed to notice the faint smile on Tina’s face as they headed for the highway which lead out of town.
It was past eight in the morning when Tina rose from her bed. A faint taste of bile lingered in her mouth. Her mom and dad were in the living room, discussing business matters. Later in the afternoon that day she went out to hang out with some friends. She nodded in response to the security guard’s greeting, on her way out of the subdivision. In the guard house one of the personnel was absorbed with the news on the radio. Apparently two dead men, one in his early thirties, were found in the floodway just outside the city. Their throats were slit and their bellies cut wide open like a dissection frog, the guts spread out for the world to see. One of them was missing a liver.