I was always tall for my age and from the time that I thought about my height at all, I knew that I was going to be taller than most girls. I didn’t mind, in fact I enjoyed the idea. There were certainly some downsides to the situation, but I never let that bother me. I never had to try out for basketball or volleyball. I was the tallest, and that was more important than whether or not I could play the game.
I didn’t get a lot of attention from the boys growing up. I think it was because my height intimidated them. Even during my senior year I was taller than all but a few of them. I ended up going to all of the dances alone, which wasn’t a big deal. I wasn’t very interested in any of the guys I knew growing up.
As I got ready to graduate, I had lots of schools wanting me to be on one or another of their sports teams, but that wasn’t what I wanted out of life. I wanted to be an artist. I decided to go to a small art school where I could get away from expectations and live my own life. It was wonderful to be able to experiment with art and to allow my creative side to flourish.
I’m sure you’ve heard about me meeting Tessa when she was a visiting artist. I loved her paintings and we ended up having some intense conversations about art and life. There was even a short period of time where we were a couple. It was limited to hanging out together and a bit of making out. That’s where the trouble started.
Tessa and I had gone out to a club to go dancing. It was an excuse for both of us to get away from the studio for a while and let off a little steam. While we were there, I caught the attention of at least one guy. His name was Dmitri Renkov. You met his brother Alexander already.
“You mean that little twerp?” Will asked perplexed.
“That’s the one,” Tessa interjected. “Go on with the story, Patri.”
Dmitri must have had some kind of Amazon complex. It’s something that I’ve run into from time to time. There seems to be something about a taller girl that gets the attention of some shorter men. In Dmitri’s case, I was an obsession he wouldn’t let go.
He didn’t care that I had a girl friend or that I thought he was repulsive. He continued to press the issue. He sent cards and flowers and candy. It made it hard to keep up with classes and my time in the studio. I didn’t know what to do, and the police and school officials were no help at all.
Then came the night that changed my life, it was near the end of senior year and I was getting my final show ready to present the final presentation of my artistic life in college. I’d been setting up my show for almost 30 hours straight and I’d gone back to my apartment to get some sleep. I wasn’t paying attention to many details that night, or I would have realized something was wrong. There were plenty of small details that could have saved me from what happened next.
I was in my bedroom getting dressed for bed when Dmitri entered the room. He was naked and from the look in his eyes, I knew what he intended to do. Lack of sleep slowed my reaction time and before I knew it I was laying on the bed with him on top of me.
I really started to panic and something switched inside my mind. All I really remember is that somehow I managed to get my legs in position between us and kicked him away. I don’t really remember what happened after that because exhaustion took over and it wasn’t until the next morning that I woke up to find the police had already come to the apartment. They found Dmitri dead near the dresser. The coroner reported that he’d tripped after I pushed him and cracked his head on the corner of the dresser and died instantly.
There was an investigation, and lots of questions. I didn’t get a chance to finish setting up my show, but my professors where gracious enough to take that into account during my final crit. Eventually the truth came out and I was cleared of any charges.
“Charges?” Will shouted. “What kind of charges could they possibly place on you?”
“There was some talk of murder, and involuntary manslaughter among other things,” Patri replied.
“But he broke into your apartment and attacked you,” he demanded.
“The Renkov family has a lot of money, and I’m sure you can appreciate what that can mean,” she responded.
I was cleared of charges, but I still had to deal with the Renkovs. I was constantly hounded by someone connected with the family. I couldn’t get a restraining order because they always used someone different. I couldn’t go into witness protection because I didn’t really witness anything. Eventually, I managed to hide away, or at least I did until yesterday. I’m not sure how Alexander found me, but it can’t be a good sign.
I’m not sure what to do anymore.