He balled his hands into fists by his side and stared at her with intensity. A leopard ready to pounce on his prey.
He took a step closer before she could finish her sentence. She swung the trash lid and tried to run past him. He grabbed her from the back and covered her mouth with his hand. A cold piece of metal rested slightly against her throat.
"If you fight me I will slice your fucking neck, bitch. You understand me?"
Diamond didn't respond. Tears welled in her eyes as he threw her down onto the concrete and straddled her.
"If you scream, you die," he whispered in her ear.
He held the knife at her throat. She could barely breathe with the weight of his body on her belly. She tried to lay as still as possible afraid his hand would slip if she didn't. Hot tears streamed down her face as the cold tip of the knife followed an imaginary trail from her lips, to her chin, to her chest.
Diamond closed her eyes.
A few months earlier...
"Congratulations, Diamond!" Her boss greeted her with a hug. "I'm sorry I couldn't make it to the ceremony."
"That's okay, Bob. Do you have a minute to talk?"
"Sure, let's step into my office."
Diamond followed behind him into his small office in the back of the café. He sat behind his desk.
"Have a seat." He pointed to the empty folding chair in front of his desk.
"Bob, I just wanted to talk with you again about the Special Events Coordinator position. When will I start in that role?"
Bob massaged his mustache. "Diamond, I'm more than confident that you can do the job, but I won't be able to promote you at this moment."
"Bob, what do you mean? You already said that I had the job. I was counting on starting that position soon."
He rubbed his eyes. "I know what we discussed but some important things have come up and I won't be able to promote you right now. My wife's nephew needs a job and you know how that goes. Besides he does have more experience with planning events, so. I'm sorry, Diamond."
She stared down at the floor. That job would have increased her pay and given her the chance to deal more with the music side of the business. She sighed. "I understand. Family comes first, right?"
"Well, yeah, but he does have more experience, you know."
"Yeah, you mentioned that. It's just that I've been working here for the past four years and I've assisted Lisa when she was in the position, a few times, so...I know that I can do it. Could you possibly let us both work in the position? Each of us part-time, maybe?"
"That would mean needing to hire another person to take your current position. Right now I can't afford to hire another person. I'm sorry, Diamond."
She gave a weak smile and walked out of his office. On to plan B, whatever that was. She dialed her best-friend on her cell phone once she got to the front counter of the café. "Hey, girl."
"What's the matter? You sound like someone stole your stuffed puppy," Kimmy said.
"I thought today I would be starting my new role here at the cafe, but Bob didn't give me the job. Something about a nephew with more experience, blah blah blah. It just sucks because I passed up an opportunity for a better paying job at an advertising firm. I knew for sure he was going to give me this job."