Hans Westergaard is in a somewhat rare good mood. Pleasantly tipsy, he leaves his driver a tip as he slides smoothly across the back bench of his limousine. He doesn't indulge in this particular service often, but he does feel that it is important for top-tier clients to see him picked up in a fashion worthy of his position.
His mood quickly sours as he turns to face the house. She has left lights on in at least three rooms, and the curtains to the living room are wide open, exposing his household interior to the world. She knows better than to waste his electricity like that. She knows he likes his home to remain private.
He sets his jaw and makes his way into the house. The front door is unlocked and she isn't in the kitchen. He doesn't hear her coming either. She's always so loud.
Hans huffs. Perhaps she’s sulking. It is almost eleven and he told her he wouldn’t stay late. He rolls his eyes. He isn’t going to take any attitude from her and she's going to have a real problem if he finds her sleeping. There are dishes in the sink and he doesn't find his dinner plate in the warmer or the fridge.
Now he’s angry.
He moves further into the house, searching. Honestly, he’s hoping she’s asleep now. Give her a shock.
If she thinks he’s going to tolerate flagrant disrespect on this level… after all these years…
He doesn’t find her.
Not in their bedroom, not in their bathroom.
Not in the guest suite either.
Not in any of the closets.
Not under the bed.
He heads back downstairs, picking up his pace.
Not on the patio, not in the laundry room. Not in the garage, though his car is still there.
He rushes back up stairs now, feet thumping loudly on each carpeted step.
Her draw is empty. Her little trinkets are missing. Her bathroom cabinet is cleaned out.
Back downstairs, louder, faster, cursing.
Her DVDs. Her folder from the file cabinet. Her coat and shoes. Her stupid little snowman mug.
He pulls out his phone and calls her.
He hears rattling from the kitchen. Her phone vibrating - it’s in the trash. He knocks the thing over, sending trash everywhere - she didn’t fucking take the trash out either today - finds the phone. It’s empty. Factory reset, in fact.
Back on his phone he pulls up Facebook Messenger. She’s not in his contacts anymore. He can’t pull up her page. He tries her login info - deactivated. He can’t get into her email either. Her Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are all gone too.
Something tells him she’s not huddled at the bus stop waiting for him this time.
He throws each and every one of his expensive crystal glassware against the wall, one satisfying smash after another. But it’s not enough. He throws the coffee pot, sends one of the bar stools flying.
There is a photograph taped to the back of the front door. He crosses his ruined kitchen to reach it, though he can see it well enough. It’s Anna, from years ago, when she still had that awful red hair, and she’s with her sister. He knows this picture, the way they are posed together, Anna's big toothy smile and chubby chin. She had this picture on display for years even though she knew it drove him mad, even after she and her sister stopped talking. He’d gotten so sick of it, hadn’t he ripped it up? This copy is glossy and whole.
He pulls it down and turns it over in his hands, examining. There is a note on the back in thick black sharpie.
YOU LOSE, ASSHOLE
He sees red. He shreds the picture. Spits on it. He punches the door so hard it rattles in the frame.
That fucking cunt. THAT FUCKING CUNT.
He stands in his disaster of a kitchen, knuckles bleeding, chest heaving. He takes stock.
She’s smarter than he always thought, but obviously still stupid.
He retrieves his phone and searches “Elsa Andrelle,” glad to see she’s still using her maiden name. No Facebook, no social media at all, except a LinkedIn. He clicks the link and almost throws the phone with impatience as the stupid thing asks his permission to switch to the app.
She’s a lawyer now (shit) and she’s listed the name of her current employer, though she must be new to the workforce because there isn’t any previous work history on her page.
A shark’s smile spreads across his face as blood runs from his busted knuckles down to his wrist then drips slowly onto his floor. He enters Anna’s sister’s company’s name into Google and pulls up the maps result.
Then he almost chokes on his tongue.
The company has five locations across the US. None of them are local.
He uses the search function on their company website to find her. He gets back some bullshit professional bio. She got her degree at the same university as him, so obviously she’s moved and it doesn’t specify which location she works at. He sees a professional email address and phone extension, but he has the presence of mind not to go that route.
His phone dings to let him know he has a message waiting on LinkedIn.
Elsa Andrelle has viewed his profile.
Elsa Andrelle has sent him a message.
Elsa Andrelle has blocked him.
He clicks to view the message, realizing that the fucking app has notified her that he viewed her sad little page.
It's the kiss-blowing emoji.