One seemingly normal day in 2012 I opened the front door of my apartment to make a quick run to the supermarket. Laying on my doorstep was a book with no book jacket. On it was a scotch-taped handwritten note which read:
but always you”
Being in a rush, as I usually am, I tossed the benign looking book onto the small kitchen cart where it landed on top of about a dozen pieces of unopened mail.
A few hours later while on the phone with a friend I asked him if he had left the book on my doorstep. “No, of course not. I’m in New Jersey. Maybe one of your neighbors left it.”
I then quizzed some of my neighbors and a new man I’d been dating for a couple of months.
No one I knew left any book on my doorstep.
Perplexed I decided to look at it a little closer.
The first thing that caught my attention were some of the words on the book jacket:
“A New York real estate tycoon plunges to his death on a Manhattan sidewalk. A trophy wife with a past survives a narrow escape from a brazen attack. Mobsters and moguls with no shortage of reasons to kill trot out their alibis…”
The words “real estate,” “trophy wife with a past,” “survives a narrow escape from a brazen attack,” “mobsters and moguls,” made my pulse race.
I reread every word several times and became even more afraid.
I’m in the real estate profession. I was a “trophy wife with a past.” I too, survived a narrow escape from a brazen attack when I was held hostage at knife-point in my apartment 20 years ago. And, the words “mobsters and moguls” were too familiar as I have been continuously writing about the Riklis family (moguls) and their ties to the mob for a long time.
While looking at the book I noticed a strong scent. Someone had sprayed a familiar perfume over the cover.
And the note seemed odd. The words went round and round in my mind:
But always you.”
I decided to put them into a google search.
And what I discovered made me as afraid as I was when that intruder broke into my apartment 20 years ago.
The words are from a song 'Another Night' by Real McCoy.
Every morning right before stepping onto my treadmill, I play that song. It is part of a 1990s mix I work out to. (Or used to work out to, because after that, I haven’t been able to listen to it anymore).
I suddenly realized that whoever left the book with the note wanted me to know they were as close to me as a couple of inches. Close enough to know I played this song every morning.
It also meant whoever it was had stood in front of my door many times, not just once to leave the book, but enough times to know what my favorite song at that time was.
Whenever I have been scared, it has pushed me to go further.
Scared but with a strong desire to find out more I examined the book as if I were a skilled detective.
The pink Hello Kitty notepaper stood out as another oddity.
Not being of the Hello Kitty generation, I googled “Hello Kitty.”
Two things alarmed me:
First, Hello Kitty has no mouth. Therefore, she cannot speak.
The second and even more terrifying was a reference to the “Hello Kitty murder” – yes, there is a “Hello Kitty murder” (just goggle it).
The Hello Kitty murder happened in 1999 in Hong Kong. A woman was kidnapped and tortured in her apartment for one long excruciating month. After her abductors killed her, she was decapitated and her head was stuffed into a Hello Kitty doll.
The “kidnapped and held in her apartment” thing had also happened to me.
So, I called my then boyfriend and asked him to come over to my apartment. I asked him to stop by Chloe on Fifth Avenue and pick up a sample of their classic Chloe perfume.
When he arrived in my apartment, and I filled him in on the book and all the things I’d discovered, he looked even more terrified than I felt.
I immediately grabbed the sample of Chloe and opened it.
The scent on the book reminded me of Chloe.
We both smelled the book and the perfume.
It was a match.
“How did you know it was Chloe?” he asked me.
“Because all of this,” I explained as I held the book in my hands “All of this has to come from the Riklis people. When they owned Elizabeth Arden he gave me a lifetime supply of one of the two fragrances.”
“You mean Chloe?”
“No, his wife Diana chose Chloe. I liked the other one Narcisse Noir de Caron.”
I first wrote the above in 2014 and when this happened in 2012 I haven’t really talked about this episode other than to tell Max, Ira’s attorney (who communicated with me since I left him in 1993 and who to date never responded to my inquiries about the book and its strange appearance on my doorstep). “Max” is a former Department of Justice attorney. When he left the DOJ he accepted a position with a well known law firm. The law firm represented Meshulam Riklis (my abuser’s father) via his holding company “Rapid American Corporation”. Max often told me that it was the elder Riklis who hired him. Sort of crisis control to keep tabs on me.