I’d noticed a car parked in our cul-de-sac that I didn’t know, a Toyota Camry, white and nondescript, with a man seated behind the wheel eating a sandwich or talking on the phone. The man was as nondescript as his car, middle-aged, heavy set, baseball cap pulled over his face. He could have been a cop. Sometimes I noticed the car trailing behind me as I drove through the neighborhood. The driver must have been bored out of his mind as I spend most of the day in my studio behind the house, and when I do go out it’s to someplace exciting like Pilates or acupuncture or the HEB down the street. But maybe I was wrong, maybe the man had nothing to do with me. I comforted myself with the thought that our house was fairly impenetrable, we had dogs trained to protect us, and my husband, despite his nerdy looks, was a sharpshooter who owned a gun.According to Janet, Sabina also felt she was being followed. There’d been an incident at her barn, a man hanging around, asking peculiar questions, who somehow found his way into the tack room and slashed up an expensive saddle. The man vanished before the saddle was discovered on the tack room floor, but several people noticed he seemed particularly interested in Sabina — that his questions were about “that pretty girl with the accent.” This made Sabina, paranoid already, feel it was her fault that the $2000 saddle had been destroyed. She decided to change barns and moved to a small place in Driftwood. But she couldn’t shake the feeling that someone was watching her all the time. In her opinion the surveillance had to do with her husband Nate, who she was convinced had put a detective on her tail. By now (mid October) she’d hired a lawyer and served Nate with divorce papers. She was jumpy, nervous, had asked Janet several times if she could move back in with her for safety reasons. She was frightened of being alone.
But Janet’s house was full. Her brother, Donny, was now a permanent resident, and she’d transformed Victor’s old exam room into a third bedroom, which was occupied by Roy’s daughter, Ginger. Yes, that’s right: grumpy, neglected Ginger and grieving, pregnant Janet had become besties, consoling one another over the loss of father/boyfriend and talking about how the two of them together (plus the baby growing in Janet’s womb) formed a strong and durable family unit. This put Sabina out in the cold.