Monday, August 1, 2011

The One – Part 5 of 11

© 2011 by Henry Melton

She’d been depressed as she walked out.  Was that just part of the goth thing?  There was so much he didn’t understand about Agatha, and for some reason, he really wanted to know her.
But there was much about life in general that he didn’t understand. 
He’d tried not to think about the people he’d left behind in Wilmington.  Susan Casey hadn’t taken his move well.  He’d thought he’d gotten past his dream girl and began dating a real live blonde that liked what he did, or at least liked him well enough to put up with his enthusiasms.  They’d been going together for a month or so. That night, when she told him plainly that if he moved, that was the end for them--it had been the worst night of his life.  He had thought she’d work with him--make plans for trips back and forth, to plan a college they could both attend.
But that wasn’t how it worked out.  She was hurt, and blamed him, somehow, for his father’s new job.  He’d waited until she slammed the door on him, and then he’d driven nearly a hundred miles in the night, and up to the top of the mountain.  
Had he really thought, that night, that the universe would acknowledge the depth of his suffering and change everything?  Well, after watching the moon cross the sky, he finally gave up and managed to get back home before dawn.  His parents hadn’t even realized he was gone.
A bright face with dark brown eyes, crowned with bright red hair so short it was almost a skull cap turned to see the dawn glow brighter.  He loved her so sharply he could barely breathe.  He could feel the danger coming, but her smile was joyous.  “It’s nearly time.”  She locked eyes with his, and he could feel her love for him.  “It’s how the world is supposed to be.”
Sam woke with a shock, still feeling the warmth of her body in his arms.  No!  He didn’t want it to vanish again.  As it always had.
He fumbled for a pen and opened the closest notebook to an empty page.  He sketched rapidly, as the image of her face began to lose focus.  He got the shape of her head, the eyes, her nose--but his strokes began to fumble.  He wasn’t an artist.
He tried to make her stay, staring at the crude image.
Carefully, he tore it out of the notebook, folded it, and put it in his wallet.  He pulled out the other sheet, in pink.  Paying a lot more attention this time, he re-read the details about the new girl.
Could my dream girl be Agatha?
There were significant differences, but were they distortions of the dream, or a disguise she wore?
Long after the details of his dream girl’s image faded, he could still feel the echoes of their love.  That was alway what lingered.
The dreams had been coming for a long time, years.  Nearly always the same one.  Were there others?  Memories of dreams were always tricky things.  He’d thought he had several, but could some of those memories have just been dreams about dreams?
He’d constructed a bigger memory.  The two of them, lovers, waiting for a dawn that could destroy the both of them.  But how much of that was conjecture?  How much was really in the dream?
Hadn’t she said, “This is how the world is supposed to be.”  Something like that.  What if she was Agatha?  What if she had the same dream?  She’d know that that moment was pre-ordained, that they were destined to meet it together.  It sounded like something Agatha would say.
But he could be making stuff up again.
He put both pieces of paper back in his wallet.
“How did your date with Candi go?”  Sam clapped Jason on the back as they met in the hallway Monday.
He looked around, with a tense grin on his face.  “She’s got another puppy on the leash.”
He nodded.  “She bailed on the double-date.  I hear she’s gotten real intense with Abe Harris over the weekend.  No details, but poor Abe’s gotta funny smile on his face this morning.”
“Should someone warn him?”
“I don’t think he’s listening right now.”
On the walkway between the cafeteria and Foster Hall, Agatha briefly matched pace with Charlie.
“Progress?” he asked.
“I don’t know.  We’re talking.  But it’s not at all like I imagined it.”
“He didn’t immediately fall to his knees and propose?”
“That’s not it.  We just talk a different language.  He’s a lot like you, all logic and science.”
“We get along okay,”  he protested.
“We’ve had years to discover each other.  It wasn’t easy, if you recall.”
“Don’t I!  Well, later.”
They took different routes.  Charlie walked into the entrance and turned to the left.  
Sam was waiting for him.
“We need to talk.”
Charlie looked surprised.  “Do I know you?”
“Probably.  I need to ask you about your sister.”
He paused.  “I don’t have a sister.  Only child.”
Sam shook his head.  “Agatha, Teri Perry.  Whatever her name is.  I see you two talk from time to time.”  He looked carefully at the read-haired guy.  “The features are too close.  You have to be related.”
Charlie shook his head.  “No, I’m afraid you’ve got it all wrong.  Different last names and everything.  I know Agatha.  I don’t deny that.  But I only met her a few years ago here at school.”
Sam was still skeptical.  “I know what I see.”
“Here.”  Charlie fished out his driver’s license.  “See.  Charles Whittacker.  I live over on Terrace Avenue.  I think she lives on Boulder.”
Sam handed it back.  “Same birthday, I see.  Fraternal twins?”
Charlie winced, and then glanced down the hallway.  Classes were nearly starting, and no one was in hearing range.  “This is our secret.  No one has guessed, not in all these years.  Not our parents, no one.  I’ll talk, but later, in private.”
Sam nodded.  “Fine.  I’m not trying to cause trouble.”
Then he scribbled a number on a scrap of paper.  “Text me when you can talk.”
Charlie waited in the hallway as Sam made his way to class.
Agatha appeared around the corner, silent as a ghost. “Believe me now?”
“Yes.  How could he have known?”
“He’s probably seeing our auras, even if he’s not conscious of it.  Believe me, I don’t look anything like you.”
He sighed.  “The time really is approaching, isn’t it?”
Her smile faded.  “Yes.  But I’m at peace with it.  It’s how the world is supposed to be.”
“I’m not so sure.”

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