I was playing the field, and not enjoying it while I did. Another set of long and infinitely-seeming minutes had passed throughout which I had a painful time letting the new information sink in.
All that had taken place over the past few weeks was crystal-clear in my mind: the meeting at Raven Cafe and why Annabelle had been the one to show up; the way we both had inter-school clubs at the same time. I felt almost dumb now, having not seen it all before.
The answer had been right in front of my face but I'd passed over it the way I would over a small detail in a mass of information: Annabelle and Poppy are one. Or were. Maybe, now that I knew she could shed her disguise.
My playing around with her had been intentionally done so she'd realize that I was Cayden. Though I hadn't said it directly, I wanted her to know. Why? I wasn't quite sure.
It would have been much easier for me to toy around with her, playing both identities. Much more fun, and resourceful way to use my time really. But what benefit would I really have derived from it? And I believed she had the right to know as well...
That's why I made up my mind to do something reckless. Stupid, even.
Now, we both knew about our identities. Though we hadn't admitted it straight out, we did. Annabelle must have figured it out on some level, due to the sudden silence from 'Poppy' as well as no text response.
I couldn't help but wonder on how she'd react to it all. Maybe she'd never want to see me again. Why would she? Yet there was something the both of us had in common. The strongest similarity between us was for the need to have created another identity. She created Poppy. I created Cayden.
But who would Annabelle stick to. Would she prefer to be Poppy? Or herself? And would she choose me...or the fake identity she'd chosen to chat with all these nights?
That's how I found myself typing the next few words:
Cayden Rachet: Hey Poppy, I have to go now but I really want to meet you again. Unfortunately, I'll be busy next week and the week after, I'll be travelling again. But tomorrow is my only real chance to meet you after school. I'll be waiting at Queens Park at five in the evening, near the lake. I hope to see you.
With that, I quickly logged off and went offline before texting a reply as Drew:
I have a few things to take care of after school but I'll be able to make it to Raven Cafe at 5 p.m. I'm sure you'll be free by then. I have to go now! See you then!
Without thinking, I pressed send. A message popped up later on the screen to confirm that the message had been received by Annabelle. Smiling grimly, I set my mobile on the desk top surface before leaning back against my chair.
A part of me could not believe what I was doing and feared my actions. The other, however, anticipated the day to come like never before.