Inside, I sat down at the bar. The only available stool was next to a guy who looked a bit older than me. He had dark waves of brown hair and dark green eyes which glanced at me for a fraction of a second before resuming their unseeing gaze into the distance before him. He was handsome, I thought, blushing slightly at the boldness of that stray thought. Perhaps it was my imagination, but the guy's brow seemed to furrow slightly. He seemed to give off a dark and mysterious aura, an aura of power and authority, yet also an impression of having seen enough cruel things in the world to side with the ‘winning' team. I looked at the shelves behind the bartender and decided for a glass of wine. Even the thought of such a formal drink as wine made me feel less hyper. The bartender asked me if he could get me anything, and I replied "A glass of white wine, please."
"Can I see some ID?" he asked.
I reached into my pocket, pulled out my provisional license and showed him it. He nodded and turned to get my drink. As I was putting away my license, my hand brushed against the arm of the person next to me. I had a queer sensation of vast open space and I heard an unfamiliar voice which sounded like it was finishing a sentence say ‘...never find my rose-dove'. The voice sounded grim as if he'd been wishing against something unpleasant. The feeling of open space stopped as suddenly as it had come when my hand found itself no longer in contact with the guy's arm. I was left with a strange sense of incompleteness. The guy hadn't appeared to notice a thing. It must have been him talking. I wondered at what he'd said.
"Um, excuse me, what's a ‘rose-dove'?"
The guy looked startled and then furious. "Were you never taught that eaves-dropping is rude?! Or do you prefer not to block out other people?"
"Pardon?" I said politely, not quite sure if I'd heard him correctly.
"But... I don't understand... You said something about a rose-dove. You said it quite clearly. I didn't think I was eaves-dropping."
I felt oddly scared. The dark energy around him seemed to be blazing towards my direction.
"What do you mean, I ‘said'? I didn't say anything - I was in quiet contemplation. I'm sure you contemplate all the time. It's a universal right. How would you like it if I listened to your thoughts?"
"I-I'm really sorry," I stammered, "but I still d-don't understand. Your thoughts? How could I hear your thoughts?"
The guy looked confused but still angry. "You mean you didn't know you could?"
"N-no. I mean, I didn't."
"Well, of course you did. You must be psychic."
"What?! Are you crazy? I'm not psychic!"
"And I'm not telepathic!"
"Well you must be if it was your thoughts I heard," I said sarcastically.
Some sort of comprehension dawned on his face. "Oh no," he whispered. "Oh, damn it, NO!"
"What?" I was more confused than before. "What's wrong?"
He looked like he was in despair. "You can't be! I've never seen you before in my life!"
"What can't I be?"
Suddenly, the guy stood up. He grabbed my arm and started pulling me outside.
"Let go!" I yelled.
I struggled all I could, but it was no use: he was too strong for me. All the while, I could feel vast open space and anger ... in my head. He was saying repeatedly, ‘She can't be, she can't be,' but without moving his lips.
Outside, he shoved me up against a wall. He looked murderous.
"If this is some kind of sick joke, I will kill you."
"WHAT?! What are you talking about?! Let go of me! I'll call the police!"
The guy released his grip on my arm but didn't move to let me go. I felt relieved as the storm in my mind died down and the chant stopped. He looked kind of helpless as he murmured, this time moving his lips, "Please don't say..."
He trailed off and gave me a good long stare.
"P-please don't hurt me," I stuttered.
"Who are you?" he asked; his tone harsh.
"I'm n-not going to tell you."
"Tirana?" Now, how did he know that?
"How'd you know? Oh gosh, have you been stalking me?!"
"Shut up. Of course not!" He looked exasperated, but his eyes were still fierce.
"Then, how do you know my name?!" My voice rose to a level where I knew I was becoming hysterical.
He rolled his eyes, as if frustrated that I didn't know. "I'm psychic, of course."
"Oh shut up, SHUT UP! There is no such thing as psychics."
"Well there obviously is, unless you think I really waste my time stalking uninteresting girls who are really not my type."
"Hey!" The cry was slightly involuntary. Why should I care if he thought I was uninteresting? That was a good thing. But I felt a sort of sadness deep within me as if what he thought of me truly mattered.
The boy looked dazed. "Oh, damn, you really are..."
"What? When will you tell me what it is that I'm supposed to be?!"
He sighed. He didn't look angry anymore, just annoyed. "My rose-dove."
Inside, some part of me sighed as if wistful, but I didn't understand the feeling so I reacted how anyone would.
"I'm your what?! You sick-minded creep, get away from me!"
"My rose-dove... I had hoped I didn't have one."
Something about his tone made me believe he was telling the truth. Was it perhaps the resent in his eyes? No pervert or stalker would act resentful.
A light suddenly came on in his eyes. "That's it! I'll get Lily to stop this madness! She'll know how to make us not be bound in that way."
"Will you please tell me what a rose-dove is?!"
The guy shook his head. "You wouldn't understand. It's best if you know as little as possible. Now, come with me to my car."
"Do I look like an idiot? When was it ever okay to get into cars with strangers?"
"If I cared about being your kingfisher, I'd be offended. Now, come on. Or do you want me to carry you?"
"You'll do no such thing!" I glared at him. I was too angry to notice he'd called himself my kingfisher.
"Won't I?" His expression was challenging. He glared straight back at me. And something made me stop to think for a moment... Up close, he really was gorgeous, with those soft waves of hair, which I had a sudden urge to twine my fingers in, and those dark, green eyes, full of so much horror and pain yet portals to a depth this generation of boys just didn't have. He seemed smart... and...intriguing. The feeling ended. I resumed my glare. His eyebrow seemed to have raised a little.
"WHAT?! You heard all that... Oh you ..." I swore.
He took the opportunity to grab my waist and hoist me over his shoulders. I punched his back and kicked his torso and swore, demanding he ‘Let me GO!' It did no use. He was strong and my attack seemed to have no effect on him.
He put me down in the passenger seat of a dark blue car and strapped me in and closed the door. To my frustration, the door was child-locked.
He slid in beside me and said, "Oh, by the way, I'm Timothy," before closing his own door and starting the engine. Irritatingly, the part of me deep within which was acting totally crazily found his voice pleasant - deep, musical and hinting at nature: mystical yet beautiful.
I sat in angry silence nearly the whole way. I tried to pay attention to where we were going, but we twisted and turned under arches of trees until I completely lost my sense of direction. I remembered suddenly that I had my phone. I drew it out, intending to call the police, but without slowing, Timothy pulled out a blue stone and held it so it was directly in front of my eyes. He muttered, "Enchant, transfix, mesmerise, so on this stone remain the eyes."
He placed the stone on the dashboard and, to my utter horror, I found I couldn't look away from it. It seemed to hold my gaze and play tricks on my eyes which caught my attention. Were there things dancing in the stone?
Timothy then chanted, "Instruct the mind to blank and clear, so all her thoughts may disappear."
I suddenly found my thoughts scattering. What had I been about to do? All I could seem to think about was the stone in front of me, which seemed, impossibly, to hold the depths of an ocean. I barely noticed a weight drop into my lap. ‘What is he doing to me?' was my last thought.