He is there, solid as any other human around him, his beauty enticing—inviting. The sadness I had felt the night of my human death rushes into my aching, dead heart. My disappointments, my loneliness, my fears—name it, and it has all come back to me. The tears are flowing now threatening the rise of a new river in my name—"The Tears of Solidarity River".
"Carol Ann!" Lucas nearly screams in my ear as I realize that he is now facing me and is holding me firmly in his cold grasp, shaking me roughly, awakening me from my trance. I glance at him and a quick look over his shoulder offers a glimpse at the forgotten sidewalk corner that once harbored the bringer of all my undoing.
"What?" I ask calmly, my faux breathing coming exhilaratingly quick.
He wipes at the tears on my cheeks and puts his hand on the lower part of my back, without any surprise I feel no calm emotions once more. "You were in a trance," he cautiously begins. "Did you see something—or someone Carol Ann?"
I flinch as I am reminded of my vision and quickly answer, "No!"
Lucas stares at me skeptically and gently forces me to keep walking, his thoughts silent to me.
My apartment is quiet; the lights are all off—save for the ones in the bathroom. The bed is a mess of blankets and covers. My clothes are strewn from my closet where I had searched for an outfit. My kitchen is a laboratory of research as to what was edible.
My answering machine is flickering red and I walk right past it to open the door to my balcony, letting the summer breeze enter with the pollution into my room. The night sky is brilliant from my room and I admire it for mere seconds before realizing that I hadn't eaten all day. Entering my experimentation gone awry of a kitchen, I find an unopened bottle of wine under my sink. After finding surprising strength while unscrewing the cork, I am pouring a glass of cheap wine a minute or two later, and I am sitting on my favorite chair overlooking the city another minute after.
I used to love seeing the pitiless lives that my neighbors lived back when I had first moved here. In the apartment directly across from mine a couple would always fight and have fantastic, but loud, makeup sex. In the apartment below that there was a man who danced in drag to the rhythm of the latest Pop song on the radio.
I sip from my glass as I search out my then outrages neighbors and I'm not surprised to find that they had all changed—it had been several years after all. Where my overdriven nymphomaniac neighbors once lived now resides a young woman and her son. Tonight she is bidding her babysitter goodnight and is inviting a young man into her living room. Everyone in this town has a story to tell.
I nonchalantly drink my wine as I hear the phone ringing again. I let the machine take it and feel my free hand flinch as I hear my boss's tired voice on the machine.
"Carol, where are you? We tried contacting you earlier today and you did not answer. If you do not come into work tomorrow, you will be set on temporary leave—you know what that would mean, a permanently vacant table that was once yours will occupy unnecessary space in our offices. You don't have to call back, just show up to work." As he is hanging up I can hear him mutter, "Rich princess; as if anyone cares."
I drink my wine calmly, letting the message end with a loud, deciding beep.
I will go to work tomorrow and I will sit in the filthy desk I call mine. I note with added pleasure that I did not entertain any negative ideas about his snide remark concerning my financial status and my lack of social lifestyle.
I forget my invasive curiosity of my neighbors and head back into my silent apartment. I brush my teeth and change, the idea of having had my bones broken around this time last night is still fresh in my mind. I twitch my once broken arms unwillingly, the memory hurting more than any physical pain.
I lay down in my bed with my hands clasped on my stomach and I feel the oddity of my situation suddenly hit me.
I should be six feet under right now; worms should be gnawing at me.
I turn to my side and lay my head on my arm, one hand in front. My curly hair rests around me, spilling like a supernova foretelling the death of the old me—you see it before it hits you, the brightness of the death of me.
I see his face in my mind again; Lucas is nowhere to be found in my thoughts tonight. How odd. To love someone enough to feel the intensity in your bones one instant, but have it re-sent twice as powerful to someone completely different the next.
Does that even make sense?
He brought my worst and best emotions forward, hid nothing from me. He let me experience everything instead of cascading it into lies on top of lies with a single touch. He introduced me to me.
I fall asleep my first night as a mysterious and amorous creature thinking of the seductive stranger, the one who wiped my tears away.