|C. Elizabeth - Absolute Obsession a Novel||
Angie and Becky startled me when they stood up. “Okay, I’m moving on in.” Becky proclaimed, confidently.
“Me too,” Angie piped up, gazing nervously around the table.
Todd, Norma and I laughed. “Go for it!” I said.
Angie flopped back down on the seat, defeated. “I’m such a chicken.”
Becky tugged on her hand. “Angie come on! What’s the worse they could do? Say no?”
Angie slowly stood and drew her shoulders back to show her strength, even if it was fake… but she was going to do it and off they went.
For some reason, the closer they got to the new boys, the harder it was for me to breath. My nails dug into Todd’s leg.
“Ouch!” he yelped, yanking my hand away. “That hurt!” He rubbed where my nails surely left a mark.
Without looking his way I apologized. My attention stayed with Becky and Angie as they made their way through the crowd.
It seemed to take them forever to get to the table, and when they did, all three boys looked up and smiled. Segra, Jocelyn, and Mattie sneered. Then Segra said something that had Mattie and Jocelyn laughing and giving her high fives.
The triplets didn’t seem to like the little exchange and flashed a quick look of disapproval at each other. All at the same time they sat straight up, distancing themselves from Segra’s little group -- well, at least as a far as you can distance yourself when you’re sitting right beside someone in a cramped booth.
Something Angie said to them caused all three to take stock of our table. My first reaction was to cast my eyes down, that is until the one sitting against the wall took hold of them…
~ * ~
…A sea of dark ocean took me through caverns and caves. Being under water didn’t bother me, and my chest rose and sank as if I were on land. Something shimmered on the ocean floor, looking completely out of place. When I reached for it and cradled it in my hand, the crystal felt smooth and comfortable -- soothing.
~ * ~
“Earth to Saydi!”
Someone shoved me.
“Saydi! Are you already daydreaming about them?” Todd snarled hotly.
It was easy to ignore Todd when the triplet’s face came back into full view, considering my imagination was playing tricks on me… his features twisted in such a way that it made my skin crawl -- then it was gone, leaving behind a beautiful smile as he nodded once at me in a greeting.
“Saydi, are you all right?” Becky asked.
“Um, yeah, good.” I let out a nervous giggle.
They all stared with shocked looks.
I eased back in the seat. “What?”
The fact that all their eyes looked down at the table, then back up to me, enticed me to look too. The napkin in front of me had a drawing on it -- a tear drop, with sun rays billowing out and ghosts floating away from it.
“What a cool drawing. Who drew it?” Clearly, I had five heads, at least that’s how they were making me feel by the way they were sizing me up.
“You did,” Todd said, raising a curious eyebrow.
Impossible! My only artistic side went as far as reading. I preferred sports. “I can’t draw.”
Becky plucked the pen from my hand. “Apparently, you can.”
“What was that?” Norma whispered through her teeth, inspecting my eyes.
“What was what? You guys are acting all weird.” Todd snorted. “You go off into some far off land and start drawing a spooky picture, and you say we’re acting weird?”
“I wasn’t daydrea…”
“Have a good night, Saydi,” said a dreamy, deep voice.
I whipped my head in its direction. One of the triplets, the one with green/blue eyes, knocked twice on our table and smiled directly at me as they passed. My tongue tied up in a knot, giving me no ability to spit, never mind talk. The only thing I could do was gape while all three brothers smiled and waved when they walked out the door… and to add to my already moronic reaction, I was certain drool played a part. I flopped my forehead on the table and moaned, “What is wrong with me?”
“That was Nathanael!” Angie gushed.
“Saydi, you can stop drooling,” Todd barked. No! I didn’t! Testing, just to make sure, I licked my lips then threw a look at him. “Todd!”
“What? You were.” Then he shoved the napkin with the picture in my face. “Here, why don’t you run after him? Maybe he’ll ask you out!”
The way he was acting was starting to piss me off, and to let him know, I formed each word perfectly as I said them. “Todd, what is wrong with you?”
“I’m just saying.” Crossing his arms, he refused to look at me.
Shaking my head, I turned back to Becky and Angie wanting information. “So?”
Angie blushed, nearly bursting at the seams. “Did you not see them?”
I bobbed my head, smiling, the drawing and Todd’s outburst forgotten.
Angie angled in close. “Well, the one against the wall… His name is Joshua, and you already know Nathanael.” She giggled. “And the one on the end was Job.” Then she arched in closer yet, as if to tell me a huge secret. “Weren’t they gorgeous?”
“Oh please!” Todd huffed.
“Oh shush!” Norma fanned her hands at him. “Angie, you can’t have all of them,” Becky informed. The way she said it led me to believe it wasn’t said all in fun. I picked up on the little bit of bitterness that had snuck into her tone.
Angie either ignored it or didn’t catch it. “Darn right, I can!” she insisted.
All us girls laughed -- Becky used her fake one.
“Hello,” I answered.
“Is Rose Gerbaldi in?” the male voice asked.
“Is this the same Rose Gerbaldi that wrote Michael Terrance a letter?”
My stomach lunged into my throat, cutting off my air, my hands started shaking. Was I really hearing that voice, even though I had never heard it outside of the movie, the English accent was a dead give away. It was him! Maybe it wasn’t, but what if it was? What were the chances of him reading my letter? What was he doing? Why would he be phoning me? It was just a simple letter written by a temporarily insane woman, who had made a simple observation. The question he asked wasn’t a hard question to answer, but my brain terminated the use of my voice, struggling... my air waves finally broke free. “Well... um... I... gue-guess... th-that... would... depend on... um... who’s asking.” Losing control of my tongue, words stuttering out, surely he thought I had a speech impediment. All I could hear was his breathing... that was good, at least he hadn’t hung up on me at my disastrous attempt to talk.
“Michael Terrance, actually,” he responded, confirming my assumption. There was a hint of apprehension in his voice, which led me to believe he wished he hadn’t called, all the while my fantasy world was bursting to the fore front of my mind, like a locomotive, whistles blowing, and me not being able to get control of it, it pushed its way through, in a garbled mess of instant flashes in certain parts. It was like watching a movie on fast forward and slow motion for the clearer parts. Not sure what to say. “You seem a little unsure that I was the one who wrote it, why don’t you ask me about it?” A cackle escaped my lips, but at least I found my tongue. My hands were shaking so hard, my teeth were going to hit the end of the receiver, I held the phone away from my mouth.
“All right... what... movie did you refer to?” he questioned with a crackle in the words.
“Only Her,” I confirmed it for him.
He laughed, relieved. It was a beautiful laugh, it was deep and buoyant, coming from deep within his chest. “Well, I suppose you are the one.”
“How are you?” I quickly asked.
“I... I’m all right,” he faltered. “How... are you?”
“I’m good, thanks. So... what do I owe the pleasure?” Knowing I wouldn’t remember the conversation.
“Well...” he wavered. “Your letter was interesting.”
“Ohh... thanks.” I waited for him to continue.
“You know you didn’t put a return address on it, not even on the envelope,” he said, avoiding my interesting letter.
I laughed. “I know.”
“May I ask why?”
“Well, there are two reasons actually. The first being that I didn’t need a reply, I was just making an observation, which I’m sure was way off base. Secondly, and the most important reason, I really, really didn’t want an autographed, eight by ten glossy of you showing up in my mail box!” He started laughing, he sounded more relaxed. Laughing along with him I continued, “Sorry, but that’s a fact.”
His voice evened out, it was no longer crackly and he seemed more in control. “Really? Are you sure? If you give me your address I’ll send you one myself, and I’ll even sign it for real,” he teased.
Giggling. “No that’s okay... but thanks anyway.” He was laughing again, his voice was just as beautiful as his laugh, but I was biased when it came to British accents, they always made me weak in the knees.