The fine gravel skittered under the pressure of my leather soles as I marched with purposeful long strides to the back of Charles’ house. A small smile played on my face in anticipation of telling my friend the good news. When Gideon had called to ask if he could come over after the job Charles instructed him to go to the back patio.
Charles looked up from the paper he was grading. “Voilà There you are. What took you so long?”
“I did the job and drove over from my place immediately. School has not let out yet I gather since you are still marking papers.”
“Yes the last ones before the summer.” Charles loved his job but the paper work, not so much.
Charles put his pen down, got up and gestured to me to sit on one of the recliners. Then he retrieved two beer from the cooler, brought one to me and sat with his beer on the other chair. After a large swallow he said, “Ah that hit the spot. I can tell you have something to say. What’s up?”
“Yes it is true. I need your advice. I met a woman earlier today.”
Charles uttered a surprised exclamation and beer gushed out of his mouth. He coughed repeatedly to clear his throat.
A baseball glove flew over the fence landing at Charles’ feet. He picked it up and tossed it back to his neighbour’s son.
“Well Gids” — I do not care for the nick name my friends have given me but there is no point in resisting— “why is it such news that you’ve met a woman?”
I picked at the bottle’s label while I reflected. “I met her today while I was at a job site.” I waited for Charles to get the point. He watched me with a blank expression and motioned to carry on.
“At the job site Charles….”
His eyes widened. “You mean as you were in the process of transferring the soul from the client? That’s remarkable!”
“Yes!” I all but shouted.
“But people can’t perceive the soul collectors when you are working. Beth told me this.”
“What happened?” His brow wrinkled in confusion.
“She saw me with the client. When I finished the job I walked over to her, we talked and she intended to dial 911 to report the accident.” Charles offered a puzzled glance. “The client ran his vehicle into a hydro pole.” Charles nodded. I noticed his blonde hair was a shade darker than Phoebe’s. “But I persuaded her to go for a coffee with me to discuss it. She demanded that I explain about the light.”
I now had his full attention.
“We spent a fair bit of time chatting. I detected a shyness or reservedness underlying her outgoing nature which told me much about her. She has a brain under her curly cloud of blonde hair .” Charles smiled at that. “She thinks and does not take life at face value, is perceptive sensitive and aware.”
“I deliberately mentioned my writing of romance novels thinking the response would demonstrate her judgment and character. She laughed.” And I laughed as I told him this. “I hadn’t expected that specific reaction but it pleased me.”
“Yes I guess she didn’t visualize a man who says he works for the devil writing bodice rippers.” I shook my head, still grinning.
“She made her scrutiny of me plain. I do not believe she missed anything. I picked up on her nervousness as well. She told me something of herself as if it was important I recognize her as an individual.”
I told her my secret. Her presence touched me and I recognized that she is unique not like the others and that her singularity will impact on me and somehow change me.”
“So she knows what you are? And you explained about the job?” His blue eyes drilled into me.
“Yes, yes.” I waved my hands impatiently in the air.
“Well I’ve never heard you speak so highly of a woman since we met. So what’s the problem? It’s obvious something is troubling you.”
“Phoebe resembles Kathryn….”
I could see the bulb light up as Charles understood my predicament.
“She seems perfect, and her appearance makes her all the more desirable. If I get to know her she would be a constant reminder of Kathryn.”
Charles drank and debated what to say.
Before he gathered his words I acknowledged. “But this time I have told her everything. She witnessed me on the job and I told her the truth. And though she did wish to leave at one point I was able to convince her to stay and she did.” I leaned back in the seat and triumphantly raised my hands.
“Charles do you understand what this means?” My heart banged against my chest, I felt dizzy. The neighbour’s boy must have gone back inside the house since except for a lawn mower’s high pitched hum down the street, all was quiet making the sound in my chest seem even louder.
My best friend looked at me with raised eyebrows. He still didn’t get it.
“It means, that Phoebe is my second chance and I cannot botch it up again.”
With a deep sigh he pondered then finished his beer.
After listening to all I said, he scrutinized me critically. It seemed as if I had been speaking for hours.
“I may be just a simple human with no special powers but I can see you are excited about this woman. She is different and the fact that she resembles Kathryn, your long lost love, may or may not be a good thing. I am also aware that it doesn’t matter what I say, you will contact her. You can’t help yourself and really you have nothing to lose by doing so. My advice is: go for it.”
I heard a sound and turned my head to see Beth dash out the door and rush toward us. She threw her bag in the general direction of the table where it bounced off a corner and landed with a dull thud on the ground. As she unbuttoned her shirt she noticed my presence and skidded to a halt. “What is Gideon doing here?? We have a date my man!! No offense Mr. T but Charles and I need some ‘alone’ time.”
I hauled myself out of the lawn chair. “I had best leave before Beth kicks me out.” Charles also stood and indicated to Beth he’d be only a minute. “Well do what you must and you know I’ll,” turning to Beth, “we’ll support you either way.”
And he added. Take a walk on the wild side.
written forBlogophilia Week 35.6 – Take A Walk On The Wild Side Bonus Points: (Hard, 2 pts): Include three uses for leather (Easy, 1 pt): Mention the word “voilà”