Ch. 3: Please be careful as passengers may have shifted during flight.
- Ch. 1: Science has to be right all of the time. Magic only has to be right once. Or twice.
- Ch. 2: There comes a time when a decision has to be made. Well, someone does. Ideally not me. Gotta run!
- Ch. 3: Please be careful as passengers may have shifted during flight.
- Ch. 4: This is probably going to end well.
- Ch. 5: Take me where I need to go. Show me what I need to learn.
- Ch. 6: Depth of Field
- Ch. 7: Mirror, mirror on the wall … who’s the guy behind me?
I suppose a quick “Hello” couldn’t hurt.
As I approached her, I felt an odd sense of magnetism that I’m not sure I had ever felt before.
Maybe when passing an In-N-Out Burger on the highway or guided by the smokestack marketing from a Cinnabon in a shopping mall of my youth, but nothing quite on the level of how I was walking towards this woman.
This is Chapter Three in the Unknowing Majestic Mystic series (UMM) where our dear hero has unwillingly and practically uknowingly acquired some sort of paranormal superpower that he doesn’t understand or really even want. Or does he? (No, he doesn’t.)
She didn’t take her eyes from mine. If she blinked, she did it at the exact moment that I did, because I never saw it. She had brown hair and lots of it. Something like a shampoo commercial and if she were to wave her head side to side at that moment, her hair would flow–certainly in slow motion–and she would smile throughout. But she didn’t do that. She just had lots of wavy, luscious brown hair.
Each step seemed to be an eternity and this whole life-in-slow-motion was getting a little old. ‘Big deal if this woman is going to alter my future in a way I previously never could have even imagined. Right?’ is what I said to myself, trying to keep a low profile. But it was a big deal. I didn’t know why or what or who or when or how, but it was a big deal. Stop with the analysis, just get to her and get this over with.
I stood in front of her. I didn’t know what to say or do or not say or not do. I did a good job of all of that and continued to stand there.
“Hi,” she said.
“Hi,” I said.
She couldn’t hold back either and her lips retracted and she smiled. The crows feet near her eyes crinkled up and her soft brown eyes warmed like a campfire complete with marshmallows and camp songs. It was that warm.
If somehow she knew I was nervous, she was trying to calm me and it was working. As if she knew my exact thoughts, she asked me a question and then I lost track of time and didn’t know if I had had the thought first or if she asked me first.
“Nervous?” she asked.
“Yes,” the answer came out so innocently and honestly that I had no time for filters.
“Take a walk?” she asked and leaned forward a little in an attempt to stand. I didn’t answer but moved back to let her stand.
She stood and took a step and started walking away. In my sense of earthly responsibility, I checked to see if she had paid and sure enough there was a five-euro bill on the table. Just checking. I followed her and soon walked next to her.
I certainly wasn’t going to be the first one to say anything because I had at the same time no idea of what to say and also wanted to ask her a barrage of questions so fast it would seem like a game show. We walked along a canal.
For an entire block, we looked mostly away from each other and up into the tall, narrow windows of the houses along the canal. Chandeliers, paintings, and books covered ceilings and walls and I wondered if some of the houses hadn’t changed much in hundreds of years.
I caught her eye once as I stole a glance at her and she seemed to blush. Wasn’t I supposed to be the nervous one here?
In a shocking show of undeserved familiarity, I poked her shoulder with my finger and said what had just gone through my mind.
“Hey, aren’t I supposed to be the nervous one?” I asked but continued, “Are you blushing?”
“I am,” she said as she looked down at her feet maneuvering over the cobblestones. Finally, she looked at me. “I’ve done this many times, but every time is different and every time I’m a little nervous.”
I wanted to ask her what ‘this’ was that she was doing, how many times she had done it, and, did she miss that first question? What in the world are we doing here anyway? But I didn’t ask. I didn’t say anything.
“Do you know why you’re here?” she asked.
“Like, why in Amsterdam? Why in The Netherlands?” I asked, my nervous voice creaking through. She quickly called my bluff with only a slight downturn of her head and a furrow in her brow letting me know full well that silly answers weren’t really going to go very far with her. I decided to stop playing dumb–or dumber.
“No, I have no idea,” I said as honestly as I felt it.
“Good,” was all she said.
“Why is that good?”
“You’ll understand later.”
I nodded. I didn’t understand now and I couldn’t fathom understanding later, but it seemed like a waste of time to dig deeper.
“Let’s turn left here,” she suggested and we did. We continued down a narrower street with a smaller canal. Trees lined the skies above and tiny wavelets dotted the water.
“Do you see those people coming towards us?” she asked. There were three people coming towards us.
“Yes,” I said.
I’m a fast learner and I had already brilliantly learned to not dig deeper with questions when it seems like I should either know something or I should just be content with not knowing something. We kept walking.
Since there was nothing else to do, I looked at the people walking our way. Then I looked at her next to me. She looked at me and then she also looked back to them. I looked back to them.
Two women and a man. Women were maybe in their thirties and man in his forties. Based on their height, light colored hair, and comfort with which they were strolling, they were probably locals.
Then I saw it.
The woman on the right, in her summer dress with something of a jeans vest, had something following her. I focused on her, but could only see something of a dot. It was behind her but then how could I see it? It was just a dot, the size of a marble and behind her right side.
As we got closer, I saw that it wasn’t behind her but in her. Towards the back of her rib cage was just an off-white floating marble of light.
I felt a sting in my left shoulder and my new best friend had poked my shoulder with her finger. As she did this, the light inside of the approaching woman glowed brighter. The sting of her finger subsided and the glow also lessened.
We were passing the group of three and I couldn’t take my eyes off of the little dot. Although I was on the outside of the street and my partner in crime was next to me, I could still somehow see the little dot through her and then even through jeans vest.
I looked forward only because I didn’t want to be caught staring and to make sure I wasn’t going to walk into a tree, but as soon as I saw I was in the clear, I returned my gaze to the woman passing by and I could no longer see the dot.
The woman, however, turned her head and looked at me. Not a knowing look, but in fact, more of an unknowing look. A glance that said so much, asked even more, and yet told me nothing.
I returned my gaze in front of me as we kept walking. I looked over to what’s-her-name and could see that she was smiling. Not just a little hint of a smile, but more of a laugh or the beginnings of a laugh.
I didn’t have to ask. I didn’t have to comment. She couldn’t get away with that laugh without letting me in on her little secret. Or rather, her huge secret.
But again, she came up with something unexpected and yet, it was OK. Rather than talk about what I just saw or maybe that she was planning all of this or maybe even that she had nothing to do with anything and just thought I’d be a nice guy to walk down a canal with, she just said one little phrase that I wouldn’t understand for quite some time to come.
“This,” she paused and looked straight ahead and continued, “is going to be fun.”