Book: My Imortal

Mark

Chapter 1: All the Single Ladies

What to wear in the middle of winter to a male strip show? Or as the brochure would read “a spectacular event, showcasing the worlds best male dancers” in other words gorgeous men ripping their clothes off their immaculate fine tuned bodies in front of a crowd of hungry female wolves, or I’m sure that’s how it looks to any outsider watching. I still don’t know how Megan convinced me to go, and I briefly replayed the scene back in my mind and picked up references she made in that discussion about male dancers from London, Ireland and Latin talent from Brazil. Given my passion for dancing I’m sure she had me at “latin american talent” and that I didn’t even think about the part where they actually get rid of their clothes.

How my best friend orchestrated this idea this time of year can only be blamed on her bizarre party ambition I’m sure. Thinking about it made me realize that this is ultimately why we are so close. We’re both high on life and will devote our entire lives on having a fun time. Make use of every opportunity to laugh and spend the little funds available in our bank accounts if it means a night out on the town. “Seventeen girls”, I said aloud to myself while throwing all the tops in my closet on my bed very carefully organizing them into two piles. One pile of tops with cleavage and one without, and whoalah! Now that wasn’t difficult at all.

The winner turned out to be a black top with a plunging neckline, ok so it’s more like a “diving down” neckline, but on a night like to tonight you have to really attract as much attention as possible and since my “headlights” as previously referred to by men in the past whom I chose not to call my friends anymore, is my only asset I thought it wise to emphasize them. Out of seventeen girls I have to a least make myself stand out. See I’m not one of those gorgeous stand-out girls guys usually approach in clubs, I’m more like the friend of one of those girls, the friend with the funny nice personality, the fun chick who thinks like a guy. All the previous boyfriends I had in the past were guys that I became friends with first, all of them very serious relationships, those kinds where you were introduced to their mothers almost immediately and since I’m not really good at getting along with mother-in-law’s it firmly explains why I’m thirty, single and still partying every other night. If I’m not out protecting Megan from going home with a con-artist or some mystery man who after a few drinks convinced her that he’s her knight in shining armor we usually end up at the movies or at some event where she is certain to believe we’ll meet some celebrities. I can’t deny her exceptional ability to wheel and deal, I’m sure she’s a descendant of some Italian mob or something. There is no place or party we don’t get into, she has contacts all over and I don’t think we’ve ever qued-up at any club. We barely arrive at any destination and then walk just right through to the entrance; I can’t say the same sequence applies when we have to leave. I end up moaning and groaning for hours begging her to leave with me, and making frequent referencing to the time not by looking on my watch but reminding her that the sun is already up. I think the only time I managed to get her to leave quickly was at mentioning that some of the fashion retailers are open already.

After make up and putting on my favorite pair of tight fitting jeans and I assess the picture looking back at me in the mirror and it struck me like lightning. I must be borderline crazy! On one of the coldest nights of the year I decided to wear a top almost revealing my belly button. Straight after this revelation I developed a mental picture of my father standing up from his grave prohibiting me from going anywhere dressed like this. The thought didn’t upset me that much since if my dad were to disapprove about the way I’m dressed, it can only mean that any Homo Sapient within a close proximity would probably approve. As much as I am enjoying this carefree life I’m living at the moment I can’t get rid of the little voice on my shoulder in the form of my mothers image off course reminding me that it’s time to settle down and meet a young responsible man who can provide and look after me and assist me in making little mini me’s, which I personally don’t think the world is ready for yet. It’s not that I don’t want to get married someday, but someday can most definitely be in the next decade only.

Still staring at myself and after the temporary removal of the little voice from my shoulder I couldn’t help but to feel very happy about the black hair coloring job my mom did with one of those do it yourself coloring kits. I decided that this is obviously as good as it gets, at least for me, for tonight.

It took me longer to re-arrange all the clothes back into my closet than it took the Red Cross to do something about world hunger. I grabbed my black jacket from my treadmill which at this stage act as a very expensive coat hanger in my small apartment yanked out my fake D&G handbag my sister brought me last year from Thailand, fed Fred (my goldfish) and ran out locking the door behind me since I was yet again, as always, fashionably late.

My silver sedan were waiting for me in the garage ready to embark on our next adventurous night out. I quickly glanced over my seat to realize that the rest of my wardrobe was still on my backseat and I suddenly realized that blaming the maid for the disappearance of my blue cashmere jersey were totally uncalled for since it was nicely tucked underneath all the other junk food and paper wrappings all approximately a month old if I have to vaguely assume. I grabbed everything I could with one hand and just chucked it into the only shelve with a tiny bit of open space left. I thereafter decided that after recovering from this party I would haul myself over here tomorrow and clean up all this mess. I’m sure that our landlady; Mrs. Heffner who’s name is a total contradiction to her personality will suffer from a coronary attack if she actually saw me cleaning my garage. At least it will call for interesting conversation at their next communal meeting, since I’m sure that the subject of me tanning topless last summer must surely be a worn out story by now. She knows these things about me because either she’s from secret intelligence or the FBI and I’m an international drug trafficker, or she watches every move I make. I’m sure it’s the latter with which I emphasize; she really must be very lonely. One advantage this has is that it does allow me more spending money since I don’t have to spend a dime on any security measures.

As I left our complex I decided that I’ll convince the girls driving with me to stop at the supermarket quickly to stock up on breath mints and munchies for in the car on the way there since I know the drive out to the casino where the show is hosted is some distance out-of-town. This reminded me that I have to find the place on my GPS once I get to Megan’s apartment where we all will leave from together. She appointed me as the designated driver since according to her I am apparently the most responsible person in the group, which brought to mind that this is going to be a very long night. I can cope with Megan, only because she’s one individual, if I am the most responsible person in the group it means that I have to deal with 17 Megan’s. The thought made me shiver and I decided that the only way to make this bearable is to let my guard down just a bit tonight and try to enjoy the evening with my 17 Megan’s otherwise this is going to be excruciatingly painful.

I arrived within minutes at Megan’s home, I let myself in knowing that the scene in her bedroom will be an exact resemblance of what mine was a while ago with the difference of her waiting in anticipation to see what I’m wearing. It was even worst than what I imagined, there she stood hair not done, no clothes, the towel still around her and her whole room full of clothes. Megan is really good-looking, she has thick dark hair that falls down to her shoulders with a tiny bit of natural curl like those girls on all the hair product advertisements, only difference is she would actually stop traffic. Her big green eyes always shines like marbles and as those same friends I don’t have anymore would say, she has that “come to bed” eyes. Immaculately built and a lot of athletic features she definitely attracts attention anywhere she goes. She refers to our friendship as the twinpack secret. See she will take us into a club or gathering and attract the men towards us, and I’d end up having to make the intelligent conversation or sport talks, which almost every time placed me firmly into the “girl with nice personality who thinks like a guy” category. This at most times didn’t bother me at all since Megan also possess the ability to attract men with exactly two brain cells working very hard to keep each other busy. I could like see right through them from the moment go and they hardly ever hold my interest. Megan on the other side was never there to make intelligent conversation at all. It amazed me at times that she actually managed to get the poor victims name before sucking the life out of his soul. Once again, this is my demented visualization.

We have been friends since primary school and used to spend all our holiday breaks with either her family or mine. My dad died when I was still very young and my mom turned out to be one of the, I believe the word these days are “rad-est” mom’s ever. Which usually made us crash at my place most of the times. My mom own’s a pretty large house with plenty of rooms which she rents out to students at varsity. So we were hardly ever the schoolgirl twinpack. We used to hang out with the students and attended varsity do’s and sorority parties. I remember how we used to before each party decide what degree’s we were studying and recited our stories so that we sound totally convincingly. Only once did Megan have a mental block and told the same guy a different story than the previous time. Needles to say one less soul sucked out of his body.

After outfit number twenty-five for Megan, I knew that I would have to launch an emergency rescue mission into full recovery within minutes. The girls arrived one by one, all in a very excited and loud mood while I tried to come up with an appealing enough excuse why this outfit suited Megan best. I didn’t feel uncomfortable in what I have chosen to wear since what some of those girls arrived in with was barely okay to wear in the middle of summer. The girls did finishing touches to their hair or makeup, some discussing what their boyfriends are doing tonight and other just lying on couch nagging us to get done with it. A very attractive looking blond girl started to arrange who is driving with whom, and I lucky enough ended up with three girls I have never met before and instantly knew that this is going to create those wonderful uncomfortable silences where I wreck my brain trying to think of something girly and giggly to dish up. After every one of the 17 Megan’s all decided and commented on the real shim shady’s attire we were finally out the door all in our allocated lifts. I quickly arranged to stop at the first filling station to do our stock up mission and I was followed by the Royal Harmonica Choir in my backseat all agreeing eagerly, clearly the girls needed some stuff.

I felt like a kinder garden teacher inside the tuck shop trying to keep everyone together and focused on what we are here for and emphasizing the word “quick stop” to them about a million times. Apparently Paris Hilton had caused some ingenious flounder in public again and all of them stood around hugging a People’s Magazine. The shop assistant, a fairly young guy with beautiful features just rolled his eyes and confirmed the obvious “girls night out?” I cleared my throat and pointed out that the cute guy behind the counter is eagerly anticipating to be of assistance. This worked magically and I couldn’t decide what party was more impressed with my comment, the cute guy, or the minni me’s.
We left the filling station with Megan and the whole entourage awaiting us next to the road on the main freeway and I drove away taking the lead. Only to realize that I have forgotten to programme the GPS with our destination. I had a vague idea of the general direction we were headed in and decided to like us girls do against our better judgments, to not even bother with the technological gadget since the landmarks next to the road would most probably be enough to carry me to my destination anyway. See guys don’t know this about us, we are linked to nature, it’s part of the whole painful procedure of giving birth as well. It’s because nature assists us in so many ways during our womanhood that we feel the need to repay Mother Nature in kindness by delivering our babies the natural way. Off course the girls who opt for epidural or Caesarian sections are pretty much screwed for the rest of their directionless life! Well that’s my crazy, weird view on the subject.

After about an hour’s driving I impressed myself with how much of conversation a person can really block out of your mind if you really don’t pay attention. I couldn’t even recall one of the topics the girls in my backseat were discussing since we left the tuck shop. I would never admit it but it’s not only the male species able of such an impressive talent, and all these years I envied and at the same time hated my brother for always being able to administer this talent so easily and frequently. I haven’t really thought about it but I’m almost sure this talent must have secretly developed with me during my varsity years in our micro-biology lectures.
Back to the road I noticed a traffic control vehicle next to the road in a quarrel of some kind with a taxi driver. Since one of the talents us girls possess is to ask for direction I just slightly pulled over to where the traffic officer was standing and rolled down the window, he only looked back at me after he carefully investigated the 5 vehicles following me also stopping to the side of the road. It was dark and it took me a few, or actually more than a few minutes to focus on the face right next to me, and I suddenly experienced some kind of deja vu. The face in front of me was surely pleasant and familiar but I didn’t have time to fixate on the officer since he was looking at my obviously freaked out expression. We both went through the directions to my destination with the three stooges in the back repeating every right and left he muttered as he explained. We weren’t far away at all and if I had it right we would reach our destination within 5 minutes. We took the first stop left and turned right at the second street after the shopping centre as instructed when one of the girls almost tapped into my mind to announce that she is sure she knew that traffic officer we just spoke to, and how it’s obvious that he almost looks too young to be a traffic officer. From there they took the whole conversation into the direction of how good guys look in uniforms, and there it was again my transparent blocking out conversation trick. I’m really getting good at this.

I barely had the car parked when Megan had her head stuck through my window already. As if we didn’t know that we’re running late she didn’t hesitate to scoot us out. Out of the cars all the ducklings followed her into the venue hall where the receptionist gave us all a very disapproving look and opened the door for us all to enter. The venue wasn’t as big as I imagined it would be, but it had a very appealing modern look to it with a few small tables and surrounding couches still open right at the front next to the steps of the stage. We gathered one or two extra chairs from the surrounding crowd and got us all nestled up. The MC announced that all the late comers, are now welcome to go get themselves a drink first and thereafter the show would start. One of my more impressive brainwaves reminded the girls to each get two drinks straight away to avoid any queuing during the show at the bar and for the first time I knew it only made sense to the girls now why Megan is actually friends with me. I shot a smile at the red-haired girl and said, “not just a pretty face huh?” She didn’t exactly laugh, she had more of a smugness to her. Well I thought that was really quirky. Some nice upbeat music were playing in the background, that kind that makes you tap your feet or fingers to the rhythm. I decided to order a bottle of red wine for me or shall I say our table since red wine is the one think that get’s me out of my box really fast and I anticipated that this evening was going to be one of those definitely required to be so out of the box as possible. I have never attended a show like this before but my gut was almost stuck in my throat, I was nervous. I had no idea why but it felt like something is wrong. This made me think about my mom who usually dreams of something and three out of the four times she had it had actually became true. I wondered what she’ll do if I phone her up now and ask her what she dreamt about last night. No reason to get her all worked up I figured. I sort of downed the first glass of wine and took a deep breath in… The chairs this venue has are very nice and broad, it allowed me to kick of my heels and sit cross-legged on the chair almost like kids when they wait for the teacher to start a story. I saw Megan eyed me from where she was sitting but I completely ignored her and took another sip of my wine. I was sitting right next to the steps and briefly saw the stage curtain move. It wasn’t a sexy guy; oh no this was a gift from god to all women. The tall dark and unbelievable sexy hunk had no other option but to look straight at me and I don’t even want to know how my face must have looked at him as I struggled to lift my jaw back into its original space. He was putting all kinds of promotional gear on the ground right in front of me and where the words came from I had no idea, must have been out of the journal of stupid. I smiled and said: “I haven’t even done anything and I get prizes already?” At least he thought I was very funny and quickly replied saying, “and I here I thought you were actually looking at me”. We had one of those moments like in the movies where some love ballad starts up in the background but mine were very short-lived since Megan was by my side in seconds, pulling at my shoulder and shaking me deliberately to try to get me out of what felt like a coma.

He had disappeared through the curtain ages ago and I was still staring at that piece of space he consumed minutes ago with his out of this world stunningness. I calculated and confirmed that I have had only one glass of wine had I not? Then why would I be feeling slightly dizzy? I muted the rhythmical background songs at what I thought was sure to be the thumping of my heart that I’m feeling. Good gracious! What is this overwhelming emotion I am experiencing? I quickly prohibited that thought to grow in my mind and forced myself to snap out of it, mostly because I’m afraid of where my mind is taking me.

Megan gave up on me ages ago as well and flew back to her seat when they started to dim the lights and blew smoke into the venue from different directions. That was the smoke blowing straight into my face may I add. But it didn’t seem to bother me at all. I filled up my glass with wine again and awaited my mystery greek god to take the stage by storm anytime now.

The girls were all up in arms screaming whilst the curtain opened slowly, four dancers where standing in their total divine beauty in their Navy white uniforms, needles to say I have sworn I saw one of the girls in our group faint. They went ballistic, their navy hats were pulled halfway over their eyes and they did a brilliant routine as they removed their shirt and bits by bits after that. No really the dancing was great! Oh what the hell who am I trying to convince anyway, alright then their bodies was drop dead gorgeous as they carried on, I carefully investigated the boys in front of me but even though they are also unique in their looks, I’m sure that I don’t recognize the peculiar beauty of my mystery man. I finally concluded that non of them are him when their routine ended. The MC came up on the stage again and greeted all the frenzied wolves I referred to earlier, asking who wants to see more, and who do they like best. With every question the girls yelled back harder and I wondered if the MC had a hearing impairment because it’s obviously evident that they liked the boys too much. She introduced the four guys to the audience and it seemed like each of them came from different entities around the world. Far left was a shy-ish, if they could be called shy that is, blond guy with blue eyes and a fairly light skin, he’s muscles weren’t as defined as the rest of them but he had those same come to bed eyes Megan has. Needless to say it was clear that she agreed with my foundlings when she practically almost threw herself onto the stage to hug him. I wondered to myself that if I slightly pushed my seat back if anyone in the crowd would associate me with the wolves? Megan’s hug reacted to the name Brad and made his fame all the way from London. Next to him stood a tall guy with long blond hair, and very masculine. He immediately reminded me of the original Chippendales from America, and there you have it. He’s the only one remaining out of the (drumroll) “original chipendale group”. Ghee wiz I’m good. He’s name is Devan. Next to Devan stood Daniel who looked as if he could have been Brad’s brother, he had the same eyes and hairstyle as Brad but apparently he’s a professional dancer from Ireland. I thought they only drank lots of beer in Ireland, well apparently not, since he is also the only one I immediately recognized that had professional training. He’s spin turns was something that made me sick to my stomach, since I myself are still struggling to finish them flawlessly. I don’t suppose my one hour class every week is going to help much but I’m done with that dream of dancing professionally now I am trying to only enjoy it, which I do very much. The guy next to Daniel weren’t gorgeous at all, his name is Jack. It actually surprised me that they have him in their group since I don’t think and I’m off course only speaking from my point of view that any girl / guy would really see him as attractive. He is very tall and skinny guy with a bold head. An Australian guy without hair was a first for me to start off with but at least he did have a very detailed six pack. It was only very later during the show that I learnt exactly why he were in the group and it had nothing to do with his looks and everything to do with everything down south! Well that must have been the only moment during the show where all the girls actually kept their breathing holes shut! The curtain closed and all the girls headed towards the bar to buy some drinks the aftershock. I was sitting at my table still enjoying my wine, I made a very good decision in buying a bottle I reminded myself. The MC didn’t give all the girls time to get back to their tables and announced that their going to need some volunteers in the crowd for the next event. I couldn’t help but noticing Megan literally jumping up and down like an 8-year-old screaming above everyone else. “Pick me, Pick me!” For a minute there she reminded me of Donkey in the movie Shrek. I looked at Megan and slightly shook my head from side to side smiling at her and couldn’t get my mind across the fact that’s she is now screaming at me, “yes you are?” “Yes, you are?” I repeated out loud to myself when I heard the MC saying, “that’s settled then, the girl with the nice cleavage will be our guinea pig”. The words of the MC slowly repeated in my head like a tape deck playing in slow motion, while I felt a strange warm burning sensation running up towards my cheeks. I didn’t have time to realize what’s happening when she had me by the hand dragging me behind her up the steps. “The steps” I thought why didn’t I realize it sooner, who goes and sits right next to the walkway to hell? She placed me on an armless wooden chair facing the audience and I realized how intimidating it is from up here. The lights were almost blinding and a lot of heat were radiating from them or was that just me. Megan’s eyes were lit up as if she’s watching an amazing disappearance scene from the Russian circus or something totally glued to me from her seat. The MC came to asked my name. “Mica James, ladies and gentleman give her a nice warm welcome to the stage!” Everybody clapped and screamed but it felt nothing like warm or welcoming. She told me that she’s about to blindfold me and they wont make me standup or anything and that I should relax. Are the women crazy? On a stage in front of hundreds of people, blind folded with sexy men wearing very little clothing I have to relax. Marvelous, just marvelous how stuff like this can happen to me, please note the sarcasm in my thoughts. It did seem like a circus once I heard what I am supposed to do here on the stage. I have to sit here while each of the guys do a little lap dance for me, I have to tell the crowd who is who. Apparently a test to find out if us girls are only interested in their bodies or actually care what their names are. I started hyperventilating and I didn’t care how many people were watching since I had no idea what I was letting myself into.

The music started shortly after I lost my vision. The 1st dancer stood behind me and took he’s hands and slid them down my arms hanging besides me. This resulted in him being very close to my face and ear. It was very difficult to concentrate since all the girls in the venue screamed different names to me, and I frowned because how can they not know who it is? They must have been tipped off to try to confuse me were the only logical explanation I could think up. I wiggled myself out of his grip and followed his hands up to his face and realized it’s the bold headed guy since he either had a very receded hairline or non at all. I called his name, and everyone went crazy. I was very glad I could establish who he were from his face and not… the song changed and the next guy was sitting on my lap with his back facing me. He was rather heavy and I wondered if it might be the Chippendale but he didn’t allow my hands to wonder to his hair to confirm my prediction but I took a chance and I was right on spot. It seemed like every time I guessed correctly something was thrown into my group of girl friends who were now really backing me, which means whatever they are receiving is obviously something nice. The song changed to a more relaxed beat and the girls went fanatical, it had to be Megan’s Brad I decided since I could hear her scream over everyone else. My hands were being tied up and the dancer came took the same stance as the previous guy but this time directly facing me. He’s hand was soft as a baby’s as he traced he’s fingers down my cheek bone. He lifted my chin slightly upwards and since I didn’t hear Megan anymore I assumed she must have passed out by now of pure adrenalin. This made me realize that I was slightly trembling. I felt him moving closer, so close that I felt his breath on my neck, I smelled every aroma his body projected and the softness of his skin was mesmerizing. Suddenly it was dead silent, I must have blocked out again because I only heard my heard beat and then I heard him speak into my ear. “I think you’re the chosen one!”

Where is this guy from, Mars? I thought to myself, obviously I’m the chosen one, do you see anyone else on this chair besides me? I sat up straight to gesture that I want to say something back and he immediately read my mind. He closed in on me and I very confidently said, “I know I am the chosen one, so why don’t you ignore the obvious and tell me which little country you’re from so that I can get off of this stage”. “Brazil” he said in a deep soft hypnotic voice and all resistance crumbled. He must be the Greek gift from god, or Brazilian it seems. I felt the heat radiating from my cheeks again and then the MC politely removed the blindfold from my eyes. I think the crowd expected me to go for that hysterical screaming scene but I just sat and stared into his eyes. We stared into each other eyes and I saw something in there, something very familiar. It felt like looking through a mirror but to only see the other side of it as well. What was really strange is that he stared at me in that exact same way. Both his hands were each resting on a shoulder. I was in a time warp, time stood still, I didn’t breath I’m sure I didn’t even walk back to my table it was more like a floating maneuver. I just sat and repeated his words over and over in my head. “You’re my chosen one”.
The show went on, and various scenes were performed none of them included my Brazilian. The MC announced that the show was over even before I realized it coming to an end, and asked for us to stick around afterwards for photos and drinks with the dancers. As soon as the curtain closed Megan ran straight to me repeatedly asking me the same question; “So what did he say to you?”
“Mark”, he’s name is Mark.

Chapter 2: The Chosen One

I jerked up quickly trying to catch my breath; I noticed my throat tightening and the condensations on my forehead. I felt the warmth of a teardrop running down my cheek and I felt like my soul was standing outside my body watching. Like the raindrops running down a window I could see the tears but do nothing to stop them. After a few minutes I gathered my emotions and wiped my forehead with my palm. I walked barefoot down the hallway straight to the fridge, took the milk carton and drank from it. I am allowed since I am the only one staying in my apartment I subconsciously reminded myself. I plonked down on the couch turned on the TV and jumped through the channels. There was nothing on worth watching and I wondered why I even invested in 108 channels when there is not one channel that can remotely keep my mind distracted for even 5 minutes. I glanced up at the clock and noticed that it was only 4am, which perfectly explained why I ended on CNN News listening to a story about some serial killer up in Ireland whom everyone has been talking about the whole of last week. But again I was distanced from my body as I had deep discussions with myself, my psyche. I wondered how long the dreams are going to stay? Will they ever stop? Will the chills ever disappear when every time I bring up that name in my mind? Will I ever forget what he’s done to me, to us? It’s unforgivable, I hated him. I hated what he made me do. The hairs were rising on my arm again and I forced my eyelids shut and I repeatedly whispered to myself to stop thinking about it. “Stop thinking about it” I said aloud.

“Stop thinking about what?” I heard a voice repeated behind me. It sounded like loud thunder jolting down next to me. The sudden adrenalin shot rushed through my veins; I jumped up and screamed as loud as I could. Then the hyperventilation’s started; I aimed and threw the remote control at him hoping it would explode midway through the air.. I couldn’t breath, I couldn’t speak. Then I stopped moving. My heart was pounding so loud that I was sure the stranger could hear it. This was the first time I actually got a decent look at the stranger threatening my safety. I was rhythmically jogging on the same spot then slightly turned my head to one side allowing my very puzzled frown enough time to form. I felt my body dropping to the floor, a dead weight and then, nothing…

After what felt like a day, I tried to focus on what I saw in my hindsight. It was a long dark tunnel with a dim light right at the end. I started walking towards the light. The brightness started to take form, the form of a face. I saw the biggest bright blue eyes I have ever seen in my life complimented by the deepest warmest most sincere smile anyone has ever projected to me in my entire existence. A strong cheekbone with a bristle beard and dark complexion was staring back at me. I noticed his big warm hands holding both my arms firmly next to my hips. I was lying down on my couch. He took his index finger and gestured it across his lips attempting to “sshhhhsss” me.

I wanted to keep silent; I wanted to control my emotions, I wanted to stay captured in my prince’s arms. But I guess the adrenalin was still running strong and then, there it was again. I articulated a lousy squeamish sound; my attempt at screaming which immediately led to the dead weight feeling of passing out again.

The tunnel was much shorter the second time around, and after focusing on the light I recognized my surroundings much quicker this time. I was in my bed, in my room, the daylight forcing its way through the curtains. I tried to get my head organized shuffling all the crazy illusions into a logical order. At first I thought maybe I was dreaming up this whole thing. But that theory was soon followed by an excruciating pain splitting my head in two. As I lifted my hand to touch my skull I confirmed me suspicions as I gently rubbed an enormous knob on my head. I felt the warm hand approaching my face and as I inhaled slowly the hand pressed my lips shut. I looked at where he was sitting on the edge of my bed, shhhsss-ing me again I mumbled he’s name through his fingers then waited for him to confirm it.

He kept his hand across my mouth and said; “Yes, Mica it’s me. Now listen; I am going to remove my hand but you have to promise me that you won’t scream again”. I quickly nodded my head up and down. “Are you sure? I don’t want to hurt you again, and your neighbor lady is already very curious about me being here, I am actually sure she is at the front door with her ear stuck to the door right now.” I nodded in agreement. He then slowly released his hand from my lips as he spoke softly and slowly reminding me again not to scream. I raised both of my hands up slowly and touched my head as I now experienced the full force of an enormous headache. I turned to look at him. “Mark?” but how did you, how do you know” He offered me a glass of water with aspirin in his hand. “There is allot I need to discuss with you, I am sure you have lots of questions as well but lets just get you calm and relaxed first and then we will start at the beginning. I promise I will answer all your questions”. I took the aspirin and swallowed it down together with the whole glass of water. He took the glass from me. Probably afraid I’ll throw him with it or something. He headed towards the kitchen. I couldn’t hear what he was whispering to himself but I could have sworn I heard the words stupid, girl and mortal in there all together. My head was aching too much to even be bothered and I fell back on my bed closing my eyes trying to rationalize what just happened to me.

“So what should you stop thinking about?” came the question from the kitchen. I tried to stand up but I was still a little light in the head. “What is he talking about?” I said aloud and tried to make sense of everything all together at once? I vaguely remembered waking up from my recurring nightmare I have been suffering from for about 8 years now, the dream so clear in my mind that I even know the background and each specific movement as it happens in my mind. Not that I want it repeated. This, my secret, I’ll take to grave with me. I won’t upset anyone in my life with this. I won’t let this destroy my future, the possibility of happiness. One day I’ll hold my baby in my arms and I can only pray that I would be forgiven for giving up my first. Sometimes I wonder if that is why I haven’t met a nice guy? Or maybe this is God’s way to punish me? Maybe I won’t ever receive the gift of life ever again. I lifted up my tense shoulders and released a deep depressing moan out loud as I closed my eyes and dwelled on the words punished and gift of life.

I reacted in surprise when I saw him sitting on the bed next to me with his eyes starring right through my soul, as if he was reading my mind and saw every picture in my head as I did just now. He’s face looked understanding and deeply sympathetic as he said: “You have allot of hurt inside you Mica, you have to let go you know?” I lifted my head up and looked at him, my eyes questioning how it was possible that he knew what I was thinking? I felt the anger built up slowly inside me as I doubted that this obnoxious intruder is actually trying to imply that he has any idea of what was going on in my life? The questions ran through my mind one after each other and with each question I had a spurt of anger jolting through me. Should I just freak-out, or run away or maybe I should just try to wake up again? If he didn’t suddenly started to speak I most probably would have gone with the freaking out part, but my curiosity got the better of me and it was what he said that made me listen and focus on not losing my mind.

“Mica?” he said while taking both my hands in his. “I don’t have all the answers to the millions of questions in your head, I don’t know how to take your pain away, I don’t even know why it’s you? All I can tell you is, that I have never been drawn so strongly towards any human being before and that somebody told me years ago that I’ll find someone to help me complete my existence and I’m sure that you are that person”. “I don’t know how or why yet, put I am planning on finding out, and explaining this to you I promise, but I need you’re help.”

I have this little problem sometimes where my mouth just start talking without first sending the signals to my brain, and this was once again one of those moments, I couldn’t help, by the time I said it I heard my words repeating in my mind. “Boy I thought I had some demented psychological disorder but you are just one flew over the coo coo’s nest my friend, do you have any idea how the last 30 words that came from your mouth just sounded?” “And now you think I should feel better?” “After a lousy explanation like that?” “Get out!” “Just get out of my house!” I repeated the words, but there he stood. Adamant, not moving an inch not even bothered a bit by the stern expression on my face. “Mark I swear if you don’t leave now I will have to call the police”. He stood there expressionless, although I saw a slight frown forming on his face. I started walking towards the telephone hanging against the fridge in the kitchen and as I stretched out to pick up the receiver he took it from my hand ever so softly, placed it back and said; “Calm down, I promise to tell you everything I know, everything about me, but promise you will hear me out.” I tried to interrupt but he gracefully sshhhs-ed me again and carried on as if I were non existent. “Please promise you’ll listen to everything I have to say before making up your mind or running to the cops?” It was when he mentioned the police that I started wandering if I’m dealing with some kind of serial killer or rapist or terrorist here. I remembered him saying something about my neighbor and it struck me that she might still be listening at the door. Not that this would be a problem for me, because maybe if my life were to be in danger this was the exact place I would want Mrs. Heffner to be. As I was following this trail of thought in my mind I heard him add the word “Alone” as he gestured towards the door. I walked softly to the front door and peeped through the peeping hole and I saw a distorted resemblance of Mrs. Heffner’s ear glued to my door. If it was any clearer I might have just been able to do an inner-lobe exam. I opened the door and quickly had to assist her in not falling into my arms. “ Thanx Mrs. Heffner, I think you can go now I am perfectly fine and capable of handling the situation on my own from here on” and I even politely added a smile to this sentence even though smiling was the least of things on my mind. I knew I had to make it look believable and I could see that it took all her willpower to restrain her from giving in and leave me alone with this stranger. “Ok my girl” she said as if I we were closely related or something. Her eyes not very reassuring when she added; “But you just call me the moment you need help with any matter” she finished off and turned away slowly still trying to look pass me to probably catch an eyeful of this young attractive male voice she is hearing from my apartment. It took forever, but I followed her all the way across the street and into her home when I only decided then to close the door and embrace myself for what was now waiting for me ahead. Strangely I was not afraid, or worried, merely curious as to how I could be of help to this and might I add again “beautiful” stranger in my apartment.

Since it was still very early on this cold Sunday morning I automatically walked towards the air conditioner and switched it on. I switched on the kettle and made two cups of coffee not caring how my intruder drink he’s. I handed him the coffee where he was sitting on the chair staring out the window at the breathtaking mountain tops covered with only a little snow. He took the coffee from me as if he wasn’t bothered if it was made according to his liking or not. I plunged down on the couch, covered my legs with my fleece blanket and wrapped my hands around the cup and slowly took a sip. When I looked up from my cup he was looking me straight in the eyes and began telling his story.

“ My name is Mark Farion. I was born in the year 1208 BC in a small village called Persepolis. My anchestor’s origin from the year 547 BC from the Neo-Babylonian Empire. I have lived for over. “ Eight hundred year’s ?” I heard my voice completing his sentence as I dwelled upon what I have just heard. All the little neuron’s in my mind was running around like crashing day on the Wall Street stock market trying to logically picture the impossible. “But how, You can’t, it’s. ”I know Mica, it seems impossible, that’s why I need you to give me a chance, or just half a chance of explaining. My dear Mica I am what your world would call an immortal being. We… “We? You mean there is more?” “Mica I will try to answer all your questions later but for now you need to listen princess.” “Wait a minute”, I hesitated as I felt the anger flow through my veins. “I am NOT your princess ok? I am not stuck in the castle tower, I hate apples and I’m not having mid-evil orgies with nine freaking dwarfs, and in your wildest dreams are you my prince, get it?” Mark had that sheepish grin on his face obviously indicating that over all these decades he must have had developed some kind off hearing impairment because he clearly didn’t listen when he very calmly just added in the most handsomest smile ever. “Princess just listen ok?” Never in my life have I met such a demented intentional male that could so deliberately annoy and ignore me. Where is this guy from? This was the immediate question in my mind. Then he carried on explaining and I gathered all my efforts together to actually try and listen attentively. “ For decades I dwelled your planet alone, but about ten decades ago I received a message that evil entruders will enter this planet and that it is my mission to eliminate them” I stood up and grabbed his hand and started pulling him up towards to door. “Ok then braveheart you go on your mission and kill the evil dragons on your own, you better get going common scoot on out of here, good luck hope you get them all off my planet”. He was really heavy to move and I realized that I didn’t get him half the way I wanted to drag him to, the moment he gave a little resistance it was like pulling on a stone wall.
“Mica! Stop! That’s exactly why I’m here, you were sent to help me”. I was still pulling his hand with both mine and after the tenth pull I dropped it and looked at him squeamishly with a clear question mark right over my face. “ Hold on cowboy, you got me all confused, you must have been seriously drinking because I could have sworn you just said that I have to help you conquer evil immortals that entered into my planet”. You see, unfortunately my diary have no recent openings for saving the world of injustice or evil immortals”. “I’m fully booked for lets see, the next 100 decades?” “So you just go call Lucky your horse and the two of you just trot the hell out of here”. “Mica it’s hardly injustice, it’s the end of the world as you know it that we have to prevent from happening.” I couldn’t help but replaying that R.E.M song in my mind and I wondered if Bono actually knew about immortals dwelling around on planet earth when he wrote that song. I strongly doubt it. “Mica I know this is allot for you to process at once and I didn’t think that it would be easy convincing you that this is the truth. I don’t want to pressure you into this, it has to be your voluntary decision to help me. So I’m going to leave you with this much. Think about what I said. Take your time and phone me when you’re ready to hear the rest.” ”Oh phone you? So you immortals don’t have a beam me up Scotty secret power that we mortals don’t know off? That’s pretty disappointing I must say.” He let go of my hands still clutching he’s, and as I felt the warmth of his skin disappear I saw the little piece of paper in my palm with a normal cellular number scribbled on in the neatest hand writing ever. I guess when you live for hundreds of decades you get lots of time to practice your hand writing. I couldn’t help but to think about various other amusing skills one can practice to perfection especially if the one is so incredibly attractive like my immortal. It struck me that Mark left out the front door like a normal person, and I realized that I must be going crazy. Clearly I am seeing some truth in what he said otherwise why would I compare everything he does to that of a normal person. Not even a second had passed when I was already holding my mobile phone busy dialing Megan’s number, as per usual she didn’t answer and I felt rather comfortable leaving her this message. In all the years we’d been friends I have never done the 911 on her, unlike her that has a 911 every night when she has to decide what to wear to which party. I collapsed back onto my bed with great relief that I was alone with my own normal thoughts in my room. I replayed every second back to myself in my mind. I analyzed every word Mark said and compared it to his facial expressions. I thought of all the people who could possibly pull this prank on me. I thought of my mother trying to hook me up all the time with boys and decided that not even she would go this far. Then I thought of all the practical stuff. About how he got into my apartment, did Mrs. Heffner maybe saw him? What car was he driving? Maybe he walked? Maybe he can fly? Then I realized that maybe my drink had been spiked in that club last night? Maybe I should go draw blood and have some test taken? What would I tell the hospital? “Sorry doctor some amazingly handsome stud appeared in my room asking me to help him save our world? “Yeah Right”.

Chapter 3: A Friend in need – Squat!

So I guess it’s relatively easy to guess who is on my number one speed dial? Actually the only speed dial I have setup on my phone really. I just have to mention that it’s not by choice as well, and I didn’t actually put it in there. Megan insisted! She completely took over the management and applications of my phone, just added herself as my number one speed dial together with all kind of pink girly gadgets and stuff I don’t need or will ever use on my phone. She gave me this huge speech of how one day I am going to be stuck somewhere and she’ll be the only one available to come and help me. See she has this issue about me always being in control of everything in my life. Apparently a girl shouldn’t know how to change a plug or be able to attend to a flat tyre yourself. Megan loves to act out the damsel in distress role, she also absolutely despises the fact that I am in total control of my financial situation and that I always know when to stop spending. Needless to say she can’t do any of the above so I can’t help but to wonder if I shouldn’t be her number one speed dial. See the thing is; I grew up without a father for the fast majority of my life, my brother being gay totally explains how I had to teach myself to do these things. This is one of my “pro’s” if I may say so myself. I am so thankful for these mad skills, because I hate to be dependable on someone else especially if that someone is a man. I won’t call myself a feminist but it totally sucks if any guy assumes that being female automatically disqualify me to do certain things. Then ironically enough if you’re a man and you happen to be a good dresser, or a great cook or even good with children you’re classified as either “a keeper” or “gay! The point I’m trying to make is that you’re not discriminated against. I am a terrible cook, I dress in layers and children usually cry when they are brought within a one-meter radius of me. My varsity pals usually refers to me as their “chick dick”. Allow me to explain: See I possess all the qualities of the “boys”. I get invited to football or rugby matches (probably because I’m the only girl they know that actually knows anything about sports). I would even be allowed to play on their team, to go out drinking beer and comment on boobs and asses of girls passing through. I burp in public and usually beat all of them. I love sports! This actually reminds me of an incident in my senior year of High-school, class of 1997. See I usually bunked home economics for the Technical Drawing class, which primarily comprised of only boys. On this particular day the teacher allowed the boys to watch an international cricket match between SA and Australia on the one condition that they remain silent and with no funny pranks or wise cracks from anyone. With me off course the only girl around. We were all busy consuming our purchases from the school kiosk and mine included a can of cola. Now see my emmmm gas level capacity increased a bit too quick and I had to let out some. It was louder than I anticipated thus I brought the whole class to a dead silence for about 2 minutes. Everybody stopped and searched the classroom to identify the boy brave enough to challenge Mr. Smith’s promise. I would guess that at least 4 boys knew it was me, but they didn’t make a sound. After what felt like an eternity Mr. Smith asked us who it was? I wasn’t about to confess? Imagine how humiliated the guys would be? Like any underpaid teacher the pure joy of taking revenge and proving to the department of education the positive impact a conveyor belt banging across the buttocks of 20 young boys can have on class moral, they each got 3 lashings. Three lashings each, across of those I saw were very attractive rear-ends if I may say so. Off course I walked out of there unharmed and had to listen to a speech on “how to behave in front of girls” Mr Smith so passionately delivered just before the bell rang. After class Peter and gang did however mention to me that they would think up an appropriate punishment for me to settle at a later stage. The other boys who heard later wasn’t too impressed with me either, but in a dead poet’s society kind off way I did earn respect amongst them. Also little did I know that my punishment later the year was to ask the headmaster (yes yes the biggest numb-nut known to humanity) to dance at our senior prom. I am still slightly disturbed and mentally damaged from that experience but my therapist has made fast improvements thus far.

Anyway back to the guys at varsity. They usually confides in me allot, they discuss problems which some of them they don’t even discuss with their parents. I handle all break-ups and have to tolerate most make-up sex stories as well. Those stories sometimes haunts me since all the girls in discussion usually includes some of my best friends. It freaks them out because every now and then they remember that I’m still a girl! Also I have to explain now that I’m not a tomboy. I’m still very feminine with long girly hair, a nice boob size with eyes you can drown in and I’m proud of my weird sense of sexuality.

So after careful consideration especially with the thing about me always being in control, I am seriously deliberating if I should even get Megan involved in this situation. It’s kind-off too late anyway because the phone is already dialing her number. After about nine rings the dial tone went over to her very chirpy voice mailbox explaining that she’s either busy shopping or sleeping and that she’ll phone me back the moment she gets the message. I didn’t want her to think that I’m in serious danger but I wanted an immediate call back and after really thinking about it I decided to leave a message saying that this is a nine-one-one love crisis. This is sure to attract her immediate attention. I ended the call with half a smirk on my face imagining her face when she gets this message. Megan always seems to cheer me up even in the worst of days. I paced the hallway up and down several times and came to the conclusion that obviously this is not the sort of thing that one discusses over the phone. She is obviously still in bed recovering from last night so I might as well get into my car and go over to her place. I didn’t really make an effort around my appearance, just tied back my hair in a ponytail and threw on some shoes. Suddenly I realized that I must have looked terrible this morning during Mark’s surprise visit. A sudden embarrassment developed especially with him always looking perfectly groomed and dressed out of a magazine and yet…… he called me princess. My heart skipped a quick beat again and I suddenly couldn’t get the image of myself out of my mind. How in the world could he have called me princess while looking so terrible? He could easily be a top international model, he has that extreme beauty but with a bit of regular guy around the corner look. Comparing that with my washed out grey dull tracksuit and messy hair makes me feel sick to my stomach and I immediately tried to get the picture out of my mind. As I stepped out into the garage the electronic doors started to open and it wasn’t even a surprise to me to see Mrs. Heffner out and about watering her rose trees right this minute. It’s 05:30 am on an extreme cold winters morning and she’s watering her plants, unbelievable! I gave a quick wave and a fake smile and jumped into my car before she could even think of coming over and give me the Spanish inquisition of questions. I didn’t even wait for the doors to close properly since I have “Heffner hands-on security” at my service. Who can even feel bothered about the possibility of some criminal breaking into your house if you have issues like saving the freekin world on your mind! I mean really!

I think I traveled about half the time I usually take to get to Megan’s apartment and as I parked the car I realized I couldn’t even remember anything about the trip here. I was completely lost in thought and rethinking every single word that was uttered by my immortal. I walked to the door and knocked rather loud and intense on the front door. I didn’t hear a thing. I peeped through the little window of the garage and saw that Megan’s car was there. I knocked again but this time deliberately louder and added a “I know your in there Megan!”. This time I heard something very soft and squeamish which sounded like a cat/mouse squealing coming from inside. I yelled towards the squeaky sounds; “Megan please open the door I need to speak to you urgently?” Then her very faint and tired voice grew louder and all I heard was; “How do you know I’m here? Go away!” I carried on knocking profusely and this time yelling even harder explaining that I’m not leaving until she opens the door. I gave her a few minutes and eventually saw her staggering out her room in only a half-tied robe and her make-up deliriously smudged right across her face and her hair all going into different directions. I guess I would have done the same thing, if I was a hair follicle waking up to this piece of art. She squinted through her eyes as she opened the door and immediately started walking back to her room knowing I would follow. She didn’t even glance at me just kept on looking towards her feet which looked like a crime scene! “Where is your cell phone?” I asked probably sounding like her mother. “The battery died on me last night already I think it’s still somewhere in my car, why?” “Because I phoned you, I had an emergency and you are my number one speed dial remember?” She glanced back over her shoulder adding a beautiful frown to that already distorted face as she walked into her room and said, “Well clearly you sorted it out since you look perfectly fine to me?” I held up my breath and was about to pounce into that room, when I heard a man’s voice mumbling from her room. “I grabbed the strap hanging from her robe and pulled her back into the hallway and whispered very delicately into her ear; “who’s in there?” “Did one of them get to you as well?” Megan turned her face towards me and lifted her hand onto my forehead as to feel if I have a fever and asked; “Mickey, are you ok? Are you sick? Are you dying? That’s why you came looking for me? To tell me you’re dying?” I could almost see tears starting to develop in her eyes when I quickly stopped her in her tracks and pulled her back to the kitchen so that the stranger couldn’t hear us. “No Meg, I’m perfectly healthy, nothing’s wrong with me, I just want to know who is in your bedroom”. “Then why are you acting so weird, it’s not as if it’s the first time I bring back boys to my flat? Although I must admit it is the first time I actually picked up one as stunning as Brad” she smiled from ear to ear and I was brought back harshly to reality while figuring it out for myself. “Mickey he’s the one, THEEE one Micks!” she added while floating around on cloud nine. I rolled my eyes as I do every time and just said; “Oh yeah as if I haven’t heard that one before”. I turned around mumbling aloud that I don’t have time for this right now, and on my way out I yelled; “Bye Brad, nice not knowing you” and left towards my car. I jumped in behind the wheel and saw Megan still standing in her front door totally confused. As I drove out of the parking spot I could only think to myself (A fiend in need, is a friend indeed… squat!) Where does that saying come from anyway? It’s clear to me now that I won’t be able to include Megan into this mystery even if I wanted to. This is just too weird for the normal part of our population. I’m still waiting and hoping to wake up and realize that this is only a dream. It became clear to me that I am on my own in this mission. I can’t tell anyone. I decided that if I haven’t woken up by the time I reach my flat, I will have to notify everyone and anyone that may come looking for me that I will be going on vacation. For a emergency vacation, or visiting family out on the farm. There is no need to get everybody all worried up about nothing. Obviously this has happened to me for a reason, what the reason is still stays a mystery. I don’t understand why this had to happen to me? I’ve always been good? Well relatively good at least? I’ve always been an A grade student, great friend, great daughter. I will admit that there’s definitely room for improvement in the grade A sister department? But then again what kind of higher power, will send a drop dead gorgeous immortal asking you to help him save the world and humanity as a punishment for being a terrible sister? Good lord I can’t begin to imagine what punishment I would have received if I actually murdered someone?

Mrs. Heffner (shame), busy drowning her poor roses was still in the front of her garden trying to catch a glimpse of anything that could help her in aiding her assumptions of what’s going on in my life. It wouldn’t surprise me if she is already networking with the whole neighborhood against me. I can’t help but wondering in what role she casted me. Am I a drug lord, a professional muse, or maybe a mafia boss’s girlfriend? I entered my apartment almost as quickly as I left it without even glancing in her direction. Inside I jumped through the shower and dried my hair nicely so that I can look like one of the more refined species again. I got into my favorite pair of jeans and threw on my baby blue cashmere jersey. I briefly colored in my face here and there and then afterwards I starred at myself in the mirror wondering if this would make a slightly better impression on Mark? Clearly I haven’t thought this through at all. The enormity of what is actually happening is so surreal. It’s like being stuck inside a horror or sci-fi movie even. Could this really be happening to me? Why me? Why now? Have I not as of yet succeeded enough in my life? Is my life of no importance that I have to end it in such a way? Maybe I’ll die and the newspapers would right it off as a mere car crash or something. Once again I was going around and around in my mind not accomplishing anything! I won’t know if what Mark said is true, I don’t know if I trust him, and I as sure as hell don’t have a clue what I’m letting myself into. All I know is that someone once told me that you should rather regret the choices you have made even if it was the wrong ones than regretting the chances you gave up on. Those are the ones leaving behind a void as big as a black hole, an emptiness inside you that would never be filled or erased. I picked up my mobile and started typing the message that could be my last contact with the people I love, the end of my world as I know it. I directed it towards the few people that really made a difference in my life including Mom, Megan my brother and sister. I didn’t want to confuse or upset them too much with the text message especially after knowing that it could turn out to be nothing. I simply said; “Hi, just letting you know I’m off on vacation for two weeks, I know its short notice but I met a great guy who completely knocked me off my feet. I will tell you all about it when I’m back. Please just let it be now and trust me”.

I figured my mom would most probably be so ecstatic and crazy with curiosity but she’d be too afraid to interfere because she’s been nagging me to settle down for years on end now. The same went for Megan. Megan immediately replied back and said she gives me exactly two weeks after that’s she’s sending the FBI and CIA to track me down and that she wants to know everything when I get back! My next text message to Mark read a little different and shorter.

“Ok I’m all yours! Beam me up Scotty!”

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