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13 months ago

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THIRTEEN I TAKE A

THIRTEEN I TAKE A MIDNIGHT STROLL I woke up early. Trying my best to be quiet, I crept downstairs. There was no doubt that I was swimming in the deep end and could use some solid advice from an outsider, like Aunt Lisa. Besides, after seeing Alicia, it made me miss my aunt even more. Once inside the living room, I picked up the handset of an old black rotary phone that looked like it belonged to Alexander Graham Bell himself. It felt like I stepped back in time as I pressed my index finger down on each number of the telephone dial, spinning the clear plastic dial to each digit. It was neat watching the dial reset as it rotated counter-clockwise making a clickety-clack sound. A few short rings later, a familiar voice answered, “Hello.” “Aunt Lisa, it’s me…” I said. “Davis… My God I was so worried about you. Did Alicia make it out safe?” she said. “Yeah, that’s part of the reason I’m calling you.” “Is something wrong?” she asked. I gathered my thoughts for a moment, “Well… I ran into a girl named Kelly along the way crosscountry, she’s about my age, and I brought her to the ranch with me. I’m not going to lie we are both attracted to each other, and things have been leaning toward us being a couple. Well, that was until Alicia showed up, now it seems I’m in a mess. She reminded me of all the strong feelings I had for her, the moment I held her in my arms. I don’t know what to do…” I said. “Whoa… Sounds like you had a busy few weeks. Well, before I go giving advice, I want to make one thing clear, Davis. You could have come to me; I would have paid your way to your grandparents after all, that is how Alicia got there…” she said. I felt a bit shocked at what she said, so I’d done all this, and I never had to? Maybe Aunt Lisa was a lot cooler than I originally thought. “So you’re saying I hitchhiked all this way for nothing?” I said. “No not for nothing, but it could have been much simpler. After all, it sounds like you met someone on your journey and I’m sure you got to see life from a different perspective. I know I did when I ran away from home.” “You ran away from home?” I said. “Yeah, but that is a story for another day. I’m happy to hear you’re doing fine and that Alicia has arrived. As for your problems, you’re not married, so I would suggest that you treat them both as friends and figure things out. I’m sure if you told them how you feel they would understand, Alicia is no doubt very mature for her age,” she said. We caught up a bit, and I told her all about my big adventure out West, minus the supernatural stuff, and she seemed to be hanging onto my every word, provoking me to spill the little details. I heard some stirring upstairs, so I cut the conversation short with Aunt Lisa and promised to keep in touch. Breakfast felt a bit awkward, Alicia and Kelly were sitting on opposite ends of the table. But thankfully Grandma kept the conversation flowing in a peaceful manner, between the five of us. Then the topic changed to something a bit more intriguing, and Grandpa chimed in, “I’ve had an

archeologist friend at the local university check out the necklace awhile back, and he had told me that he could not translate the inscription. It appeared to have come from a long dead language. So my guess is that the necklace is very ancient.” Grandpa tugged at his short, white beard very concentrated. “Davis, if you wanted to learn more about your birth parents, you need to be careful not to lose the necklace because I’d wager it holds many secrets,” he said. My Gramps was not very cryptic, so I took his advice to heart. I caught Kelly rolling her eyes in my peripherals, let’s face it, the answer, at least to the necklace mystery lay with her. I would have to convince her to tell me. I suppose I could demand she tell me, but I knew enough about her to know she wouldn’t. As for Alicia. Another problem. Yesterday I was a mere high school kid, a bit shy and not what you’d call a ladies’ man, but this morning -- amazingly enough -- I was a guy with women trouble! I walked out onto the patio to get some fresh air and think how to get Kelly to spill the beans about the necklace and get my half of it back. While sipping my coffee, Alicia found me. I tried to seem cheerful, yet I had no idea how to provide the answers she wanted, without offending her, I said, “Good morning. How did you like breakfast?” “Good morning, Davis. Your grandma makes the most fabulous ranch breakfast. Not that I’ve ever had a ranch breakfast before.” Good. She was cheerful. However, if I thought that she was going to pass over the Kelly thing I was wrong. I had a feeling that the question was on the tip of her tongue. “So who is this chick, Kelly and what’s your interest in her?” she asked. I was surprised I didn’t start off with a stammer. Instead, I said rather coolly, “I met Kelly on the road. She had some survival skills that she shared with me, and if it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have made it here.” I paused to check the reaction. Getting none I went on. “Not that I wouldn’t actually have done it, but I would have had to turn myself in and go back home. And I didn’t want to do that.” “Why did you come here?” she asked. “You never did explain.” I chose my words carefully. “Okay here comes the spooky part. At least some of it. I don’t know why I came here, but it’s like something was drawing me here. I sure don’t have all the answers yet, but I found out yesterday that some of the answers lay with Kelly.” “Well you took a while getting here,” she said, sounding a bit annoyed, “but what is it with you and this girl?” I tried for my most sincere voice. I looked her straight in the eye and said, “I don’t have any feelings for Kelly other than being grateful for her help.” Alicia was quiet, thoughtful. Then she said, “Why is it that I don’t feel that way?” “I don’t know, Alicia. All I know how to do is tell the truth. And that is the truth,” I said. Alicia kind of cocked her head as if she was wondering whether or not to believe me. A few months ago I didn’t have a girlfriend. Now I had two girls in my life, and I was under suspicion like I was some kind of Casanova. I took Alicia’s hand and said, “I’m going to talk to Kelly soon, and I hope to get some answers.” Immediately there was the squinting of the eyes that could only suggest suspicion. “You’re going to be alone with her when you try to find out?” Now was the time to stammer. “I…I guess so. Why is that important? Most people don’t speak in confidence with an audience. Especially about what I have to find out from her. I’ll tell you about that later. For now, just know she knows something, and I intend to see what it is.” Alicia didn’t seem convinced, but I was heartened by the kiss she planted on my lips. “Do the right

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