The Long Road Home Ch. 14: Blind Spots & Speed Bumps

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Chapter 14: Blind Spots and Speed Bumps


It was with a great deal of regret that we packed up our things and moved out of that cozy little suite at the hotel. Those rooms had, over the course of those first months of our love and life together, been our refuge, our love nest, something like a home. A real home, not a solitary place to hang my hat, as my apartment in New York had been, or like my room with the Bruyere's in Paris. And definitely not like the house Jasper had shared with that woman for all those years. He didn't need to say it, I saw it in his eyes when I mentioned my feelings: that house he'd lived in with Maria hadn't been a home.

"My home is wherever you are," he whispered into my hair, wrapping his arms around me.

I closed the door behind us, closing the door on that particularly heavenly part of our lives. It was a bit sad, yes, but I knew many more years beckoned us, and many of those would be heavenly as well.

The bellhop had already taken our bags down and loaded them into the trunk of the waiting taxi. Jasper, holding his breath the entire time, poor thing, tipped the boy and sent him on his way, then held the door open for me. I slipped in and watched the hotel fall into the distance behind us. I'd liked Philadelphia.


I smiled up at him. "Never."

"Good. I'd hate to have to make you... cheer up. Right here in this taxi. I can't bear it when you're sad." He gave me a leer from beneath the brim of the fedora he'd put on, which cast his face into shadow. It was a cloudy day, but one never knew when the sun might peep through and expose us for what we were.

"Wicked man," I hissed, crossing my legs. "You wouldn't."

He raised his eyebrows. "Wouldn't I?" And there it was, that tingle again. "Don't ever tell me I won't or can't do something, Alice, or I might just have to surprise you. I'm a very determined man."

I gasped and tried to control myself. "Stop! All right!" I saw the cabbie glance at us with wide eyes in the rearview mirror; I punched Jasper, hard, on the leg. "Seriously!" I hissed. I knew that the poor man must be feeling the overflow of what Jasper was doing, and that wasn't good. Probably downright disturbing for the guy.

Jasper laughed, and the feeling subsided into a warm glow of contentment. "Yes, ma'am." His show of meekness was as false as a three-dollar bill, but at least he'd stopped doing that.

The cab driver dropped us off at the train station, where we transferred our bags and boarded our particular train. I made sure I gave the cabbie a good tip for his trouble. Then we were on our way to New York, and my excitement was building at the things I knew were coming.

Africa! I remembered the pictures I'd seen, and the things I'd glimpsed of the future. The rolling savannahs, the animals, the completely different culture. I was ready for it.

But something was strange, something I'd been trying to figure out for several days. There was a big hole in the future. And it was freaking me out, as they say nowadays.

I could see things leading up to a certain point. And then I could see things after, although they were more shaky, less certain. More paths leading off in various directions. But at a certain point everything just...vanished. It was like someone or something had reached into my visions and cut a neat hole in them, excising them from what I called my "future memory," or my reservoir of things that I'd seen that hadn't happened yet. And besides that big empty place, there were a few others, smaller, floating through my visions like blind spots.

It was similar to the vague blindness I'd experienced in South Dakota, but more pronounced, and more specific. Like someone didn't want me to know something during that certain time period. Like they knew I could see the future and had chosen to take those future memories from me.

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