I was sitting on the couch watching the Smurfs as I chowed down my ramen ravenously. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Lindy carefully observing my face. When I turned to face her, Lindy's head snapped back towards the tv screen. I shrugged and continued to eat.
But, Lindy continued to stare at me. Even when looked at her quizzically, Lindy still said nothing. Instead she appeared content to simply gaze at me like she knew something I didn't. I could take it no more. "Why do you keep staring at me? Is there something on my face?"
Lindy pursed her lips, her eyes never straying from my face. "Are you eventually going to explain what happened yesterday?" she finally asked.
"Explain what?" I asked as I stirred the leftover pieces of ramen in bowl, watching them swirl in a circular motion.
Lindy put down her bowl of ramen on the coffee table, the spoon clanging against the bowl. "You have got to be kidding me Nora. You let a complete stranger hug you!"
"Kevin is a not a stranger," I protested, "we know him already."
Lindy appeared to be in utter disbelief. "You are defending him?! The same Nora who refuses to talk to other people, especially those of the opposite sex!"
I remained quiet. Lindy was right, my behavior yesterday was definitely out of the norm. To be honest, I myself am confused about what happened last night. Part of me wanted to believe that the events that happened yesterday were simply a figment of my imagination. A stress-induced hallucination, amplified by fatigue. But my rational mind knew better. It was all slowly adding up: the handkerchief, the book, Kevin's dramatically different personalities.
"Nora!" Lindy said, shaking my shoulder. "Are you going to answer me?"
"Huh?" I said.
"Do you like Kevin?" Lindy asked.
"What? Where is this coming from?" I asked.
"Nora, you actually allowed someone else to hug you. We have known each other for three years now and you still don't feel entirely comfortable when I hug you," Lindy said.
"That-that's not true!" I stuttered.
"Liar," Lindy retorted. "You're pulling on your ear again."
I immediately forced my hands to hold onto my bowl of now cold ramen.
"What's even stranger is," Lindy continued, "the whole room stunk of smoke. Yet, you didn't seemed the slightest bit bothered."
My head snapped up to face Lindy. "You could smell the smoke," I exclaimed incredulously.
Lindy cocked her head, "I could see some smoke too, but Kevin's nurse couldn't."
"You didn't tell me anything about this," I exclaimed again.
"And you never mentioned anything about being in love," Lindy fired back.
I was about provide a snarky comment when Lindy's words registered in my brain. Love. What a foreign concept. "I'm not in love with Kevin!" I said, attempting to sound confident.
"You sure about that?" Lindy asked.
"I'm not in love with Kevin," I repeated, my voice trembling as I pronounced the syllables of Kevin's name.
"Nora," Lindy said suddenly, "What does Kevin from yesterday smell like?"
"Like dewy aftershave," was my immediate answer.
"Hmmm, and what color are his eyes?" Lindy asked.
"Err a warm brown, similar to the burnt sienna colored paint I use." I responded confused as to where Lindy was going with this.
"Okay. I want you to respond to this honestly. When you are near him do you feel different?" Lindy asked.
"Different-like how?" I asked wrinkling my brows..
"Like he is the only solid thing. Maybe you feel a strong sense of protection, warmth, comfort."
"Err...maybe. I don't know," I said. "What's with all these questions? Nothing is proving that I am in love with Kevin. You can't love someone you just met. I just feel bad for him, that's all."
"It is possible, but only if you are mates," Lindy said.
I got up from the couch. "Okay Lindy, this is reality. Maybe mates exist in the stories you like to read, but not here."
Lindy followed me into the kitchen. "But I saw you two. Yesterday you were looking at each other like the rest of the world didn't exist. You two are most definitely soulmates. You can deny it all you want, but we both know I'm right."
I sighed."Whatever you say Lindy." I began loading the plates and bowls into the dishwasher.
"It's terrifying though," Lindy said.
"What?" I said.
"The fact that you are falling in love with Kevin even though the universe is warning against it. The whole dream about Kevin at festival should be plenty of warning. Then he stalks us and has the nerve to show up at our apartment. Yet you still help him," Lindy said.
"He fainted Lindy. We couldn't just leave him," I said dryly.
"No, but we could have turned him over to the hospital and left. You even insisted on staying overnight to be with Kevin, not to mention how you defend him." Lindy exclaimed.
I shook my head. "You're reading too much into this Lindy. I was just worried about him. There is a difference between romantic love and being worried about a friend."
Lindy smiled at me sadly and cryptically said, "I don't blame you Nora. It is impossible to fight one's destiny. It just makes things difficult when your destiny goes against the universe's flow."
I paused. "Isn't destiny universe's plan?"
"Yeah, it's supposed to be," Lindy replied, "but for you that is clearly not the case."
"Wait what do you mean?" I asked as I watched Lindy rummage through the pantry.
"Well, see I was coming through that textbook Mr. Milligan gave you and--Oooo, we have peanut butter?" Lindy grabbed the jar of her favorite food from the pantry and shoved a spoonful into her mouth. "I--furgred out, dat dere's two Kevins," Lindy mumbled through a mouth stuffed with peanut butter.
"There are two Kevins, you say?" I asked, wondering what Lindy was talking about now. All this talk about Kevin, mates, destiny--was screwing with my head.
"Yep,"Lindy nodded her head.
"Okay, but what about the destiny stuff you were talking about earlier?" I asked, feeling a little tense.
"Oh, don't worry about that Nora, no need to feel scared. I know how to protect you, besides it's all in the book. Just read it. I'm taking this peanut butter to my room." With that Lindy disappeared down the hall, leaving my mind in a whirlwind of confusion.
"She already read the whole genie book? Don't feel scared? Protect? What?"I talked to myself. I shook my head. What did Lindy know that I didn't?
All this time, ever since meeting Mr. Milligan, Lindy has been well, somewhat oblivious. But after our conversation now, I am starting to wonder if maybe I have been the oblivious one all along.
YOU ARE READING
The Genie's PossessionShort Story
"Don't you know me Nora," the strange man leered. Even though my heart was pounding uncontrollably, I refused to show fear. "If you come near me, I will call the police. I have 911 on speed dial," I threatened. He just laughed and took another step...