I leaned against the door. I wept silently to myself. I wiped my eyes and went into the kitchen to pour myself a glass of water. Somehow I wished the water would wash my pain away, but no such thing happened. I sighed, letting out a deep breath. I stood by the window above the sink gazing out into the darkness. The light from the Jeep caught my eye. I watched the snow begin to cover the windshield. After a few moments, the Jeep’s headlights beamed. I took another deep breath, rinsed out the glass. I noticed a note on the refrigerator.
For Christ sake!! I go to the store and you
I don’t like you pulling a stunt like this.
Call me as soon you get in!
The TV was blaring in the living room. Dad must have left it on. I hit the switch on the set. I dragged myself up the stairs. I crawled into my bed, not bothering to undress, too exhausted to care to call Dad. Before my head hit the pillow, my phone rang. It was Dad. I somehow managed to explain where I had gone and still have him believe me, even though I didn’t tell him the truth. I turned off the lamp on my nightstand, but my thoughts would not turn off. Sleep abandoned me too.
After I tossed and turned, I began to think of Lucien’s dark black hair, the thick silky feel of it beneath my fingers. I thought of his beautiful luminous eyes and the fullness of his lips, the boyish dimple in his chin and the incredible mischievous grin. Nothing in my future would ever be the same. I thought about how he had saved me from myself. What will my life be like without him?
“Lucien, where are you?” I buried my face in my hands, sobbing; my head throbbed once again with exhaustion. I had never before experienced such a gut-wrenching pain that burrowed so deeply through my veins. I almost threw up. Was it normal to feel this way, or did some cosmic force somehow curse me? Was I missing the one guy or one alien I will ever love? I felt worse now than when Finn died. Finn unwillingly left me, but Lucien left me by his own free will, like Mom.
“Are you going to play the victim forever?” I sat up not believing my ears.”
“Finn!” He was there clear as my reflection standing at the foot of my bed.
“Seriously sis you’re making me sick to my stomach with your self-pity.”
“How is this possible? You don’t look like the vision on the mountainside.”
“Because I’m not a vision.” Finn pushed my covers away and sat.
“What are you doing here. You’re dead.”
“Tell me something I don’t already know.” He laughed. I wasn’t.
“I don’t get it. Why is this happening.”
“Because you had to find a boyfriend from outer space.” He gave me a sideways smirk.
“Is any of this real?” I jumped out my bed and scrambled to my bathroom and tore open the medicine cabinet. Finn followed.
“There isn’t any. You threw them out.” I pushed by him. I looked under my bed on my hands and knees. “Not there,” he said laughing.
I pulled open my dresser drawers and searched. “Sam!’ Stop. You’re not crazy. You don’t need any Xanax. I’m real.”
“Okay, so now I see dead people.” I said staring at his green eyes.
“You have the blood of an alien in your cells now.” He laughed again. “What did you expect.”
“My cells? Like my eyes and my hair?”
“Have you looked in the mirror lately?”
“Why!” I rushed to my vanity mirror. “Oh my God. They’re like Luciens,” I whispered staring at my reflection.
“You’re going to keep changing until you are no longer human,” Finn said. with a slight grimace. “And with that comes special gifts. And one of yours is to see dead people.” He said.
“I’m not so sure that’s a gift,” I said.
“I just came to tell you to get your shit together Sam. I gotta go now.”
“Your leaving? You just got here,” I said taking hold of his hand.
As quick as he was here he was gone. Just like he was gone.
This was not a night for counting my blessings. It was a night when every loss I had ever experienced rushed back. I wanted Lucien lying next to me like the night before the Christmas solstice. I wanted to laugh off my fears of never seeing him again with the sound of his roguish laughter. I wanted Finn back with me not as dead ghost.
Why did they send me back? I cried myself to sleep, but my shallow whimpers never ended. My nightmares were full of images of shadows that danced around me probing, poking at me. The images never came to me clearly. Some moments were filled with intense pain; others were blissful.
Each night more and more was revealed, but I never saw the shadow’s face. Each day I struggled, trying to forget Lucien. I would pass people on the streets thinking it was Lucien. I would check my phone each day hoping to see his name pop up in a text message. I went to school hoping I would see him in AP History. The days turned into weeks, weeks into months, but still not a word from him or his family. I stopped calling the ranch; it was pointless. The rumor at school was that he decided to be homeschooled like the rest of his family. He was not coming back anytime soon. I would cry out for Finn to come again, but he didn’t.
Dad gave up asking me what had happened between us. I was tired of making excuses why he did not come around anymore; he stopped asking me about that night when the ranger found me naked. The police stopped coming around. I told Dad we broke up and left it at that, but I had no idea how I ended up at the ranger station. I felt like my arm was cut off, missing from my body. My best friend was gone forever.
I went to school, came home, did my homework and managed to keep my grades passable. Every night I would go outside to look at the heavens, searching for a sign from Lucien that he was coming back. I saw only blackness and stars, but none twinkled back at me. Would I have to wait for each equinox until I would see Lucien again, or would I ever see him again?