He stood in front of the chamber’s huge steel door with a look of wonder on his face, not unlike a small child standing before the National Christmas Tree on Christmas Eve. His trembling hands were extended, his fingers gently brushing and caressing a series of dials and knobs, almost as if they were as fragile as a crystal figurine in a curio shop.
This was not the first time he stood caressing the contraption, nor would it be the last. In fact, lately it had become a nightly occurrence. Most nights he would stare and sigh, thinking of the possibilities. Occasionally he would become embarrassed at his own melancholy, but would quickly dismiss the embarrassment, knowing that the only thing that mattered was to reach the one and only thing that ever really did matter; Kathy.
As he stood before the solid metal door, peering into the darkness deep within the chamber, his eyes began to mist. He was in another world. A world from the past. A world that did not kill his hopes and dreams, kill his future. A world of his own making. A world that only he had the power to control.
He stood mesmerized, peering into the darkness of the chamber as the cold air pulled at him like a far-away vacuum, chilling his bones. He could not tell whether he was more chilled from the air escaping from inside the steel chamber, or from the growing realization that he was staring directly into the face of fate itself, awaiting the chance to meet his destiny. He didn’t even notice himself begin to tremble. Yet, it didn’t matter why he was chilled. All that mattered was Kathy.
“Kathy… Kathy… I will soon be there, my love,” was all he could seem to say at such an historic and momentous occasion. His words were spoken almost like the whimper of a child whose will had been irretrievably broken. Somehow, at a time like this, words were so dreadfully inadequate.
He stood before the opening, staring silently into the past for what seemed like an eternity. Tears formed at the corner of his glazed brown eyes as he gently shook his head and sobbed, looking back at his own broken heart, his shame and self imposed guilt, looking forward toward the hope of redemption.
Words no longer flowed from his mouth, which was still silently moving, forming unspoken sounds. He was lost in another time and place. Scenes of the past ran through his mind like an old movie reel, though the melodic sound of her voice, he was saddened to realize, had been nearly forgotten. To Jason Bloomquist, this was just not acceptable.
But, just as suddenly as he had lost himself in his thoughts, his mind cleared, his focus sharpened. He stood erect and half to himself- half to the past he spoke, almost business-like.
“I’m coming, Kathy. I will assemble my team, finalize the arrangements, and will come to be with you once again. As I should have been all along. Death cannot- will not do us part.”
Suddenly, the handsome black-haired man picked up the phone and quickly dialed the number he had highlighted in his address book earlier. After a few rings, a friendly voice answered on the other end.
“Hello? This is Sam. What can I do for ya?”
“Sam, this is Jason.”
Jason wiped his eyes and shook his head as if clearing cobwebs.
“Jason! How’ve ya been?”
The voice sounded the same as it had for many years. It was the voice of a man genuinely happy to hear from his old friend. The two men chatted, catching up with a lot of missed time. It was like old times, reminiscing about the college days when the ladies and the fun times were far more important than the grades and term papers.
“Great… Listen old buddy. Are you in the middle of anything important? I have an idea.”
His hand twirled the phone cord, his voice masking his nervousness behind an upbeat attitude.
Sam Shore laughed. He was used to being called unexpectedly by his old college buddy Jason Bloomquist at the spur of the moment to come and help him try out his latest brainstorm invention. Jason was as unpredictable as a Texas tornado. But that was one of the qualities Sam enjoyed the most about his genius buddy.
Not much had changed in his old friend since they finished college. Sam knew that no matter what either one of them was up to, Jason would always get around to calling him and trying to get him involved in one of his schemes, but the truth was Sam kind of enjoyed the adventure.
“I just got back from a very extensive trip to South America,” said Shore. “Rand McNally had me out mapping and doing land surveys for their latest updates to the atlas. I don’t have anything else going on for a while. I am free for a couple of months. In fact, my next job is about four months away, so I think I’m pretty much a free agent until then. I’m all yours, Dr. Frankenstein. Just get me to the anthropology department at Berkley by summer quarter in one piece so I can help them with a study they are doing in the Amazon. What do you have in mind?”
Bloomquist grinned like a cat that had just cornered a mouse.
“Well, I have an experiment I want to try.”
Bloomquist was mysterious as always, but then again, Sam was used to it and didn’t have any reason to think anything was out of the ordinary.
“Same old Jason. Hey, no problem, buddy. When do you need me?”
“Soon. I will give you a call. There is one more person I need to hook up with to make this one work. Give me a couple of days and then you can expect to hear from me.”
“Gotcha,” said an unsuspecting Shore. “Until then, I will be soaking in the hot tub with some lady friends and enjoying some classic movies. Good to hear from you, my old friend. I have missed getting together.”
“Likewise,” answered Bloomquist, his glazed eyes back in that far-away place. “Likewise indeed.”
He stood grinning the grin of a madman, long after the connection had been cut, phone still to his ear, determined to make sure that this time he would beat the odds. He had to have Kathy. The hole in his heart would not heal until he had her in his arms again.
“There’s a lot of work to do,” he thought to himself. “I better get cracking if everything is going to fall into place.”