Chapter 14 - Avery
I suddenly noticed someone holding my hand. Startled, I turned my head to look at them.
I couldnt help but smile.
He smiled back at me.
"I'm sorry Avery."
"Not being here last night."
I propped myself up on one arm, facing him. I nodded. I would forgive him, I would always forgive him. But he didnt need to know that...
"Where were you?"
Now I was confused, "What?" I could travel? My subconscious could travel... like astral projection? I really need to do some research then as this seemed to be getting out of hand now.
Sebastian sighed, rolling his head to look me in the eyes, "Please dont be mad at me, Avery." I immediately tensed. Why would he say that? Sure I was angry this morning but he was here now and that's all that mattered to me.
He turned his body to me, giving me his full attention, "I saw you, weeks ago on the subway, and I followed you home."
I blinked. What did he just say? "No," I argued, "You're here," pointing at my head, "a figment of my imagination..."
"No," he grabbed for my hand but in my whirlwind of confusion and pure bewilderment I snatched it away from his grasp. I could see the hurt in his eyes but at the moment, I didnt care. He was a dream. A constant, near-nightly dream. Nothing more.
"I'm real," he whispered.
I tried desperately to fully process what he just said but I was having a hard time wrapping my brain around it. "No..." I protested, "I created you."
He shook his head, melancholy shadowing his features, "You didn't."
"You're trying to make me believe you're a ghost?" I chuckled, nervously. I wasnt sure I really wanted an answer to that. I was fine thinking he was just a subconscious manifestation, I couldnt bring myself to believe he had been watching me this whole time. And that would be the moment my fear kicked in. What if he was telling the truth? What if, this whole time, I had been lying to myself? What if, what if, what if...
"You're HAUNTING ME?" My screech filled reaction caused him to flinch for which I felt only slightly guilty but it did not over shadow the feeling of betrayal and confusion. The times I thought I was alone, the times I felt relaxed and comfortable and ALONE was a lie--an invasion of privacy to which he only now felt compelled to tell me.
"I'm not a ghost, Avery, I'm... I dont know what I am, honestly. I only ever remember being this. Moving from place to place with only a thought. Watching--wishing I had a life. It's all I've ever known. But when I saw you, I experienced a... pull--I guess. I only followed you because it felt like I belonged somewhere, like you were someone I had known my whole life. You felt like home to me."
And then it all clicked into place. The chair at the restuarant, the figure in my painting, the open drawers in my dresser, hell even Milo--it was Sebastian all along.
And the real sad part of it was, I knew how he felt because I felt the same. Sebastian was my security blanket. I felt comfortable and safe and loved even--something I hadnt experienced in a very long time. So Yes, I understood him... in the end, when all the other minor details were stripped away, he felt like home to me too.
And just like that, anger and confusion was replaced with compassion and love. "So you're dead?" I asked softly. His eyes, once pleading me to understand and accept him shifted into sadness, despair even. "I dont know," he replied carefully, looking out into the distance.
And it broke my heart.
I couldn't imagine now a life without him. He had become a part of me in such a short amount of time. If I rejected him, told him to leave and never come back, what would become of him?
I knew what would become of me if it was the other way around...
I laid my head on his thigh, pulling him out of his reverie. He smiled softly, pleased to be interrupted from his thoughts. He ran his fingers through my hair as if the words of earlier were long forgotten, sending waves of euphoria throughout my body. "I'm happy with it though, Avery," he whispered.
"If I wasnt what I was, if I hadn't been doing what I always do, I never would have met you."
I sat up, my eyes meeting his, "You dont know that for certain," I replied.
His hand cupped my cheek, caressing my face, "Maybe not," he said, "But the truth of the matter is, it still lead me to you." His hand was warm and his touch calmed my insides. I felt peaceful and happy.
His eyes lowered to my lips and then back to my eyes again. "Hard to sit here and be close to you, and not kiss you." His face moved ever so slowly, closer to mine.
"Did you just quote F. Scott Fitzgerald?" I asked, smiling but still focused on his lips inching closer.
He grinned, "Possibly..." His fingers interwined into my hair, pulling my head closer to his. I could feel his breath, his lips hovering just over mine. My stomach knotted, my cheeks flushed.
I wanted this.
My eyes shot open. My ears flooded with the loudest, most obnoxious wailing--stupid alarm clock. I cursed. The clock had interrupted the best possible kiss of my life. I groaned. Seriously, what were the fucking odds?
Still, though... I smiled.
"Oh my Gawd, girl! What the hell is wrong with you today?" Tessa asked me.
I looked at her innocently but confused. It had been a good day, things were going smoothly. At least, I thought they were. I was happy and productive, earning more tips than I had in a long time.
"You're too cheery today," she frowned, "I dont like it." I rolled my eyes. Was that it? Drama queen. "Holy shit!" She squealed, "You met a guy, didnt you?" Her eyes were wide, anticipating my response. I couldnt contain my smile, so I looked down continuing to clean tables, "Nah..."
"You little liar! Who is he? Tell me EVERYTHING!" She clapped her hands in excitement.
"Honestly, Tess, I dont know what you're talking about," I said nonchalantly. She grabbed my shoulders and forced me to look at her.
"You've been skipping around here all day, humming and smiling..." she eyed me seriously, "I'm not stupid, Avery." Instead of confirming her suspicions, I changed the subject. What was I supposed to tell her? I almost kissed a ghost? Yeah, okay! "I'm moving to Colorado. I put my two weeks in with Julie this morning."
Sadness overtook her expression, "Really?" I nodded. She sighed, "Well... I'm gonna miss you, but I'm excited for you," she said softly, forcing a smile. I hugged her. I would miss Tessa, but my destiny no longer lay in New York.
I could feel it.