Immortal Desires

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Day Thirty

The next three days had Hunter contend with Agatha’s concerns about the last time he stayed in bed all day. This time, she was convinced that he was down with something and to humor her, he agreed to a doctor’s visit. The doctor found nothing wrong with him, which left Agatha puzzled and somewhat suspicious.

At the same time, he was digesting what transpired between himself and Travis’ wife, dealing with a swirl of multiple emotions which ranged from wonder of it all, equal parts disbelief and amazement, and the most predominant emotion: liberation. He struggled to come to terms with this sort of liberation he felt ever since that event, trying to understand why he was feeling such a thing. On the heels of this liberation came a sort of guilt which took seed deep within him. But for the time being, this guilt didn’t make itself immediately apparent to him as he was focused on himself and sometimes the memory of the event.

On the third day, Hunter had a surprise waiting for him at his front door, knocking three times. When he answered it, he felt a stab of fear pierce his heart at the sight of Travis.

“Hey Hunter, how’s it going?” he greeted him with a nod and a smile. Hunter wondered if it was a front or he truly didn’t find out what happened three days ago.

“May I come in?” Travis’ question snapped him out of his wondering and he was obliged to show him inside. “Should I take my shoes off?” he asked Hunter.

“Not at all, you’re our guest, so make yourself at home!” Agatha came up to greet Travis, smiling with a wave. The Huntingtons took Travis to their living room, which only had a pair of recliners with their own night stand at either side of a large window that looked out to house numbers 306, 308, and 310 along Prospect Avenue. At Agatha’s invitation, Travis sat upon one of the recliners, straightening out his trench coat as she bustled into the kitchen to prepare some tea.

“So uh, what brings you here?” Hunter asked him as he sat opposite Travis, trying his best not to allow his apprehension show on his face.

“Well, some of my co-workers at Cyberdyne informed me of an upcoming ball here in town, so my wife and I decided to repay the favor you guys did for us by inviting you there with us. I think it’s on next Friday if I’m not mistaken,” Travis had a slight hopeful expression at the end. Hunter blinked and turned his head to the general direction of the kitchen Agatha was in.

“Hey Agatha! Travis says the town ball is happening next Friday, you know anything about it?” He was so relieved that Travis didn’t find out what happened.

“Yes, as a matter of fact, I do. I was going to tell you boys about it,” she called back and then walked into the living room a moment later, standing behind Hunter to place her hands upon his shoulders.

“Is that so? Well, in any case, should we take up on their offer?” he looked up to Agatha who smiled down on him, nodding. Satisfied, Hunter looked to Travis.

“There you have it. By the way, how’s that job going for you?” he asked, somewhat curious.

“Oh man, pretty busy as hell lately. But the eggheads got a major break lined up for us since two days ago. So that means extended vacation time while the other guys have to catch up, it’s a sort of interdepartmental competition going on,” Travis chuckled and the Huntingtons smiled politely as they had no clue what he was talking about.

“How’s your wife doing?” Agatha asked the moment silence settled in, and Hunter frowned just barely, wondering if she was onto something or just small talk.

“Awesome as always, she’s excited about the ball and she wants to help me find something that will let her dance easily without uh, offending her Muslim sensibilities,” Travis replied with a forming grin before continuing, “we have some ideas, but we’ll see once she tries them out at the strip mall.” Hunter blinked at the mental image of Travis’ wife looking for a dress that would easily conceal her but look fashionable enough for a ball. He raised both eyebrows momentarily as he contemplated on the difficulty, given her true appearance. Agatha seemed to share his doubts as well.

“Do you want me to help your wife look for a dress?” she offered and Travis considered for a moment and then nodded his shaven head.

“If we have any difficulties on our own, then we will enlist your help. Sound good?” he asked.

“Sure,” she nodded with a small smile and a gleam in her eyes as if she found a gem. The whistling from the kitchen alerted her to action, hurrying over and leaving Hunter and Travis alone.

“You know, now that I think about it,” Travis said as he stroked his chin in thought, “we might have to go out of town to Ogdenville or Springfield, they have much more extensive stores than here.”

“That far away?” Hunter blinked and frowned again, wondering how long he would be without Travis’ wife. Those two towns were easily six hours away, practically a full day if one were to simply drive there and back. But add dress searching into the equation, could be at least a day and a half, maybe two due to Travis’ wife. To his surprise, Travis merely grinned at his reaction.

“Hey man, it’s gonna be worth it. If only for a night or two.”

Agatha stepped into the living room, carrying a teacup on its saucer to give to Travis whom he took it with a nod of thanks.

“I hope you two don’t have to leave town to find what you need for the ball,” Agatha frowned as she stood next to Hunter, though her expression seemed to reveal that it was probably necessary, given New Hamlet’s small size and limited strip mall. Travis sipped some of his tea and raised both eyebrows at tasting it.

“Nice, is this Earl Grey?” Agatha nodded in affirmation. “Sweet, I have the same thing back home. Sometimes my wife and I would share tea in the mornings, that is if we don’t sleep in too late,” he chuckled and Hunter smirked while Agatha blinked and tried her best to smile politely.

“So when do you think you’re gonna be leaving for either one of those towns?” Hunter spoke up, trying to sound casual as he wanted to find out how long he would have to be without Travis’ wife. He wanted to spend more time with her despite his burgeoning emotions.

“Probably tomorrow, the sooner the better, right?” Travis replied thoughtfully and blew on his tea before sipping some more. “What about you guys? Going out of town to look for new dresses too?” Both Hunter and Agatha looked at each other for a few moments before looking back to Travis, with Agatha speaking for them.

“We’ll just be looking in the strip mall, nothing too extravagant, mind you.”

“I see, that’s cool, at least you’ll be saving on money, right? I mean, some of those women’s dresses…” Travis let out a low whistle before continuing, “Really expensive,” he finished with a slight head shake and a chuckle. The Huntingtons had to smile at the statement and nodded in agreement.

“What are you going to be wearing at the ball?” Agatha asked, wondering if Travis was going to be wearing that black trench coat at such a formal occasion or not, considering that he seemed to always wear it. He merely smiled and shrugged.

“Eh, as much as I’d like to wear this over there, even a man’s got to rise up to the occasion. That being said, probably just a simple tuxedo.” He finished off his cup of tea and handed it to Agatha, who took it as he got up to his feet, brushing off his trench coat.

“It was nice talking to you guys, and thanks for the Earl Grey,” he nodded with a grin to the Huntingtons.

“Oh you’re welcome. Do stop by again and chat with us anytime you want. Tell your wife we say ‘hi’.” Agatha said as Hunter got up to shake Travis’ hand.

“I will, I’ll see ya around,” he smiled and exited the house promptly. The couple watched him from the living room window look both ways before crossing the street back to house number 308.

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