The Fourth Encounter
Wells sat in his office staring as the pretty, platinum-blonde reporter, Wendy Sharp, continued with their fourth interview. Though her pretty face still captivated the heart of the now beset Professor, his gaze was pre-occupied with the single, deep-purple strand of hair snaking it’s way down the side of Wendy’s golden hair.
“Why do that to yourself?” Wells asked, unaware he interrupted Wendy mid-question.
“Uh, I’m sorry?”
“Your hair.” Wells pressed. “Why get rid of your beautiful brown hair and ruin it with such a--” He wanted to say trashy, but thought better of it. “--Look?”
Wendy scowled, the wrinkles in her face revealing she has given this look often in her lifetime.
“Okay, first of all this is who I am, so you can take your condescending observation and stuff it!” She shot back aggressively, no hint of the sweetness in her voice that Wells remembered from just a few days ago. “And secondly, I haven’t had brown hair since I was sixteen! How’d you even know I am brunette?”
Wells stared at the angry young woman for a moment.
“Your eyebrows,” He said finally. “Even with your piercings hiding most of them, one can still see they’re your natural brown color.”
Wendy rolled her eyes back down to her notepad. “Can we just continue on with our interview,” She said, then adding rather pointedly, “Layton.”
Wells agreed, but frowned at her use of his name. There wasn’t any affection in her voice as there was last time. Just a cold, rebellious stab at an authority figure.
It took Wendy a moment to find her place among all her notes, but the curl of her lip-ring accenting her devilish smile signaled to Wells she had found her next question.
“Okay, your particle,” Wendy started with disinterest, completely void of any professionalism, “you named it the Wells-Chrono Particle, obviously after yourself.” Wendy’s tongue slipped out the corner of her mouth and flicked her lip piercing. Wells knew what was coming, as indicated by her quirk preceding earlier questions, and prepared for a jab at his persons. “Why name it as such? Looking for a little recognition? Wanting to go down in history? Are you compensating for som--”
“Ms. Sharp!” Wells barked.
Wendy’s mouth closed into a sheepish smile, proud that her goading got the Professor on edge. With the appearance of her dimples, Wells’ anxiety disappeared and he saw through the blonde-hair, the purple highlights, and all the facial piercings. and immediately recognized the beautiful girl who first knocked on his door.
That was the woman he loved, the woman he had done so much for.
And it was time all his work to have finally paid off.
“Wendy,” Wells said lovingly, taking Wendy by surprise with his complete change in tone. “I believe you and I have gotten completely off track from one another today.”
“More like since we first met,” Wendy corrected.
“I want to make things the way they should be.” Wells said, ignoring her. “I think you and I should go out. Tonight. Right now.”
Wendy was unable to hide the shock on her face. She didn’t expect this.
“Since I first saw you all that time ago,” Wells recalled, bringing more confusion to Wendy’s face.
“Eight days ago,” Wendy asserted.
Wells once again ignored Wendy and prattled on, “I knew we were meant to be together.”
“Uh, no.” Wendy stated.
“I know you’re afraid,” Wells told her, laying his hand on her knee. “Afraid I’ll forget about you, just like so many others, but I promise you I won’t.”
“How do you--”
“Because I know you! I know how your previous relationships--”
“Relationships?” Wendy blurted out, standing from her chair. “I’ve never had any relationships! Every guy whom I’ve ever dated has always dropped me cold after a month.”
Wells stood from his chair, meeting her eye to eye.
“I know!” He admitted. “But not me. I’ve done so much for you and I to be together, I could never abandon you.”
“I don’t know what your delusional brain thinks,” Wendy snarled. “But if you think you can psychoanalyze me and get me to date you, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. I learned a long time ago that the reason I’ve never had any man ever call me back, is because men are jerks. So, I swore never to get mixed up with them again. So, sorry to tell you, but this,” she waved her hand back-and-forth between the two of them, “ain’t happening.”
Wells shook his head in sadness, his smile disappearing as he did it.
“And to be honest,” Wendy raved, pausing but a moment as her tongue flicked her lip-piercing, “even if I hadn’t sworn off men, I would never be able to date someone as pitiful, ugly, and brainy as you. And nothing you say or do is ever going to change that.”
Wells stopped shaking his head. The tense silence of the room, stressed all the more by the growing tick of his watch
His eyes darted open, locking onto Wendy’s.
“You stupid little--” He growled. “After everything I’ve done for you, with everything I could do to you.” Wells grabbed her by the arms, “You speak to me like this?”
“‘Everything you’ve done’? What are you talking about?” Wendy snapped.
He let go of her and waved his arms in the air as he paced across the small office.
“Devon Meyers, Brad Williams, Steve Davis,” he yelled the list of names at her, bringing more and more confusion to her with each one.
“Who are all they?” Wendy yelled. “You’ve lost it, you’re rambling nonsense!”
“Bobby Seabrooke, Jesse Paige,” he continued the endless list of names, his face almost unrecognizable through his anger. “Brendon Lane, Thomas Ready, it goes on and on and on!”
“Thomas Ready,” Wendy repeated.
“Oh, you remember Thomas, don’t you?” Wells snarled, as the ticking of his watch somehow grew louder.
“I went to school with Thomas, he was my friend,” Wendy recalled tensely. “He went missing when we were in kindergarten! Why would you know anything about him?”
“Do you remember what Thomas gave you before he disappeared?” Wells asked, but continued before giving her time to respond. “No, of course you don’t. Why would you, It never happened.”
Wendy knew she was witnessing a man having a complete and utter mental breakdown, and all she wanted to do was leave, but she stayed. Wanting to know why and how he knew about her friend who went missing twenty years ago.
“Tell me how you know about Thomas!”
“I know about every one of them!”
“Everyone of who? You’re insane!”
“Insane?” Wells raved. “Is it insane to do everything you can to win the woman you love? Is it insane to pine for her? Change who you are for her? To Kill for her?”
Wendy stared in disbelief at the fury in Wells’ eyes. Who just a few moments ago was one of the calmest, most normal person she had ever met, was now stammering on like a raving lunatic.
“You want insanity, Wendy?” Wells shrieked at her. “Then that’s exactly what I’ll give you!”
The ticking was almost as loud as Wells when he brought his watch up to his face and pressed a small button on its side. A bright blue light emanated from his timepiece, enveloping him completely in a bright, vibrant glow. It radiated outward, spilling into the room. Wendy, didn’t understand what she was seeing and with a loud bang the light expanded in a flash, blinding her.
As white turned to black, all Wendy could hear was the fading, yet distinct sound of ticking.