“Alba,” I jumped and ran to her. She was dumb so without struggling with words she urgently slid the note in my hand and the same message was written on it.
“I know. I read your note. The one you put in last morning. What do you know Alba? How much?” I cried.
She gestured towards her head. She wanted me to get in her head. “I can’t. My power is gone,” I confessed.
She walked into the library in a huff scurrying for another piece of paper and pen. When she came back with a notepad she beckoned Rhon to go out.
Rhon stood there adamantly and shook his head. I asked him to leave but he said, “I can’t leave you alone.”
“Rhon please, It’s Alba. I trust her.”
“After all the lies and deception?”
“She didn’t lie or deceive. She couldn’t. Could she? Please Rhon, leave.”
He did and Alba started scribbling hastily.
I know Daniel is dead. I know everything. Everything that has happened in this house.
There is a chance that you can get him back. I’m not sure but it might be possible. If he’s not really dead.
“What do you mean really dead?”
I don’t know how to write about this. But there is an expiry date for souls. There may be a chance he’s still accessible.
“I don’t understand Alba”
There is only one person who can tell you how to do that.
There is a man. Uncle Monty in Tanzania. He knows almost everything there is to know. He's like a god. I can give you his address. You talk to him.
“Okay,” was all I could manage to say.
Alba's revelations were shocking but something inside me told me that I could trust her. This Uncle Monty sounded nothing like a god to me. I mean he could be a conman fooling innocent people like Alba. But even if there was a milligram of a chance that he could help me, I wanted to try.
I narrated the whole thing to Rhon and he agreed to come to Tanzania with me. I packed my stuff, just a few clothes, cash, the necklace and the paper in which Alba had scribbled the address. And last minute Daniel's favorite book L'étranger.
"I can't believe we're doing this. Like really going to an unknown country to find an unknown man. Do you think he can really help us?" I asked Rhon on the plane.
"Well, maybe he can, maybe he can't. I don't know."
"I didn't want to put you in any trouble. Rhon, I could have come alone. Please don't blame yourself for this. It was beyond your control."
"No problem. I'm a dead man already, remember?" he smiled.
When the plane took off, Rhon cried, "What is happening?"
"We're flying. Don't tell me you're scared."
"I'm not scared. I just...Oh, my god...something's happening to my guts and my thighs. I can't..."
"Rhon, listen to me, it won't last long. We'll be fine in a minute. Okay? Just relax. Breathe. It's your first time on a plane. I understand. When I was a kid, we went to Kashmir for a holiday and I was literally..." he cut me off mid-sentence, "But I'm not a little girl. I'm a bloody soldier. It's embarrassing."
I shut up. We were in the air and Rhon got quiet and still. "I'm sorry, I freaked out," he spoke. "It's okay," I squeezed his hand.
He seemed uncomfortable so I tried to cheer him up with a light conversation. And I'm the same girl who until yesterday had locked herself up in a room to never come out.
There is something about other people's pain that makes you forget your own. It's kind of a good thing really.
"So tell me something," I demanded.
"What?" he gave me a quizzical look.
"Anything actually. How do you feel? Living in this world again?"
"Bad," he exclaimed. "I wish I could delete that night from our lives. It would all be perfect and nice. You'd be happy. Daniel would be happy. The world would be a perfect place," he stared into my eyes.
"How did she die?" I whispered. He turned red, mentioning her always had a strange effect on Rhon. His love seemed so strong and lasting. Like it came with a warranty that runs through eternity. He couldn't stop loving her after all these years. He is truly a legend.
"Reina? Old age," he stated.
"You never said her name before."
"Her name was Reina. Rhon and Reina. Sound perfect together. Don't they? Like Aubrey and Anna," he smiled.
"You haven't heard about Aubrey and Anna? Oh sure, you people wouldn't know nothing about them."
"Who were they? Lovers?"
"Yeah. They lived hundreds of years ago. It is probably a true story. A beautiful love story. Of immortal love. I always wished to be like them with Reina since I was a teenager."
"Tell me the story. I love love stories."
"I don't think you'll like it and I'm not good at telling stories anyway."
"Please," I begged, clutching his arm.
"Okay, here you go. Aubrey was a wizard and Anna was a princess. Aubrey loved her like crazy. One day Anna was murdered and Aubrey brought her back to life. And made both of them immortal with his magic. And they lived happily ever after."
"That's it. That's the story?"
"Yeah, more or less."
"Oh, you're a bad story teller alright. So Anna was a princess just like Reina? And you had magic just like Aubrey. And you did become immortal. Your soul at least."
"What are trying to say, Noor?"
"Nothing. Just finding similarities in your love stories."
"Well then, you're like Aubrey too. You have a kind of magic and you're about to bring your lover back from the dead."