The Past Catches Up
Is it you…?
She turned around and smiled brightly.
Those are the same ebony eyes. Your… eyes.
A pair of sad medium brown eyes turned to look down on the picture held in a slender-fingered hand.
Is it you…?
And he stepped out of the car.
* * *
The rest of the team laughed as the two sisters joked around and chased after each other, acting like three-year-olds in a playground. Mallory and Tanya managed to separate them, and finally, all the girls proceeded to the washroom to fix themselves up.
“Ever wonder why girls go to the loo in groups?” Duke asked casually as he leaned onto the wall, stuffing his hands in his pockets, causing Ace and Hacker to snicker. Wing and Drake shook their heads and rolled their eyes and engaged themselves in a conversation all their own.
Dive leaned on the wall father off and frowned, looking as if he was deep in thought.
“Hey kid, what’s wrong?” Duke asked as he stood up straight, placing a hand on the youth’s shoulder as he came up beside him.
“Nothin’ Duke,” a sigh. “Look,” the teen began.
“Don’t tell Wing… but that guy’s been following us since early this morning.” Dive nodded in the direction of a boy about his height who was now walking into a shop opposite them.
“Oh yeah.” Duke murmured, his eyes following the boy’s movements. “I noticed too. Think it could be a coincidence?” His one eye followed the boy’s movements until the figure disappeared completely into the shop.
“Dunno.” Replied the teen sullenly. Worry ebbed in his voice.
Duke shrugged and sighed. “Why not tell Wing?”
Dive hesitated, frowned and then paused a little more. “Uhm… can’t tell you now. But just don’t, okay? If we tell Wing he’ll end up telling Nyre… and you know how she gets when she hears ‘bout stuff like this.” The avian youth made a motion with his hands and the older nodded in understanding.
“Gotcha. Oh! Speak of the devils themselves.”
The girls had just gotten out.
“Hey Dive, where to?” Nyre laughed as she approached them, finally out of the washroom. Her eyes twinkled, her hair formerly disheveled from her antics with Dee.
“Uhmm…” Dive grinned mischievously, “to comics?”
“Na-ah Divey!” Castel smirked and punched him playfully on the arm. “We’re goin’ to eat first!”
“Yeah… like, where?”
“McDonald’s.” Castel proclaimed sweetly. “I need my ice cream.”
“Psh! Oh please!” Drake shook his head, entering the conversation as well. “We’re eating at Burger King and that’s that!”
“What-ever!” came Mallory’s far retort.
“I’m with Drake! Levi’s gonna be there!”
“Ace…” came the unison voices of Marri, Mel and Hacker.
“But she is…”
“Well fine! Go pick her up, we’ll meet you at—”
“Burger King.” Drake said in all finality.
Wing shook his head as he turned away from the chaos ensuing, landing his gaze onto his beloved girlfriend whose eyes seemed so far away. “Hey Nyre, you okay?” He asked softly as he touched her arm.
“Wha…?” She glanced up at him, seemingly dazed. “Wait… what did you say?” She blinked a couple of times, all in which she still seemed an ocean away from him.
Wing frowned slightly, worry creasing his brow. This isn’t like her. “I asked if you were okay?”
The young girl blinked and nodded… somewhat hesitantly. She turned her attention quickly—too quickly to the others with them, “Hey guys, let’s just go get some food okay?” She urged them, forcing a smile.
After a moment of exchanging glances that the teen refused to acknowledge, the group nodded, finally deciding on the food court as the place had whatever and whichever kind of food they wanted, which would avoid any further squabbles.
Not far behind, the youth exited the shop and followed them once more.
* * *
I glanced down at the normally mouth-watering baked ziti and simply picked at it, glancing around me again. I felt jumpy. The prickly feeling at the back of my neck had my hairs rising as the feeling that someone was quietly watching me from afar continued to unnerve me.
No one’s watching. I thought inwardly, impaling a couple of the pasta embraced with mozzarella on my fork and shoving them in my mouth. You’re being paranoid. Who would watch you anyway? I forced an inward laugh and chose to slice my garlic bread.
But the feeling didn’t leave me.
A string of thoughts came jumping out of nowhere as the world around me seemingly went on mute/background mode. I was listening to myself think again.
Why am I feeling this way?
But I’m jumpy.
Nah… must be the fact that I woke up today a little too early.
But then… I did sleep early… that would explain it, right?
That’s not it.
I glanced around once more, my mind still talking within. I haven’t felt like this since…. I let my thoughts trail as I shut my eyes, trying to block another one of those memories from returning to the mainstream of my thoughts.
No. I insisted. But my infidel of a mind wouldn’t obey.
A name long forgotten stuck out.
I leaned back, eyes focusing only on my hands. My trembling hands.
He isn’t here.
Not in Anaheim.
I paused and softly bit my lower lip.
He’s in Boston… Europe… *far* away.
Not here. Not now…
I swallowed hard, the normally fulfilling cream and cheese tasting like paste in my mouth.
Why did I think of him?
Why did I suddenly remember him after so long?
It’s been what? Three years?
He’s probably Ace’s age by now. No, wait… he’s yeah… he is.
I sighed and shook my head. No. I’m being paranoid. I smiled… forced a smile.
He isn’t here… and he’s out of my life.
I never knew I’d eat my words as soon as they were out. Because… I glanced up… and froze.
* * *
The youth blinked and turned his eyes away.
No. She saw me. Could she be…? He turned his gaze back on her and felt himself tremble.
Oh Lord. It *is* her. He blinked, holding the young girl’s gaze.
She’s still the same.
After so long she’s still… her eyes are still so beautiful.
He let out a tiny breath.
Then walked away, blending into the crowd.
* * *
“Hey Nyre,” Dee frowned and waved a hand infront of her sister’s eyes.
The ebony-haired girl blinked and turned quickly to her. “Y-y-yeah?” She stammered.
Dee frowned as she watched the color return to her sister’s cheeks. “What… what’s wrong?” The girl blinked in reply. “You were staring blankly into space. You looked like you just saw a ghost?”
A nervous laugh escaped her lips. “A ghost?” Another quivering laugh, softer this time, “Why would you think that?” She rose from her seat and turned to the others. “Uhm, hey, everyone!”
All heads turned to her direction. “I’m gonna buy a drink. Anybody want one?”
“Me!” Marri and Mel’s hands shot up. Both sisters grinned.
“Okay… what do you want? I’ll also need the money, mind you.”
“Here.” Drake handed her a couple of bills. “Mel? Marri?”
“Pineapple-orange!” Mel beamed.
Marri rolled her eyes, “you are too hyper today. A coke, that’s it.”
“Okay!” Nyre slid out of her seat.
“Hey,” Wing grabbed her hand. Nyre stared down at him in surprise. “Want me to come with you?” She shook her head. He squeezed her hand and pulled her down slightly to whisper in her ear, “whatever’s bothering you, you can tell me.” And let her go.
* * *
“One pineapple-orange, one coke and uhm… iced tea please.” I smiled and told the cashier lady. My smile was returned and I received my change seconds after. “Thank you.” I replied and stuffed the coins in my back pocket, sighing as I waited patiently for the drinks.
“Here you go.” The lady said. She wasn’t much older than me. Probably an intern. It is summer.
I uttered a small thank you again and picked the plastic up, holding the base of the drinks with my other hand. No spills this time. I smiled to myself as I remembered one particular event when I went out to this same food court about a month ago.
“Okay…” I muttered to myself as I left the drink booth. “Time to get back to the guys.”
Tiem stopped so suddenly and someone had clicked the mute button again, drowning out all other sounds other from the word I heard next…
I stopped dead in my tracks.
That voice. Soft, male, aristocratic, with the slightest hint of a drowned out French.
There it was again.
I will not turn around. I told myself and began to walk again, my pace faster this time. I heard myself laugh inwardly.
A nervous laugh.
A very, very nervous laugh.
There isn’t just one Sade in this world.
It’s not me.
It’s not me.
My heart felt like a steam engine revving up to move on into the tracks.
“Sade!” the voice called in a panicked tone and footsteps sounded. Fast. Footsteps.
What else could I do but do what I did?
I broke into a run and lost all sense of direction.
I somehow passed a fast food place whose seats and tables were also arranged outside and quickly left the three drinks on one empty table as I concentrated again on rushing away.
Oh God. Oh Lord. Why is this happening to me?
My heart thundered in my chest and I took a sharp turn, nearly slipping at the same time.
This leads to the stairs. No—wait, that’s the escalator.
I skidded to a stop when I realized that the people weren’t walking up just because they were in a hurry… but because it wasn’t working for some unqualified reason.
Oh no. I swallowed hard and suddenly, my brain—and legs, began to work again.
The elevator! I sped to the narrow corridor on the left and pressed madly at the button.
Come on… come on!
I felt myself trembling as the doors opened and an elderly couple stepped out, making it possible for me to rush in.
Please, please, please… close. Close!
I was practically begging the stupid metal shaft to close. But the wiring must be knocked because it wasn’t responding to the fact that I was continuously pressing on the ‘door close’ button.
The doors of the elevator began to shut—
A strong hand stopped it short.
To be Continued…