1 November 2005
The ride to Lori's place was awkward and quiet. I didn't know what to say or how to begin saying it, and she seemed to only be interested in holding the blanket tight around herself, leaning away from me, and looking out the window. The only words exchanged the whole time were right when she got in, when she said he had a splitting headache and asked me to turn down the music; I just turned it off. I couldn't exactly blame her, I couldn't imagine what she'd been through these past few months. So we rode along, in silence. When I pulled up to her house, I put on the brake and we sat for a moment.
"Do you...is there anything you need? I can help you inside, or run to the store, or-"
"No," she said, in a very definitive tone. She sighed and looked down, then turned back to me. "But thank you."
"Of course." She turned back to the window, but neither of us moved for another minute. "Oh, um, I should tell you. We were able to summon Alethea, and you, because of stuff I stole from that...shrine in the broom closet. I'm sorry, I can bring it back."
"Right." She sighed, opened her door a little bit, and then closed it again before turning to me.
"What's your deal, John?"
"...I think I need you to be more specific."
"Why you?" I hummed and leaned back in my seat.
"I don't know. I think it's because, somehow, she saw me in her last moments?"
"Yes, I know all that. But why? Why are you important to all of this?"
"I don't know. I don't think I am." I tapped on the steering wheel a few times as I stared at the motionless speedometer. "This story might not even be about me." She exhaled hard and looked out the windshield, for a few moments, then shook her head.
"No. There's something about you. I don't think you take this all seriously enough to notice yet, but things are converging on you. And until you learn how to see them coming, more people are going to get hurt." I looked down and scratched the back of my neck.
"I'm sorry, Lori."
"I know." We sat for another minute in silence before she opened the door. She paused.
"Do you need some space?" She laughed and looked away, then took a sharp breath as she shook her head and held her fist up to her mouth.
"John, I...I never agreed to any of this. You must realize, it was never me. Not even the first time we met, it was always her. We're not..." She trailed off, then got out of Alpha and held the door as she looked at the sky. "Yeah. I need some space." I nodded. "Thanks for the help. And for the ride. See you around." She closed the door and made her way inside. I watched her go, until she was inside the building. Then I leaned back, lit a cigarette, swore at myself a bit, and then took a deep breath and drove to Denny's.
The blog of John Matteson.