Chapter 10 Jeffery Says good-bye to Cosima #amreading #freebook
Boy, when I started reading this one I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me. I ended up cutting several pages of story dump. I'm still thinking more may need to be cut. I wanted this chapter to show Cosima's normal life before the beeeep hits the fan and to give a little about the motivations of Jeffery and Millicent. Info I'm hoping will keep the reader interested. You'll have to let me know if I succeeded or not. Or am I just boring the reader?
Cosima sat on the couch watching TV. Her son played in his room creating animations on his computer. She could hear him laugh now and then. He’s creating something funny again. Her son loved cartoons more than a normal kid. She hoped his love for them might be a future career.
She glanced at the clock. It was almost nine. An hour had passed since they came home from the mall.
“Logan, brush your teeth it’s almost nine, bedtime!” She waited a few minutes to see if he stirred. When he didn’t, she repeated her statement even louder.
“LOGAN! Brush your teeth now it's bedtime.” She could hear him moving in his room.
“Fine,” he said as he appeared in the hall with a scowl on his face. Logan disappeared into the bathroom. She waited to hear water running and the sound of brushing. It took a little while but the soft sound finally reached her ears. She wished puberty would hurry, maybe then he’d want to brush his teeth for the girls.
“Do it longer than thirty seconds this time. Two minutes if you don’t want your teeth to fall out.”
She relaxed and thought back to the mall. She enjoyed talking to Jeffery immensely. She couldn’t remember the last time she had a conversation with someone who wasn’t a guest or a client. Her only companion outside of work was Logan. She hoped Jeffery’s sudden departure wasn’t because he wasn’t interested in her. He seemed very interested. He must have really been sick.
She wanted to call his room at the hotel and see if Jeffery was alright. Maybe he has swine flu, she joked to herself. Why shouldn’t she call? It would be polite to check up on a new friend.
She went into her office and searched for the cordless phone. Like her bedroom, the office was a mess. Boxes, papers lay scattered everywhere along with computer parts and photography equipment. The only rooms in the house that stayed organized were the living room and kitchen because those were the rooms her clients saw. She sighed, the handset never stayed on the cradle. Instead of wasting time looking, she hit the find button on the phone cradle. Hopefully, the battery still had a charge. She faintly heard beeping coming from another room. She followed the sound from the office to the living room. As she approached the bedroom, the sound grew louder. The cordless phone sat on the dresser. She picked it up and dialed the hotel’s number. After two rings, she heard a familiar voice on the other end.
“Thank you for calling the Holiday Inn, my name is Rachel, how can I help you today?” Rachel was a college student and always worked the evening shift. She had recently gotten married and had booked a different photographer to shoot her wedding. Cosima wondered if it was because she was already booked, too expensive, or if Rachel didn’t want to hire someone she worked with. Whatever the reason, Cosima would never ask Rachel the answer.
“Room 310, please, last name Walker.” Cosima didn’t let on who she was, just another person calling a room. She didn’t like people at work knowing her business. Everyone else who shared too much of their personal lives ended up in trouble or fired.
The phone rang and her confidence drained into her feet with each shrill chime. What am I going to say? Her body shook and she almost hung up the phone when the recorded voice mail message spoke.
“No one is available to take your call, please leave a message after the beep or dial 0 for personal assistance.” The electronic voice, cold and unfriendly, finished and she sighed with relief. Should she leave a message? Should she hang up? She needed to decide. The beep would sound soon.
Her heart jumped.
“Hi Jeffery, It’s Cosima,” She stumbled, not sure what to say. “I just wanted to check and make sure you are all right. You can call me back at 555-264-1212. Bye” She slammed the phone down and swallowed hard. She survived a phone call to a stranger, although he didn’t feel like a stranger. The nervousness came from her attraction, not because of fear or discomfort around him. Would he call back? She wasn’t scheduled again until the following Wednesday. That would be a long wait to see him again. She wanted to tell him what happened after he left; about the woman thinking he was her dead son. Did he hear the woman calling to him? It didn’t appear that he had. Plus, she was calling John, not Jeffery. He probably had no idea someone tried to get his attention. Please, please, please call back.
Cosima couldn’t call him back until he called her or she would look desperate. Maybe he’s out working on his research. She closed her eyes to picture him working in some lonely records room. Or maybe he’s at the emergency room? She hoped not. She hoped he had eaten something bad or maybe caught a twenty-four hour bug. She was anxious to tell him how he looked like that woman’s son. The resemblance still shocked her. If that picture was sitting out somewhere she would have thought it was Jeffery. What would he say about it?
She glanced at the clock again. The digital readout glowed nine thirty, her son’s bedtime.
“Logan, time for the TV to go off and go to bed.” She heard the explosions stop and then the light go out. “I’ll see you in the morning darling, bright and early for school.”
“Tucking mommy, Tuck me in!” he yelled from his room in a baby voice. She tiptoed around the clutter in his room and saw him lying straight out on his bed as stiff as a board, waiting.
“Logan, you're thirteen, you’re too old to be tucked anymore. Other kids are going to make fun of you if they find out.”
“Just tuck me mommy.” He tightened his body even more and waited. She picked up his favorite fuzzy blanket. It was black and grey with the Raider’s football team logo. Logan didn’t like sports, but his father did, and the Raiders were his father’s favorite team. She spread it out and tossed it on top of him from across the room.
“There you go. That’s the best I can do. There’s too much junk surrounding your bed for me to give you a proper tucking. You’ll have to clean your room for that.”
“Mom! Cover me!” he protested and wiggled the blanket back off him. It slid to the ground and he smiled with an evil glint in his eyes.
“Sorry bub, I can’t make it over there. It’s too dangerous. I’ll fall and break my leg, or worse, I’ll crush one of your precious toys.” She blew him a kiss across the room. He growled disappointed as usual. “I’ll see you in the morning, dear.” She walked out of his room before Logan could stop her and headed for her own room. She turned off the lamps in the living room then walked over to the dining room switch. Her mind returned to Jeffery. She was glad she met him. She had never felt such an instant connection with a stranger before. It felt like they were meant to meet. She switched off the light and darkness fell over the house. She glanced at the window toward her neighbor’s home before going to her room.
Her heart jumped! She swore for a second she saw a face staring at her through the window and then it disappeared. Her body froze, afraid to move, afraid to breathe. She couldn’t see anything out in the yard. The empty night played tricks on her. She started breathing again. Her imagination must have created the face from the darkness. It happened a lot living alone.
Fear compelling her, she checked the doors making sure they were locked. She kept her gaze away from the windows. She slipped into her bedroom. Blinds covered every window. They kept her room protected from prying eyes. She turned on the TV and tried to clear her mind and go to sleep.
After Millicent left, Jeffery returned to the mall and followed Cosima and her son home. He watched as they went inside the house then he got out of his car and walked to a large rounded window. He watched Cosima sit on a couch with her legs scrunched up underneath her. She must be watching TV. Different colors from the screen danced along her skin. Relaxing, watching TV, such a normal every day activity. He wanted those days back. He’d sit right next to her with his arms wrapped around her, like in his visions of the other realities where they were together, happy. Soul mates.
Cosima stared at the screen as if she were in another world. Suddenly, she yelled to her son to get ready for bed and then she got up searching for something. She came back into the room with a phone in her hand. She dialed a number and waited.
“Room 310, please, last name Walker.” Cosima called him. A warm sensation spread through his body knowing that she was thinking of him. Her expression darkened as she realized no one would answer. Cosimas left a message and dropped the phone on the couch. He’d have to sneak back into the hotel and erase that message to protect her from the hunters and Millicent. She needed to be safe before he disappeared.
Being bitten by a vampire had snatched his life away from him. Some day he would find the one that changed him and kill them. The thought had crossed his mind, especially after what Millicent said tonight, that she was the one that bit him. How could she have known about him, unless she had attacked him? Why did Millicent do it, if she did do it? Why does she do anything?
Cosima returned and turned out the lights. She came very close to his window. She wore pink pajamas with some kind of character on them. She looked peaceful, happy. A pang of jealousy sprang up in his chest. Millicent would know why Cosima appeared so peaceful. Millicent would pluck the thoughts right out of Cosima’s head.
This would be the last time Jeffery saw Cosima. He would remember this picture of her, forever.
“Good-bye, Cosima,” he whispered quietly, “Maybe in our next lives.”
She flipped the last light switch off in the kitchen and she disappeared through a door swallowed by darkness. He leaned up against the siding of the trailer and concentrated. He had tried to activate his ability to see alternate realities before, but it never worked. He had no control over his power. Just this once, he wanted it to work, but nothing happened.
Time to go and accept the life that was forced on him and let Cosima go forever.
Glowing eyes peered out of the thick darkness throwing imaginary daggers at the little doublewide trailer. Millicent cringed as Jeffery daydreamed about this human female. Jeffery was hiding something from Millicent about this woman. He cooperated too easily earlier tonight so she followed him.
Millicent couldn’t believe the thoughts passing through Jeffery’s mind about this piece of meat. Why would he want to be in love with his food? He couldn’t be more pathetic. She had turned him into a god to rule with her and he wanted to throw it all away and be with this stupid human. Her Arnold would never have been so stupid. She missed him so much.
Millicent formed her plan as she watched Jeffery get back in his car and drive away. She would take care of this problem.