Authors: Ella Mack
He nodded, standing up. “Well, I’d better be going. It’s late. I’ll see you around.”
“No you won’t.”
Post frowned, looking at her curiously.
“If you walk out now I’ll never speak to you again. You know that and I know that. Neither one of us are very good at saying what we are feeling and we won’t call each other.”
“So you’re telling me to get lost?”
“No. I just want to ask you a question. Remember when you caught me counting pills in my apartment, making sure I had a lethal dose?”
His expression changed subtly. “Yes.”
“Did you mean what you said?”
He hesitated a moment, considering. “Yes.” He had little doubt of what she was asking.
“Well, I didn’t. I didn’t mean any of it. Don’t go.”
He canted his head a little, a faint grin at the corner of his mouth. “Why not?”
Imelda smiled, taking his hand. “Can’t you figure it out?”
Post marveled at her beauty as he had so many times. He could well understand how Golden could have wanted her at any cost, why so many men felt threatened or thwarted when she ignored them and women jealous and vengeful. It was not her fault really. Maybe she was right. Maybe she was a siren luring men to their death on storm battered rocks. He didn’t care. He had already been caught by her spell.
Yet he hesitated. She was tired, freshly out of treatment. He would be no better than Golden if he stayed. “I’ve got to go,” he muttered and turned to leave.
Imelda caught his arm. “What is it?” she asked. “I may have been sick but I remember what happened. If you’ve changed your mind let’s deal with it now. I can’t play games with you, not about this.”
Post stood frozen, uncertain of what to say. He knew that she was challenging him, forcing him to declare his intentions now so that she could forget him all the quicker if he no longer cared. He cared. It was just that...
Imelda frowned at him, then pulled him towards the couch. “Sit down Post. Let’s get this over with. Spit it out.”
Post grudgingly sat, wondering at her perceptiveness. She had always been perceptive, uncannily so. He wasn’t quite sure how to begin. Subconsciously his hand rubbed his wrist where his health certificate was housed. Imelda pounced.
“Aha! I thought so.”
Before he could stop her, she popped open the cover and read the info revealed.
She sat back laughing.
He closed the certificate grimly, glaring at her. “I’m supposed to give you permission before you do that.”
“Too late. Anyway, we are discussing cohabitation. It is my right to see it.”
He rose angrily. “I’ll see you later,” he said again.
“So you won’t talk, huh? Who gave you the other virus? Your first girlfriend?”
His face reddened. “I have poor taste in women, at least in terms of transmissibility. You needn’t worry about it. It’s not your problem.”
She continued to smile. “My taste is equally as bad, Post. Anyway, the stuff they’ve been giving you to suppress my virus has just about wiped out your other one. I doubt I could catch it if I tried. You picked up on my scheme awfully fast. Did you quit taking your medicine too?”
His face reddened further. “No. My virus wouldn’t work. I did think about it. I inoculated a few cell cultures even. I just didn’t have the raw material to work with that you did.”
“So answer my question. Have you changed your mind?”
He hesitated only a second. “No. Have you?” His question was pointed.
The rest of their conversation was nonverbal.
Loneliness is like a chasm splitting the human soul. Those who are lonely search endlessly for some sort of patch to fill the void, grabbing hungrily at anything that might end the unbearable ache. Many never recognize the ache for what it is and flounder about aimlessly in its grip. While many things can provide temporary anesthesia or give enough of a boost to keep one going a little bit longer, it is on
ly the discovery of a true soul mate that finally heals. Love is a word that is often misused, sometimes referring to sex or to fondness or to friendship. True soul mates are harder to find, and once discovered, instantly recognizable. The ache disappears. The chasm is gone, filled by another’s presence. Each can trust the other intimately. To touch is to go to a place that is infinitely comfortable and reassuring.
As two torn and battered psyches
ignited and fused to make each other whole, a silly thought was produced by one. ‘I was right. He does have a teddy bear hug.’
Fish stared at the blank screen as he had done since Golden left. He really didn’t want to pry into Imelda’s private affairs any longer. He was jealous of Post though. If he himself had thought that Imelda would even look at him twice, he might have done the same thing. It was too bad that Imelda hated men so. Post had damaged his health and ruined his chances to find another woman all for nothing.
A message was blinking, reminding him. At some point he was going to have to tell her about the rest of her mail. Hopefully she would give permission to allow a crew to sort through it first. He wasn’t sure how she was going to react to all the proposals of marriage
, especially given her phobias. Well, no matter. The crates had waited this long; they could wait a little longer. The E-mail overload issues, on the other hand, were terribly messy. She would probably need another lawyer to sort those out. That could wait too. She deserved a little peace first.
He would check back in a few days to see if she had allowed Post to see her again. Meanwhile, he was going spelunking.
Ella Mack graduated from college with a degree in chemistry and physics. She went on to pursue a profession in the health industry. As an escape from the very real ailments of modern society, she began writing science fiction novels as a hobby. The novels thus far produced chronicle travels to distant parts of the galaxy to explore the triumphs and tribulations of future societies.