Meenah writes ✍️
It was already time for Jean and I to go home. Where the hell was that stupid Harriet? If I was alone, I’d have just uped and left, but Jean kept insisting that we get her.
We’d searched the whole market without a trace of her. Jean was getting worried, but I was glad that my wish for her to never return came true. Then I spotted Denyse talking to a group of girls, Gia, Sabrina, Carol, Freya, and Umbria. Groups of gossips. I smiled, realizing that I hadn’t talked to them in a while and I missed them.
“Hey guys,” I called and went to them. They all stopped immediately and turned to me.
“Zoe, where have you been?” Sab (Sabrina) purred and pulled me in for a hug.
“Where else, she’s been busy with Ewan,” Carol said.
If only I was.
“So tell us, have you and Ewan finally…hmm?” Umbria asked, wagging her eyebrows.
I was about to answer when Gia pointed and asked, “Who’s that?”
It was Jean coming towards us.
“That’s Jean. She’s new here, with her other backstabbing friend. After we’d left her stay at Juliante’s place, she is trying to….” I trailed off when I saw that Jean had already reached me.
“So any news about Harriet?” she asked with a nod and a small wave to the girls.
“Harriet? She went that way,” Denyse said and pointed. “She was looking for Rex.”
“What!?” everyone except Jean exclaimed.
“Yeah, my reaction exactly. Is she dumb or…”
“Who’s Rex?” Jean asked as we followed the path Deny pointed out.
We were on a hilly ground. Looking down below, we saw Rex and Harriet talking and laughing like they’ve know each other for ever.
“Him,” I said to Jean and smiled to myself. Exactly what I wanted.
I don’t know, but I had this crazy urge to dress up for the outing with Rex. I mean, it isn’t a date right?
“Hair up or down?” I asked Jean from my position at the dressing table.
“But Harry really. I don’t like this. You shouldn’t be with any other guy but Ewan!” she nagged, like she’d been doing since we returned at noon.
I rolled my eyes at her and I’m sure she saw it through the mirror, because she frowned.
“Up or down?” I asked again.
She sighed. “Down.”
I let the hair down and began to brush it.
” Think Harriet. You know you like Ewan.”
I scoffed and turned to face her. “Jean, I don’t like Ewan and he doesn’t like me!”
And that’s true.
After that night where he’d actually flirted with me, Ewan had been avoiding me like the eleventh plague. I didn’t catch him at breakfast, but I met him in the hallway. I was opening my mouth to speak when he mumbled something and walked away.
Then came the time Juliante called for us to his study. He said something about us being bonded because of some blah blah blah I didn’t understand. He’d ended with a ‘tell her’ to Ewan. But instead, Ewan had upped and walked out without risking a sideways glance to me.
And after we’d returned from the market, I couldn’t find him at home.
Conclusion: He’s avoiding me.
Reason: Not deduced. Probably the same reason for which he disliked me from the beginning.
I had really wanted to talk to him, and to ask him about the headache and the strong nagging feeling I had about this night, but he just chickened away.
I sighed. How do you tell if you like someone? Is it that your heartbeat increases when you’re closer to him……or is it that the two of you get to communicate telepathically?
I turned to Jean and held up two dresses, ignoring my thoughts.
“Yellow or Grey?” I asked.
Zoe had been surprisingly ready to borrow me her clothes, and I wondered why. Maybe she’s seen that Ewan and I has no thing for each other?
“Harriet, you can’t just go on a date with a stranger despite him being a handsome one.”
“Yellow or grey?” I repeated.
Soon I’d finished dressing. Even Zoe said that I looked nice.
Rex would be here any time soon, so I walked to the dinning and sat, reading a page I found there.
“Nothing interesting,” I muttered to myself.
Just then Juliante showed up. I smiled to him, but his expression remained stoic. Especially when he saw that I was all dressed up.
“To my office. I’ve outlined series of books you’ll have to read to get a hang of why you hear peoples thoughts and every other thing you’ll need to know.”
“But I’m going out!”
“Then you’ll better get started to finish up.”
“Can’t it wait?”
“It can’t.” Then he gave me a smile that seemed as if he knew some juicy secret. “And besides, Ewan’s up there too.”
He walked away.
Now I’m very sure I must be the one who’s avoiding Ewan. Damn, my knees had already turned to jelly and my heart wants to jump out of my chest!
These can’t be symptoms of liking somebody, right?
Climbing the stairs slowly up towards Juliante’s office, I couldn’t help but think. Something was really bugging me, but I just couldn’t place my finger on it. What with Zoe lending me two dresses and with Denyse and Jean warning me about Rex…
Well, save the thoughts for some other time.
I knocked on the door and peeked in through the part that was open a crack. There, in the middle of the floor sat Ewan among piles of papers and stacks of books with an obvious dislike for the work evident by the scowl on his face. I resisted the urge to laugh out and said instead, “Need a hand?”
He looked up to me. The scowl eased a bit, but he still didn’t smile. I missed his carefree attitude not this guarded one. He nodded and looked away.
But when I entered the room fully, his eyes fell on me again and didn’t leave until I sat beside him. I tried to ignore him by picking up random papers strewn allover, but he still watched me intently like he was trying to discover something.
That’s the sound of my control breaking. I flung all the papers away and said, “Why are you looking at me that way!?” I asked, a slight frown wrinkling my forehead.
“Were you going somewhere?”
“Yes, with Rex.”
He scoffed and looked away. “Harriet what on earth is wrong with you and that guy!?”
I was confused… was he asking wha–
“Why are you so blinded to see that he isn’t trustworthy?”
“Oh, and you,” I poked him on the chest, “know this? What, did you read his mind or something?”
Ewan made some noises at the back of his throat and resumed ordering the papers.
“Wait, so you’re ignoring me. I was right all along.”
“Right about what?”
“You’ve been avoiding me. Why?”
“Don’t be ridiculous. Why would I–”
“I don’t know, you tell me!”
He stared at me for a moment, shook his head. “Listen, Juliante wants us to get reading all these done. So I suggest we start now so that you can be free to go on some fancy date with a guy you don’t even know.”
“Why do you keep insisting that he’s bad?” I asked.
He didn’t answer, and from the look of it, he wasn’t going to.
I sighed and picked up a volume of what Juliante asked us to read. It was titled Techniques of Mind Reading. I smiled. Juliante looked like the kind of man that would have the answer to anything. And I was an avid reader.
I opened the book and got started.
*An Hour Later*
I closed the book and heaved a sigh of both relief and amazement. Of course I’ll need Juliante to explain certain things, but I think I pretty much got the hang of it now.
The book talked about the various ways a mind reader could connect to anybody’s thoughts, provided he had the focus. But it also talked about being bonded. Now that was the part I didn’t understand.
I turned to Ewan who was now sitting at the desk. Since, he hadn’t said anything to me. What was I expecting, that he’d tell me not to go out with Rex because of a better reason?
Then the door opened and Juliante came in with his hands at his back.
“I see you guys are doing a great job?”
“Good.” He sat on a chair. “Because now, I want to explain why you can connect with each other.”
“Connect?” Ewan and I chorused. “But we just communicate.”
“Aye, that’s the basic skill. But if you weren’t bonded, this wouldn’t have been. You told her?” he asked Ewan, who shook his head slowly. “Blast it all Ewan. We mightn’t have time.”
Ewan nodded his understanding. I could only wonder what they meant.
“She is the one,” Juliante said.
“The one what?” I asked.
“The one the Master’s looking for. She had been blessed by the Spirits of The Times, with the ability to destroy what ever evil plan the Master builds, and him as well. But the Master also knows that he could harness these gifts for his destructive purposes. Now in a way, you both were connected from the very beginning.”
“Huh?” I asked.
“I mean before birth. It’s sort of a lifetime bond. You need the other to survive.”
He paused for a long while till I had to ask:
“And that is all I can tell you.” He stood up.
“Hey, you can’t just leave. You’ve just ended up confusing ms the more!”
“The rest is up to you to figure it out.” And he shut the door.
The One. Spirit of Times. The Master. Absolute poppycock!!!
I stood up to leave when Ewan’s voice stopped me in my tracks.
“The reason I don’t trust Rex is because he looks so much like him.”
I turned back. Something told me that he was about to tell me whatever it is he should’ve told me.
“Who?” I asked gently and sat on the floor beside him.
“You really need to do this for me OK? Harriet keeps getting closer and closer to Ewan. I don’t want that.”
I looked around to see if anyone was approaching. No one, so I turned back to Rex, who was leaning on the wall casually.
He chuckled. “So you expect me to keep her away through out the night?” he asked.
“Okay. Just…. don’t regret it,” he said and walked away.
That sounded pretty much like a warning, but I wouldn’t bother to heed it.
I’ll do anything to get Ewan.
I know what I’m supposed to do, and I’ll have to keep reminding myself that.
“You can’t fail.”
I turned to the source of the voice behind me. He wore a black outfit that covered him completely, and a mask that revealed only his eyes. He hands were behind his back. His hard stare was on me.
Pure epitome of Evil.
“I won’t. I’m getting her tonight.”
I was scared inside out as I listened to Ewan’s story:
“It was like two years back. I was seventeen then. I lived with my parents, not Juliante. He took me in, so I take him as a grandfather.
Years ago, when I was quite little, Amazon was the Home of Myth and Magic. Good ones. People used it to help each other, train rare creatures….. there was peace for a while.
Then people started thinking they could use magic for their personal gain. The peace was destroyed. Somehow, the Master had managed to steal the secret of the spirits power, their existence. The first thing he did was to take them prisoners. That was after they’d promised that they’d left a savior in one of us. Ever since then, chaos reigned. People lived in terror, closed doors. But the fault was all on the tourists. They always visited this place. It was one of them who brought the secret of how to capture a spirit.”
I nodded, understanding now why he hated tourists.
“When I was seventeen, I had gone out for a stroll. The evening was cool and nice. I’d left mom and dad at home. That was the stupidest thing I’ve ever done. I was the one who always defended them against…. I was such a fool. I’ll never forget that it’s my fault they’re gone now.”
I hurriedly placed my palm on his thigh and smoothened.
“Don’t blame yourself Ewan. It wasn’t your fault.”
“Yes it was. But I don’t want to talk about it anymore.”
I nodded. “It’s OK. Whenever you’re ready to tell me I’ll—”
“It’s not that I don’t trust you. I don’t want to talk about it because right now, the only thing I want to do is kiss you.”
And before I knew, he’d leaned down and kissed me, cupping my chin in his hand.
To be continued