I HAVE AN ETERNITY AHEAD OF ME
(Intermittent Waves Recorded from the Transformed Heart of a Woman)
EPISODE 3: AUNTIE YONNY
Surprisingly, sleep came easy to Hal that night. It had been a tiring day filled with the unexpected and unforgettable. However, the heaviness within that sleep, carried heavy dreams, which came at him hard, wave after wave. Amidst the pounding of espionage, treason and waves of uncertainty washing over his mind, lurked an ambitious and treacherous foe, branching out in all directions weaving a tangled web. As he chased the elusive spider, trying hard not to be the fly caught within its sticky, cleverly woven trap, Hal’s heart pounded within his chest; a constant reminder that his life was in jeopardy. Those around him knew that he already knew too much. He had to find the spider before it found him. –But, then, what? Would he have enough information to expose him? The lurid details of cover-up, involving murders upon multiple continents caused him to fight off the effects of these unwanted visualizations, like fighting off the effects of being drugged. He fought to become conscious to no avail.
After tossing and turning and thrashing about, a new dream emerged, as if he’d simply turned the page of a spy novel. The Chinese food he had stopped for on the way home, reappeared to him in his dream, placing him in a traditional Chinese restaurant, filled with shady characters.
Seated at a side table, near the door, he glanced over the menu which listed various fashion designers and clothing brands, whom amongst them was Tanya Graves. He knew this was odd, but didn’t quite know how it fit in with the current situation. He would make a mental note of it for future reference as he always did.
He opened a fortune cookie from the bowl in front of him. The fortune read, “You will be smart enough to stay ahead of the game and out-fox the foxes.” It was signed, Tanya.
Hal dropped the slip of paper and looked around him. He remembered Tanya saying that her father always thought that he was smart enough to out-fox the foxes. Tanya had left this message for him. Was it a warning? Tanya had told him that the mistakes her father had made were due to his arrogant thinking and believing he was so smart that he could out-smart anyone and everyone.
Now, Hal found himself weaving and dodging, trying to stay ahead of those in pursuit. He was tormented even more by the hideous, ghostly image of Tanya Graves that haunted him, eerily appearing in windows and reflections, even more ghastly than she looked upon her deathbed. The apparition angrily screamed at him, from its gaping, drooling mouth, “Expose them! Expose them!”
Hal was shaking the images from his mind when, an elderly Chinese woman slowly approached his table, her head slightly tilted to the right. She smiled with several gold teeth gleaming at him. Hairs stood up on Hal’s arms as he felt like he was on the menu to be chewed by those golden teeth. An uneasy feeling came upon him, as if he was being watched from behind the stainless steel kitchen door behind her. He had saved himself more than once by acting on his gut feelings and this didn’t feel right. He politely apologized for having to leave and excused himself, as he headed for the door.
Not looking back, he began to run. Not knowing if he was being chased, still, he kept running. Several city blocks away, he stopped to catch his breath. Folded over, gripping his ankles, he peered down the street, from in between his legs and saw a car behind him stop and a man stick his head out of the window and point at him.
Somehow, he managed to make his shaking and fatigued legs run even faster and almost ran into a fashionable couple dressed for a night out. The man jumped from the curb into an oily, murky puddle, pulling his curvaceous partner close to him.
Concerned with their well-being, Hal managed a brief glance back their way, just long enough to see anger upon the man’s face and a shocked woman still trying to process what was going on.
Filled with remorse, Hal knew that time and circumstances didn’t allow for long apologies. He directed a heartfelt, “I’m sorry,” their way, then, rapidly assessed his whereabouts and headed into a dark alley to catch his breath.
Sweat poured down his face and into his eyes from his drenched eyebrows. His eyes stung from the salty sweat. Pulling out his t-shirt to wipe his face, he squatted to relax the muscles in his legs. They weren’t use to all of this exercise and neither was he.
The image of the couple reappeared in his mind. As he arose and began walking, sinking deeper into the darkness of the alley, belated feelings of despair and helplessness overwhelmed him, filling his eyes with tears. The expressions on the couple’s faces mirrored his own feelings. Panting heavily, he clinched his hands into fists. Yes, he felt angry, shocked and disgusted; angry for allowing himself to be led into a trap and furious at the way people had barged into his life, with no regard for his safety and those closest to him.
He followed the alley to the lighted street at the other end. Hearing a car just turning into the alley from behind him, his tired and wobbly legs, instinctively started running, while he still looked behind.
A second later, Hal felt that his heart might jump twenty feet, if it hadn’t been caged in. A driver was laying their hand on the car horn, as he ran directly toward their moving vehicle. He whipped his head in front of him staring into blinding and flashing bright headlights.
With a jerk that left him breathless, Hal brought himself to a full stop in front of the burning tires that screeched and swerved in front of him, finally stopping and missing his rigid body by less than an inch. Hal’s mind finally caught up with reality and realized he’d come within an inch of his life. His legs felt weak and he felt himself collapsing in slow motion, but, at that moment, he awoke, sweating and thirsty, thinking, “Whew, what a dream!”
The dawn would soon be breaking and Hal didn’t want to risk being late for his morning appointment. Since sleeping seemed to be more tiring than staying awake, he decided to just stay up and watch a late, late movie, then, head out and get some breakfast. He could hear his stomach growling during the interview yesterday morning and he didn’t want it to be in control of his thoughts today, especially, since he hadn’t had much sleep.
After a quick trip to the bathroom and then to the kitchen for a beverage and cold leftovers, Hal stared at an old movie on television. Still thinking about his disconnected dreams, which he knew were somehow connected to Tanya Graves and the Graves Family, he made a decision.
It was time to start asking questions, no matter what the consequences. If he was going to make a commitment to this family, he needed to get honest answers. He began to wonder if it was possible, or, was he being used to spin a bigger web for a bigger plot Tanya Graves had schemed up in her mind?
There was no denying that he wanted this story and that perhaps, someone had heard him wishing yesterday and made all his wishes begin to come true in one day. Yet, while the dreams were still fresh in his mind, there was also no denying how he felt. Like walking into that dark alley, he felt as if this story and his once in a lifetime offer were carrying him into darkness and danger. He didn’t consider himself to be a religious man or a superstitious man, but, nevertheless, he didn’t want his epitaph to read, “BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR!”