Friday, September 24, 2010

TUS Chapter 24 Teaser

Sometimes in life, things have a way of coming at you, things you’d never expect in a million years. Some are good, some are bad, some are sitting on the threshold, leaving you unsure which direction they’ll tip, so you have to brace yourself for the impact, but all are equally unexpected.

And when you find yourself riding in the center of the vortex of unknown, your lungs feel like they’re compressed. You wait to breathe that sigh of relief or feel a crushing blow aimed right at your heart. The unknown can be thrilling, it can be scary and it can be lonely.

Then again, it could be all three at once, which is exactly what I discovered as I stood there with that picture in my hand. It was a mystery I couldn't make sense of.

This woman, whose face wasn’t just beautiful but appeared kind, smiled at the person behind the lens, her green eyes so hopeful. It was a closeup shot, which made her features very easily seen. She was young, eighteen maybe. Her hand was positioned against her cheek, hair nearly the same color as Edward’s blowing in the wind, a stray strand covering one of her fingers.

The backdrop was a meadow of some kind. There appeared to be lots of trees, along with wild flowers that tried to make their presence known even though the camera cut off much of their view.

I held that picture in my hand, whose edges were a little frayed, my body stock still, trying to find something to debunk what my brain was screaming at me, but I always came back to the same conclusion. This woman, she looked like Edward, so much that it was eerie. That realization aired a lot of questions, like a bunch of pistons firing off in my brain, but it all led to the biggest question of all… How was it even possible?

“What do you got there?” I never heard Alice move toward me… or even felt her peering around my arm.

I answered her, though I didn’t recognize my voice when I did, but my eyes stayed on the picture practically glued to my fingertips. “Who… who is this?”

She grabbed the picture from my hand, but not without resistance I didn’t realize I was giving. She stared at it, the smile on her face becoming a frown. “This was my Aunt Elizabeth, my mom’s younger sister.”

Even through the shock I caught the obvious innuendo, but I still asked the question anyhow. “What do you mean 'was'?”

Her shoulders slouched, her words carried a saddened undertone. “She died… before I was born.”