Ch. 19 – Possibilities

I have just posted the second to last chapter of my paranormal romance, A Quiet Moment. I hope you are enjoying the novel. Take Care.

Possibilities:

Chapter 19

The air seemed different, cool, but not incredibly chilled. When his awareness surfaced, it became quite clear to him that this was a different place, not Virginia at all. He was walking somewhere. It felt physical, not floating around disembodied like the other times. He stopped, able to control his movements, and looked around. What strangeness was this? The very air felt different, charged in a way. And he felt much lighter, his mind clearer than he had—he couldn’t even remember this particular feeling before.

There were trees all around him and fallen leaves all over the ground. He started walking again but continued to revel in the sensations rushing through him. Awake, alive, creative — damn, he felt like rushing off and painting this very scene.

And then, as he continued the walk to his unknown destination, he stopped for a moment, trying to take his surroundings in. There was a gate, or low wall rather in the distance. It seemed that the area he was traveling in was vast and yet contained. Down the path that he was taking, he could see structures that he would be nearing soon, granite, marble statues. He stopped, a bit startled, being struck by the obvious now. He was in a cemetery, reveling in its atmosphere, strange chap that he was.

Completely uncertain of how he should proceed, Jacob continued onward, making his way to a shelled road between markers. His hands, he put in the pockets of his black trench coat. It was getting a bit chilly of course, not nearly as much as, then he hesitated, back home. That description seemed to fall flat somewhere. Where was that exactly? Back home, didn’t feel particularly welcoming at present. He breathed in deeply. Perhaps it was wrong, but that energy thing, excitement, surged up in him again. There was something unique here that had been absent from him for some time.

Casually, he began to meander between the monuments, not really focusing on them, just trying to examine what he was experiencing. And then, he turned a corner, noticing a solitary figure standing down at the end of one of the lanes. He stopped for a moment. His awareness became completely absorbed in her. There was a familiarity in the figure. She was wearing a short coat, bluish, and boots, dark boots. Without examining the impulse, he began to move in her direction. Chaotic emotions reached out to him as he got closer, loneliness, desolation, confusion wrapping around her as securely as the coat she wore. It felt painful to him. It was so strong, so intense. He drifted even closer, but she was so enmeshed in her own thoughts that she didn’t even notice.

Her head was bent, and she was staring fixedly at one of the tombstones. He was only a few yards from her, and still she didn’t stir. He stopped and stared down at the tombstone. Anna Marston, beloved friend and mother. Gone, but not forgotten. He could feel her thoughts, turbulent, far away, caught up in a cage of her own despair. Gently, he put his hand on her shoulder and whispered, “Aimee.”

She started a bit and then turned to face him. For a moment, it caught him off balance, her face. She seemed so young. He estimated just barely out of her twenties. She stumbled away from him a bit out of surprise, and then murmured with suspicion, “How do you know my name?”

The moment seemed to stretch on. It occurred to him now, finally, that he had ignorantly stumbled into the past somewhere. It was sort of like before, with her painting, but this time he seemed of a much more tangible nature. She stood there, staring at him intensely. Now, she was trying to feel. He could feel her very troubled mind reaching out to him, trying to glean information. With concentration, he gently rebuffed her attempts. It might not do to let her know that he was visiting her from her future.

“Who are you?” she asked pointedly and quite defensively. It shook him, her intensity. If he had thought Aimee was self-protective in the present, it was nothing compared to the armor that she was brandishing at this moment.

And then quickly, he decided to take the ambiguous road, “I’m a friend.”

An eyebrow went up. Now there was a familiar expression. He felt a bit of confusion flow from her. No doubt, she was used to having odd things happen in her life. “Did Dominick send you?” She asked rather timidly.

A flash of a small, white haired man that has appeared to him one night long ago in his den traipsed across his consciousness. It seemed like a good explanation. He nodded, “Yes.”

She frowned again, just shy of being hostile, “What do you want?”

And then, the answer came to him from somewhere. “I want to help you.”

She looked puzzled and turned back to the gravestone, “You can’t. I just need to be by myself now.” Again, he felt her slipping into that self-created exile — anger, pain, confusion, all the talismans of great loss.

He tried to clear his mind, for answers. There was something to be done here, some help to be given. He moved closer to her, “Aimee,” he whispered. She closed her eyes as though she were feeling something.

Her voice was low and quiet, “What did Dominick tell you?”

“That you needed help.” He swallowed, going on instinct, “That you were lost.”

“Did you see him?”

He felt puzzled for some reason by the question, “What?”

“Did you see him or just hear him?” And then she looked at him with some suspicion. “You do know he’s dead.”

He felt a catch in his throat, wasn’t that wonderful? “Yes, I know that. I talked to him.”

Her dark green eyes fluttered over his face. For the moment, she seemed to be accepting what he was telling her. “I haven’t talked to him for a while. I haven’t wanted to.”

“Don’t you think he might be able to help?”

She fidgeted a bit. “I don’t know. I just can’t feel anything anymore. It feels as though everything has changed.”

He shrugged, “You might need to give it time Aimee, time to heal.”

“I feel so alone,” she whispered.

Instinctively, he took her hand in his, “That’s not true.”

She seemed surprised, startled, but begrudgingly accepted the contact. He couldn’t help but smile, remembering how very skittish she was about his touching her when they first met. Now he was able to focus and feel the energy that he was sending her. Flesh to flesh made it stronger, more direct. She was staring downward, feeling it, he was certain, but a little too stunned to say anything. “Are you like Dominick?” she asked.

It took a moment for him to absorb what she was asking him. Was he a spirit, was he dead? “No, I’m just like you.”

Her eyes raised to his teary, filled with pain. “I’m so tired.”

He took his hand from hers and gently touched her face. Again, he could feel the surge of energy flow from his fingertips into her. “I know. Let me help you get through this.”

She looked frightened but allowed it as he took her into his arms. He pulled her closely to him, rubbing her back softly with his hand. He could feel her actually shaking in the embrace. She was so overwhelmed. “Don’t be afraid.” He whispered to her. And then he pulled her back a bit and bent in lower to kiss her. She started sharply at the contact, clearly surprised, and perhaps a bit shocked. But his hands firmly but gently steadied her, by holding her arms as he continued to kiss her deeply. The energy he was offering was moving into her. He could feel it already taking effect, giving her the strength that she needed to pull out of this very dark period. She clung to him, and he kissed her more passionately, intensely, until everything began to spin, and a distinct disorientation set in.

His vision blurred and when it cleared again, he was still there in the cemetery, but alone now. No Aimee in sight, wonderful, “What now?” he rasped aloud, but definitely to himself.

“Now there’s a question.” There he was, the slim gray-haired man that Aimee called Dominick, leaning up against a nearby tree. He was sure that he hadn’t been there before. But then again, considering where he found himself, why should he be surprised?

“Where’s Aimee?” he asked.

“Gone, gone actually to Marie’s house, her grandmother, to have a long heart to heart I would imagine. You helped her. Was that your next question?”

He frowned, something about this guy bothered him, definitely bothered him. He recalled that particular reaction at their first meeting in his den. The fellow smiled at him in a bit of a condescending way, as though he were looking at a child, “It’s a past life thing, bad blood. I wouldn’t let it concern you.”

“Is she all right?” he asked pointedly.

He nodded, “She’s better. You gave her quite a bit of energy as only you can seem to do. It’s that connection you two have. But she won’t remember this, not clearly anyway. It probably wouldn’t do to be meeting you nearly ten years before, well before you actually meet.”

He rubbed his head, “I don’t really understand all of this.”

“That’s understood. But you two are meant to help each other and others, sometimes in extraordinary ways. That’s your life chart, so don’t spend too much time getting sidetracked. It’s not a good idea.”

He opened his mouth to ask a question but abruptly found himself sitting in Aimee’s den again. He glanced up at the clock on the wall, only two-thirty. Hardly any time had passed at all.

He waited for a moment. He’d heard movement in the kitchen, but she didn’t venture into the duskiness of the den. “It’s all right,” he called out. “I’m up.”

And then she rounded the corner into the room. She’d changed her clothes, wearing a sort of loose purple-colored top of a very soft material over her blue jeans. It was becoming, appealing to his artistic eye. It was strange looking at her now, same face, but different. “I didn’t want to disturb you.” Her eyes briefly passed over the afghan that he still had bundled around him, perhaps looking a little amused, perhaps not.

He nodded, “Too late for that. I’m disturbed.” He frowned a bit, “bad joke.”

She smiled, still hesitant around him. He was curious as to why, but then again remembered his emotional explosions of the recent past. “Did you get any rest?” She asked.

“Some, just enough to make me feel how tired I am. How about you?”

She nodded, “A bit.” And then she added, “Are you feeling any better about things?”

He focused on her face again for a moment. He felt like it was only moments ago that he was holding her in that cemetery, kissing her as passionately as he ever had. But for her, whatever was left of that memory had dissipated long ago. “I feel a bit calmer. I’ve been trying to puzzle things out, about the past.”

She drifted further into the room, perhaps feeling a bit more heartened about his mental stability. “You know, it’s easier to get answers sometimes, if you try not to be judgmental about them.”

He smiled at her, wanting very much to hold her right now, to be comforted by what was in the present. “I’m not sure I follow.”

“I mean it helps if you’re willing to accept the truth, regardless of what it is, without putting a judgment on it. Some people only want the truth if it’s what they’re expecting it to be. Maybe put aside your expectations and just be open.”

“I,” he paused, very much wondering if she was the right person to talk to about this, but then again who else was there. “I was sitting here, remembering some things.”

She quietly sank down on the couch across from him, “What kind of things?”

“I remembered. Before we were married, Talia and I, and having thoughts, worries about whether I should marry her at all. But there was something else in me, a determination. I was determined to do it regardless. I don’t really understand that contradiction.”

She was quiet for a moment, seemed to be considering his words, “It’s hard to understand, but probably the reason you were so determined, in spite of your concerns, was because it was charted.”

“Charted?” An echo of what Dominick had said, “What does that mean?”

“Well, important things that happen to us, important relationships are charted before birth. We’re supposed to experience certain things in a lifetime to learn from it, good and bad.”

He leaned back, completely focused on her face, “You’re serious?”

She nodded, “Yes, it’s true.”

“So, I was going to have this disastrous marriage no matter what.”

She sighed, “Maybe, there are instances when one can go against the life chart with their free will, but the consequences of that are very difficult.”

“Really? More than betrayal and pain?”

She grimaced a bit, seeming to take great care in choosing her words, “Well, I know as hard as that sounds consider a life devoid of purpose, meaning. That’s a bitter pill, perhaps more difficult than just living through the experience.” She glanced away from him, self-consciously tucking her hair behind her ears. Just now, she reminded him very much of the twenty-something version that he’d seen so recently.

“I’m sorry,” she glanced up at him with question. “I’ve been very hard on you, and all you’ve been is supportive.”

A smile flickered across her lips, then just as quickly disappeared. “I am trying to help you Jacob. I know what you found out was a shock, but you have to ask yourself if was really unforeseeable, considering what was going on between you two.”

Another streak of anger seemed to shoot through him, but this time he worked to contain it rather than let his emotions run away from him. “You mean, I should have seen this coming?”

She hesitated, so sensitive to him, no doubt she could feel the potential rage that he was working hard to reign in. “I mean, from what you told me, you were discontent in the marriage. It’s not such a jump to believe that she was also.”

“But I didn’t sleep with another woman. I didn’t betray her.”

Her eyes were fixed on him unflinchingly, “No, but there are all sorts of escapes from painful situations. Perhaps, she just took a different one.”

He rubbed his chin, beginning to feel disgruntled. “Sounds like you’re defending her.”

“No, I’m really not. I’m trying to help you find some peace with this. You have a choice, either to nurse your outrage, your anger, sense of betrayal, or try to withhold judgment and understand what happened, and why it happened, so that you can put it to rest. You have to ask yourself whether you can afford the luxury of hanging onto this.”

He found himself caught up short by her words, again hauntingly similar to what Dominick had told him. “What do you mean luxury?”

She bowed her head for a moment and then came to raise it back to eye level, holding his gaze. “Until you make peace with this, we have nowhere to go. Can’t you see that?”

“This has nothing to do with us.”

She looked away for a moment, seeming quite uncomfortable. “Are you sure? Everything is connected. You can’t compartmentalize your emotions. If you hold onto this, you’re holding onto her. Maybe hating her, maybe grieving what might have been, but you aren’t free.”

His eyes glazed over a bit with fatigue, “So what do you suggest I do?”

Her gaze was back on him, and there was an expression that traveled across her features for an instant. Hurt, fear, he couldn’t be sure. But it was gone quickly. Then she stood up, “You should do whatever you feel is right for you Jacob.” And then she walked out of the room, leaving him wondering what indeed that would be.

It was nearly three o’clock. She looked around the room aimlessly, clueless as to where to go. And then she picked up her cell phone that was sitting on the nightstand beside the bed. It reflected two missed calls, both from The Quest, wonderful. She took a deep breath, then quietly dialed the number.

“Hello.”

“Claire, it’s Aimee. I saw that you called my cell.”

“Yes, I did, then again and again. Good lord woman, where have you been? You are more elusive than a deer during hunting season.”

She frowned both at the weak analogy and the grating sound of Claire’s boisterous voice which on ordinary days she found manageable, but this day, even by her unique standards, did not appear to qualify as ordinary. “I’ve been busy with personal matters.” She tried to sound a little clipped, to keep things on a professional level. “What’s going on?”

“Ah personal, huh, you wouldn’t be taking my advice by any chance?”

Of course, she’d forgotten, Claire was not one to pick up on subtleties. Her mind sluggishly tried to piece together exactly what advice that had been. “Is there some business matter you called me about, because I’ve really got other things—”

There was an exaggerated sound at the other end of the phone that she took to be some sort of sigh, “Fine, fine, no time for chit chat. Okay then, I’ll cut to the chase. There’s a reopening of a bookstore on the downtown mall this evening. “

“Reopening?” she questioned, wondering sincerely why that would be newsworthy.

“Yes, yes, completely have done over the place, little tearoom attached, art exhibits, apparently very cozy. And we’re a bit dry this week. So, I need you to go over there and write one of your lovely articles to fill with.”

Her head was pounding. Lovely, she qualified as filler now. “I don’t know Claire. It’s not the greatest time for me. Can’t you get someone else?”

“There is no one else. No one can do this sort of thing like you. Look, I’m counting on you. I can’t even get a photographer to go with you tonight. They’ll have to get the pictures tomorrow.” Claire’s voice had become strident and emphatic. She knew the signs, clearly nothing but an absolute no and a showdown was going to get her out of this.

“What time?”

“Seven, super, I knew I could count on you. Just make sure you file the story by tomorrow evening. Everything’s a crunch right now.”

“Great.”

“Yeah, don’t worry. It’ll be fun.” And then there was a click on the other end of the line that signaled to her that Claire had no further use of her.

She sat down on her bed feeling emotionally exhausted. It occurred to her suddenly that she couldn’t remember if she’d eaten all day. That couldn’t be good. Maybe tonight could be helpful. At the very least, it was a distraction. Here, she wasn’t doing a whole lot of good. She wondered about Jacob. Would he want to go with her or stay here to, again to — she frowned — sift. Maybe prefer to spend the evening with memories of Talia, trying to salvage some of their legacy. She shook her head. This was no good. Her thoughts were twirling down an entirely negative slope. What she needed was some food and then some sleep, in that order. As she softly left her room and headed for the kitchen, she caught a quick glimpse of Jacob staring out the window in the den.

She called to him, “Are you hungry? I was going to find something to eat.”

He turned around slowly, “We haven’t eaten, have we?”

She shook her head, “Apparently not, although I don’t think I noticed for most of the day.” He drifted more closely to her in the hall, and she felt oddly uncomfortable, as though there were some invisible chasm between them. “I have to go out on a story tonight.”

“Really?” He asked, looking mildly surprised.

“Yeah, um, I had a message from my editor, and she needs me to cover a reopening of a bookstore.”

He paused for a minute, and then asked the obvious question, “Reopening? I didn’t know that qualified as a story.”

She smiled a bit, feeling a little silly about it suddenly, “Well, it does on a slow news week. If you feel like getting out, you can come with me.”

His eyes seem to flicker across her face for a moment, then left her, going somewhere internal where she could not follow. “I think maybe I’ll get a shower and use the time to get myself together.”

His words hit her coldly. She knew that she shouldn’t be reacting this way. She should be more understanding, but his withdrawal from her felt like a rejection, one that her overly sensitive nature did not seem equipped to handle at the moment. She forced a smile and nodded, murmuring as though there were no problem, “I’ll go get us something to eat.” Externally, she remained placid, while internally she was beginning to settle in with a new reality. It was the one that whispered to her that soon there would be a separation. After all, her plan was to leave this place and as of now, Jacob seemed securely and firmly anchored to the past.

Anna Marston lived for just eight months after her first diagnosis. Her doctors gave her six. Marie Roussel called it obstinacy. Dominick would have said it was simply her time. But Aimee felt certain, deep down, that it was unfinished business. There were so many long talks they hadn’t had, so many confidences they were afraid to share. But one November day, well into the fourth month of her final eight, they did talk.

Anna and Aimee were living in a small house in the Lakeview area of New Orleans. It was a small but quaint, lovely wood frame house. Anna had moved in after the divorce and after her diagnosis Aimee had come to stay there with her. The house was filled with plants, because her mother had a gift with them, a magic with growing things that seemed to elude both Aimee and her grandmother. Everyone has their own gifts, Anna would say, although during Aimee’s whole life she had kept herself curiously separate from Aimee’s. Aimee thought in some odd way, perhaps, it was fear. Her grandmother thought otherwise, perhaps just regret for the life not chosen. But later, she would come to accept that her mother never entered realms that she felt were not welcoming to her.

But there was one day, one fine memorable day, when they both sat out on the patio, the very best part of the little house and shared their confidences.

She couldn’t remember what had prodded her to bring up sensitive issues with her mother. She just stumbled into them by accident, perhaps flowing from another conversation. However, it was brought about, and it did occur.

Aimee had asked plainly, “How did you stay with Dad so long, if you didn’t really love him?” She knew once it came out of her mouth that it would be a jarring subject, but something within her felt panicked now to make sense of their lives together, to puzzle out what all seemed in disarray.

Anna, by then, was already frail and no amount of sunlight could seem to remove the pallor from her skin. She smiled thinly, as though Aimee had simply inquired about something inconsequential like a grocery list. “I didn’t say I didn’t love him, my dear. There are all kinds of love. When I was young, it was a more passionate love, but time changed that. It’s hard to be truly passionate about someone you can only share parts of yourself with.”

She frowned, then in her early twenties, and not yet able to embrace all the gray and graduated nooks and crevices of life. “Then, why didn’t you leave when it changed?”

She shrugged, “I had you. And as I said, I did love your father. I couldn’t share my soul with him, and maybe the love at some point became an indulgent fondness. I don’t know. Not all of us are meant for great loves. Not all of us are courageous enough for it. I had a chance for that long ago, but I couldn’t make that leap. So, I made myself content with what I had.”

Aimee nodded, trying to absorb her mother’s words, while Anna continued talking, “With great things, there’s always great risks. You have to decide if you’re willing to risk, and if you can live with the loss, if it doesn’t go your way.”

She quietly sipped the glass of iced tea that Aimee had given her, her eyes drifting somewhere beyond where they were. For some time before her mother’s death, she felt as though Anna was existing in two places at once, sometimes here and sometimes drifting away, perhaps already partially taking up residence beyond the veil. And then her soft blue eyes unclouded, and she focused on Aimee’s face again. She softly patted her hand murmuring, “But your life isn’t going to be anything like mine. You need certainties that you can hold onto, and you will have them, as long as you acknowledge them. You’re a much braver soul. Just don’t let your fear get hold of you.”

There were a handful of more conversations like this one. In some ways, knowing someone is leaving you is a blessing, in others a curse. No words seem enough, no embraces sufficient, and the ending still too soon, even if one has all the time in the world to prepare.

Jacob had gone out for a walk about Aimee’s apartment complex, while she got ready for her opening this evening. She was being very distant with him, very cordial, very tactful, and deliberately holding herself away from him. It bothered him, but he supposed that he deserved it. He’d taken a shower, and it helped but did little to shed the depressive shadow that seemed to be following him around. In the distance, from where he was, he could still see the mountains, but it did nothing to lift his spirit.

It was puzzling and troublesome, the memories of his encounter with Aimee in his vision, in the cemetery. But what bothered him weren’t obvious things, his confrontation with her past self, his odd conversation with Dominick. What bothered him, was the odd feeling of exultation and creativity he’d felt there. Yes, of course that was the past, but the place, the area, the energy for him that moment was sublime. And frankly, where he was now suffered greatly by comparison. He needed, damn, he needed to shake this inertia that seemed to have taken hold of him.

As he turned the corner that headed back to the door of her apartment, he suddenly paused, struck by something. He felt it penetrate the fog that surrounded him like fingers ever so gently ripping through a thin gossamer veil. Something, a bit more powerful than a chill, and a bit less potent than a blizzard, seemed to collide with him.

He breathed deeply, allowing himself to focus on exactly what was creating this phenomenon. And sadly, it didn’t take him long to connect to exactly what was occurring. A swift vision of Aimee came to him. Aimee, walking along the streets of a city; Aimee, walking through shops in a—then he got it. She was planning. She was planning her life, completely and totally without him.

Dominick’s words came back to him sort of like a hammer cracking him in the head; Don’t take too long to sort things out. Quite abruptly, it came to him that he might have just run out of time.

He didn’t think ahead, which if he’d taken a moment to reflect, was probably unwise. Instead, he rather forcefully opened her front door, then quickly closed it behind him just shy of a slam. She was standing next to a candle in the den that she’d just lit, seemingly unfazed by his sudden entrance. He was immediately struck by her outfit. She was wearing that dress, the dark purple one that she’d worn the night of his opening at the gallery.

He stood there for a moment waiting, still unacknowledged by her. Her head was still bent, and then she straightened up, meeting him with very detached eyes. He could feel it, like a wall that she was erecting around herself. “What’s going on here?” He questioned with perhaps more force than he intended.

She continued to stare at him with extraordinarily little expression, and then spoke quietly. “This would certainly be complicated if we went on, both of being so attuned to the other. There would never be a place to hide.”

“Do we need to hide?”

She shrugged, “I don’t know. I think maybe everyone needs a place of solitude, inaccessible to everyone else. Maybe, I’m sorry.” And then, she stopped.

He was angry, not exactly sure why. Maybe he just hated things that didn’t make sense to him. “What exactly are you sorry for?”

She was maddeningly serene, “I thought I could do this. I thought, but I know now that I can’t. I can’t see you through this. I’m just not that strong.”

He was hit head on by the absurdity of that statement. “How can you say that? There’s nobody stronger than you.”

She shook her head, “Maybe with others, but not when it comes to me. I’m sorry Jacob. You have to figure your life out, and I have to go home.”

He stood there stunned, not believing what he was hearing. And then the weight of it all, made him snap, “I’m not buying it.”

“What?” Her face blanched just a bit. Evidently whatever she was expecting, was not this.

“Don’t you think I know bullshit when I hear it?” Her eyes widened, and he swore he could almost hear a tangible crack in the wall that she was trying to put up between them. “This isn’t about me, is it? Ever since we started this, whatever it is, you’ve been looking for a way out. And we hit a bump, and here you are flying out the door.”

“That’s not true.” It was a low whisper, but she was angry. Good, anger he could deal with, not all this ice.

“Of course, it is. You’re afraid of feeling anything that you can’t control. Maybe you’re right. Maybe you are a coward.”

“And maybe you’re a lousy son of a bitch that can’t get over his ex-wife.”

He was jolted at her words, and then he smiled, “Well, at least that’s honest.”

Her green eyes looked like they were leaping sparks of fire at him. “Maybe, I just don’t want to wait around until you realize that she’s gone.”

Now he felt calmer and quite focused now. “I know she’s gone.”

“And she’s not coming back.”

“I know that too.”

She was breathing heavily, so angry, “But you want her to, don’t you?”

He paused for a moment, wondering how she could think that. Then wondering, how she couldn’t by the way he’d been acting. “That’s not it, Aimee.”

Her hands were on her hips, defiant. Perversely, he supposed, he sort of liked her like this, in a red-hot rage that was uncontrolled. “Then how is it? It should be very clear Jacob, either you live in the past or,” she stopped abruptly, catching herself, now crossing her arms in front of her protectively. “This wasn’t what I wanted to say. You always do this to me.”

He moved to her quickly, putting his hands on her shoulders, desperately needing contact. But she wouldn’t look at him. “This isn’t me leaving you. This is just me getting my head together. There will be bumps. We’re human. It’s what we are, and we see each other through it.”

She was nearly shaking. He could feel it in his hands. “Maybe, I can’t do that. Maybe, I’m not supposed to.”

“I don’t believe that Aimee,” he whispered. And then he pulled her into his arms closely. “Can’t you hang on with me?” He asked. But then, rather forcefully, she pulled away. He stood there more than a bit surprised.

She picked up her purse and coat that was lying on the sofa, “I don’t know. I just don’t know if I can.” And then before she left, she murmured, “I’ve got to go.” He stood there, just staring at the door that had closed behind her, still stunned a bit in disbelief.

Copyright © 2019 by Evelyn Klebert

Jacob Wyss is caught in a rut, in fact on the verge of being engulfed by it. After an excruciating and disillusioning divorce, his life as an artist in a sleepy-college town at the foot of the Appalachian mountains has become quiet, routine, and maddening in its predictability. One wintry day, his deep restlessness drives him out in precarious conditions to a largely empty bookstore nearly devoid of another living soul, nearly.

Aimee Marston isn’t like everyone else. On the surface, she lives a sedate life working as a feature writer for a small local newspaper in addition to several other editorial jobs to help make ends meet. But just beneath, her existence is largely not her own. She is a sensitive, an empathetic psychic, guided by her calling to use her gifts to help others. Unfortunately, as a result, her secretiveness has made her defensive, protective of herself, and prevented her from having much of a life of her own.

A psychic call for help sends Aimee out on a freezing January morning where her destiny and Jacob’s collide sending both their lives spiraling onto an unexpected and often disturbing track. Two lonely souls connect, not by accident, but by design. Theirs is the intersection of two spiritual paths, two lovers who must struggle to overcome the phantoms of a past life, as well as the challenges of their own inner demons to carve out an extraordinary future together.


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