Dreams True Form
by Jessie Duncan
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"Thank god finally! A new job! No more flipping hamburgers, burning your fingers on fries, being sticky after making a billion sundaes and banana splits, and no more night hours!" Kaidence thought smiling.
It seemed almost too good to be true but when her Uncle Trevor had called a week ago and offered her a position at his clothing store it seemed as if things were finally looking up for her. She had immediately given her notice to her now ex-boss and left Tacky Burger without so much as a glance back. Trevor's Fashions was wonderful, she was a salesperson and worked nine to five, the last week had been great. She was excelling and learning so quick that Trevor was thinking of letting her start opening in the mornings and closing in the evenings so he could come in later and go home earlier which didn't bother Kaidence in the slightest.
"Kaidence, do you remember what I told you about closing up?" Trevor asked her.
She looked up from the ticket she was writing for a customer and nodded.
"Yeah sure I do why?" she asked.
"When your finished with this lady come to the back ok?" he said smiling.
She nodded and hurried with the woman's purchase.
"Thank you and have a nice day!" that was the only thing that irked her about the job was constantly having to say that over and over again. She sighed and looked down at her aching feet, she still wasn't used to being on her feet all day. She walked to the back of the store were Trevor stood putting his coat on.
"Hey you aren't thinking of checking out of here early are you?" she said jokingly.
"Yep as a matter of fact I am. Barbara needs to go pick up a prescription so I am going to take her, and I want you to close up? Can you do that?" he asked.
Kaidence beamed, "Of course I can. First I lock the door, then empty the register into the bank bag, then take it upstairs and put it in the safe making sure to lock it, then cut off the lights, lock the door behind me and go home. Right?" She knew she was right, she had only repeated those directions a million times in her head.
"Exactly! Well hey, guess you can start opening and closing, so why don't you open for me tomorrow and I will be in a hour late, is that alright?" he asked smiling but looking concerned.
"No problem, really. Say hi to Barbara for me ok?" she said.
"Alright, if you have any problems page me ok? I'll see you tomorrow babe." He kissed her cheek and was quickly out the door.
"YES!!" she yelled as soon as he was out of sight. The store was hers; she could be totally in charge and...finally explore the upstairs rooms!! She hadn't even thought about that!! Trevor was the only one who ever went up there for the occasional thing, he had said it was dangerous, weak spots in the floor and he even admitted that weird things sometimes happened. Kaidence didn't believe the weird things part though he had looked worried when he said it, but he must have meant the other things because he hadn't let her go up there since she has started. But now Trevor was gone for the day and no one was in the store. She bolted up the steps to the locked door, unlocked it and made her way up the last three steps. It was really cold; she could make out the faint cloud of her breath and feel the chilly air cling to her arms and legs. She reached out and fumbled for a switch until she at last found one. Clicking it on, and illuminating the room Kaidence looked around unimpressed. The first room held nothing but empty clothes racks and few boxes.
"Oh whoop-de-do." She muttered and moved on through the room taking the left that led to the rest of the rooms. She walked up a few more stairs shivering as she moved into the two enormous rooms that expanded the length and width of the store. There was only one bulb in the first room, and Kaidence couldn't seem to find the damn switch. She fumbled along the wall not wanting to walk to far into a room she couldn't see well in and with a groan finally found it and switched it on. The small bulb gave off only enough light to barely illuminate the room; most of it remained in shadows. Making sure to listen for weak spots in the floor she cautiously made her way inwards. A long row of shelves hugged the left wall and there she could see bars and rack pieces laying heaped up on it. Glass shelves pieces, mirrors, and covered pictures leaned against the right wall. Kaidence bent down and wiped away a layer of dust from a huge, circular mirror. She gazed at her reflection and smiled. Man she had grown up, her thick, short, layered auburn hair lay on the tops of her shoulders and framed her face. Her skin which was always a light or dark tan was finally free of the acne that had plagued most of her teenage years, she had learned about make-up, and took care of her 5ft. 10inch frame, keeping it slender and attractive. At least she thought it had been, until her now ex boyfriend Jason had told her it was over, that he had found someone more attractive and better built then she was. In fact he had played her the entire time they had been together, making her believe she was the only one for him, promising her the moon and stars if she wanted but had been fooling around with the girl he left her for the entire time. She had never felt so used and ugly as she had that day he had left her telling her it was over, he didn't love her, and never had.
Kaidence closed her eyes as the pain he had caused washed over her, and against her will two hot tears slipped down her cheeks. Would anyone ever love her as she was, love her for who she was? She leaned her head against the mirror and wanted to cry. A feathery touch on her cheek startled her and made her fall on her butt. She felt a shot of adrenaline slam into her heart, what was that? She glanced quickly around and saw cobwebs around the mirror's frame, which must have been what it was. She looked back at her dusty reflection and saw smudges of dust on her shirt and her forehead from leaning on the mirror, to her it made her think,
"That must be what Jason saw, someone filthy."
She looked down in her lap and let just a few more tears slip down her cheeks; she had loved him so much. He had been her first, her first real love, the one she had deemed worthy to accept what she felt was the most precious gift she could give, her virginity. He was the one, or so she had thought. Another light, wispy touch breezed across her cheek again. She stiffened, knowing this time it couldn't be a cobweb, and she was sitting away from the wall. She sat completely still, barely breathing, and sure enough felt it again. It was so soft, like feathers, and cold, like icy fingers wiping at her tears.
"The wind, or a draft, that has to be what it is." She thought frantically. But it wasn't constant; it was like...like someone was trying to wipe her tears away. She squeezed her eyes shut hard and let the remaining tears fall and then sat motionless, waiting. Only a few seconds went by before she felt it again, something touched her cheek and wiped away the small tears there. She reached up and gently touched her cheek trying to feel the cold hand that was urging her to stop crying.
"He-hello?" she whispered. She was scared to death; her heart was beating so hard she was sure it was going to explode if she didn't calm down. Nothing answered her back, which didn't surprise her. She waited a few minutes more but nothing happened.
"It must have been a draft after all." She muttered. She looked at her lap a minute and wished it had been something more, maybe some friendly ghost who hated to see her hurting and wanted to help her.
"Yeah right." She thought.
She wiped the dust off her shirt then her forehead and then glanced back in the mirror to make sure she had gotten it all off...and froze petrified. Icy chills swept over her skin raising the hair on the back of her neck. Kneeling behind right behind her was man, a young man, someone who couldn't be much older then she was. He had dark hair, she couldn't tell if it was black or brown and it was tied in a loose ponytail so that wisps of hair dangled around his face. His face...was handsome, extremely so, high cheekbones, a strong and defined jaw, and a full mouth. His clothes looked old, like colony days old, but what really caught Kaidence's attention besides the fact that she could see through him were his eyes. They were a sparkling forest green, deep and fathomless eyes, the kind you could drown in if you stared into them to long, but they were filled with sadness, such extreme sorrow that despite her gripping fear and panic, her heart ached for him. She couldn't move, she could barely breathe so speaking to him was out of the question. He lifted his hand and slowly moved it towards her.
"Please God, don't let him kill me." She silently thought.
She closed her eyes and waited for his icy hand to grab her throat and choke the life out of her. But instead of feeling air cut off, she felt her hair move against her neck. She slowly opened her eyes and saw him softly stroking her hair, as if he could feel the softness of it. He was now sitting next to her although she wouldn't turn and look at him; she just stared at his glowing reflection in the mirror. He ran his fingers through it and gently touched her bangs that were now falling into her eyes. It was the strangest sensation, like having the wind touch your scalp without touching any other part of your body. He gazed at her with such wonderment that she almost wanted to blush. He let his fingers trail down the side of her face, tracing the trail her tears had left on her cheeks and then moving across her mouth. His touch was so cold it made her already short breath almost freeze in her chest.
Kaidence took a deep but shaky breath and then slowly turned to face the ghostly man next to her. The second her eyes locked on his her terror disappeared without a trace. She felt not the slightest bit of fear or panic she had felt just moments before. Instead she felt an aching sadness fill her chest as she looked into the sorrowful eyes, she also felt a sense of wonder and awe staring into them. They were so beautiful, like the shimmering green of an emerald, and despite his cold touch on her face, his gaze warmed her body like the warmth of the sun. He stared at her like...like she was the most wondrous creature he had ever seen, a look of such admiration and caring that Kaidence wanted to cry. She felt him cup her cheek in his hand and Kaidence suddenly wanted to touch him, to warm him as he had her. She lifted her hand and hesitantly reached out to touch him.
" I said HELLO! Is anyone here?" a screeching voice yelled from downstairs. The trance was broken and he suddenly looked startled and panicked as his gaze left hers and darted towards the shadows as if something were coming to get him. He hurriedly floated to a standing position and pointed towards the open door. Kaidence stood up and looked at him confused.
"What is it?" she squeaked out. She coughed and asked again in her normal voice.
He motioned frantically at the door again and she finally understood although she couldn't understand his urgency.
"You want me to go? Is that it?" she asked moving towards the door.
He nodded quickly and then disappeared.
"Wait! Please don't go!" she called out but he was already gone.
"HELLO!" the banshee down the stairs screamed again.
"I'm coming hold on!" Kaidence yelled annoyed.
She turned and looked quickly around hoping to see him, but he had vanished. She gazed down at the floor briefly, unbelievable sad for some reason, and went downstairs to wait on the customer. In a dark corner the young man glimmered into sight and watched her go before fading into the shadows again.
Continued next week...