For the first time in days, Kelly felt an exhilarating excitement. It felt fantastic to finally be able to tell someone about the story. She looked at Paula and smiled. “You can’t imagine how good I feel right now. It’s like a ton of bricks has been lifted from my shoulders.”
Paula returned the smile, happy to be a part of Kelly’s liberation. “So it really gripped you that much?” she asked, trying to understand what Kelly had told her.
“Gripped me is putting it mildly. At times you would have thought that I was chained to the desk and yet, it was so powerful and filled me so much I loved it. Can you understand that?”
Paula stared at her friend and shook her head. “No I can’t understand it. If you really want to know what I think, I think you’ve pushed yourself too far. It’s either that or you’ve lost some of your marbles.”
Kelly laughed. “I think for those few weeks, I had but I’m over it now.” She raised her glass of wine. “To the final chapter.”
Paula touched her wine glass to Kelly’s, “To the final chapter and sanity.” She set the glass down and played her finger around the top edge. “And this whole idea came to you after visiting that South American exhibit?”
“Yeah, can you believe it,” Kelly smiled.
Tilting her head, Paula said, “No, I can’t believe it. What about the so-called curse or whatever it was? I mean, how did you come across it and interpret it?”
“What do you mean you didn’t?”
“I made it all up. It’s not even a real language.”
“Let me get this straight. You made up a language; said it was a curse or whatever; then scared yourself into thinking it was going to happen?”
Kelly nodded and laughed. “That’s it.”
“Whatever possessed you to write such a story?”
“I don’t know,” Kelly said. She shrugged her shoulders. “It’s weird because I was at the museum checking out the South American exhibit and when I got home, I had an insatiable urge to write a story and before I could even give it some thought, I
started writing it, almost as if I were possessed to do it. I can’t explain it any better than that. It’s crazy huh?”
“Yeah it is,” Paula agreed, then looking at her watch she said, “I need to be going? Are you going to be okay?”
Kelly smiled. “I’ll be fine.” She noticed Paula studying her so she added, “I’ll be fine. I promise.”
They got up and hugged giving each other a kiss on the cheek. “Call me,” Paula said as she turned to leave. “And finish the story I want to read it.”
“I will,” Kelly said to Paula’s back as she exited the restaurant. In the car, Kelly believed she would be okay because the compulsive feeling to spend her every waking minute writing the story was gone. The thought of finishing the story and making amends with Todd brought a smile to her lips and her heart.
Pulling into the parking lot, Kelly felt even more jubilated at seeing Todd’s car in his parking slot. Before exiting the car, she checked herself in the mirror. “Okay, how do I handle this? I know, I’ll let him say what he has to say and take it from there. That’s it.”
She opened the door and slid one leg out and pulled it back in. “No, that’s not it. I should apologize first to show I think he is more important.” She nodded her head and looked straight into the mirror. “He is important and it’s the right thing to do. Settled.”
She got out of the car and hurried to the building and was happy to see that one of the elevators was already on the bottom floor. Kelly pushed number 8 and willed the door to close immediately. It had a mind of its own and took its sweet time closing even though she kept stabbing the “close door” button.
On the eighth floor, Kelly turned right and moved quickly to the end of the hall. She paused in front of her door and took a few deep breaths before turning the key in the lock. She opened the door and stepped inside. She set her pocketbook on the kitchen table, looked at her appearance in the mirror and fixed her hair. Kelly walked into the bedroom.
At first, Kelly’s mind didn’t comprehend what she was seeing but once it cleared and she knew what she was looking at, she froze. She couldn’t believe her eyes. Somehow, her mind cleared away the fog and Kelly half-screamed, then fainted.
March 20, 2014