*Attention please: I am running Part 8 again because of the disruption of Alphainventions caused by Yahoo server issues. Many of my regular readers may not have seen it. I will run the ending as soon as things are back to normal. Thank you.*
The beer proved handy. He started in late afternoon and by dinnertime he was feeling no pain and was free of distracting thoughts. He had cranked up the stereo, which protected him further from deep thinking.
By the fifth beer he knew he couldn’t manage dinner and settled for foraging in the kitchen and then settling down to watch a movie. He came to on the sofa well after midnight realizing he had fallen asleep. He stumbled to his bed and managed to get himself undressed. He was in a deep slumber in no time.
The next morning he knew at once the dream had come to him again. He was vaguely aware he had hoped the beer would keep it at bay, but that hadn’t been the case. He lay there and rubbed his face and then sighed as the details came flooding back. It was the same dream only this time it had gone further.
She held out the card in front of him and he tried to ask her what it meant but the words caught in his throat and choked him. He reached out to take the card from her but as his hand neared the card burst into flame and disappeared in a puff of smoke. As he peered at her through the smoke she and everything in the room dissolved leaving him quite alone.
He was more baffled than ever. Having always been disinclined to delve into symbolism when confronted with it he felt annoyed by the whole thing. More than ever he needed to get to the bottom of this matter but he was determined to do it by talking to Amelia. He was certain she was the key to solving it.
With a slight hangover knocking at his head he took a long hot shower and then made himself a lumberjack breakfast. By the time he’d eaten and read the paper he was feeling better and his mood was improving.
The rest of day passed without incident and he was in a good mood as the time approached to go to the support group meeting. He selected the clothes he wanted to wear and when it was time to go he was looking sharp and ready for action.
As he got in the car he noticed the stack of mail he had forgotten to take in the day before and looked through it before he drove off. It was junk mail as always but there was a letter from his doctor as well. He had forgotten all about the physical with everything else that was going on.
He was about to open it when he decided it could wait. He had more important things on his mind. He put the car in gear and headed out. Arriving at the parking lot for the building he could feel his pulse begin to race. My god, he thought, I’m like a schoolboy. For the life of him he couldn’t understand it. No woman had ever affected him this way before.
He had to stop himself from racing up the stairs and as he walked down the hallway to the meeting room he forced himself to calm down and focus. He needed to be in character, he reminded himself. He was supposed to be one of them. He supposed he would have to talk when it was his turn tonight, if for no other reason than to keep them from getting suspicious. He took a deep breath as he entered and tried not to seem obvious as he scanned the room. At first it looked like she wasn’t there but then two people moved away from where they were standing and there she was against the far wall. More than that, she was looking directly at him.
Tomorrow, Part 9 – The End