Earworm: Part 57 — The Visitor

EarwormContinued from: Earworm: Part 56 — Right Again

William looked at himself in the bathroom mirror. “What was that, Hope?” he said to his reflection, raising one eyebrow and smiling his best James Bond smile, “Why, yes, I can give you the moon and the stars.” Yup, his plans were finally coming together. Hope had asked him out. Granted, it was only to the library, but still, she had asked him out. She wanted to discuss the dreams she’s been having. About who? Why, about moi, yours truly, of course. And should he tell her that, yes, he was the one that brought her to her castle, he was the one that brought back her father, he was the one that could save her from her nightmares? Should he tell her that he could be her knight, her hero? Or, should he keep her guessing? Just the guy of your dreams, I guess, he could say with his best martini-holding smile. And she would say, But you said that in one of my dreams. And he could answer, Did I, though?

No, that wouldn’t do. He had to keep her thinking that it was her own subconscious feelings for William that were causing the dreams. He thought about his last dream with Hope. Her looking him in the eyes and saying, It’s you causing the dreams. He had to convince her that it was her attraction toward William and disgust of Joel that were causing the dreams. What do I think dreams mean? William imagined saying to Hope. Dreams are your subconscious’s way of telling you what you really want in life. And for that, the James Bond smile just wouldn’t do. He looked into the mirror and tried some other smiles on for size.

“Hi, Hope,”—excited, beaming smile.

“Hey, Hope,”—suave, How you doin, smile.

“Hope.”—ecstatic, great to see you, how’s the family, smile.

“Hope, hey, what’s up?”—cool, casual, James Dean scowl.

“Hello, Hope,”—pensive, sensitive, caring smile. That was a good one. The one for the man of her dreams. He then went about his final adjustments, assuring that his appearance was the best he could manage, one final check, making sure there were no zits, blackheads, blemishes, crusty nostrils, dried toothpaste at the mouth’s corners, wax in ears, missed spots shaving, dandruff on shoulders or in hair, or bad odors. Check-check-check. William looked at his watch. He needed to get to the library. He couldn’t be late for his and Hope’s first date. He took a deep breath and shut off the bathroom light, walking, on a cushion of air, into the kitchen. He stopped short.

“William, you have a visitor,” Greta said.

David stood beside the kitchen table.

“Aren’t you going to invite him to sit?” Greta asked William.

“Uh… no, remember, I need to be at the library at seven.”

“Oh the library will still be there after seven o’clock. Don’t be rude, ask him to stay,” Greta said. “Would you like a drink?” she asked David.

“I w-w-w-wasn’t going to st-st-st-stay, an-an-any…”

“Yeah, see, he’s not staying,” William said, leading David toward the front door.

“William, you’re being rude,” Greta said.

“No, r-r-r-real-r-really…”

“No, really. He just needs to tell me something. Can we get going?”

Greta scowled, turning and walking off to her bedroom. “I think he’s being rude,” she said to herself, “but fine, just drive me here. Greta the cabdriver, that’s all I am…”

“What are you doing here?” William said to David. “I’ve got to get going. I’m meeting someone,” he said importantly.

“How d-d-d-d-did you d-d-d-d-do it?”

“Do what? What are you talking about?”

“Dream the sp-sp-space sh-sh-ship?”

“Look, I don’t know what you’re talking…”

“No. I know it w-w-w-w-was you.”

“Look, I gotta get going. I really need…”

“How did you g-get in my dream?” David said as Greta walked into the kitchen.

“Okay, I got my…” Greta’s words dropped dead when David spit out his question. She stared at David. Then she glanced at William. William wasn’t sure what her expression said. It was a little like discountenance, a little like fear, maybe both. As if she found a B.B. gun in William’s closet after the neighbor’s cat was shot.

“Look, David, I need to get going,” William said, opening the front door.

“B-b-b-but…”

“We can talk later,” William said, leading him out the door. “I’ll be in the car,” he called over his shoulder to Greta, hurrying David down the steps and onto the front lawn.

David stopped William and looked into his eyes, “How d-d-d…”

“Look, David, just enjoy whatever dream you’re talking about. And… I’m sorry about the other day, if I hurt your feelings.”

“B-b-b-but…”

“Just leave it be,” William said as Greta stepped out of the house.

David stared into his eyes for a moment and then said, “Well, th-th-thanks.”

“Fine,” William said, turning his back on the boy. “Now, get lost,” he said, walking to the car. As he was about to get in the passenger door, he caught Greta’s say it ain’t so look again. “Bye, David,” William called, getting into the car.

“B-b-b-b-b…” But the boy’s voice was squelched as William shut the door.

Continued in: Earworm: Part 58 — The Meeting

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