Chapter 28: That's Where it is

The Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin

My route towards work took me back past the coffee house. I sped through the pedestrian traffic on the sidewalk, weaving through bodies. This was why I usually took cabs, I thought. I was already late, and totally distracted. People in my way didn’t make it any better.

“Frank!” Someone yelled as I passed. “HEY FRANK!”

I pressed on through the crowed, wishing “Frank” would just answer, so the yelling would stop. A moment later someone was pulling my arm, and I looked up. I immediately felt really stupid.

“Did you forget something?” I asked Calla.

“What’s the date today?” She asked, her voice full of urgency.

“Um, September eighteenth. Why?”

She glanced at her hand. Someone had written there: “September 19th, 8 AM.”

“Oh, that’s interesting!” Calla enthused. “I didn’t expect that at all.”

“What did you do, sprint around the block while changing as you ran?” I asked, noting she was wearing the sweater and jeans from the week before.

“Shut up, Frank,” Calla said, not unkindly. She got out a pen and wrote “September 18th, 8:30 AM” on her other hand. “I might finally get this sucker calibrated!”

“What are you talking about?”

“Listen, just promise me something? Be here tomorrow, okay?” She looked in my eyes, and (as usual) I was mesmerized. Her grey orbs fascinated me and made me wish I knew lyrical poetry.

“Tomorrow? We’re meeting tomorrow night anyway for my mom’s dinner party, but coffee sounds great, too,” I said, dazed.

“Oh, are you serious?” Her eyes widened in anger. “I told you, stay the hell away from me.” She shoved my shoulder. “I’m not kidding. Don’t you dare pick me up for that party tomorrow. That is a very BAD idea.”

“Why the hell do you want to meet for coffee then?” I asked, getting frustrated. “That’s ludicrous.”

“You need to trust me on this, you big dummy. DON’T take me to the party. DO meet me here in the morning. It will help with the calibration process, trust me. I’m trying to save your life here!”

It was so weird whenever she insulted me. Calla might call me a dummy, or push me, but her eyes were swimming with angry affection. I don’t know how else to explain that look, the one that said she cared about me, yet was infuriated that I wasn’t listening. She was completely confusing.

She was also completely enticing. I wished I could give myself a swift kick in the pants.

“You make no sense!” I almost shouted. A few passers-by stared at us. I blushed.

Calla leaned close, pulling on the edges of my open jacket, looking up into my eyes as she established this physical intimacy between us. Her lips pursed.

“Frank, shhhhh. I know it’s confusing right now. I told you about it tomorrow. Just wait until then. I’m almost at the end of my range and deceleration is about to take place. I had to wait for my counterpart to leave. Tomorrow we’ll have more time, okay?”

She leaned in close and kissed me. I could feel her warm body, snug against my chest, and the scent of her shampoo. I kept getting caught up in these weird little details about her. Her lips were on mine, and she suckled my bottom lip briefly before biting down on it. Her kiss was so goddamn hungry. I closed my eyes and was lost to the world for a moment.

When I opened my eyes she was gone.

“Who is she? Batman?” I said angrily.

Pedestrians out-and-out stared at me as I clenched my fists and audibly groaned.

Tomorrow morning there were going to be answers, or I was going to flip out. I wanted to know what kind of game she thought she was playing. Honestly!

I glanced at my watch and realized the time. I had to get to work or Vanessa was going to start the meetings without me. And I still had coffee on my shirt.

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I'M getting confused

....but intrigued.

All according to plan

.... and I plan WAY ahead.

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