The journal goes to:
Michelle Walters Curry
I hope you all had some fun with this tour, too :)
And, okay, second to last entry in Sandra's Journal:
~I’m positive my parents wouldn’t have left me home alone if they knew James was back in town. But what they didn’t know couldn’t hurt them. At least, that was what I thought at the time. Looking back, I’m not so sure.
Before things got beyond the point of no return, James stood up and walked from the room. It took me a good while to get over the shock so I could follow.
He stood in the kitchen, head bowed over an empty water glass on the counter.
“What’s wrong?” Shame mixed with anger was enough to make my question sharp.
James’ broad shoulders hunched forward. “This is wrong. I need to leave. Someone will find out and it’s not fair to you.”
“James, in English. What is going on?” The image of the crazy looking guy from diner flashed in my mind.
James spun to face me and I stepped back, caught by the fear in his eyes. “I’m here because I’m supposed to be making sure you don’t suspect what I am. The man we saw earlier? He’s watching me. Watching you. Making sure I don’t slip up and tell you too much. Waiting for his chance to make sure I can’t return to the Sary. And—” his voice broke and he looked out the dark kitchen window. “And all I want to do is tell you the truth. But if I do, there’s no going back. And I can’t force that kind of decision on you, not after just a few months.”
“What are the Sary?” I didn’t know how to form the strange word.
“If I tell you, Sandra, you have to swear, swear on your life, you’ll never tell another soul. I, I could lose everything if I tell you. Be stuck here. And I can’t do that without you, but you don’t deserve to be forced into that kind of decision.”
Swallowing hard, I stood a little taller. “I think I can make that decision for myself.”
With a defeated nod, he led me from the room. We went to the basement, into the small room off the den where cement walls surrounded us. “I’m sure someone can probably tell even if I show you here, but if you never tell a soul, that will keep you safe.”
I can’t pretend his words didn’t frighten me; didn’t make my heart race. Even with all the strange clues, I still had no idea what was coming. Even now I’m shocked by the memories.
“You know all the funny little things you’ve asked me about? Well, there’s a very good reason for them all,” James explained with a practiced calm.
“You’re going to have to explain more than that,” I noted, leaning back against the closed door for support.
James nodded. “I mentioned the Sary earlier. That’s the organization I belong to. The one who sent me here to help Richie. I am sent around to different places all the time, trying to help people who are thinking of suicide.”
I couldn’t help making a small noise, but waved for him to continue.
“I’ve been doing this for over eight hundred years. I’ve lived on almost every continent. I speak fifty languages. I’ve helped thousands of people. And not once, ever, have I wanted to give it up. Until I met you.”
I shook my head, wishing there were some way to get this information to settle. “How…why…what does this mean? I mean, what are you so afraid of showing me?”
James gave me his little smile and brushed his fingers across my cheek. “It doesn’t bother you, what I just said?”
I shook my head. “I’d already kind of pieced most of that together. Well, you’re a whole lot older than I thought, but still.” It made sense from the little quirks I picked up on. The couple of answers he’s supplied in History that were far more detailed than anyone could really know. It fit. Don’t get me wrong, I was shaking, but it wasn’t entirely unexpected.
“Then there’s something else.” James stepped away from me, putting as much distance between us as possible. “Please, just swear, swear you’ll not run away, okay?”
Somehow I nodded.
James closed his eyes. The flash of light that enveloped the small room blinded me and it took a second or two of rapid blinking before I could see again.
What I saw, well, it still escapes any words I try to describe it with. It was James, only different. Taller, broader, and what shocked me most were the wings…wings…tucked in behind him.
“I—I’m, well, what?”
When he spoke next, his voice sounded different, or maybe it was the blood rushing in my ears. “This is what I really am. This is what a Sary looks like. What my life up until now has been. This is my secret, and it’s what you have to know. Because if we take things one step further, I want you to know who I am. Not just who I pretend to be.”
I slid down the door, watching him. My jaw hung open and my eyes bugged out. But I couldn’t turn away.
|*Ahem* because I had way too much fun googling for images :)|
“I think you should leave.” I stumbled to my feet and forced myself to sound confident. “I think it would be good if you left me alone for a while.”
There was no hiding the pain in James’ expression. But he did what I asked. A bright flash of light lit the room, and then he walked past me, his fingers brushing mine. I heard his footsteps retreat from my house.