Real Romantic [Fiction]

Lorelei watched Alexander sleep with her knees drawn against her chest. The chair next to his bed was comfortable enough, but she didn’t dare move. This place felt familiar and strange in turns, just like the man in the bed. They’d talked for a while before he passed out again from exhaustion. If she could believe him, he’d somehow managed to cross from one dimension to another and snatch her out of her life.

It sounded crazy. Yet there was the thing on the floor. She sat beside his bed in a world where he’d shown her an obituary with her name on it.

What kind of relationship had they had? The thought nagged as he lay there. His chest, wrapped in bandages, rose and fell with a simple steadiness which said he wasn’t going to die, but she wondered how she had died. Finally, she unfolded and got up. It took a moment of figuring in order to get the trapdoor to open to let her out of her bedroom, but she moved with determination.

Alexander would answer her questions when he was awake. He wasn’t awake. She would seek out other answers. Sheridan supposedly lived there, so she’d find her.

Sheridan stood in the kitchen, a cigarette in the corner of her mouth. She didn’t often smoke in the kitchen, but that day had been trying at best. Seeing her friend, her former friend, in the flesh had done a number on her composure. Now she stood there considering food, but knowing she needed to ash her cigarette before she made anything if she didn’t want to eat ash. Footsteps on the staircase brought her attention around.

“Hey,” Lorelei said.

“Hey.”

“So he told me a story.”

“And I imagine you don’t believe him.”

“It’s hard to believe.”

“Sorry, can’t help cause it’s true.” Sheridan shrugged before moving back into the living room to ash her cigarette. “You’re dead. He did something no one expected in a bid to get you back. Real romantic, eh?”

“I call it insane. People die. You move on. You don’t cross dimensional boundaries to kidnap them from somewhere else.”

“Hey! Alex loved you with his entire heart. Every good thing that happened after he met you was because of you. He just wanted that back. He got clean for you. He gave up whoring for you. He was never going to be a lamb, but you blunted the teeth on a lion. He couldn’t live without you. Now you’re here and you’d damn well better appreciate what he went through for that.”

“I don’t.” Lorelei stood a half-inch shorter than Sheridan, but they might as well have been eye to eye. “He kidnapped me and I want to go home. I have a life and I’d like to get on with it. I don’t want some dead girl’s relationship.”

Sheridan’s hands clenched and then burst into flames flicking up her arms and offering to set her blouse alight. Lorelei stood back.

“Don’t you dare make light of what they had. I’d give anything to have what you had.” The flames died away between her fingers.

“How?”

“You’re in a different world. Get used to it.”

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