The next morning finds me wide awake, foot tapping the porch idily as I swing backwards and forwards on the hammock. I decide it’s my lucky charm and probably always will be now.
He said he’d wake early so if I really wanted to, I could probably try and talk to him now, but since I’m a sucker for rules, I keep my eyes on the watch on my arm and wait for the minutes to pass.
By the time 7am rolls around, I’m more than eager to hear my own thoughts talk to me and at the exact time the clock inside chimes 7, I send out,
The response is instantaneous after that.
“How does this morning find you?”
I decide whomever my mate must be is a man of words, really deep and intellectual. I decide to play along with him.
“This morning found me awoken by the birds outside my window, chirping for love and attention. I would usually have killed them, but I had an appointment with a certain someone at 7am.”
I bite my lip, hoping it’s not too over the top. I hope as well he isn’t worried by my antics, that I’m not to fun and joyous for him. I make a mental note to ask him one day, just so I know.
“Haha, my dear. You have a sense of humor, just what I need. I’m sorry to have scheduled such a thing so early in the morning for you. A princess needs her beauty sleep.”
“Don’t call me a princess, ever. I’m a bookworm and a feminist.”
“Sorry to have offended you. How bout this: I’m sorry to have scheduled such a thing so early in the morning for you as I’m sure you stayed up late into the night reading books and plotting a feminist parade.”
I giggle and take a sip from my glass, savouring the taste of my tea as I think of a good enough answer.
“You’re forgiven, my dear Sir. I’m sure waking this early would have been a task for you, too.”
“Not for me. I wake before the sun rises so I can watch it and sleep not long after.”
“You don’t stay up late reading?” I told myself it wouldn’t matter if my mate was a bookworm or not, but I can’t help but feel a little confused. Most people who speak like they’re from the 1700’s are either Amish or, like I’d hoped, a bookworm.
“My one and only light source is the sun. I read when it’s up.”
“So you like books?” I ask excitedly.
“Reading is like dreaming with your eyes open.”
I can’t help but climb up out of the hammock and do a dance across the back porch, skipping lightly and nearly knocking over a pot plant. Breathless from my moment of overwhelming happiness, I tell him,
“You really ARE my soul-mate.”
A long lengethly pause and then…
“I really hope so. It would be weird to have anyone else in my head.”
Deciding I like his sense of humour, I grab my cup of tea and head back inside, letting the door close softly. I concentrate deeply, making sure not to let our passage of contact go. I manage to do it so well in fact that even when the dog barks at me, I’m still 100% focused on my mate.
“What’s your name? Mine’s Ruby.”
I dump the cup in the sink and climb onto the counter, swinging my legs backwards and forwards as I wait for his answer. I try not to guess his name like poor Angel is stuck doing, but suddenly there’s a flood of names in my head that get me confused and it takes me a good while to snap out of it.
“I’m sorry, I got distracted. Did you send anything to me?”
I can feel the thread’s still open, meaning maybe he had, but then his next thought is rather ubrupt.
“I have to go. Talk later.”
“NO!” I yell aloud and scare the dog, wincing when I hear my parents bed squeak and Seth’s snores stop.
Feeling annoyed at myself and at my mate, I slide off the bench and kick it, but not too hard to hurt my toe.
“Dammit, dammit, dammit!”
I hear my parents door creak open and pause.
“Ruby? What are you doing? IT’S SEVEN THIRTY, RUBY!”
Turning around, I quickly jog for the door before my dad can reach the kitchen.
I make my way to the park, cursing myself for being so loud. If I want to live, I better not go home for a good few hours.
Thanks to the early hours of the morning, there’s hardly anyone around in the park. Just a mother and her son on the roundabout and Coby who’s drinking from the water fountain.
I locate a clean bench and sit down, feeling defeated. I remind myself that it’s hard to keep the thread open and he must have a good enough reason for leaving, but I still wish he gave me his name. Or something.
I drag my eyes up from the ground and try to plaster a smile on my face.
“Hey, Coby. What’s up?”
“The usual,” he runs his hands through his hair uneasily, eyes slightly panicked.
“You look freaked out. What’s wrong?”
“It’s nothing,” he shakes his head and after a moment, sits done besides me. “You’re up early. What’s wrong?”
“I had an appointment thingy at seven,” I shrug. “And then it got cancelled sort of and I yelled and the dog freaked and my dad got mad.”
Coby nods and quickly pats my hand.
“You’ll be okay. It was nice seeing you.”
And just as quickly as he’s appeared, he’s gone again.