“I didn’t know what I was thinking,” you started. “I was just scared that we were getting too close . . . maybe. I don’t even know,” you said, starting to cry a little more. “All I know is, when you didn’t text back Saturday night, it scared me that I might never talk to you again.”

“I’m sorry. I was in a movie when you sent the text, and by the time I got out, it was late and didn’t want to disturb you.”

“I’m sorry. Can you forgive me?” you asked, dabbing at your eyes again.

I pulled you in close to hug you, my head resting on your shoulder. “Amy, I love you. There’s nothing to forgive. I want you in my life, always.”

With that, you hugged back hard and wept. When your crying slowed, I turned my head slightly so I could kiss your cheek. I tasted the warm, salty tears that had made their way down your face. I then moved to your other cheek and kissed it, wanting to kiss all the tears away.

As we watched TV, I could feel her moving closer to me. I wasn’t totally sure what to do at first. I eventually went for broke and put my arm around her. With that, she nuzzled into my arm, and before I knew it, we were kissing. She tasted sweet, as if she had been just eating my favorite candy. We kissed hard for several minutes. Mary was almost as aggressive as June had been that time in her room.

June . . . Fuck! What was I thinking? I had a girlfriend! Why was I here making out with Mary when I had a girlfriend I should be making out with?

“How the hell can you do this to me?” she roared through gritted teeth.

“It just . . . happened,” I replied; my head hung a little low.

As I looked down, I noticed her clenched hands and, more importantly, her right hand, which had something pointy in it. Could it be?

Yes it was. It was a butter knife.


“Find me! Find me please,” she said again, much louder – much stronger.
I wanted to say something. I wanted to tell her I’d help her. To tell her everything would be alright. But I couldn’t. I tried to speak but no sound came out. I couldn’t breathe within the mist that was now surrounding me – enveloping me.
“Find me please!” she yelled again, and it sounds as loud as a hammer’s strike. I wanted to – Lord knows I wanted to – but I couldn’t breathe! I just couldn’t breathe!
“Please ... please ... please!” she screamed in horror – in pain. “Please ... please ... please ... please ... please ... please ...”

I blinked once or twice to clear my vision and focused on Shane. He, too, was stirring as if waking from a dream. I watched as he shook his head a little then glared at me in disbelief.

“What ... what did you do?” he asked accusatorially.

“What do you mean?”

“Something happened. I felt ... something. Like something was happening. And you ... you stopped it!”

“I don’t know what you mean, man.”

“Yes you do. I felt it. I felt like it was going to work. I felt like we were doing it. And you stopped it. You stopped it!”

Staring at Shane, my vision suddenly changed. I could now see his aura - his power. I could see how it boiled and raged and screamed to be released. And, not only could I see it, I could also feel it. I could feel the energy twist and turn in him as it looked for a way to get out.

At first I couldn’t find anything. The area in front of me felt like an empty bowl filled with nothing but air. But then, unexpectedly, I felt something brush by mind like a cloth gently touching the back of your hand. When it touched me – or I touched it – I instantly felt a sensation of wrongness. A corporeal contact as if my mind was touching stinging bees or course sandpaper. A wrongness that prickled my senses as the blackness flowed from the circle.

I was used to sensing emotions, feeling the waves of anxiety or pain or happiness as they touched the air outside of one’s consciousness. This felt like just the opposite of those things.