Time had come to a screeching halt or a moving shadow depending on how you saw things. I saw things in threes, perhaps always but more now; my hand on the knob, my hand on Kamelia’s, my hand on Kamelia’s back and then etching the star on the ground at the bottom of the well.
“Where am I?” I accidentally say out loud.
Smile. I am smiling. Sam is looking at me, side-eyed and I am regretting most everything but mostly the day of the well.
“I am worried about my sister,” I blurt out.
“You left your luggage.”
His hand was still gripping the handle but he turned away from me. He carried that three flights up. I am sure I was grateful but all I could manage was, “I have to get to the well.”
“Are you sick?”
“Yes, no..we both are. I am sorry. I am fine.”
“Do you need help?”
“Just put the luggage here, please,” I pointed by my foot.
Reluctantly, and that is a look I saw across everyone’s face that day, reluctantly he stepped three inches closer and past me to place the luggage on the floor. I said nothing and felt a deep surge rise inside of me, a deep wave and soon I would be on the floor.
“Are you sure you don’t need anything?”
“Positive.”But I didn’t look at him. As I stood, hand on handle, my heart racing, I remember a dream I had once where I had to go to my old neighbor’s apartment, the one that lived here before Sam, to ask them to help getting a demon out of my apartment. It was Christmas. I had cat eyes.
“What does it mean?”
I don’t think words were coming out just echoes of thought reverberating around the inside of my mind. I meant to say things. Or I meant to smile. I was halfway down the stairs when I realize I didn’t have my keys. That’s ok. You probably didn’t even close the door. Godspeed, Genevieve. Don’t eat all the wet food. It was one minute from my door to Sam’s and another two before I was in the lobby. I was right: three minutes on a good day. Even though my eyes went black when I opened the front door, I made sure to lean on the door frame and a new phenomenon took over: a fainting while standing, like sleeping. In my dream, I walked out of the mirror with my cat eyes back and I said out demon out! But then I laughed, mocking my childish ritual: a deep bray of prescience. There is no out here; only a switching of places.