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   Chapter 16 No.16

A Girl Named Sandy By Paul Kater Characters: 13158

Updated: 2018-02-11 12:04


It's who you are

A few evenings later Paul and Sandy sat in front of the laptop camera, computer connected to the television, waiting for the Skype connection with her family in Annapolis. When the US side answered, they saw Travis, Sandy's brother. "The others will be here soon, " he said in his usual uncheerful way, then sat back on the couch and silently stared into the camera as if he wanted to hypnotise someone.

"Hello Travis, very nice to meet you again as well, " Paul could not help saying. Travis did not react. Luckily the stoic boy was soon joined by Adele, Timothy and Angela.

"Hello there, how good to see you two, " Adele greeted them. They first talked about a few of the usual subjects, if Sandy was still doing well in school and if the two were still getting along, both of which they could answer with a definite 'yes'.

"Life has changed a lot, " Paul said, "but for the better. In a few weeks time we'll be in Puerto Rico, and we'll have a few opportunities to come and visit." All the arrangements had been made, they had the tickets, so that was a done deal.

"Wonderful, it will be great to see you two again, " Timothy said. He was sincerely happy about that.

Paul could tell that Timothy was, which surprised him a little. The surprise increased when Timothy laughed and said: "I'm sure you are surprised."

"Wait, what did you say? How do you know I am surprised?" Paul asked.

Sandy felt a slight excitement in her stomach. Today might be the day to tell Paul. She reached for his hand. As he looked at her, she had to smile. "Listen to dad first, please?"

Timothy looked at Adele, who nodded. "Right. Paul, there's something we very much need to tell you. We had hoped for things to go a bit smoother between you and Sandy, but things happen the way they do."

"One moment please, Timothy. I had the feeling that things are going quite smoothly now, " Paul said.

"We had a difficult period, remember?" Sandy answered that question. "Several weeks of carefully treading on egg shells?"

"Oh, I see. Very well, I am listening."

Timothy resumed his talk. "The thing is, Paul, that we're not exactly ordinary people." He looked at Paul from the television screen. "I see that you have the wrong idea about that. Yes, we allowed our sixteen year old daughter to come to you and begin a relationship with you. But that's not what I mean. We have some not so common abilities that sets us apart from humanity on earth. And that's because we are not from earth."

Paul sat silently, his hand still in Sandy's. He smiled. "Is this some kind of family prank you are..." His voice died away when he realised that Timothy had replied to a question he had only asked himself, in his head. Can you hear me? Paul thought.

"Yes, Paul. I can hear you. I can hear people's thoughts when I want to and when they allow me to."

Slowly Paul looked at Sandy. Can you hear my thoughts too?

"No, Paul, Sandy can't hear your thoughts." Timothy looked calm as he spoke. "Not yet anyway."

Paul felt a nervous twitch in his cheek as he looked back at the television. "Wait, wait. I am trying to keep this together. You say you are aliens? From somewhere else than earth?" It couldn't be true of course, his logic told him that, but the same logic also told him that he should listen.

Before Timothy replied, Sandy sat on her knees next to Paul. "Paul? Please look at me?" As he turned his head and faced her, she took his hand in both of hers and spread her feeling of love and belonging out to him. She felt how he relaxed and reached out to her as well, clumsy in his doing so, but he did. "Paul, my dear Paul, you can feel what I do, can't you?" She spoke softly, tenderly. He nodded. "Yes. You do. And that is because you are one of us. No, Paul, please sit and listen. Don't get excited and walk around. You will lose the feeling of my love for you when you stand up." She sensed how she

this, so I'll just say that I am grateful for your information. But" -he looked at Sandy- "I do thank you for this wonderful person. I am truly proud of her."

"Take good care of her for us, Paul. We are glad to have you with us. Again, let us know if you have burning questions, there is always someone around to talk to you." Timothy then disconnected.

"Paul?" Sandy asked.

"Yes, what is it?"

"I think you should let go of my hands now."

Paul felt reluctant to do so; he was afraid that his mind would not deal well with everything he had just heard if he lost the feeling of her loving sensation that still spread through him.

"Or you will have a smelly, wet spot on your couch, " she warned him. "I do need to go to the toilet."

"Oh. Right." Paul released Sandy's hands, and to his surprise the feeling lessened but did not disappear entirely. "You'd better go then."

She hopped off the couch after another quick kiss and dashed off, leaving him with a jumble of thoughts and feelings and impressions. This morning he had woken up a normal astrophysicist with an average life and an unaverage girlfriend, and now he was an alien? With an unaverage alien girlfriend? And nobody seemed to know it? In an impulse he walked to a mirror and studied himself. He concluded that he was still the same old Paul Eric Carmichael.

Sandy returned and stood next to him. "What are you looking at?"

Paul smiled. "I was looking at me. Now I am looking at you."

"Did you see it?" she then asked.

"I'm not sure. I saw my face."

Sandy raised a hand. "Look again, more closely." She put a finger next to one of his eyes. "See here? Fewer wrinkles." Her finger traced down his cheek and rested on his chin. "Firmer already. And your hair is a bit less grey." Only when she pointed all these small things out to him, he saw them too. Then she made him look at his hands, where she showed him how the skin looked somewhat stronger, healthier too.

"Nobody will notice your skin, " she said, sounding certain of that. "And if someone makes a remark about your hair, you can say that you colour it for me." Sandy then wrapped her arms around him. "I am glad you know now, Paul. I am sure you'll be confused for a while. We can talk about it, I will help you where I can. And you can ask mom and dad."

Her closeness brought him the feeling of contentment, peace and happiness again. It was so obvious to him now he was attuned to it, that the lack of her presence was almost a physical discomfort. But she was here now, the feeling was there, and for the time being he pushed all his questions away.

***

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