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CHAPTER TWO
Strangers In The Light

Just to recap, in case you are one of those people who reads a chapter at a time and then bookmarks it to come back later, I am in a strange girl’s room, where I woke up naked, but I put on underpants, and the door is opening. I see something shocking. Okay? Let’s go.

So in walks this drop dead blonde bombshell, with bright blue eyes and legs that go on forever. She’s the kind of chick that makes men leave their ladies and girls turn queer. So what I am doing in her room, I have no fucking idea. She bounces through the doorway, and into the room, wearing a bright pink nightie and a smile that would certainly dazzle my dentist. And my optometrist too, come to think of it. Now all this is shocking, enough, but then she asks me, in her giggly, bubbly way, if I want to meet her roommate. I know what you’re thinking. It’s wrong.

A voice comes through the door. It’s rather low and cold sounding, but still very womanly. It totally contrasts the atmosphere of the room. It tells the girl to stop being so ditzy, which prompts a response from her that the voice should lighten up. I can’t help feeling that I’m with the wrong girl here. And that voice, it’s so familiar. That’s when it strikes me. That’s my ex-girlfriend’s voice.

I bet you are remembering about how I said that she had died, in the previous chapter. Well that wasn’t another one of those metaphors. She really had died. She was supposed to be dead and buried right now. Which is why hearing the voice was so shocking to me. I mean, when you wake up you don’t expect to be in some knockout’s room with the roll of roommate being played by the voice of your dead girlfriend. I usually expect to wake up cold and lonely, in a dank little apartment with bad lighting, a dirty smell coming from the closet, and no future. You can see how my senses would be in for quite the shock with this difference. I was just about to chalk the sound of the voice up to temporary insanity, when the blonde hopped onto the bed with me.

“You were quite the tiger last night. I never expected such ferocity from a guy like you,” she said, running her fingers up my stomach. Honestly. I couldn’t make up cheesy dialogue like that if my life depended on it.

I thanked her, and asked her what her name was. This was followed by giggles from her end of the conversation, after which she said her name was Bunni. Rather appropriate, I figured, but what kinds of parents give their kids names like that in this day and age? Judging from her personality and sense of style, I can only guess. She stared at me for a bit and then told me to guess her roommate’s name. One word sprang to mind.

Winter.

“Oh my gosh! How did you know that? I must have written it somewhere around here, huh?” She got up and looked around, her golden locks swirling with the movement of her head.

“No, actually, that was my… ex-girlfriend’s name,” I said, but wishing I hadn’t. The voice thing, I could toss off, but this was way too much of a coincidence. She couldn’t have come back from the dead though, could she?

Once again I stood up off the bed, only this time with a more hardened purpose than finding a pair of under pants. This time I was making sure that my girlfriend hadn’t come back from the grave after being hit by a car. As I stumbled to the door, I could hear Bunni asking me what was wrong, and where I was going. She sounded at least a million miles away. There was only one thing on my mind right now, and that was the truth. I peeked my head out the door and looked around. The girliness of Bunni’s room was not apparent out here. In fact, the place looked pretty normal. It was a living room/ kitchen/ vestibule combo, divided by a closet, a half wall, and some imagination. The carpet was a light greyish blue, and was surprisingly soft for a regular downtown apartment. Assuming, of course, that I even was downtown. The walls were quite normal, and quite white, with various pieces of art on the walls, ranging from Magritte’s apple-faced dude; you know the one, to a Power Puff Girl poster. There was dark purple leather furniture, and a lovely normal entertainment system. Well, sort of normal. I won’t get into it. Let’s just say it was normal if you were having some kind of Barbie Halloween party. The kitchen was pretty plain, so you can just imagine any plain kitchen and that will work. Maybe you can even imagine your own plain kitchen or, if that’s too much work, just sit in your kitchen while you read this next little bit.

I stepped into the kitchen, where a girl sat at the table, her back to me. She had short black hair, cut into a messy little bob, and wore a purple T-shirt over what appeared to be nylons or something on her arms. I also caught hint of a plaid skirt, and some delicious boots. All in all she was dressed in rather the same style I’d expect of my dear dead Winter.

Apparently Bunni had gotten up too, and was standing in the doorway, behind me. “God, what’s your problem? Do you two, like, know each other or something?” she said, with a dissatisfied tone.

That’s when the girl in the chair turned around, and my eyes widened in shock. Not that I hadn’t been expecting it, but still… It was pretty shocking to see my ex-girlfriend, now a zombie, sitting in a chair in a kitchen, eating peanut butter toast.

I suppose now would be a good time to tell you about Winter and myself. We met two years ago. I was incredibly depressed, having failed my most recent creative writing course at the most local college. The teacher, you see, thought I should be writing something happier, or at least something where the protagonists lived in the end. I saw it differently. After our falling out I was sitting in a park bench, reading Poe’s The Raven, and not quite enjoying a very bitter cup of coffee, when a girl walked by. Now normally I wouldn’t even be inclined to acknowledge the existence of other life, but there was just something about her that made me look up and stare. She had hair down to her waist back then, and at about the shoulder blades it curled delightfully in a careless way I found ever so attractive. That alone wouldn’t have veered my anti-social behaviour, and neither would her beautiful black and red dress, or creamy white skin although they certainly would have haunted my dreams that night. No, what I was particularly interested in was the fact that she carried an umbrella. This was in late June you see, so there wasn’t exactly a chance of shower, but also the sun was so unbearably hot that you needed some sort of protection. I watched her walk a little ways from me and then sit on the next bench over. As I gazed at her, she turned to me, and I hurriedly buried my nose back in the book. After calling myself an idiot under my breath I heard the sound of her rising and footsteps coming in my general direction. I didn’t dare look, and figured that if I gave her no attention the second time round maybe she would go away, and I wouldn’t have to face the dreadful task of actually socializing with somebody. The fact that she was an extremely attractive girl just making it worse. The dandy footsteps stopped directly in front of me, and I glanced under the book to see two pointy boot toes sticking out from underneath the flowing ends of black material. I raised my eyes upwards until their path came in direct contact with the girl’s face. It was moon shaped and pretty and had what I had heard referred to as “raccoon eyes,” covered in far too much black make up, with far too pale blue eyes under them, that I found irresistible. The blood drop lips certainly struck me vibrantly due to the lack of any other colour on the entire canvas.

“Certainly is an odd time to be wearing a scarf,” she said, in an icy and surprisingly rich voice that would either make me melt or cause my pants to grow tight, but luckily I had the strength to hold off on both, for a little while.

“Certainly is an odd time to be carrying an umbrella,” I said back, in the rather apathetic and uninteresting voice I’ve been known to use time and again.

And that’s how we met.