Alin's not human, but what is he?
|Cita was waiting beside the dumpster, her face was expressionless, giving no hint of the growing tension she felt inside. He was late, she glanced at her watch, seven-thirty. The stench of rotten garbage and piss in the narrow alley way assailed Cita's nose, adding to the naseau she was already feeling. Cita heard the lock of the deli door unlatch and Alin stepped out into the alley carrying two large garbage bags. Alin spotted Cita, but he showed no sign that he had seen the girl with thick curly black hair that fell in ringlets that framed her face. She was beautiful, with soulful brown eyes, a couple of inches shorter than he was, but she had an athletic build. She pinned Alin with her eyes, her air of familiarity made him uncomfortable.
“Hi, Alin.” Cita said as she leaned against the dumpster.
“Whose there?” Alin said feigning blindness, he lowered the bags he holding and stepped over them, his question came out as a snarl and a tight knot grew in the pit of his stomach.
“I know what you are.” Cita voice was taunting and Alin’s emotions vacillated between anger and fear. Who was this woman? How did she know his name? Cita pushed her back off the dumpster and walked up to Alin. She stood so close to Alin that he quickly backed away from her, tripping over the garbage bags. Alin caught his balance and felt for the door behind him.
“Are you afraid, Alin?, afraid of a little girl? Somehow I thought you’d be braver than this. It really is disappointing.” In an instant Cita’s hand flew up as she tried to grab the sunglasses off of Alin’s face. Without thinking Alin grabbed her hand before she could reach them.
“I knew it!” she howled “You’re not blind, you can’t fool me.”
“What do you want!” Alin spoke through clenched teeth as he pushed her hand away from him in disgust.
“I want to know, what you are.” Cita rubbed her wrist where Alin had grabbed her. She hadn’t expected his reflexes to be so fast or his grip so strong, if he had held her a little bit tighter, he would have broken her wrist. She was having second thoughts about this encounter, beginning to think that she might be outmatched. She knew better than anyone that cornering a desperate person was a dangerous game to play.
Cita laughed nervously and took a step backward, to her dismay, Alin took one step forward and Cita could feel the balance of power shifting. She couldn’t see his eyes but she could imagine the anger that was behind the sunglasses he wore and she was thankful that she hadn’t been successful in removing them, because she might have been scared shitless if she could see the depth of his anger. Time for a new tactic she thought as she backed away from Alin.
“I can see your aura.” Cita blurted out as Alin moved toward her “The majority of people have a blue aura.” she continued and Alin stopped suddenly, he was intrigued. He thought back to the time when he was ten and he had closed his eyes and the man became a blue apparition. He had pushed that memory from his mind long ago and since then he only closed his eyes when he was alone and ready to sleep. But now it all came rushing back to him and he could feel his heart starting to race. Cita was relieved that he had stopped advancing on her.
“A few have a red aura and you…” Cita could see that he was clearly interested in what she was saying. “You have the aura of royalty.” Cita made a childish attempt to flatter him, but there was no vanity in Alin.
“What are you talking about?” Alin could not be cajoled and she could hear the tremor of rage when he spoke.
“Your aura is purple. I see a purple halo around your entire body. I had never seen an aura that color before, not until I saw you.” Alin didn’t know whether to believe her or not. Warily he diverted his attention from Cita, looking down at his hands he closed his eyes. Nothing, then realizing that he was still wearing his sunglasses he removed them. He shot a quick look at Cita, she wasn’t the least bit surprised to see his shocking blue eyes, she just stood there looking at him stoically. Again he closed his eyes and looked down at his hands, they were glowing purple! He raised his head in Cita‘s direction, she was glowing blue.
“Why do you have your eyes closed?” She stared at him in bewilderment. He ignored her, he had questions of his own.
“How long have you had this ability?” Alin asked opening his eyes.
“I call it a gift. When I was little I thought everyone saw them. It wasn’t until I started school that I realized I was the only one. Until I was fifteen, every person I had ever seen had a blue aura, some are very bright and others are faint. Then every once in a while I began seeing people with a red aura. I don’t know why it’s red, I think they must be sick or something. Then I passed your deli about three weeks ago and I saw you. Your aura was so bright and purple. It was hard not to notice.”
“How come you knew I was a BA?”
“I didn’t, but it was the only logical explanation, I knew you weren’t blind and the only reason I could think of for you to wear sunglasses was that you were hiding something. And since I’ve never seen BA, other than on television I mean. I reached the only conclusion possible.”
“Couldn’t you see their aura’s when you watched TV?”
“No, television washes out all aura’s.” Alin pick up the garbage bags and hoisted them into the dumpster. Then he stood staring at Cita, she shifted uncomfortably beneath his gaze. His eyes were so intense, so blue, a sharp contrast to his brown skin.
“Now that you know what I am. What do you plan to do about it?”
“Nothing, I just had to find out for myself.” Alin didn’t believe her, he wanted to kill her. Keep her from destroying his life.
“You can see aura’s too, can’t you?” Cita asked, he didn’t like her asking him questions, as if she had a right to know anything about him.
“I see nothing but a smart ass troublemaker, who evidently has no home life and tries to destroy the lives of those that do.” Cita face was stricken, she wanted to think of a snappy come back, to hide the hurt she felt, but her throat was so dry that she couldn’t speak. Cita’s face went cold and emotionless. Alin felt a twinge of regret, he had a way of sensing a person’s weakness and striking at the very core of it when he became angry. Alin had always known this day would come, she wasn’t to blame. If she hadn’t discovered him, someone else would have, it was inevitable. It all could have ended a lot worse than this. Still Alin couldn’t bring himself to apologize to her, the source of all his suffering.
Alin heard the door behind him open, Jacob stood in the doorway. Alin slipped his sunglasses on and turned to his father.
“Papa this is...” Alin paused, he didn’t know her name. Cita skipped past Alin.
“Hi, my name is Cita.” she extended her hand to Jacob and put on her best smile. Jacob shook her hand, but he was suspicious.
“Are you a friend of Alin’s? I’ve never seen you around here before.” Jacob said. Lela, who had seen the girl before joined him at the door.
“Lela, this is Cita she’s a friend of Alin’s.” Alin could feel his face flush with anger. He wanted to shout that she was no friend of his. To his horror Lela took the girl by the hand and escorted her inside. Jacob shrugged his shoulders at Alin as if to say you know your mother.
Alin was sullen as Cita and his parents talked amicably. He had learned more about her than he ever wanted to know, that's if she was telling the truth at all. Everything coming out of her mouth could be a lie. The fact that she was a ward of the state, thrown out of the group home she had lived in most of her life the moment she turned eighteen.That was two years ago, Alin wanted to believe everything she said was a lie, but his internal radar told him she was telling the truth, and the way she looked when he said she had no home life, that was real. Probably the only true emotion she had shown in the short time he had known her. When his parents left the room, Alin spoke up.
“I want you out of here.” His voice was cold and it was clear from his expression that there was no room for argument.
“Don’t be mad, your mother invited me in. I had no intention of disrupting your ‘home life’.” Cita said mockingly.
“When they come back in, you will tell them you have to leave.”
“No problem, I do have to leave.” Cita stood up.
“Mr. & Mrs. Jensen, I really do have to leave.”
Cita called into the other room. Lela came rushing back in holding Alin’s birthday cake.
“Oh do you have to leave right now? I was just going to slice you a piece of Alin’s birthday cake.” Cita smiled.
“I’d love to, but I really have to go. Thank you for your hospitality.”
“Where do you live?” Lela asked.
“Oh not far just to three stops on the subway.”
“Well I want Alin to make sure you get there safely. It’s dangerous for a girl to walk alone in this city.”
“I do it all the time, really it’s no big deal.”
“Alin, I insist you escort her home.” Escort, Alin thought as he sulked, who uses words like escort these days, unless they’re planning to get laid. Alin had no doubt that Cita could handle herself against anyone or anything. If she couldn’t fight her way out, she could surely talk her way out. She had stopped him, hadn‘t she?
“How can I escort her mom, I’m blind.” Cita threw him a look,as if to say why do we have to play this silly game. Did he think his parents were fools. They knew, that she knew Alin wasn’t blind. But she let the comment pass, If he wanted to continue this charade who was she to argue.
“Son, I think you’ll be able to manage. Go on now.” Lela shooed them out the back door. Alin and Cita walked to the end of the alley in complete silence. It was clear Alin could have gone on forever like that, Cita couldn’t.
“You never answered my question.”
“What question is that?” Alin was seething.
“Why did you close your eyes when I told you about the aura’s.” Alin sighed.
“What do you want from me, why are you bothering me. Now that you know what I am, just get it over with. Tell the authorities, I’ll be long gone by the time you tell them.”
“I’m no snitch.” Cita said disgusted at the suggestion. “After how I was raised, do you really think I’d have loyalty to any government agency?”
“Then what the fuck do you want?” Alin exploded in frustration, his whole life was changing because of her. He fought back tears and quickened his pace. Cita ran to catch up with him and grabbed him by the arm. Alin whirled on her.
“Don’t touch me! Don’t you ever touch me. I could kill you right now!” Cita spread her arm out to either side and tilted her head back.
“Go ahead, wring away, I won’t stop you. I’m probably better off dead. The world is off kilter, something is very wrong and If I’m the only one to see it, to feel it. I’d rather be dead.” Now Cita was the one crying and she let her arms fall to her side. “Answer my question.” she pleaded. Alin’s face gentled
“I can’t see aura’s like you do. But, when I close my eyes I can see people just as clearly as when my eyes are open, only it’s like looking at a negative, a glowing blue negative.”
“Do you see everyone like that?”
“I don’t know, I tried it once when I was ten and it scared the hell out of me. I never tried it after that. Not until tonight, I when I looked down at my hands they were purple like you said.”
Cita was starting to get excited.
“I’m afraid of the people who have the red aura, I don’t know why, They just seem strange to me. But I always get a feeling of dread whenever I see one. Are you up for an experiment?”
“What kind of experiment?”
“Just close your eye and see if everyone has an aura.”
“ I have to take off my sunglasses, otherwise I can’t see it.” Alin closed his eyes and slid off his glasses.
“Let’s go down to the subway, there will be plenty of people down there.” Cita said leading the way down the steps. As they entered the expanse of the subway terminal blue figures were everywhere.
“My God.” Alin said stunned and at the same time relieved, everyone had an aura. He was not crazy and he could see Cita was relieved also, she wasn’t crazy either or at least they were crazy together. She wasn’t alone anymore. Cita closed her eyes, then opened them.
“I don’t see anything when I close my eyes.” Cita said clearly disappointed. The subway car squealed to a stop and Cita watched the people as they boarded. She tugged at Alin’s arm and whispered there’s a red one in that subway car. Alin followed where Cita pointed. Alin stumbled backwards and fell to the ground. His face a mask of horror as he stifled a scream, scrambling backwards until he was pressed firmly against the subway wall. He was looking at a hideous, slathering creature, with large vacant eyes, it's face looked as if it was melting and had been scarred in some horrific fire. The creature looked directly at Alin and pressed it’s long bony fingers against the subway window. It was talking to him! Alin started babbling incoherently and Cita crouched down beside him.
“What is it Alin?” she cried, her eyes darted from Alin to the man in the subway car. The man was trying to get out of the car, but the door closed before he could reach it. Alin and the creature stared at each other until the car was out of sight.
“Alin what’s going on, what did you see?” Cita was terrified.
“Did you see that… that thing?”
“See what? All I saw a man. What did you see?”
“A monster.” Alin was unsteady as he rose to his feet and he pulled his sunglasses from his pocket.
“I don’t want to see anymore, I’ve got to get home.”
“Why? What’s wrong Alin? you’re scaring me.”
“I’ve got to get home.” Alin repeated “They’ll be looking for me. Cita go home and forget you ever saw me.”
“Who will be looking for you? I’m not going anywhere.” Alin grabbed Cita by her shoulders and shook her.
“Leave me alone, none of this would be happening if I had never met you.” Alin shoved Cita backwards and she fell, sliding backwards on the floor. She stared up at him in disbelief as he backed away from her.
“I’m sorry.” he murmured as he turned and bolted up the steps. He had to get home.