It’s been two days, and Chase has since recovered from his father’s death. I haven’t talked to Rachel yet, and I only have eleven days left, if what she said is correct. Trying to put all that she told me out of my mind is the hardest thing, but she’s away at the moment visiting her sick grandmother, so I have some more time to think. She’s coming back tomorrow, but I know by then I’ll hopefully have convinced myself that she was lying. It’s noon, and I finished my chores early. Ms. A had to go to town to pick up some supplies, and so I was left to myself. Chase is here, working extra hard for the generously raised pay to support his mother and himself. I’m in the shower, washing my hair, shivering as the water goes from warm to cold so often. Chase must be watering some of the animals. Then again, it may not be his fault. After all, the water here isn’t exactly reliable, and I’ve never figured out how or where Ms. Aston gets her water from. Yet another unsolved mystery about Miss A. The water goes back to warm, and I sigh with relief, massaging the last of the shampoo out of my hair. Suddenly, a loud horn honks, causing me to jump and fumble for the handle of the shower to turn the water off, but I seem to have lost my vision. The lights are out. Or the lights aren’t out, and the truck horn isn’t real… A bright light flashes, and I hear screams. I can see now, out of the same car window as usual, the normal truck skidding and starting to fall. It’s never gotten this far before. The truck begins to tip, and I hear a car door open, as if someone is trying to get out. Then, I collapse. When I open my eyes, I’m laying on the couch, shivering. I reach to pull up my covers, and snap my eyes open when I realize I’m not in bed, and I’m naked under the thin towel that is covering me. How did I get here? I don’t remember walking out… Chase’s voice comes from beside me, and I scream. “Get out of here! What the heck you weirdo!” I clutch the towel. He must have brought me out here, there’s no other way I could get from the shower to the couch.
Just as I’m about to scream (he won’t get up and leave), Rachel enters, running to my side. She chases Chase (no pun intended) from the room and sits down on the floor in his place.
“Jamie,” she says quietly, “Chase called me. He told me that he came to give you something but couldn’t find you, and when he knocked on the bathroom door and you didn’t answer, he said he waited down here for a while then went back up and found you passed out in the shower. Do you remember what happened?”
It takes me a minute to find my voice. “Hardly. Just another vision. Rachel, I’m scared. What am I supposed to do?”
She looks like this is exactly the answer she’s been expecting. “You have eleven days. Meaning you’ll need to leave tomorrow.” At this, she pauses, letting it soak in. I knew that I couldn’t avoid this, that after she told me about all this, my life would never be normal. “Have you gotten any clues? Maybe a license plate number off the truck? Or a building in the background?” I shake my head. “Oh, dear. Well, maybe tonight. Come on, let’s get you into some clothes.”
Once I’m dressed, Rachel, Chase and I sit in awkward silence, sipping tea and explaining to Chase what’s going on. Rachel confides in him that though she’s known him most of her life (he used to work for her family when he was young, and they went to the same school), she’s kept this a secret. He seems hesitant to believe her, as if she’s trying to make him out for a fool.
After a while, Rachel leaves, telling me that she’ll pick me up tomorrow at ten a.m. I’m not sure where we’re going…I guess just anywhere I feel a need to go. Me and Chase sit silently. Chase begins a silly yet awkward conversation about chickens, and how Harley always used to flirt with them behind the rooster’s back. I laugh. We talk for a short time before Chase changes the subject suddenly.
“I was…ah…wondering if you’d like to be my girlfriend.” His face is red and he’s not looking at me. “There’s not many pretty girls around here. But…” He pauses, rubbing the back of his neck. “Since you’re leaving tomorrow and all, I’m not sure how it’s going to work out. You don’t seriously believe Rachel, do you?”
I beam. “Chase, I fell out of the sky. What else am I supposed to believe? I just happen to have no identity? And the answer is yes. I will be your girlfriend.” I smile, and he smiles back. “Do you want to come with us?”
“My mother needs me.” He looks at the floor. “I really wish I could.”
I sigh and realize there’s something I haven’t said yet. “Thank you.”
He grins like he’s about to say “you’re welcome,” but decides to say it without words. He smiles like a naughty school boy, then presses his lips against mine. I feel the soft pressure and I want to forget everything that’s happened the last three months, to abandon trying to find out about my old life and start living my new one. But I know I can’t. I could never live with myself if I didn’t go on this mission.
And now I have another person to miss me when I fail.