Sn0w sat alone, staring at the evening haze, quietly dreaming of long ago simple days of sparkling embers of sky and a deep cool world of liquid freedom that had receded into myth before mankind was stirred from the dust. She moved with mother as all had moved from the ancient beginning, and only bits and baubles forming against the rippling sunshine were the currency of the spirit. In her mind, she slid through the incandescent deep, a ribbon of silk on a gentle breeze.
“You there, Sn0w?”
“Yeah,” she responded, her mind and heart in two times at the same place, “I’m here, I think.”
“You were telling us about your friend? What happened to her?”
“Yeah. Tonya. She was the woman I looked up to as an example of how to be the finest from among women. We’d been friends for fifteen years! And she just vanished. Like, right off the face of the planet, without a phone call or anything. I did some specialized snooping and found her in a mental facility.” Sn0w took short pause to stop herself from crying again.
With her tears and her pain all swallowed down, she continued, “She went from a paragon of virtue to a lunatic in just two weeks, and no one knew where she was. But I found her.”
“How did you find her?” the voice of Skype pressed.
“I have my ways. And then I made the biggest mistake of her life. I told her family where to find her.”
“Oh my g_d, what happened?!”
“They went to get her, and I’ve not heard from her in two weeks. I wish somehow I could find out if she is alright.”
Just then, at that precisely ridiculous moment, a knock pulled Sn0w away from her computer and to the back door to her apartment. Standing in the dark cold of mid March was Tonya, shivering, silent, with a smile on her clean face and with hair perfectly braided. Sn0w gasped at the shock of seeing her friend so suddenly after just moments before talking about missing her and wondering at her whereabouts. And there she was. It took Sn0w a moment to process and then another to formulate to response.
“Oh, my! Tonya! Come inside!” Sn0w spoke softly as she cupped her hands over her own mouth.
Tonya entered silently, smiling, but in the light it was obvious her smile was one of stark terror and not one of happiness. She was lost in a whirl of panic and caught behind a silent scream. I took her shoulders very gently and hugged her briefly before getting her a chair at my kitchen table. She was still perfectly silent, not even doing her well-practiced sign language. …..Eventually she said aloud, “I can’t talk!” at the same time I spoke, “Are you alright?” Our voices rang through the silence like a knife cutting an iron bell.
“Is that Tonya! Is she there?!?!” yelled the voice on Skype in disbelief. Sn0w’s own disbelief was just as palpable. Did real life work like this? No, coincidences are never actually coincidences. There was always purpose or cause behind the inexplicable. Tonya was there for a reason. And had her friend on Skype not seen or heard her, Sn0w would have though dementia had finally set its mark on her brains.
“Yes, it’s Tonya!” Sn0w ended her Skype call and shut down her live stream with an excited goodbye and a head full of questions and of fright.
“Real life doesn’t work like this, does it?!”