Never Never: Part Three

Page 2


The handwriting is a perfect match.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa!” I say. “This is nuts!” I put the page down and shake my head. How can any of this be true? It’s like reading a novel. Lost memories, fathers who betrayed their families, voodoo. My god. Suddenly I feel like I want to barf.
Why can’t I remember who I am? What I did yesterday? If what these notes say are true…
I’m about to voice this when Silas hands me another sheet of paper.
You only have 48 hours. Do not focus on why you can’t remember things or how weird it all feels. Focus on figuring this out before you forget again.
It’s my handwriting again. “I’m convincing,” I say.
He nods.
“So…where are we?” I turn around in a full circle, noticing the freshly eaten food on the table. Silas points to one of those little paper tents on the nightstand. A hotel. In New Orleans. Great.
I’m walking toward the window to take a peek outside when there’s a knock at the hotel door. We both freeze and look in that direction.
“Who is it?” Silas yells at the door.
“It’s me!” A voice replies.
Silas motions for me to go stand on the other side of the room, away from the door. I don’t.
I’ve only known myself for a few minutes, but I can tell I’m stubborn.
Silas unlatches the deadbolt and pulls the door open just a little. A scruffy brown head bobs around the door.
“Hey,” the boy says. “I’m back. 11:30 sharp, just like you said.”
He has his hands stuffed in his pockets and his face is red like he’s been running. I look from him to Silas, and back to him. They look alike.
“You know each other?” I ask.
The younger, lookalike version of Silas nods his head. “We’re brothers.” He says this loudly while pointing first to Silas and then himself. “I am your brother,” he says again, looking at Silas.
“So you said,” Silas says with a slight grin on his face. He glances at me, then back at Landon. “Mind if I take a look at your ID?”
The boy rolls his eyes but pulls a wallet out of his back pocket.
“I like that cool, rolling your eyes thing you have going on,” Silas says as he opens the boy’s wallet.
“What’s your name?” I ask him.
He tilts his head, narrowing his eyes at me. “I’m Landon,” he tells me, as if I should know this. “The better-looking Nash brother.”
I smile weakly as Silas looks over Landon’s ID. He’s a good kid. You can tell by his eyes.
“So,” I say, looking at Silas. “You don’t know who you are, either? And we’re trying to figure this all out together? And every forty-eight hours we forget again?”
“Yeah,” he says. “Sounds about right.”
This feels like a dream. Not reality.
And then it hits me. I’m dreaming. I burst into laughter, just as Landon hands me a sack. I think my laughter caught him by surprise.
“What’s this?” I ask, opening the sack.
“You asked me to bring you a change of clothes.”
I look down at the gown I’m wearing, and then at the clothes. “Why am I wearing this?”
He shrugs. “That’s what you were wearing last night when Silas found you.”
Silas pushes open the bathroom door for me. The clothes have tags on them, so I pull them off and begin to change. A cute black top with long sleeves and jeans that fit like they were made for me. Who gets new clothes in their dreams?
“I love this dream!” I yell through the bathroom door.
When I’m finished changing, I swing open the door and clap my hands together. “All right, boys. Let’s go. Where to?”
I make a quick check of the hotel room as Charlie and Landon file out. I grab the empty trash sack out of the small can under the desk and shove all of our notes into it. When I’m certain I have everything, I follow Charlie and Landon outside.
Charlie is still smiling when we reach the car. She honestly thinks this is a dream, and I don’t have the heart to tell her it isn’t. It’s not a dream. It’s actually a nightmare and we’ve been living it for more than a week now.
Landon climbs inside the car, but Charlie waits for me by the back door. “You want to ride in the front with your brother?” she asks, forming air quotes with her fingers.
I shake my head and reach around her to open the door. “No, you can ride in the front.” She begins to turn when I grab her arm. I lean down to her ear and whisper. “You aren’t dreaming, Charlie. This is real. Something is happening to us and you need to take it seriously so we can figure it out, okay?”