Plum’s lips on mine had sent an electric jolt rippling through my body. It ignited desire in me more intense than anything I had ever experienced. For a few blissful moments, my troubles seemed far away.
I was naïve enough to believe that our physical connection equated some sort of spiritual connection, even deeper than the time our minds were joined by that enchanted collar. When the kiss ended, I felt like a fish out of water.
Plum described how much I meant to her and how devastated she felt when Delilah stabbed me with the cursed blade. She told me that she had moved heaven and earth to bring me back, rather than face life without me. I’m not going to lie, listening to all of those lovely words went straight to my head. I was giddy, by the time we got back home. Visions of romance danced in my head.
Once we were in the house, Plum was all business again. She sent me to my room to get cleaned up, instructing me to put my blood-soaked clothes in a trash bag. I followed orders. A relaxing hot shower was a treat for my aching muscles. Afterwards I climbed into bed, and I lie there in an agony of anticipation.
The prospect of her slipping into my bed was both exciting and nerve-racking. One by one, the others went to bed and the house gradually quieted down until all was silent. By then, it was painfully obvious that Plum would not be joining me.
Was the kiss just Plum playing with me? The thought tormented me so much that I couldn’t lie still. Wide awake, I climbed out of bed and started pacing back and forth. Maybe something I did turned her off. Having had very little experience in the romance department, made it not only possible but probable.
I’ve always been socially awkward. Sometimes, I unknowingly do things which rub people the wrong way. Learning that Plum had romantic feelings for me had been more shocking than the kiss. Did I act too thirsty? My face got hot. She was probably laughing at me. Tears came and then anger chased them away. I charged into the hall, in time to see her going downstairs fully dressed.
Where was she going in the middle of the night? Probably headed for some secret rendezvous. I jealously followed her itching for a confrontation. Plum was standing by the door looking down at something in her hand. She didn’t respond to me calling her name.
There was a blinding flash of light, and she was gone. I didn’t realize that I was screaming, until one of the girls grabbed me from behind. My screams had awakened the whole household. Everyone came stampeding down the stairs, thinking we were under attack. Plum was the last to arrive. Seeing her, I was relieved and confused.
“But, I just saw you get blown up. The burst of light was so intense, I swear the heat it gave off felt like an explosion. You…or whoever I just saw looked just like you,” I blurted pointing at her.
“I’ve been in bed this entire time. That means…”
“Yes, what the does it mean?”
“That means what you saw was a doppelganger.”
“What’s that, some kind of ghost? That was not a ghost. It was solid.”
“A doubleganger is an omen…a sign of impending…tragedy or…death,” murmured Plum.