Throughout the day Arlene and Vlad had quite a nice time with Leona, both while working and in the free time. Leona turned out to be quite open minded and interested in what they do and like. She also turned out to be very talkative and friendly. Much to Arlene’s surprise.
While Arlene wasn’t really an open person, there was something about Leona that made her feel she can be trusted and that Arlene could tell her as much as she thought was right.
Of course, a lot of it was blabbered out by Vlad, but Arlene just let him say it, no matter how disapproving she found that.
Anyway, Arlene came home and instantly turned on her kettle and took a book to read while waiting.
She wasn’t given that much peace, however, as something kept interrupting her by making weird noises. At first, she ignored it, but after a little while it started annoying her, so she put the book back on the table in irritation and went to investigate, knowing that it just couldn’t be a bug or an animal. Especially since it seemed to be calling her name.
Of course, once she searched the spot she heard the noise come, there was nothing. “I really hope no bugs or rats got in here. One of the last things I need in life.” She thought to herself.
After nearly half an hour of digging around, checking the bookshelves and even looking behind a mirror nearby, Arlene just went to the window and sighed in irritation and exhaustion.
But then she heard the noise again. This time, it was clearly a voice, whispering her name, as if calling out for her.
Arlene could’ve sworn it was coming out of a mirror.
She slowly and cautiously approached the mirror and the moment she was about an inch away from it something formed in the reflection. Arlene’s first thought was instantly wondering: “What the hell is that?”
One could guess her question is justified, since this clearly didn’t look like her own reflection, nor anything natural for that matter. It seemed to look like a woman to Arlene, and yet it didn’t seem to look human at all.
Her skin was mix of red and dark orange with glowing yellow lines trailed over it. Her lips were dark red as blood from veins and her eyes had a glowing light shade of yellow with black around them, making the yellow eyes look even brighter. What she was wearing was something Arlene could’ve sworn was fire and smoke.
“Sad, isn’t it? Trying so much and have nothing.” She said. Arlene gave no reply whatsoever. “All your life, trying to prove yourself worth something to the world. Working so hard every day, trying to make yourself look pretty and tough. And yet, you are alone, with nobody claiming you’ve done something special for the world and people around you. And even though there’s people close to you, they don’t really like you as much as they claim to.” The creature continued once she noticed Arlene wasn’t going to say anything, a spark of a smile never leaving her face.
Arlene just stood there, looking at her, not knowing what’s happening, but still trying to stay calm. She felt slight fear and her hands shaking, but she still just stood there, looking like nothing is intimidating her.
“Who are you?” Arlene asked after another moment of silence.
The creature smiled widely. “I am the one who listens. I am the one whose voice you hear when you’re sad and alone and need company. I comfort you when no one else wants you.”
“Go away.” Arlene said, absolutely disliking the look and sound of that and just turned and walked away from the mirror, as the creature disappeared.
Irritated, Arlene dropped herself back on the couch and continued reading, until ten minutes later when Vlad came in.
“Hi, Arlene. Reading as always, I see.” He jumped next to her and started sniffing her neck as he said that.
“Yes, Vlad. Better than spending entire time scrolling some dumb posts on the internet. Don’t you think?”
“True. It is a nice way to prevent a brain from rotting.” As he said that, he kept playfully sniffing her neck and softly kissed it repeatedly. “I heard some noises when I came in. Were you talking to anyone?”
For a moment, Arlene didn’t answer that. She didn’t want one of the very few friends she had to be the one to think she’s going crazy if she tells him somebody talked to her through a mirror or something.
“No.” she simply said, clearly not wanting to go further than that.
Vlad instantly shrugged it off and continued to tease her by sniffing her neck and give her jokingly slimy kisses on the cheek, which of course annoyed her quite a lot. However, she knew how to get him to stop with all that.
“There’s drinks in the fridge, Vlad.”
“Oh, nice.” He said and jumped away from her and headed for the fridge, while Arlene, wiped the saliva off her cheek and chuckled.
As he took a sip from the drink, Vlad went for the kettle he noticed was still pretty hot and started making cappuccino for both of them. “Oh by the way, don’t forget that we arranged to have Leona visit us after work.”
“I know. To get to know us better and so we can get a higher chance to have someone to be on our side rather than on the side of those who hate me at work.”
“Well, mostly to get to know you better. She did show interest in knowing you.”
“So have many others, Vlad. And most of the time, they stabbed me in the back.”
Vlad paused when she said that. He understood why was she rather closed towards people, and very rarely let them talk to her. He intended not to protest on that, since he knew her long enough to know why was she the person she was. Although he sometimes wished she was more open to people around her, he still understood why there was barely anyone she trusted.
“But hey, she showed interest in things you do, instead of just asking you to do something for her and then just leave without even showing interest to know you. She didn’t seem to mind that you aren’t so easy on trusting people. Although, you did seem to let her know you. Seriously, I thought you’d just want her to leave her alone and not even try and make contact. And yet, here you are, already invited her to your house for some more time together. You did the same with me, which I also still find surprising.”
Arlene lightly snorted at that. “Whatever.” And went to her violin.
“Did I mention that we all three of us are going out tonight?” Vlad said.
“What?” Arlene pretended she did not hear that well as she played.
“You heard me. After having a look around the house, Leona, you and I are going to go out.”
Vlad received a screeching sound from the violin once he said that.
“Yes. Did you forget already? I arranged with her that we’ll go have a few drinks together and watch your performance tonight.”
“Vlad! Why? You really are one big bag with a hole!”
“Hey, she wanted to see you perform, she was curious to hear you. I just couldn’t help it.”
“Of course. As always, you just can’t resist the ladies.” As she said that, Arlene turned her back to him and continued playing her violin.
The next few moments passed in silence, with the exception of her violin, until a door bell rang.
“She’s here.” Vlad said, though he didn’t receive an answer and went to open the door. “Hi, Leona. Come in, she’s in the living room.”
As she came in, Leona slowed down her walking in order to listen to the music, recognizing the tune. “Amazing Grace.” she said as she carefully leaned to listen. “So beautiful… so many clashing emotions though.”
“You really did come over.”Arlene noticed as she put the violin away.
“Of course I do. I told you I would come over to get to know you better.” Leona grinned as she took off her jacket a bit, revealing her black, classy dress with pearls on the upper part.
“Now, care to show me around?”