A shadow appeared in front of me as I faced west. I turned, expecting Karl. But it was Diane who stood in front of me.
“Good Morning, Mikey!” she said, as she approached me. Her voice pealed like a bell. It was still early and nobody else was up yet that I could see.
I immediately noticed that she had changed her hair style again. Yesterday morning, it hung loosely. Last night, it was more page-boy style. Today, it was braided. Her hair was longer than I had originally thought it was. She was wearing pink shorts and a Montana T-shirt, which I thought was a bit too tight. She wore no shoes. I thought I detected a scent of perfume, but I wasn’t sure.
Again, her angelic voice sounded. “Karl wasn’t feeling too well this morning. I hope it doesn't cancel our fishing trip.” She placed a peculiar emphasis on the word “our.” She took a step closer, and gazed into my pail. “You’ve got quite a haul there, honey.”
I thought: Honey? This is the second time you’ve called me that! Why? Why are you calling me that? But what I said was, “Yes. This is going to last a while. I’ve never had such a good search after the 4th of July.”
Diane stepped closer to me. I wasn’t wrong; there was a hint of perfume. It wasn’t overwhelming. In fact, it was very pleasing. And the scent fit her perfectly. Then she whispered to me. “Take the pail back to the cabin, then let’s go for a walk, Mike. I’d like for you to get to know me better.”
Huh? I wondered. It seemed that I had heard these words before. Then I realized that I had heard them, in that whispered voice yesterday. It was the one that somehow came to me when nobody else was even around. My vision began to grow hazy, and I felt weak.
“Diane, I....” I said, but she stopped me with a shake of her head. Then, she took another step closer to me. She was less than a foot from me, and now the perfume began to envelop me. I became dizzy, but managed to stand by leaning against the signpost.
“Please, walk with me for a while, “she said.
“But...What about our, uh, the fishing trip?” I asked. Then the dizziness overcame me, and I felt myself sinking to the ground. Then things went dark.
Thoughts, ideas, memories; they all flowed at me with the speed of light. How long was I out? A minute? Maybe two? I felt a cold spot on my forehead, and my eyes slowly opened. I found a washcloth on my head, and Diane leaning over me. She appeared concerned and a bit frightened. I just lay there, taking in what appeared to be a vision of an angel. Then she spoke in a fearful voice. “Are you all right? Mike, what’s wrong?”
I sat up slowly. Then I lied through my teeth. “Blood sugar, maybe. I didn’t have a lot to eat yesterday, and that might have caught up with me. Or maybe I just haven’t recovered from all that sun I got yesterday.”
I pulled myself up using the sign post. “I think I better go back up. Having breakfast may help.” She took my arm. “No. I’m all right. You don’t need to help me.” But she stayed with me for the walk, until I reached the cabin. I went in and Diane walked back to her house.