The night air hung thick and heavy even inside the bus station. Few people moved about waiting for their bus but most curled up on benches coats and baggage for pillows. A long black haired man sat behind the counter staring blankly at Peter. His blood shot eyes piercing into and through Peter’s all too thin body. Nothing seemed right about this place. He had been in many bus stations during his last three years of wondering but this one seemed eerily still. The passengers didn’t seem to notice one another let alone converse one with another. The normal stench of smoke the drifted in from the regular chain smokers right outside the door didn’t cling to every person who walked by. The smell of coffee from those trying to pull all-nighters didn’t hang on the air. It was the least loathsome station he had been in and yet it was somehow deadest place he had ever been.
“It must be the time of the morning.” He told himself trying to get up the energy to stretch but deciding instead he didn’t want to wake the ticket man’s attention. He wasn’t sure he could remember what time it was. He couldn’t even remember what time he had gotten off his last bus or what time his next one left. It seemed like it was a short lay over though. He knew if he lay down like the other’s he would miss it. Sighing deeply he took out his ticket.
Suddenly two hands rested softly upon the back of his neck. A chill ran down his spine. The fingers, long and graceful, were equally cold and light. Though he didn’t know who it was, he felt his instincts tell him that moving would be futile if not disastrous.
“Hello Peter.” A soft strangely familiar voice spoke from behind him. Peter tried to clear his throat but only felt his heartbeat speed up. The fingers lifted with a parting squeeze as the woman moved around him into view. Her eyes caught him immediately, large a soft gray blue. They pierced through him but unlike the teller’s they saw everything inside him. See want the prettiest woman he had ever seen but she was familiar in a way an event seems familiar once you had dreamt of it before. She smiled revealing perfect teeth inside a tiny mouth surrounded by pouty lips. “Do you evaluate every woman’s looks immediately that way” she asked softly as though not to disturb anyone, though even the teller hadn’t stirred his gaze straight through her now. “or am I just that strange to you?”
“I … I” Peter stammered not sure he was even awake at this point. Suddenly a picture of the apartment he had just left ran through his mind, him laying on the bed covered with white sheets and his bag sitting next to the door waiting for the trip he thought he was on now. “I can’t seem to remember where we’ve meet before.” He finally managed.
“I’ve known you for a long time but I’m sure you wouldn’t remember me. My name is Adwedd.” A lock of straight black hair floated across her face as she reached out to take his hand.
“I’m sure I would remember someone like you, Adwedd?” she nodded as he took her hand in his firm business grip, his heart had calmed some but his instincts were still calling out warning to him.
“You’d be surprised how forgettable I am.” She smiled releasing his hand and taking a seat next to him. “Take that man behind the counter, he and I are old friends and yet he can’t even clear his thoughts of his next hit long enough to recognize how close I am.”
“I’ve never been here before.” Peter said as soon as she paused. “Are sure you’ve met me before?”
“Of course I’m sure, Peter. I know you very well.” Adwedd responded lazily. Turning her glance from the man back to Peter.
“When did we meet?” Peter asked finding it even more eerie that she knew his name and was so relaxed using it even though all his acquaintances knew him only by his business name of Benny.
“The day you let Danny go…”
A small puppy yapped excitedly as Peter reached from the stool toward the hook on the wall where his leash was. “Mommy, I can’t reach it.” Peter cried out in frustration.
“If you’ll wait just one more minute, I’ll come get it.” His mother’s voice come out of her bedroom.
“Like hell you’ll be right there.” The strange man’s voice came causing Peter’s mother to giggle and the door suddenly shut completely though Peter could still here the man chastise his mother for Peter being there.
Peter looked down at the small puppy with his small brown eyes squinched up in anger. “Come on Danny, just stick close to me ok?” his small six year old hands could barely force the sliding side door open but he finally managed just enough space for his body to slip through, then he turned to see where the puppy was who had slipped out before him. The puppy was headed across the back yard toward the larger of the two streets that bordered Peter’s house. “Wait, Danny come back…” Peter called but it was too late the puppy ran out into the street just as a small black sports car speed past. Suddenly there was a great deal of yelping and Peter ran toward Danny as fast as he could. His eyes filled with tears as he stumbled the last few yards toward the road.
A small hand grabbed his shoulders pulling him to a stumbling halt. “Wait.” A little girl’s voice told him as another car zoomed past right where Peter had been headed. “Ok,” she said letting Peter bend down into the road and scoop up the now still silent puppy and carry him back to the grass. He looked up at the strange calm blue eyes just as his mother had run out shouting and jerking him back into the house.
Peter blinked confusedly. “Who could you remember