Rosalie was stunned. She was beginning to understand what was going on. Somehow, they were communicating with each other – without talking. Telepathy? She’d heard of it, but never thought it was possible. It just sounded like sci-fi. But for it to actually happen to her?
Wait – if he was sending her his thoughts, might he be able to hear hers?
Kyle shifted a little bit. “Rosalie…?” he said, sounding a little concerned. His mouth was moving as he spoke.
“Mmm-hmm?” she said, unintentionally making her voice a little higher pitched than normal.
She decided to test it, to find out if he could hear her thoughts. She needed to come up with something to think about that he’d have to react to, so she’d know how much of her thoughts he could read.
“Are you alright?” he asked. Now he looked concerned, too.
“I’m fine,” she answered.
Aha! She had it. Something he’d be sure to react to. Watching his face carefully, she began to imagine him without any clothes…
“So… Do you believe me now? That I’m not there?”
His face hadn’t changed. Okay, so maybe he couldn’t hear her thoughts. But his question needed answered now. “Yes… But what’s going on? What are you doing?” she asked him.
Kyle heard Rosalie speak in his head, and then his laptop began sending the exact same thing over the speakers. It sounded rather like when a group of people try to sing “row, row, row your boat”
in rounds, but they don’t start at the correct times. It was hard to understand, and that’s an understatement. The Rosalie voice in his head almost exactly matched the one that was being sent over by Skype.
But he understood. “Um…” he gave a little nervous laugh. “I don’t really know. We’re communicating telepathically, maybe? Shoot – that sounds crazy,” he admitted. “But it’s all I can come up with.”
Rosalie nodded. So, he had come to the same conclusion she had. But now she realized it could be either of them. To read minds, one might also be able to send thoughts, as well. There was no way of knowing who was doing it, that she could see.
“Which one of us is doing it?” she asked, not expecting a meaningful answer.
“I don’t know – I hadn’t thought about that. I’d assumed it was me – I can hear your voice and send you thoughts, but apparently you can’t send me thoughts.” He wasn’t moving his mouth again.
“Showoff,” Rosalie thought.
Kyle sat back in his seat. Wow. He’d heard that one loud and clear. “Umm… I’m not trying to show off… And maybe I’m not the one with it after all…” he said thoughtfully, with a little grin.
“You heard that??” Rosalie said – she was genuinely surprised. She thought she’d tested this out already. “Can you hear this?”
“Yeah, I heard that. But could you hear me when I talk, if Skype was muted?”
Rosalie stood up. “Cookies,” she said, and rushed out of Kyle’s line of sight.
“Wait, what?” came the unheard response over her laptop speakers.
Rosalie had suddenly remembered the chocolate chip cookies that were in her ovens. She needed to get them out, and quickly. Sure, telepathy was important, but she wasn’t about to let her cookies burn!
“Where’d you go?” she heard him ask.
Nosy. I have to get my cookies out before they burn.
“Okay. I’ll wait.”
That was nice of him – saying he’d wait when he could hear her thoughts. She felt a little sarcastic about it, but still – it was kind of funny.
She put on her oven mitts and started taking the cookie pans out and setting them down. Then, with a pancake flipper, she carefully put the cookies on cooling racks. The cookies would keep cooking if they stayed on the pan, and they’d end up crunchy instead of chewy.
But her job didn’t end there. It was time for the jungle cakes to come out, too. And several cakes that would be used to build a cake that would look like a cruise ship. At least that one would be easy.
Molly stuck her head in the door. “Rosalie, we’re almost out of oatmeal raisin cookies,” she said. Rosalie turned back to the counter and started putting the cookies she’d gotten out earlier into a basket. Okay, Molly, I have them here. Whoops. Did she just try to…? She turned to Molly to say it out loud.
“Okay, just checking,” Molly said, and pulled her head back. The door closed, and Rosalie was left alone in the room. Had she just…
Kyle? she thought.
“Yes…?” came the response.
I just talked to Molly…
“Yes… and this is odd because…?”
She sighed. Men could be so stupid.
“Oh!!!” Apparently, he’d just figured out what she meant. “So it’s you, and not me.”
Yes… I think the same thing. Which means I’m reading your mind. Maybe that made him a little uncomfortable – it would serve him right, too. All of this was his fault. She knew he didn’t have to come over to fix her computer. He could have attached the setup file for the firewall to an email. And she didn’t live anywhere near where he lived, if what he’d put on Skype could be believed.
Kyle considered this for a bit. Yeah, it made sense. But why could he hear when she talked?
Hmm… Her being able to read his mind made him a little uncomfortable. Do you hear everything I think?
She was quick to answer. “I think so, and you don’t think much.”
That’s rather vague. And insulting, he thought to himself, but he didn’t say it.
“Yes, it is.”
Are you busy?
You’re not saying much.
“Well, I’m not.”
I’ll wait ‘til you get back. So he waited.
Rosalie finished up with the oatmeal raisins and took them out front to Molly. “Here, you can put these out now,” she told her, and then went back to the kitchen. And no, I wasn’t talking to you, she said to Kyle.
“What?” He sounded confused.
I was talking to Molly, not you.
A pause. Then, “I didn’t hear you say anything.” Another pause. “Maybe I can only hear you talking when you’re actually talking to me…” Rosalie had arrived at the same conclusion at the same time.
She took a container of cookie dough she had made and started to put it out onto pans. Then she decided to try something.
“Molly, come here!” she said.
She waited. Molly never showed up. I think you’re the only one who can hear me talking, Kyle.
“Why do you say that?”
I just tried it on Molly. It didn’t work. Suddenly it hit her how unusual all of this was – this was crazy! Nobody would ever believe them!
She put the cookies into the oven and walked back to her laptop. She could still see Kyle in his living room, tossing a tennis ball up in the air and catching it. He wasn’t looking at her – he didn’t know she was back yet. A mischievous grin slowly spread across her face.
“Kyle!” she said suddenly, attempting to startle him.
“Yeah, what?” he said, looking at the screen. He stopped tossing the tennis ball. But he wasn’t startled. Rosalie was a little disappointed.
“Do you realize how crazy all of this is?” she asked him.
She saw Kyle lean forwards press a couple buttons on his laptop. “Sorry – just muting the sound,” he explained. “Yes, I do realize how crazy it is. It’s wild! If we told anybody, they would think we’d lost our minds.”
“And none of this shocks you?”
Kyle looked at her questioningly.
“Doesn’t it at least make you worry?”
He thought about it. “No, not really.”
He looked honest, but he had to be lying. “What do you mean, ‘not really’?!?” she said, sitting down in her chair.
Kyle paused. “Well… I’m not sure how to say it…” He began tossing the tennis ball again.
“I’m trying.” Toss, catch, toss, catch.
This was getting to be so annoying!! “Try harder.”
“Okay…” He paused to try to figure out how to put it into words. “It really doesn’t bother me. I don’t know why – it ought to. But it doesn’t. If that makes any sense.” Toss, catch. Toss, catch. Toss, catch.
“Yes, it makes sense. But why?” she asked, a bit more impatiently than she had intended.
He glanced at the screen. “I don’t know!” he said unconcernedly, raising his eyebrows, and then looked over to the left. She saw him abruptly reach way off the right side of the screen for something.
Kyle yelled in surprise.
He sat back up, with a look of surprise and shock on his face. He was staring off in the direction he had leaned – sitting motionless and staring.
Rosalie was starting to get concerned. Wait – how was she concerned? She’d just met this guy. But still… “Kyle?”
Still that blank stare.
“Um… what just happened?” she asked, curious to know what was going on.
Kyle’s head turned only slightly, and moved an inch closer his webcam. His eyes stayed glued some invisible point off the side of the screen. It was as if he was trying to look at her, but couldn’t turn his attention away from whatever he was looking at.
They were silent for a while – both verbally and telepathically. Then Kyle shook himself a little bit – the same way he might have if something had startled him. With a deep breath, he picked up his laptop and turned it so that the webcam would face the direction he’d been looking.
Rosalie had to stare at it a little bit to figure out what she was looking at. Then she figured it out.
It was the tennis ball.
And it was completely encased in ice.
Kyle was dumbfounded. He couldn’t figure out what had just happened. He was tossing the tennis ball up and down, and had thrown it a little too far to the left. He reached for it, and it had shot across the room, hit the wall, and thudded to a stop on the floor.
What had he done? What it looked like was that he’d just frozen a tennis ball. Great, put that on my resume, why don’t you. “Good at freezing tennis balls.” He stopped – had Rosalie heard him?
No, apparently not. He hadn’t been talking to her.
“Rosalie?” he said, not taking his eyes off the frozen object he was staring at.
“Do you know what that is?”
“The tennis ball?” she asked, although it was more of a statement than a question.
“And it’s frozen.”
“What did you do?”
Kyle sat the laptop back down on the low table and looked at her. “I don’t know!” he said, freaking out a little bit. “I was throwing it, and I threw it too far, so I reached to catch it, and this happened!!” He was freaking out because it had occurred to him – if he could freeze things, but didn’t know how to control it, he could end up freezing something valuable, or worse – he could accidentally freeze and kill someone.
Now it was Rosalie’s turn to be unusually calm. “Kyle, calm down. It’ll be fine.” She was fighting a smile.
“But how is all this happening??” Now he was going nuts. It had sure taken him long enough.
Rosalie thought about it. What was going on? Wait… Maybe…
“I don’t know,” she said. “Do you remember that flash of light we saw earlier?”
Kyle stopped his semi-panicking for a moment, unaware that Rosalie was using a technique on him often used on upset toddlers – you introduce them to a new idea, and they calm down to think it over. He was also unaware of the trouble she was having in her battle with the smile. “Yes… you don’t think that all this is because of that, do you?”
“I think it’s at least possible.” She thought it made sense. Nothing unusual like this had ever happened until that flash of light. It must have done something to them. Or maybe it was simply a by-product of whatever happened to them at that moment.
“It doesn’t really matter if it’s because of that or not,” Kyle said. “Now the question is, ‘What are we going to do about it?’” He looked meaningfully at her.
Rosalie’s smile faded. She hadn’t thought ahead that far yet. “I don’t know…” she said, shaking her head slowly and staring at the keyboard.
“What if more stuff like this happens?”
This was a little too much for her to process all at once. How fast was he thinking? “I don’t know!”
Kyle looked thoughtful. “So… what do we do? Your call.”
“And why is it my call?”
“Well, you’re the lady. Ladies first.”
“No offense, but it’s your fault all this happened.”
“None taken, and no, it’s not.”
“And how is it not your fault? I know you didn’t actually have to come over to fix my laptop – you could have sent the files over and I could have installed them myself.”
“That wasn’t all I did. Your system’s registry was totally whacked up. I… fixed a few things.” he said with a hint of pride.
So that was what he did… “Would it have run if you hadn’t?” she asked pointedly.
A moment of silence. “Yes…”
“So it’s your fault.” She wasn’t actually angry with him – she was really just playing around. She wanted to see what he’d say.
Kyle was getting a little frustrated. Today wasn’t going well at all. “Okay, look. Say a bunch of people are in a building some terrorists blow up. Is it their fault they die, just because they decided to go to work that day?”
Rosalie thought about it for a bit. His analogy made sense, really.
“And why’d you let me come over if you knew I didn’t have to?” he added, just in case.
She didn’t have an answer to that one, and there was a moment of silence between them before she finally said, “Okay, how about we’re both at fault?”
“Okay, that works. But it’s really more my fault than yours,” he admitted.
Finally he admits it. “Yes. Now, you decide. What do we do?”
Curious, she decided to test and see if she could read his mind.
Kyle leaned back and considered everything. What could they do? How would they keep from messing anything up? And they were the only ones who could know about it, too.
He had an idea that would solve their problems, or at least keep them from becoming too severe when they found some more. But it was way too much to suggest. It would never work.
“What wouldn’t work?” Rosalie asked.
“What?” He hadn’t realized he had meant for her to hear that. This might be a tad more complex than he thought. “I was just thinking.”
“No, never mind. There’s no way.”
“No, what? Tell me.” Rosalie was interested in what he had to say, and curious at why he didn’t want her to know. She felt a little nosy, actually.
“Well…” he began uncomfortably, “I… Never mind.”
“No, tell me!” For some reason, she found his sudden shyness funny, and almost laughed.
“I can’t! It’s not a correct thing to say.”
Rosalie tilted her head a little bit left and forwards and said, “Come on, you can tell me,” in the manner of a mother trying to get her kid to tell her something.
Why couldn’t he just keep his mouth shut? It was too late, now. She’d either keep asking or get her feelings hurt. And hurting her feelings was the last thing he wanted to do. “Okay…” he began. “But don’t get upset.”
Kyle hesitated. Then he said, “The only thing I can come up with is for me to come over there for a while so we can be close by if anything else happened.” No! That had come out wrong. I forgot to mention I’d stay in a hotel! Argh!
Rosalie laughed. “Is that all?”
Kyle looked up, confused. “Is that all?” he parroted, trying to figure out what she meant.
“Puh-lease! That’s nothing! If you want to stay in a hotel up here, then of course! Go right ahead.”
He felt a wave of relief sweep over him. Thank you, telepathy. You saved the day. “Okay, I’ll do that, then. I’ve just got to drop off my dog at a friend’s house, and then I’ll be right over.”
“Okay!” she said, wondering why she wasn’t still freaked out. It would probably come back – she was sure of that. But for now, she was fine. “I’ve got to go get my brownies out! Talk to you when you get here!”
Kyle laughed. “Or sooner, if you say anything before then!”
Rosalie laughed again. “Yup! Bye!”
And the video call ended.
- rosaliegrace posted this