I was getting some research done on the new object one of my collegues discovered when Zack knocked on my office door at home. He walked up next to me and said, “Why are you being a royal dickhead to Charlie?”
Charlie? Oh, he meant Charlene. “Come on, Zack. You know I’m not supposed to talk about my students. That’s between me and her. And anyway, it’s not your problem.”
“It becomes my problem when I can’t see my girlfriend because she’s consoling her best friend since an evil professor took away her privileges to go on some expedition. An expedition that was going to help her find an old magical relic.”
“Oh please! That expedition is just for entry level students. We’re not going to find anything of significance. It’s just some old bones we placed in the sand and they use the dig techniques to find them. It’s really no big deal.”
“If it’s no big deal then let her go. I think you’ve been too hard on Charlie this whole semester. What gives? Do you like her or something?”
“Like her? Oh God, now you’re sounding like Mother. No. I don’t like her. She’s a student. A kid.” A strong pain pierced my temples. Charlene Darby was getting on my last nerve at this point. Who did she think she was talking to Myla and trying to needle me into letting her go through my brother?
He crossed his arms. “You need to figure it out. Letting her go on the expedition would make my life easier, Liam. The poor girl is beside herself crying and feeling like a total loser. And she wouldn’t belike this if you didn’t make her feel so badly about herself. This shit isn’t right.”
I shook my head. “Whatever, Zack. You don’t know what went down and how irresponsible she is. She’s a spoiled child. No. She’s not going. You can tell your girlfriend that you coming in here to pressure me didn’t work. Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to bed.”
I strode out the door to my room.
Fuming, I pulled my sheets back, worrying I wouldn’t be able to sleep. Today had been a nightmare already. I just wanted to fast forward to the next day and put it behind me.
It was times like these when I missed Ginny the most. I was so fucking lonely, it stabbed through me. Was I being too hard on Charlene? Why did I care how she acted so much?
I drifted off and suddenly found myself under water, gaping at a mermaid.
“Hello, babe.” The mermaid smiled at me.
It was Ginny!
Somehow I was flailing in the middle of the ocean and I could breathe. It was such a strange feeling. And exhilarating.
“I’ve got a bone to pick with you,” Ginny said. It was as if we were really in the air except the water felt cool and wet on my skin.
“Ginny!” was all I could get out. I wanted to hold her so badly.
Sweeping my arms around her, I tucked my face in her hair and neck, wanting to never let go.
“Ginny, honey, I’ve missed you so much.”
From there, we were catapulted onto a dock somehow. In the back of my mind, I knew this was a dream but it felt so real and so right, I never wanted to wake up.
Stroking Ginny’s hand, I said, “I’m so glad you’re here. Where have you been?”
“Liam, I need to say good bye. I can’t be with you anymore. Not ever. You have to let me go.”
Bewildered, sadness flooded me, then Ginny grasped my head, pulling me closer to her. She kissed me with such tenderness, I wanted to bring her home and make love to her.
Then she pulled back just as suddenly. “You’re being too hard on that girl, you know. Liam, I want you to be happy. Bring her on the expedition.”
So confused, my dream self wasn’t even a professor so I didn’t understand who she was talking about. “What, Ginny? You’re not making sense.”
But she didn’t say anything. Flopping into the water, creating a huge splash, I watched helplessly as she swam away from me.
Instantly, I woke with a start. “No, Ginny! Come back!” I whispered.
And right then, I realized it was all a dream. But inside I felt the conflict. And the message. I needed to move on. Ginny was never coming back. And maybe dream Ginny was right. Maybe I should give Charlene one more chance.