Part Three: Prelude

Even by the time I decided to leave my high school reunion, the parking lot was still filled with cars of the many alumni who wanted to get in touch with old friends, catch up on the goings on in the life of those they had spent their socially formative years with, and all that jazz. It was already dark, but the time was at that cusp when the lights of the sky were just about to completely fade and the street lights had yet to come on.

As I walked through the parking lot, the voice in my head said, “All that bullshit isn’t for you, Alice.” The voice at the back of my mind promptly retorted, “That’s just the bitterness talking.”

Before getting into my car, I found myself pausing to reminisce about the past and why I never really liked reliving it in my memories. I didn’t give myself a long time to muse about bygones, lest Chloe find me and drag me back inside.

It wasn’t Chloe who found me, though. Terrence was getting something from his car when I deactivated the car alarm with its remote. The “toot-toot” that confirmed my alarm deactivated got his attention and he walked over to me. “You’ve tied those loose ends?”

“I said I didn’t want to, Terrence,” I reminded him as I walked over to the driver’s side of my car and reached for the door handle.

“What do you want to say to me?” Terrence called after me. I froze short of opening my door. “It’s pretty obvious that there’s something you want to tell me. Anyone can tell.”

My hand fell away from the door handle. It was really embarrassing to be such an idiot as to be so transparent. “Well, aren’t you the most humble person on the planet?” I snapped. “You’re the last person I want to talk to.”

“That may be true,” he admitted, smirking triumphantly. He knew he had pressed the right buttons. “But, I’m the one you need to talk to.”

The automatic activation of my car alarm informed me with a high-pitched “toot” that I had been to slow in getting into my car. Terrence just kept watching me, waiting. I kept fumbling. I kept searching. “Why are you doing this?”

“Because it’s about time,” he responded. He stared me down and I began to loose all resolve.

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