Weeks later Jack had a new job which was slightly better than the last one. It was an office job, writing descriptions of some kind or another for magazines and catalogs. it was easy and quick work and she genuinely kind of enjoyed work again. She still lived in the same semi decent apartment and at night dreamed of Michael – She had not had sex dreams as often as she did now. Sometimes it was just the feel of his face, she could never quite see him and slowly she was beginning for forget what he looked like except she could remember ever single crease, mole, wrinkle and valley of his body she felt her hands running over him and his over her body exploring slowly as if there was all the time in the world and she did not quite miss him it had only been a week after all.
One day jack remembered the journal he had given her – she had just woken from a dream where they say next together on a hill and she reached over to feel his face, her fingers twisting in his sideburns and stroking the soft skin on his neck. He was kissing her deeply and she woke up with a start, remembering the journal and the strange story.
She had not unpacked that bag as if leaving it as it was would contain all the memories of her short and strange trip to Montana a trip that had in all ways changed her life. She didn’t answer the calls from him anymore and she found that maybe she did not have that intense need and yearning for him since she left in a hurry. She was surprised he was still calling even, by now she though he would have let go with a shrug and gone on to whoever was net.
That bag as sacred in some strange way. She was not a religious person, but she held some things sacred, like monuments of places that meant everything, places and things to be worshipped. The broken lamppost piece from the fights in college, the shell from a trip to Mexico, a diner where she and her first boyfriend had kissed, the buddhist temple where she realized that nothing was real anyway. The bag that held the things she had hurriedly packed.
She opened it slowly now, as if being slow would keep the memories from tumbling out. She saw them as tufts of dandelions, delicate in their shape and not to be disturbed. Losing those last few memories would hurt beyond recognition. She had not idea what she would do if she lost them they were delicate and incomplete as many of her memories but she needed to keep them to keep going to keep the sense that she was allowed happiness even if it was only a week once in her twenties it was something.
The clothes were stil smelly and probably needed to be washed and the toiletries had exploded in their bag but there at the bottom was the brown leather journal, ties wrapped haphazardly and tied in a terrible bow. She slowly undid the bow and opened the journal it did not creak like a new book but softly folded open – it had been waiting for her she knew in her heart waiting for this moment in the dead of night when Los Angeles is as close to the quiet of Montana as it will ever be – in the middle of the page that had fallen open was a single word: pennies. It made no sense. SHe stared at it, looking at the prod pulling at her memory for a code a deciphering mechanism that would explain to her what that meant maybe something Michael had said, maybe one of the errant papers sitting around his haphazard trailer. but nothing came to mind as she searched through the little facts of history she knew and odd trivia points what could pennies mean?
“Maybe it’s a prompt.”
She scrummaged for a pen that works in the big cup on her desk and finally settled on a nubbly pencil that she had apparently tried to sharpen with a knife since she did not won a pencil sharpener.
“I have no idea what this means. But I think I miss him. I am forgetting his face.”
The looked at the small thing she had written for a few minutes, holding the pencil in mid air. She placed it in the spine. There was nothing else to write. Her mine was empty and she looked at the word again and it – did it just grow darker? that’s just silly, there is not such thing as magic no such thing like in the books she tended to like where the read world was tainted with something spectacular and vampires from history came to life and witches were discovered in family history, no that never happened. Yet, there it was, slightly bolder, like switching the font type from regular to bold with a keystroke control+b.