Space Girl Blues
by Bruce Pavalon
A young man with a troubled past falls in love with a young woman who believes she’s been abducted by aliens and that one of her alien abductors has fallen in love with her.
Chapter 10: Every Breath You Take
As a child, Aaron had spent lots of time alone, tracking animals through the woods and learning how to follow them without the animals’ knowing he was there. Stay calm, believe you belong, be aware of your surroundings were the keys. He likened himself to a ninja as he stood in the shadows of an alley across the street from Schroeters’, waiting for Anini to leave.
Carrying her umbrella and wearing her snowmobile suit, Anini stepped out of the back alley of the bagel bakery onto a small residential street. Aaron watched. Anini looked left then right then crossed the street and disappeared into the residential neighborhood adjacent to Schroeters’.
Aaron waited a few moments then crossed the street to the sidewalk in front of the alley. He looked down at the packed snow until he identified Anini’s boot mark. Then he followed Anini’s tracks into a residential neighborhood. This was Charlie Brown’s neighborhood, and there was an unmistakable Peanuts feel to it.
Aaron walked down the neatly shoveled sidewalk past well-kept modest homes decorated with Christmas lights. Anini’s tracks lead to a major boulevard on the other side of the neighborhood. Aaron turned onto the sidewalk, walked a couple blocks, then stopped twenty feet away from a television repair shop. Anini’s tracks stopped at the front door of the shop. He crept up to the window of the shop and peeked inside.
Aaron watched an older man hand Anini a brown cardboard box. She looked inside the box, pulled out some transistors, examined them, and placed them back inside the box. She closed the box, gave the man some money, turned, and headed toward the door.
Aaron quickly ducked around the corner. Anini came out of the shop and continued down the street. Aaron waited a minute then followed her tracks down the sidewalk and to the woman’s clinic where Tina worked. Surprised, he took cover behind a car across the street, and waited.
A couple minutes later, Anini rushed out of the clinic. Visibly upset, she opened her umbrella, and walked away. A moment later, Tina ran out of the clinic after Anini.
“Wait up!” Tina called out to Anini. Anini stopped and faced Tina. “You shouldn’t run away. If there’s something we can help you with, you should come back to the clinic.”
Anini nervously glanced at Tina without making eye contact. “I think I’m pregnant.”
“Really?” said Tina. “How long has it been since you missed your period?”
“I haven’t missed my period.”
“Is it the morning-after pill that you’re looking for?”
“I just want a pregnancy test.”
“But if you haven’t missed your period—”
“It’s not like other pregnancies,” interrupted Anini.
“How is it different?”
“I should go.” Anini turned and started to walk away.
“Wait...” said Tina.
Anini stopped and faced Tina. “You don’t understand.”
“I’m just the receptionist,” said Tina. “We have doctors that you can talk to. Why don’t you come back into the clinic? You can take a free pregnancy test. Then you can discuss your options with a professional. I can personally guarantee your anonymity.”
Anini apprehensively responded, “I guess I can do that.”
Tina escorted Anini back into the clinic. Aaron watched the clinic from behind the parked car and waited for Anini to come out. He was more confused than ever about what had happened the night before.
Several minutes later, Anini left the clinic. She opened her umbrella and walked away. Aaron waited a couple minutes then stepped out from behind the parked car. He identified Anini’s tracks and followed them through a residential neighborhood to Summit Avenue.
Tall bare trees stood in front of Victorian mansions on the historic avenue. Christmas lights flickered, causing the snow to sparkle with colors. A flash of light in the distance caught Aaron’s eyes. He cautiously followed Anini’s tracks to a large red-brick Victorian mansion with a square tower rising above a rooftop deck. It was like a house from a Gothic horror movie. He took note of the address and left.
* * *
Aaron went to his apartment, picked up Bessie, and bummed a ride to the igloo from Bud. Bud was happy to get rid of Aaron and Bessie, and he happily complied.
Aaron and Bessie spent the night in the igloo. Aaron stayed awake most the night knitting a ski mask from the colored synthetic wool that Anini had bought. He painstakingly knit tessellations of the alien triangle throughout the ski mask. It was a masterful piece of knitting, one of his finest to date.
This was all part of his master plan to find the truth. All Aaron ever really wanted was to know the truth, the truth about his mother, the truth about him and Anini. He was tired of living in other people’s lies.
Tina picked up Aaron and Bessie in the morning. They drove together silently for a few minutes, and then Tina brought up the inevitable, “Guess who came into the clinic today.”
“Have you ever heard of client confidentifality?”
“I regard patient confidentiality with the utmost respect, but if you guess, then I haven’t really violated client confidentiality.”
“Is that how it works?”
“I’ll give you a hint. She was carrying a mirrored umbrella.”
“Yeah, so...” Aaron felt creepy, having stalked Anini the day before, so he was conflicted between wanting to know more and feeling like he had already gone too far.
“Are you sure you didn’t Windex her mirrors?” asked Tina.
“Would I lie about that?”
“Actually, you are the type that would lie about that.” Tina knew him very well. “Aren’t you wondering why she came into the clinic?”
“Isn’t that private information?”
“Aren’t you going to guess?”
“Um... a pregnancy test.”
“Bingo! How did you know?”
“She wanted a pregnancy test despite the fact that she hadn’t even missed her period. What a nut job! What do you think about that?”
“What are you trying to tell me?”
“I’m trying to protect you. You’re my friend. If she wanted a pregnancy test yesterday, that can only mean one thing.”
“That I’m not the only one?”
“I didn’t say that, but it sounds like you’re on the right track.”
“What if it’s not like other pregnancies?”
Tina did a double take. “What the hell does that mean?”
“Something else happened.”
“What else could’ve happened? There was heavy petting and little Aaron had an accident?”
“Not even close.”
“Regardless, it still doesn’t make sense. If she wanted a pregnancy test, there has to be someone else.”
“She told you that.”
“So you’re sleeping with someone else’s girl?”
“I didn’t sleep with her.”
“Then what happened?”
“I promised her I wouldn’t tell.”
“I don’t know what secrets you’re keeping for this whacko, but perhaps you haven’t noticed something about her; she’s totally insane. She went on about the government, then she took off before she even got the result of the pregnancy test.”
“What was the result?”
“What about patient confidentiality? How quickly your righteousness goes away.”
“Am I wearing a sign that says, ‘Mess with me’?”
“Your face pretty much says it all.”
“So are you going to tell me?”
“It was negative.” Tina shook her head. “I’m really concerned about you. You need to have your head examined.”
The last word Aaron heard come out of Tina’s mouth was “negative.” After that, he fazed her out. He felt relieved that Anini wasn’t pregnant, partially because he had imagined aliens had impregnated her and partially because he had imagined she had a boyfriend. Whatever it was, he had no intention of giving up on her, at least not until he found out the truth.
Copyright © 2015 by Bruce Pavalon