JOY, Our Ongoing Story For All Ages: Part Six

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Chapter 7: Liar

I cupped my hand over my mouth. Cross-eyed, all I could manage to say was “Huh?” Adam seemed to have lost it as well. He didn’t say anything. Joy. A second ago, she was here. Then, as fast as a bolt of lightning could hit the ground, she was gone in a flash of sparkling gold. As soon as we got ourselves together, Adam and I lay down on the ground staring at clouds, which was something we did a lot. I pointed out an icecream cone to Adam, and he pointed out something far more interesting: A cloud in the exact shape of Joy down to every detail. Her freckles, right down to the spots on her navy dress. And like she did in the real world, the cloud vanished with an abrupt gust of warm wind. I closed my eyes, and imagined her disappearing everywhere. Opening my eyes, I turned towards Adam. His eyes were scrunched up like the sun was in them, even though the season was fall and it was dark outside. I knew he was deep in thought. I knew not to disturb him, as he usually would become frustrated when I interrupted him while he was in his thinking process. Unable to control myself, I asked him “Adam, what are you thinking about?” Completely ignoring me, he kept thinking hard. Finally, he laid back, shut his eyes and put his hands behind his head like a pillow. I smiled. I laid back too.

“Eve,” he said, “are you sure that was Joy?”

“Yes.” I answered. “I am positive.”

I don’t think so.”
“Why?” I asked.

“Because she was floating. And she was a soul. The real Joy is a person. Not a soul. Maybe,” he paused.

“What?” I asked. “Maybe what?”

“Maybe she just looked like her.”
“I refuse to believe you.”

“‘If that’s what you want, go ahead.”

“OK.”

I turned around to face the trees and grass instead of Adam.

After lying there for an hour, yawning, I told Adam I was going to rest. He followed me into the red cave. Even though it was early, we went to sleep, and I dreamt about Joy. I dreamt of her hand. Her left hand. The hand that she created the world with. The next morning, I met the real Joy. She was sitting on a nearby rock, cross-legged with a friendly smile on her freckled face. “Hi!” She said. She was about my age. “I found my soulmender, now I am a person. Were you a soul? When did you find your soulmender?”

“What?” I asked. ‘What is a soulmender?”

“The cloudy figures that look like you! That turn you from souls to people?”

“Oh. Yeah. We found ours a couple days ago.”

“So, Eve, where is Adam?”

“Oh. In the cave. He’s sleeping.” She looked at me like I’d just said the most confusing thing ever said by a human being. “What? Joy, what is wrong?”

“First of all, how did you know my name, and second, why are you not shocked that I know yours?” I held up the circular piece of glass for her to see. She smiled and nodded, and said “I know.” After that, she did a friendly wave, and she was gone. I ran back into the cave, woke up Adam and told him about meeting Joy. When I finished he just nodded no and said “You are lying“, then he went back to sleep. I couldn’t believe him. He accused me of lying. I knew I’d get over it but I was still upset. Adam had never accused me of lying. I was mad at him. Why didn’t he believe me? Once he’d come up with a theory, even if someone, even his best friend, told him it was wrong, he wouldn’t even consider changing it.

An hour later, he woke up again. “Adam,” I said, “why would you ever accuse me of lying? I was not! I’m telling the truth. I would never lie to you.”

“Eve, it’s okay if you are lying. I’ll forgive you. Those stories were fictional. Do you think faint yellow rain boots that had minds of their own really exist?”

“Adam, I’m not lying! I’m not even exaggerating! For once, could you just accept that you’re wrong!” I kicked at a rock and I missed Adam’s face by a millimeter. “Eve!” He shouted. “Why would you kick that at me? Just admit you’re lying and end this whole thing!” In a golden flash, Joy appeared in front of us. Adam’s jaw dropped and my mouth broke into a smile. “Hi!” She said. She smiled at us and again, waved a friendly wave, an for the third time, disappeared in a flash of sparkling gold. I put my hands on my hips and grinned. Adam was looking down, and acting sad, but his eyes were clear. “Joy,” he said, “is real.” I nodded. “Why would I ever think she wasn’t? She disappeared right before us.” I smiled. It was getting darker. Later, we were lying down in a grassy meadow, listening to crickets and looking at the stars and finding constellations. I saw something amazing. A constellation that looked exactly like Joy made up of billions of stars. They suddenly all went shooting through the air, becoming shooting stars, making Joy disappear, just like in real life. I made a wish.  

 

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