continued from previous
John wasn’t sure if this was the real Aspen or the entheogenic one. His doubts disappeared when he felt the familiar imprint of her hug on his chest. He held her face up with both hands, as she looked up into his eyes with a curious stare:
“How. Did. You…”
John had to make up a lie on the spot. “I did my research. And I made a few lucky guesses! I knew you liked the vertical farm menu so I thought this might be one place to look. I’m so sorry I couldn’t find you sooner. My phone died while I was at the shelter, right before the telecoms network blackout that we had for a whole week.”
“So, you’re telling me you didn’t see the blue light just now?”
John’s eyes popped out as he froze. “How do you know about that?”
“Oh, I see it all the time. They taught me.”
“They” was a group of Revelers and Minimalists who had saved Aspen from near certain death during Hurricane Julia. They saw her floating semi-conscious on a huge piece of debris and managed to pull her out at the last minute. She had left her flat only minutes earlier to go look for John.
“They gave me this part-time job. I just pack salads into boxes mostly. Sometimes I eat them, haha!” – her face lit up, as John cracked a smile. He still couldn’t believe Aspen was alive and well. He was trying his hardest to refrain from blinking. The slightest movement in his eyelids and the tears that had already formed lakes at the bottom of his eyes would cascade down his face. Tears that John had learned to hold back all his life – whether they were tears of sadness, or happiness.
from the upcoming novel A New Earth
to read from the beginning, go here
George is an author, researcher, podcast host, chemist, molecular biologist and food scientist. You can follow him on Twitter @99blackbaloons , listen to his Spotify podcast George reads George, sign up for blog alerts below, or enjoy his books