By Janet Leigh green
Butterflies fluttered in Kevin’s stomach, he felt a mixture of nerves and excitement. Long years and even more sleepless nights, accompanied him as he clawed his way through class after class, and lecture after lecture to get to this point in his life. Head down, deep into his day planner, he made his way to his new office. He knew that he should go all electronic, but he didn’t see the point. He picked up his pace, rushing to his first appointment, and he slammed into something. The impact jarred his planner and briefcase, juggling them to hold his grip he glanced up to see the cause of impact.
“I’m so sorry!” Silla said, as heat crept up her neck, then spread like a rash, and covered her cheeks. His heart drummed in his chest, the pink glow made her more beautiful, if that were possible. She was exquisite. That is how he met his wife, he loved her with a fierceness that filled his heart to capacity. Kevin thought about her all day, that day, the women he usually dated didn’t hold a candle to Silla; even those the world dubbed as beautiful. Kevin saw an internal radiance when he looked at her. Curly brown hair kinked up around her cherubic face, and he loved the way her blue eyes sparkled when she laughed.
A freak plane crash took Silla’s parents five years before they married, and she had no siblings. Her parents taught her to be strong and independent, so she decided, early on, to make her own happiness. She lived a happy life alone, but never lonely. When her parent’s died she threw herself into school, she decided teaching would fill a void, and it did. Hustling through the hallways, she hurried to get to her classroom full of enthusiastic kids; and from out of nowhere, she was spun around in a tornado of books, papers, pens and the most handsome man she’d ever seen looked down at her, a combination of frustration and embarrassment clouded his clear blue eyes.
Kevin and Silla’s relationship moved fast, theirs was a whirlwind romance, from that first meeting forward. They were young and in love, what could go wrong?
Their happiness began to wane when Kevin started to get sick, it seemed such a small thing at first; Kevin’s temperature was going down, but he complained of being hot while the temperature in the house was seventy-two degrees. His fingers and toes started to tingle and he noticed a blue tint on his fingertips. The sensation worsened each day, and they were cold to the touch, while the rest of his body felt hot as fire.
Kevin sat at his desk and looked out the window, he rubbed his hands to get the tingling to stop. Lost in thought, he didn’t notice the figure standing beside the tree in the parking lot at first. He leaned forward to get a better look, “Who is that?” He leaned in closer to the window, and noticed the man stood beside his car. The man disappeared, he disintegrated into thin air. “What the hell?” He looked around the parking lot to see if the man stepped behind a tree, but the deserted lot held only a handful of cars and no people; and that night the dreams started.
Kevin woke each morning after the dreams with a hazy, disconnected feeling and it took him awhile to shake off the grogginess. He went through the motions of getting dressed for work, sitting down to breakfast with Silla. He thought he did a good job of hiding his symptoms, but Silla watched him closely every day, until she’d finally had enough.
“Kevin, let me take you to the doctor.” Despair, evident in her eyes, their sparkle dampened by fear.
“No, I told you I’m fine. Can you turn the fans on?”
Silla glanced around the frigid room at the five large fans blowing directly onto Kevin, all set on high.
“Baby, there are five fans on full blast, and you are still hot? It’s sixty-eight degrees in this room.” She placed a hand on his forehead.
He shrugged away from her, “ Give me some air, would you? it is too hot for you to stand so close to me, get me another fan! Please?”
Stung by the harshness of his words, she jerked her hand away from his head, but not before she felt his cold skin. “Let me at least take your temperature, your skin is ice-cold.”
“No, I told you I am fine, just please get me another fan, I am suffocating in here.”
“Ok, I will go buy another fan.” She stopped when she got to the door and turned back to watch him, panic began to swim through her veins. He sat naked in a chair beside the window, as close as he could get to the largest fan in the room. His coal black hair and piercing blue eyes a strange compliment to the pale hue of his skin in the setting sun.
Kevin felt as if he were going to burn alive, his armpits dripped with sweat. He knew Silla worried, but there was nothing wrong with him, it was this damn Texas heat. Maybe they needed to move somewhere cooler, he just couldn’t handle this heat anymore.
Kevin looked around, he saw no one.
He heard the unfamiliar voice again, still unable to see anyone in the room.
“Kevin Mills, you belong to me.”
He swung around to see if there was anyone there.
“Who are you? Why don’t you show yourself?” Kevin jumped up from his chair, and turned in circles, his eyes darted around the room, to search every inch of space; he still came up empty, he was alone.
“I guess I’m going crazy.” Muttering under his breath, as he walked over to the thermostat.
“Sixty-eight, just like Silla said. Damn! It feels like it is a hundred degrees in here.” He wiped the sweat from his brow.
“And why am I sweating?”
He started to walk back to the chair when dizziness overtook him, he sat on the bed. “Oh God, I need air!” He stood again and made his way around the room, turning the fans toward the bed.
He needed to lay down, maybe there was something wrong with him.
He lay on the bed gasping for air when Silla got home. “Hey babe, there is man outside who says he knows what’s wrong with you. I think you need to listen to him.”
“Who all have you been talking to? Did you tell everyone you saw what is going on with me? How would a total stranger, just happen to know what is wrong with me?”
I didn’t tell anyone anything, he was standing at our door when I got home. He already knew what was going on with you, and he said he could help you. Honey, listen to me, there is something wrong with you and you know it, have you looked at yourself? You are turning blue.”
“Mr. Kevin Mills?”
Kevin jumped up from the bed at the sound of his name. He looked past his wife at the man who owned the voice. It was the voice he’d heard in his head, not an hour before. The man stood eerily still in the doorway.
“Can you give us a minute honey?” Kevin said, not taking his eyes from the man.
Silla Mills stared out the window beside her ghost double, her breath, leaving wisps of fog on the glass, as she looked out. She watched the multicolored leaves flitter in the autumn breeze and softly land in beautiful piles across her lawn. Fear bubbled up in her chest, and filled her heart, causing it to bang against her ribs, she felt scared and alone. A flutter moved across her stomach; she knew she’d lost Kevin when she invited the man inside, it started as a nugget and spread like acid eating up her soul.
Kevin stared at the man, who stood silently watching him from across the room. “Who are you? Why do I hear your voice in my head, and what are the dreams about?”
“Has your mother told you anything about your birth?” Answering his questions with a question of his own, and stepped further into the room.
Kevin looked closely at the man, and noticed the blue tint of his skin, which matched his own.
“No why? And why are we blue?”
Kevin felt his life slipping away, somewhere on a deep level, he had always known he was different; and on an even deeper level, he knew the man was a part of him.
“I am your father and you are not of this earth, you must come with me or you will die here.”
“No, I am a grown man. If it is so dangerous here, how did I survive this long? Is it because I am half human, or something? Why didn’t someone come for me when I was a child? No.” Kevin shook his head, he felt his throat close and pain seared his heart, branding it forever broken at the thought of losing Silla. “I am not leaving my wife, if I have to go, she goes too.”
“That is impossible, she will never survive on Siberian; she is human, we are not. All of your questions will be answered soon, but I can answer one. You are half human, so your body needed earth to survive your young years, but now you are changing and must leave here. I can explain more when there is more time, we must go.”
“Siberian? That is the name of your planet? It means frozen here.” Kevin said.
“Yes, that is the translation, your Silla will die there, but you will thrive.”
Impatience and curiosity got the better of Silla, she needed to know what was going on, so she listened at the closed door, when she’d heard all that she could stand she opened the door and rushed into Kevin’s arms, “No! You can’t go.” She said, choking on her tears; collapsing against his hard-naked body, she realized how cold and blue he was after only a few hours.
“Oh Kevin, you are like an iceberg,” her body shook with a mixture of chills and despair. She looked into his beloved eyes. “I’m pregnant.”
The man put a hand on her shoulder to turn her toward him, the cold of his touch was like a spear through her heart.
“My dear, I am sorry, but this is a doubly sad day for you, your son won’t survive here either, and someday we will come for him too.”