Previous Chapter: Second Semester Chapter #1: End of Middle School
Chapter #2: The Call
May 27th, 2027-CE
If there was any respite from the sickness and fever it was the fantastical dreams that the fevers produced in return for Lone Wolfe. He had adventures the likes of which books and video games could never reproduce. He met new people and had new experiences that he could never have in the outside world. Everything was bright and vivid. Smells were enhanced, objects and touch felt so real. He could stay in that world forever.
The feeling of a cold compress being placed against his forehead scattered those dreams like smoke on the wind. At that point, he could feel how horrible he felt. His head pounded. His throat felt parched and drier than the hottest desert. His body ached all over. He wanted to open his mouth to say something and open his eyes but he couldn’t. All he could do was listen to what his parents said in the background and grow worried as sleep tried to steal him away from the conscious world again.
“I don’t think it is such a good idea for you to leave. He is getting worse. His fever is now 102.6,” His father stated.
“I told him I would go down and get Relena to come back up with me.” His mother answered, “I don’t see another time when we will get the opportunity to do this for him. He was really looking forward to spending the summer with other family. He spent so much of his childhood alone. I would rather not let him spend another summer like that. You are also on vacation. I hate to leave you alone like this but keep an eye on him. Make sure he gets his fluids and gets food and if he starts to get worse then let me know. If you need to then take him to the hospital.”
“Was it this bad for you?” His father questioned in response after a moment.
“No,” Sylvia answered, “But then again all of his gifts, so far, have been stronger and wilder than mine. This new one could be the same way. He also decided to push himself because he was afraid he wouldn’t get to see Relena if he stayed home sick. It could be one, the other, or both of those factors. We will have to wait and see.”
“Could this kill him?” His father asked after a moment. He sounded really worried.
“No. He will get through this. It may get a little rougher but he will make it,” His mother sounded confident. He didn’t hear any more as he fell back asleep into another fantastic dream of wonder before anyone could say anything more.
* * *
A gentle nudge on his shoulder and the compress being lifted off of his head roused him from his sleep. This time, he was able to open his eyes but it was all he could do to sit up. He glanced up and saw the blue eyes of his father glancing down at him with concern on his face. In his hand was a glass. He offered it to his son, “You need to drink some water.”
“Where’s mom?” Lone Wolfe asked as he accepted the glass.
He took a sip as his father answered, “She left to go to Colorado Springs. She will stay the night and leave with Relena tomorrow.”
Lone Wolfe nodded. He took another sip of his water. The water seemed to relieve the parched feeling in his throat. He could feel it make its way down to his stomach. Cooling everything it touched. He glanced up to his father and asked, “How am I doing?”
“I just took your temperature under your arm. You are at 102.7. Do you think you can handle some soup?” His father questioned in response, “I made some chicken noodle soup.”
“I would love some,” Lone Wolfe nodded, “My fever is getting worse. Are you going to have to take me to hospital if it gets any worse?”
His father looked worried at that comment, “I am thinking about it.”
“What is this new talent? Why is it making me sick?” Lone Wolfe asked, “If I have to go to the hospital then will them doing something to me take it away?”
“What did your mother tell you?” He asked with a sidelong glance.
“She only told me that she would tell me when she got back,” Lone Wolfe answered, “What about the hospital? Will I lose this new gift if I have to go?”
His father shrugged, “I can’t answer that. I haven’t seen anything like this before.” Before Lone Wolfe could ask or prod anymore, his father went to the door of his room and said, “I will get you your soup. I will be right back.”
With nothing more to do or say, Lone Wolfe reached for the remote to his smart TV and turned it on. He had found a channel and something to watch by the time his father returned with the soup and a tray. He sat the tray down for him and asked, “Do you need anything else?”
Lone Wolfe shook his head, “I should be okay.”
His father nodded and left the room. He watched TV and slowly ate the soup as he was not sure if his illness also affected his stomach. He blew on each spoonful to cool it off and was glad that he was not made nauseous from the food. The soup managed to fill him up and return some of his strength to him as it went through his system. It also made him thirsty enough to finish off the water.
He sat the empty dishes on the tray and watched TV. He had the volume loud enough that he did not hear his father on the cell phone in the other room. He didn’t hear it until His father opened the door to the room, “Relena is on the line. Your mother thought you’d want to talk to her.”
Lone Wolfe nodded, “Hand it over!”
He handed his son the smart phone, “I will leave you two alone to talk. When you are done, hand the phone back to me and let me know if your mom is on the line or if you two hung up. Depending on how long it is, I will need to check your temperature again at that point.” With those words said, his father retrieved the tray of dishes, left the room and closed the door.
Excitement filled Lone Wolfe’s voice as he answered the Line, “Relena?”
“Do you still call yourself Lone Wolfe like you told me all those years ago or do you call yourself Sean again?” Relena questioned in response, “Or do you call yourself something different?”
Lone Wolfe chuckled, “Usually people say hello.”
“You didn’t,” Relena stated.
“True enough,” he answered, “Everyone calls me Lone Wolfe anymore. Jena does, Curtis does, most of the teachers do. Everyone except mom and dad. Hang on, why did you ask if I called myself something different? Do you call yourself something different?”
“Depends on who is in the room,” Relena stated, “Most people don’t get me anymore. I have been having some strange dreams lately.”
“Tell me about it,” Lone Wolfe replied, “Fevers can do that to a person.”
“That’s right. Sylvia said you are sick. I’m sorry. At least I will be up there tomorrow night!” Relena stated with the happiness in her voice clearly carrying over, “But my dreams aren’t fever dreams. You have had dreams before that were replays of memories. These dreams feel like those, only they aren’t my memories. They feel like something else.”
“Well, communions can do that to a person,” Lone Wolfe mentioned, “You and I had one at the farm when our parents got together when the great grandparents had their family reunion.”
“Yeah, your mom was pissed,” Relena stated, “Somehow, she could tell that we went through it.”
“Everyone could tell that something happened between us,” Lone Wolfe replied, “that and we hid from everyone for like four hours. The latter is reason enough for her to be pissed but she has seen that before. She is the only one there who really had an idea of what happened.”
“What do you think everyone else thought?” Relena asked.
“That feels like a loaded question,” Lone Wolfe replied.
“It could be,” Relena giggled.
“Anyway, we seemed to have strayed from my question. What did you mean about me going by a different name? You also hinted that you go by a different name in other circles. What’s that about?”
“I was getting to that before you diverted me,” Relena stated.
“So, I am to blame?” Lone Wolfe smiled in response.
“You brought up the communion,” Relena pointed out.
“So, I did. Please continue,” Lone Wolfe admitted.
“Well, I have been having some dreams recently. They feel like memories. They are my memories only they aren’t. It feels like I have lived a life before. I lived, I died, and now I live again. In one of these dreams you called me by a name, only it wasn’t you; you were someone else.” Relena explained. She took a breath and said, “You called me Akasha and since then I have been having this feeling that I should go by that name. The few that will agree to it have been calling me by that name for a month now.”
Something with that name struck a chord with him. What started out as funny banter had turned serious. He had heard it before but he swore that it was the first time he heard it at the same time. What was more, she also said it was a past version of him that said it. He was not sure how to reply. Relena ended up insisting on a response, “Are you going to say something or are you going to leave me hanging here all day?”
“Sorry,” Lone Wolfe replied, “You said I called you Akasha? A past me?”
“Yes,” Relena replied.
“Would you prefer I call you that name now?” Lone Wolfe questioned in response.
“Well, it would be awesome if you would. At least when our parents aren’t around,” Relena replied, “I told my dad about the dreams I was having and about the whole reincarnation thing in the beginning and he got really angry! I thought I was going to be grounded. When he did nothing other than insisting that I forget about these dreams, I thought he was going to call a priest and perform an exorcism. I was actually surprised that he allowed Sylvia to come down here. I was even more surprised that he is allowing me to go up there to stay with you guys.”
“Maybe he is thinking that we will straighten you out with our own odd ways?” Lone Wolfe suggested, “Something like your dreams being a cry for attention and wanting to feel like you fit in with something. Lots of people think they have been reincarnated. It’s not very Christian but there are religions that revolve around it. If you see that there are others like you then maybe you will give up on what he thinks is nonsense.”
“Do you think it’s nonsense?” Relena questioned.
“I want to say yes because I haven’t had those dreams but something tells me no.” Lone Wolfe replied. Something else grabbed his attention at that moment, “In that dream, when I called you Akasha, what was my name?”
“I thought you wouldn’t ask,” Relena stated. He could hear the smile on her voice, “I called you Deleous. That is why I asked if you were going by a different name now. I thought you were starting to have these dreams too. You and I usually experience similar things at around the same time.”
The name she gave him for his past life also struck a chord in him. Just like last time, even though he never heard the name before, he recognized it. Yet, He had to admit, it was not his name. He couldn’t start going around wearing it like it was his. He shook his head, “I haven’t had any dreams like that. Maybe this is one thing you will take the lead on.”
“Okay, well, I will still call you Lone Wolfe then and you can call me Akasha when the adults aren’t the wiser,” Relena stated.
“You have a deal,” Lone Wolfe replied.
“Another thing,” Relena stated, “At first, I thought we only ran into just each other in past lives. There are more of us that have lived before.”
“Of course,” Lone Wolfe nodded, “I told you that there are religions around this.”
“I mean that we have ran into more people that have lived before and are living now. You know two of them. Well, three but two of them are human,” Relena stated in response.
“You’ve lost me,” Lone Wolfe replied, “There are only humans. You can’t mean I had a pet that was a reincarnation? I haven’t had a dog or a cat or anything that lives long enough to bond with.”
“Well, more on that later. I mean you know two people that we apparently spent a lot of our past lives with,” Relena replied.
“Now I’m curious, who?” Lone Wolfe questioned in response.
“Jena is the first one,” Relena answered, “You called her Kana in the same life in which we all had the names I mentioned before.”
Hat trick, Lone Wolfe thought as he recognized another name he never heard before. It was starting to worry him that she was able to do this to him from so far away. It was also curious that he had been friends with her his whole life. It seemed natural that they be friends and close friends at that. He was still willing to chalk it all up to coincidence. He had to know if she could pull it off again, “Who is the other one.”
“The one that taught you to control your telepathy. Scarlet. In that same life, you called her Shima with the moniker of ‘the Mentor’ which is weird because she taught you in this life too,” Relena stated, “Didn’t you say she is going to college to become a teacher?”
“You are starting to scare me, Akasha,” Lone Wolfe replied. Again, same name and same result. This time it almost seemed to explain the odd friendship between both Lone Wolfe and Scarlet. The pull to mentor and befriend a stranger with uncontrollable powers. She could have locked his telepathy away and the world would have been better for it. Instead, she went for the harder route. She taught him how to control it.
“Curtis is involved too,” Relena stated, “Only he wasn’t human in that life. He was something else. Something darker. You saw it in him. In our communion, I could tell that you saw something darker in his spirit but you couldn’t tell what it was. I couldn’t quite catch it in my dreams either but I know he wasn’t human in that life. I know because I kept seeing him again and again in different lives. Also, there is someone we haven’t met yet in more recent times that has been showing up like that too. Her name sounds more normal. I bet she would still look like she is our age; ever see someone that looks like a French girl going by the name of Miranda?”
Lone Wolfe laughed but it was more of a nervous laugh. Part of him felt like she was setting him up for a joke at the last minute. The name was too normal for it to be a reincarnation. Especially with the last couple of names he just heard, “You are joking, right?”
“I don’t think so,” Relena stated, “I remember this in several more recent times.”
“Well it is impossible to know if I have seen this Miranda before. While not a common name, it is certainly not a strange name like Kana, Shima, Deleus, or Akasha.”
“True,” Relena stated.
“Anyone else I need to be aware of?” Lone Wolfe questioned in response.
“Well there are a lot of people. There are two more that come to mind but I don’t think either of us have met them yet. I am sure we will run into them eventually. You didn’t run into Curtis right away and you only met Scarlet seven years ago. We are bound to run into the others eventually,” Relena replied.
“Without you around I will not have a way to tell who they are,” Lone Wolfe stated in response.
“With any luck, I will be there when you meet them,” Relena stated in response. She squealed after a moment, “I can’t wait to actually meet Jena, Curtis and Scarlet. I have seen them through your eyes from the communion we had but now I will actually be able to meet them! I will be able to get to know them! I am so excited!”
“I hate to burst your bubble but Jena and Curtis are leaving tomorrow for their family vacations of their own. Scarlet should be back next week, though. One out of three isn’t bad, right?” Lone Wolfe replied.
Relena sighed in frustration, “I guess. Maybe the other two will get back before I have to head back home. If not then I can see about coming up there again for a break or something?”
“They are all upper middle class so they take vacations every break they get,” Lone Wolfe stated in response, “If you get a break, they will get one too and they will go on vacation then as well. They aren’t like us poor folks.”
“We aren’t exactly rich down here,” Relena protested.
“Bullshit,” Lone Wolfe replied, “You will get to see how the have-nots live while you are up here. I am sure you will be fed up with it by the time you leave.”
“I doubt it,” Relena argued.
“I will put it this way,” Lone Wolfe stated, “One of us will be sleeping on the couch while you are here.”
“At least I will see what you have stashed in your sock drawer,” Relena chuckled.
“Socks,” Lone Wolfe stated dryly, “All I have in the sock drawer is socks.”
“Well, I will just have to come up there and find out,” Relena replied, “Anyway, I am being told that I have to get off the phone now. I will see you tomorrow night. Get better soon. I don’t plan to be cooked up in the house all summer.”
Lone Wolfe smiled, “Goodbye,” He said instead of his customary till next time.
“Goodbye,” She replied and disconnected the line.
Lone Wolfe took the phone into the living room where his father worked on a program on the computer. He handed the phone to his father and said, “We are off the phone. It sounds like both mom and Relena will be coming up here tomorrow night.”
His father nodded and smiled, “That’s good news. Now it is time to take your temperature. Sit down on the couch.”
Lone Wolfe sat down on the sofa as his father went into the bathroom to sanitize the thermometer. He came back in and handed it to his son and said, “Put it under your arm.” Lone Wolfe nodded and slid it into his arm pit and hit the button to start taking the reading. After a few seconds, it beeped and he took it out and read it, “It says 101.9.”
His father smiled, “That’s good. Maybe you will be better by the time they get back.”