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Never Saw You Coming. Chapter 6, Jaelynn, Samson, & Lapis
Brown. My hair was brown. Dark Brown. I looked like I dipped my head in a puddle of mud. It reached my shoulders. I hate to admit this, but I liked it. I didn’t look like a musician, but I needed to give up on the dream anyways. I didn’t want anyone to know I liked it though. I kept that to myself.
Sam on the other hand, went and bought peroxide, a poured it on his head, and became a blonde. He looked so different it was unbelievable. With the changes, we were no longer Adalynn and Samuel. Now I was Jaelynn and he was Samson. He chose Samson so I could still call him Sam. He knew that would be something I couldn’t, and wouldn’t, give up.
Sam flirted with one of the Hair Emporium workers, and got me a good job as Emporium Employee. I clean, and take inventory, and all those sort of things. His flirting was so good, I also got free makeup, learned how to apply it all (it’s much more expensive than the stuff I usually use, I wanted to do it right), shampoos, hair styling products, and a flat iron. I was there the whole time, and I don’t even believe it. I actually started thinking, maybe he wasn’t holding up the gas stations; maybe it was just his charm. Oh who was I kidding? Sam? Charm? Yeah right.
Things changed. Sam became my brother, not my cousin. We came from Missouri, not Alabama. I didn’t go to school. “You don’t need it. Hell, you’re already smarter than half the population. Use what you got and common sense. You’ll make it through the rest of this life just like that.” I just nodded. No point in trying to change things back.
I was instructed to keep a low profile. I was told not to make myself stand out. Sam knew this was a small town though, and if I didn’t communicate some, it would look suspicious. Not only that, but people would be chatty, and well…nosy. I was Jaelynn, moved here from Missouri with my brother Samson. We moved because things weren’t what we wanted back there. That was it. The new story of my life. That simple. That vague.
My first day on the job, I told them my new story. I didn’t say the truth; that I was being held hostage by my murdering cousin. I didn’t think it should’ve been included. I followed Sam’s orders. The green-eyed woman who cut my hair, and fell for Sam’s so called “charm” was the nosiest. She thought she was doing a good job at prying for information, but like Sam said, I’m smart. I knew what information to keep away from her. Information like if Sam was single. If I couldn’t have guys…he couldn’t have girls. Simple as that.
The job was easy, and the money was okay, but it wasn’t worth it. I had to shadow over and around people almost all day. One half hour lunch. It could have been an hour, but I had to clean while everyone else is at lunch. Usually, I had twenty minutes to spare during my break, so I would wander around town. I wanted to know where I was. Iowa was very different from Alabama.
I guess it was around my second week of working at the Emporium when he showed up. Usually, when I came back from exploring, the daily mail would be sitting on the counter. I thought nothing of it, when the other ladies came back from lunch, they distributed it out amongst themselves and that was it. This day though, the mail came early. Either that or I was just running late. I was just picking up my purse to hide behind the counter while I went out when the door jingled. I looked up, about to explain the lunch break to whomever the customer was. He was in one of those uniforms. I had to hold back the roar of laughter. In Alabama, no mail lady or man wore a uniform. I thought it was a storybook myth. Although there he stood, uniform and all.
“I was wondering if I would ever show up to find someone here.” He said smoothly without any sort of hesitation in his voice. His voice…it sounded familiar. Jace. I took in a sharp breath, feeling as if I had been shot. Shot in the gut. Just as Jace had been. By Sam. Sam shot Jace. This man though. He wasn’t Jace. It was clear to see the differences. Jace had the same height as me, a solid 5’5. This guy, he was 5’9 at least. The mailman, whose name tag said Travis, had eyes that reminded me of one thing only. Lapis.
Lapis is the most beautiful color blue that any human eye has been known to see. It is a rare gemstone is worth so much to any artist, and this guy, Travis, had the color in his eyes. I remember seeing a Lapis stone in a museum years back. I will never forget it. The guide told us that this stone is often symbolized as friendship and truth. I never really understood what the guide meant; although that day I understood. Travis looked friendly. So innocent and harmless.
Travis reached in this mail bag, fumbling through all the different sized envelopes. His light brown hair that almost reached his eyebrows swished as he moved his head to find our mail. The muscles in his arms tightened as his fingers quickly flipped through the mail. I was staring. I knew I was. I noticed everything about him almost instantly. He looked up at me, and I tried to look like I was just another girl. Just another girl like Sam had told me to. The voice inside my head that sounded like Jace was telling me to screw Sam. To be Adalynn, not this fake Jaelynn. Travis held out the mail to me and said “You’re new in town.” I looked down at the mail, flipping through each envelope, managing to nod my head. When I did look up, Travis was looking at me. His Lapis eyes looking at me. He almost looked like he was just searching for something…something to remember me by. “So are you just passing by or you staying in Brooklyn?”
“Staying. My brother and I just moved in.”
“Nice accent,” I instantly blushed. Sam told me not to be a country hick. Too late. I was hoping I didn’t sound as different as I thought I did, nobody had pointed it out until then. “Where you move from?”
“That’s a Missouri accent?”
“Never heard one?”
“I have now. I like it. Now I wish I had one.” He smiled. Travis had one dimple. On the right cheek, and it was probably the cutest thing ever. I held back a smile, rolling my eyes.
“Oh yeah, because people totally go around wishing they sounded funny to other people.”
“I do. I’m actually very jealous. You look like any other girl...the accent makes you unique. You don’t see it coming. Wish I had that”
“Well you’re voice shocked me too when you walked in.” Oh Adalynn, way to go. You’re so smart. Now he is going to wonder why. There goes that “low profile”. All these hair chemicals are getting to your brain cells.
“Why is that?”
“Deeper than I was expecting is all.” I tried to lie. Travis wasn’t buying it though. I could tell in his beautiful lapis eyes that he wasn’t buying any of my story one bit. He smiled again, with the dimple appearing more as his sideways grin got larger. He would believe the story…for now.
“Well, I hope I get to see you around. I don’t know how it works in Missouri, but may I ask you for your name?”
“Most people in my town were on a first name basis. So call me Jaelynn. Please though, not Jae. I don’t want people to start thinking I’m a guy.”
“You’re right; you’d be an ugly guy. We’ll keep you female. It looks good on you. Can I call you Lynnie?”
“Sure. Lynnie is fine.”
“Good. Hope to see you again Lynnie. I’m Travis, if you can think of me a nickname; you’re welcome to call me by that.” Travis shot me a wide smile and I know I blushed.
“Okay, later Lapis.” I said almost in a sarcastic tone. Travis was halfway out the door when he turned and stuck his head back inside. His dimple was showing and his eyes bright against the sunlight. A piece of brown hair had strayed away from the others, and was hitting his eyelashes.
“Clever.” He said and then the door swung closed behind him.
One voice in my head said, No boys Adalynn. Sam’s tone was serious. As serious as when he came to get me that day. The day he took me away.
While the other said, You like him Adalynn, I knew you would. I picked him out special for you. He will be your hero too…just like I was.
I started to make my way out of the Emporium, still having 15 minutes of my break. A leaf landed in front of me while I stood on the sidewalk, and it was the same bronze as Jace’s eyes. A little gust of wind blew over me, pushing my bangs out of my face like Jace used to do. I looked up in the sky, watching the clouds part and the sunshine beam down on my face. I couldn’t help but smile. I closed my eyes, and breathed in the fresh air. Thank you Jace.