Do You Remember: two people, one destination

Prologue

Black jazzy shoes, hot pink high heels. Grey dress pants, short striped skirt. That’s what you see from behind if you were looking at Leon and Leona Jackson in a picture taken at 4:11 pm on a Friday.

Two years had passed since that picture had been taken. Now, it was the picture all over the newspapers, headlines, the TV. Because these two people, my friend, had something about them was unordinary. Or, rather, what they did in life was rather unordinary. They were magicians. But no one understood their tricks that fooled everyone, even the smartest of people in the crowd.

Also no one knew anything about their past life—how this woman, and this man even met? They couldn’t ask, either, because they knew they weren’t going to get an answer. So this was just the way things went.

Actually, no one knew anything about these two fellows, except what they looked like, what they wear, and how old they were. No one knew if they were just friends, if they were more than friends, if they were siblings, cousins, what?

Except for me, young fellow. I know how they met, because I am writing this very story. So let’s start at the beginning.

1

Leona Jackson was on the verge of making a very important decision. A decision that, perhaps, would change the rest of her very life. And the decision was, whether or not she should call back the person who just called but did not leave a message.

Now I know this does not seem like a big decision, but oh, my friend, in her case, it was. Because whether or not she picked up her call would determine her future.

Leona decided to pick it up. “Hello?” she screamed into the phone on the city bus she was taking, that sounded more like a zoo full of angry elephants than a city bus.

“Hello, Leona,” an unfamiliar voice replied.

“Um, who is this?” she decided to ask simply. If it was someone creepy, she would hang up.

“It is someone that has a name very similar to yours, my dear,” the voice continued. “I am Leon Jackson. I live on the other side of the world than you, but I know about you.”

“Um, you’re starting to creep me out,” she admitted truthfully. “How do you know about me, exactly?” She was getting the feeling she should hang up soon.

“Well you are the inventor of the mood wheel, yes?”

“What, that’s—that’s private, I just kept that in my invention office, my private invention office in the basement of my house. How do you—who are you—what do you want from me?!” she finally spit out.

“Look, darling, there’s no need to become afraid. I am not out to get you, or steal from you, or harm you, or anything else. I would just like to meet with you. I know what it’s like to invent something amazing but want to keep it locked away.”

“W-what—I mean, how do you even know all this…” Leona sputtered.

“Look, the point is, if we work together, dear, we can become unstoppable. A force against evil, a force as one. You have to trust me on this.”

“Ok, look, is this, like, spam? Or a prank call? Because I am seriously not in the mood, thank you. I’ll be going now.”

“Wait, wait, WAIT, darling, please, hear me out!” Leon Jackson was basically screaming now.

Leona flinched at the sound coming from her cell phone. “Okay, okay!” she screamed back. “What is it, prank caller?”

“I am not a prank caller, I assure you, but if we work together, we can be unstoppable, yes?”

“I don’t know how to answer that. I don’t even know who you are! Or what your point is here. Or how you know about my”—she lowered her voice—“mood wheel invention. Are you like, a mind reader or do you have like, all around the world security cameras? I’m really weirded out now. Besides, what have you even invented?”

“I do not discuss things like that on the phone, but I will say this—I invented something that I’ve kept hidden in my basement for years as well. If you meet with me in person, and I prove to you that I am not a prank caller or a cerial killer, I will tell you these secrets—these burdens—that I’ve kept inside forever.”

“Um, okaaay, when are we going to meet?” Leona cringed at herself for saying it. Who was she to meet with some random guy over the phone who could read minds? A complete stranger to her?

“Oh good, oh good!” Leon Jackson breathed a sigh of relief. “What time works for you, my dear?”

“Um, I don’t know, like, Friday at noon.”

“No, no, I do not meet in the afternoon, my dear. Only night. So, what about 12 pm? Midnight?”

“That’s really creepy, but like…okay. Are you a vampire?”

“No, my darling. Not a vampire. So, where should we meet?”

“I guess, at…Seagull Park. You know where that is? Seagull Park, in Illinois?”

“Yes, yes, okay. Today is Monday, so…that gives me three days to fly to Illinois. Sounds good. I will see you then. Good-bye.”

And then Leona Jackson’s first conversation with Leon Jackson ended there.

He had a slight accent, but Leona Jackson hadn’t really noticed until now. She was too distracted, of course, by his weird ways.

She exhaled and muttered, “That was very weird, but I guess…I guess I got myself an appointment with a stranger this Friday.”

The bus screeched to a stop, and Leona saw that it was her block. She stood up, adjusted her tight skirt, and walked off, her hands still shaking a little from the shock that someone knew about her mood wheel invention.

I’m just a twenty-two year old girl that’s trying to survive this big city like everyone else, she thought to herself. But apparently this Leon dude thinks I’m special.

As Leona kicked off her black boots on her shaggy little carpet of her tiny apartment, she pondered whether this really was a good idea. I mean, really, what business did she have walking around with a stranger at midnight?

It was so ridiculous, and something she would never do, but she just wasn’t sure. “Leon Jackson”, if that’s who he really was, didn’t seem evil. And she just had to find out how he knew about an invention that was top secret, and he didn’t even live in this state!

As of right now, Leona Susan Jackson was just an unknown twenty-two year old girl living in Downtown Chicago in a tiny apartment who didn’t like to cook. That’s all. But she stopped seeming normal if you happened to climb into her basement and see an invention she made. An invention that’s somewhat…hypnotizing.

She checked the oven clock, and it read 8:33 PM. Leona decided to get some beauty sleep and go to bed. She slipped into her pajamas and into her tiny twin bed with baby blue covers. Before she knew it—snap, just like that—she was asleep and dreaming of a man with slicked back dark hair, who was just like her. Struggling to be their-selves. A man who cared about her, and wanted to meet her because maybe they could relate.

She woke up, sweating, because she knew it was related to the phone call yesterday. She just had to go to Seagull Park. She had to.

Her alarm clock read: 9:10 AM. Oh, I slept late! Leona thought. She thought it was still the middle of the night.

All of a sudden a timer in the kitchen went off, ticking away. “Okay, okay!” Leona yelled out loud. Then she remembered that it must be the chocolate chip cookies she baked for Tiffany O’Hare downstairs. She groggily got up and removed the tray from the oven. Then she put them in a nice bowl and walked down the stairs to the lower apartment. She knocked on door 118.

Tiffany opened it up. She was in pink sweatpants, a blue work out top, and her blond hair was pulled back into a ponytail. “Hey!” she chirped. “What’s up? Oh, thank you! You are too sweet. Just, like, literally, like, too sweet, seriously, like, ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod! Chocolate chip cookies? Those are like, totally like my fave. Thank you so much!”

“No problem,” Leona muttered and closed the door. She always baked cookies for Tiffany because she knew that Tiffany was struggling since her mom died when she was fourteen, and now Tiffany was fifteen.

To be honest, Leona really liked Tiffany. Most people would think she was just a hyperactive Barbie doll, but there was more to her than her platinum blond hair, pink sweatpants, and hyper personality. She was a good person inside. And she needed some support during this.

Leona walked back upstairs. The next two days flew past, and then Friday came. The day of. The day that she had to decide whether to meet this strange guy in Seagull Park! She decided, yes, it was the right thing to do. So at midnight, Leona pulled on a red and white tight, short dress, curled her black hair, threw on a black spring jacket, and she was off to Seagull Park which was just a few blocks from her house.

She didn’t see him at first. She waited five minutes, until she did see him. It was a man with dark brown, slicked back hair, carrying a bright yellow briefcase. Strange. He looked about twenty-five, if Leona had to take a guess. Leona knew he wasn’t aware she was there yet. So she slowly walked up and said, “Um, Leon?”

He looked up. “Ah! Yes, Leona. Pleasure to finally meet you in person.” He shook her hand.

“Um, you too?” She shook his hand as well.

“So, can we talk business? Now that we are in person, we are alone, and I sort of trust you, can you just tell me who you really are? And what you want?”

He turned to face her, looking her straight in the eye. “Look. Leona Jackson, I am Leon Jackson, it is my pleasure to make your acquaintance. I am almost certain that we have something in common, a very unusual thing in common, and so, if this is true, we would be unstoppable. And I’m not talking about our names. I’m talking about something else. Now, in my basement, I have a wooden box, a big one, with glittering mica in different places. They contain”—he looked around nervously, as if at midnight there would be people strolling by--memories.”

“Mmm. Wow. Wait, what did you say? Memories?!”

“Yes, it is memories, my friend. Or, at least, I hope I can call you my friend now.”

“Well, how on Earth did you make that?”

Leon shot her a look. “Well, I’m sure you know.”

“Ohhh…well, actually, now that I think about it, yes—I—I think I do.”

“Yes, well if you have an idea on how we did it, how I did it is what we have in common.”

Leona looked at him quizzically, but then all of a sudden, she just understood.

2

“It’s how you made the mood wheel as well,” Leon added on, lowering his voice. “I am correct, right?”

“Yes, you are,” Leona agreed.

 


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