Will finally stopped at a door indistinguishable from the others, opened it, and stepped aside so that I could walk through. The room within was dull and smelled thickly of musty, old books. All four walls were lined with large, leather-bound volumes, and double-sided bookcases stood tall on either side of an aisle that led to the back of the room. A desk was placed up against the wall with a young man sitting at it, reading a book that I was sure was thicker than my upper body. A girl who looked about Will’s age sat in a chair across from him. She turned her head to look at us, her long, black-brown hair swinging. She was a beautiful Asian girl and she smiled sweetly as we approached.
The young man—again, maybe the same age as Will—was unnaturally pale, as if he didn’t get out much, and he looked up at us as we approached his desk. He was kind of a nerd, but the adorable kind, with a silly, lopsided grin. His maple brown hair was untidy, but I got the impression that he was one of those guys who didn’t really care how presentable he appeared.
“Hey, Nathaniel,” Will said. He nodded to the girl. “Lauren.”
Nathaniel looked only at me, smiling that type of smile that reminded me of Mr. Meyer, even though he looked barely any older than Will. I smiled back, instantly liking him. His eyes were vivid and coppery, like iridescent pennies. With every movement of his gaze, they glinted.
“Hello, again,” Nathaniel beamed brightly. “It’s been a while.”
“I’m sorry, but have we met?” I asked, unable to recall his face.
“Oh, yes,” he said. “We’ve known each other for many ages. Will told me that your memory is having a little trouble coming back to you, but that’s all right. You will remember in time.”
“I hope so,” I said honestly.
“You’re still as lovely as ever,” he offered.
“Thank you,” I said.
The Asian girl stood and held a hand out for me to shake it. “You must be Ellie.”
I smiled. “That’s me.”
“Lauren Tsukino,” she said. “Nice to meet you. I’ll get out of your hair, now. Nathaniel, you’ll look into that for me, won’t you?”
He nodded. “Of course, my dear. You’ll be hearing from me shortly.”
Lauren squeezed by us and disappeared out the door.
Nathaniel turned back to me. “Lauren is a very powerful psychic,” he explained. “She sensed something arrive in the area recently that gave her quite a shock. It would be nice if she could see the future and we’d have this one in the bag. Alas, she is only clairvoyant, but she knows a nasty reaper when she feels it!” He beamed as if he had just told an incredible joke, but I failed to find it amusing. I could see the punch line—I wasn’t stupid—but it just wasn’t funny.