|Credit: My Life Through The Lens|
Patti ignores me for the most part, but I chalk this up to her needing to watch over the bookstore. It turns out the women in the pink pantsuits are not only fans of my novels, but they have money. As an apology for knocking over the bookshelf (and starting the fire and getting me kind of electrocuted), they buy a copy of my new book for all the attendees. Then they want autographs from me and Apollo. I try to avoid looking at him because it wigs me out to see someone who I imagined walking around and talking to everyone.
Of course when I realize why I’m not looking at him, I have to take a look. Go figure.
Women surround him, almost panting as they wait for him to sign their books. I notice that most of the women get his signature first, before walking over to me for mine. I freak out a bit when I notice that his signature looks like my Apollo signature. Or, well, the signature I use when I’m pretending to be Apollo. In my writing.
Aargh!!! This is so confusing!
The police arrive a minute after the firefighters, but they have a lot of women to question and Ms. Patti to deal with, so I somehow get overlooked when they take statements. I thank the stars that I don’t have to explain my strange reaction to Apollo appearing. I catch snippets of conversations where women wonder how I could afford a model as handsome as Apollo. I ignore the jealousy and speculations because I don’t want to develop high blood pressure before I’m at least 30.
I finally escape the hordes, the flashing lights, and the crowd of women babbling about meeting the Apollo. Luckily, I live in a little house a block off the main square, so I slip past some bushes and walk home.
Or I try to walk home. I make it away from the commotion long enough to take a breath when I hear, ‘Hey, Cece! Wait up.”
I jump at the voice, but force myself not to turn around. “Why? You don’t really exist outside my head, so I don’t have to wait up because you’re already here.”
A warm hand lands on my shoulder, and this time I jump and turn around. “Really, Cece? Do I feel like an illusion?”
I look up and stare into his blue eyes. “You feel like a mass hallucination caused by Ms. Patti’s sweet tea. She probably added something ‘special’”, I make air quotes here, “to the drink to help me relax before the book signing.”
Apollo nods, “Okay, that explains why you can see me now.”
“Exactly,” I smile my brilliant logic.
“But,” Apollo adds, “that doesn’t explain why all the other women can see me now. Or why I can hold a pen and sign my name on all those books.” He opens his arms up as if inviting me to argue with him.
“The Apollo signature looks like I wrote it, not you,” I counter.
“Yes, because you created me and all of my aspects,” Apollo counters back. “And by the way, you have very nice handwriting. I appreciate having a signature that people can read.”
“I...I,” when the words ‘you created me’ make it through my brain, it decides that enough is enough.