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Matchmaker's Mansion: Ch. 3
“So…you’re name is Chase?” she nearly whispered instead of answering his proposal question.
“Sure is—what’s your’s?” Chase asked back.
“Aa-shuh, Ash-uuuuh,” he tried to pronounce her name in different ways, putting the emphasis in a different place every time. But his final pronunciation of her name was entirely emphasized, “AAASHHHUUHH!” he said dramatically in a deep booming voice like he was announcing her on stage.
Asha giggled, feeling her heart beat a little faster every time he said her name.
“It’s very pretty, just like your voice,” Chase said sweetly. The compliments seemed to just roll off his tongue, and she couldn’t imagine him saying anything mean ever with his smooth tenor voice.
“Hey, Asha, can you see me?”
“No, all I see is a mirror. Can you see me?” Asha said, looking all around for a camera.
“I can kinda see you…are you sitting on a chair and wearing a black winter coat?” Chase spoke slowly as though he were trying to focus on something and wasn’t sure if he was correct or not.
“Yes, how did you know?” Asha’s voice rose with excitement. Perhaps she would get to see him after all today.
“Can you walk forward? If you can…come to the mirror.”
Asha obeyed, walking straight up to the mirror. But the only thing that looked back at her was her boring brown eyes.
“So close, yet so far away,” Chase’s sad voice floated through her headphones. “Could you please put your hand out and touch the mirror?”
Asha reached out and placed her left palm on the mirror. On the other side of the mirror Chase had his hand against the mirror, right over her hand. “Gah!” Chase exclaimed, “Our first touch. Oh gosh, I’m blushing.”
Asha laughed at his silliness and Chase joined in, sounding adorable. Chase suddenly stopped laughing, and so did Asha, wondering what was wrong. “Oh, Asha, I have to go now. Your next dude is coming in soon, and you can’t fall in love with him. After all, I saw you first.”
“Ok,” Asha nodded, though she doubted he could see it very well.
“You’ll like me no matter what I look like, right?” Chase’s voice rose with concern.
“Of course I will. It’s what’s on the inside that counts,” Asha tried to comfort him with her soft tone.
“You better come back, ok? I’ll be really angry and depressed if you don’t,” and with that last sentence he was gone. Asha squinted her eyes, but it didn’t help any, she couldn’t see through to the other side.
Asha waited in silence, wondering how long it would be until the next “dude” arrived.
“Hello, Asha. I’m very pleased to make your acquaintance,” a deep harmonious voice, one that would be used for advertizing a romantic honeymoon resort, spoke into her headphones.
“Oh, hello…” Asha said hesitantly, not quite sure what to make of the new person. Chase’s energy still tickled at her brain.
“I have to say that when I read your answers to the Matchmaker’s Quiz, I thought, ‘Why has a pure white rose come here?’ Honestly, your answers were average, sometimes boring, but perhaps over time your true colors will show. After all, white is composed of all the colors.”
“Uh…I didn’t know that,” Asha fiddled with the silver buttons on her jacket as her heart sank.
“I’m sorry if I’ve made you uneasy,” his voice softened.
“It’s all right. We’re both learning,” Asha offered a weak smile to the mirror.
“Do you still wish to know my name, or will I not be seeing you again? My first impressions are always terrible,” his voice was thick with emotion and her heart caught in her throat from the way his voice gently flowed into her ears.
“I still wish to see you,” Asha said, then quickly hurried to say, “In my eyes your colors are all black—unknown—and I too want to know your true colors.”
She heard his deep chuckle and wondered if he was laughing at her.
“The name is Everett, but please…call me Ever. And thank you for your kindness to this poor soul.”
“No problem, Ever,” she smiled for real this time.
“I must go now, but I’ll look forward to your return,” Ever said.
“See you soon, white rose.”
Asha blushed, feeling his deep voice brush against her heart.
Once he was completely gone, several minutes passed. Worried, Asha tapped her foot against the marble floor in a steady rhythm.
She couldn’t take the silence any longer. “Hello? Hello?” she said into the mic. It echoed in her headphones. “Heellooo, hello,” she said in a singsong voice.
She flinched at a hissing voice that responded faintly, “Talk to the girl.” Then silence. “Talk to her now.” There was the sound of a chair toppling over and a few grunts of pain. “Say something and then we’ll go,” the hissing voice said again.
She heard the faint sound of heavy breathing, then a raspy voice spoke, “Don’t come back…ever.”
Asha cringed, taking in a deep breath of scentless air.
“I’m sorry, miss,” a man’s voice said. “Your session is going to be a little short than planned. I’ll be right over to take you back to the front room. Again, I’m sorry for the trouble.”
Asha didn’t respond—that one sentence that the third boy had said still rang through her mind.
Don’t come back…ever.
She was in a daze for the rest of the evening, only remembering being led out of the room to the front room. Vaguely, she remembered writing down “yes” on a paper, but she couldn’t recall what the question on the paper had been.
That night, lying in bed with the cover’s wrapped tight around her, the same sentence rang through her head.
Don’t come back…