The Wrong House

I swore I wasn’t going to do the online dating thing. But last week I gave in and went to ThoseWhoLoveToRead.Com and filled out an application.  The site supposedly found my perfect match. He suggested we meet at a deli to have an early dinner, and if we’re having fun, maybe we’ll go to a movie. My date’s name is Cameron Peterson. He’s thirty six, and he loves to read.  He also likes to hike and go to hockey games, two things I too love. I can’t imagine he’s perfect for me, but we’ll see.  The deli he suggested is called The Bard’s Deli. It makes me smile before I even meet him. I’ve never heard of the place, but I like to try new things and places. So far so good. I’m meeting him at 6:30. I decide to be casual and wear jeans, a turtleneck sweater and my ballet flats. I’m nervous and want to be comfortable.

I pull into the restaurant five minutes early. My date isn’t here yet, and I wonder if I should go in or wait for him. It looks like a small place, and there appears to be an addition out back. I decide to go in and get a small table. Turns out there are only four, and there’s only one person working behind the counter. I appear to be the only customer until Cameron gets here. I sit, and the man working comes over with a menu. There’s also a menu with specials on the chalkboard behind the counter. I say I’m waiting for someone, and he introduces himself. … I’m Robert Stevenson, but you can call me RL. .. I say.. I’m Dominique Lynne. .. He says.. hello Dominique. Can I get you something while you wait for your friend?  Now that I think about it, I realize Cameron is late. Only by seven minutes, but late. Not a good first impression. So I say I would please like a Coke and a French Dip sandwich. RL goes out back to make my sandwich and I sigh. I’ve been stood up.  I sit and look around the place and notice that there’s a room out back full of antiques.  RL brings my dinner.  I eat half my sandwich. I’ve lost my appetite.I’m bummed about being stood up. I ask RL if I can look out back at his antiques. He says sure Miss Lynne. So I head out back. I see treasures of all kinds, especially books.  One in particular that I’d love to have. It’s an old copy of A Study In Scarlet, by Arthur Conan Doyle. Its pages are a little yellowed, but other than that, it’s in excellent shape. I go out front and ask RL how much he wants for it. He says $50.00. Not much for a book like this.  I pay him for it and my dinner and head home. I’m not sad anymore about my date not showing up. In fact, I’m happy. But I’m sleepy and am going to bed as soon as I get home. I make the final left turn on to Tremblay Hill. All of a sudden it’s foggy, and the fog is tinged with lavender, the color and the scent. I smell it through my open driver’s side window. As I head up the hill, my Volkswagen stutters.  I pull over to the right, and it dies. My headlights go off. I set my emergency break just in case and get out. My street looks different. My apartment building should be near the top of the hill, but it’s not. I’ve lost my mind. I think, I only drank soda. And I realize that before I got out of the car, I grabbed my book. I walk a little longer. Still lavender scented fog. I make it to the top of the hill.  At this point, I wonder why my date didn’t show up. I wouldn’t be in this situation if he had. I’m not happy. All I see at the top of the hill is a large white mansard style house. It’s been made into a duplex. I’m lost so I ring the doorbell on the right. Then I notice the gold number, 221B. I laugh because I realize I’m dreaming. Or am i?  A man answers the door.  He says, hello Miss Lynne. RL told us to expect you. I’m Dr. Watson. Sherlock and I need your help, and I see you brought the book with you.  Good…

By M. Raynes

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