“Answer me!” His hand curled into a fist and he struck the thing. He touched darkness only, like sweeping his hand through a shadow, but a barrier in his mind crumbled, and he remembered some of it. The Christmas party after Hamber. The shade coming through the wall when Garrett was right about to give a speech. About fainting, and traveling.
He remembered the vagaries of a beautiful, impossible place, a mixture of the mountains near his cabin, the ocean he’d come to love in North Carolina, the pavilion-style tent on the beach, with all his friends and family happily gathered while Garrett stood apart, talking to…
Who had been the bespectacled man with the goatee Garrett hated on instinct? He’d told Garrett things, important things. And he’d helped with the depression sinking into Garrett’s soul after the horrors of Hamber. There had been something the man wanted to tell Garrett, but he’d shouted it as Garrett was falling away from that place – heaven, or a version of it, anyways. Two words, though it may have been four or five that just sounded like two.
What the hell did elom adlo mean?
And there had been something else, too. When asked who he was, the stranger said something that had pained the man more than anything else in their conversation. Words that had inexplicably hurt to Garrett’s core.
I’m the man you’ll hate most in this world.
The man you’ll hate most.
“Who are you?” Garrett begged. But there were no answers to be had.