The rain poured down. It made pitter patter sounds on the rooftops, sidewalks and street. Not only did it hide tears, it also washed away blood into the sewers. The tears came from him and the blood came from yours truly, Chance. He was the type to fight his emotions.
“Hey!” he exclaimed. “Don’t you dare go and die on me, Chance! Luck is going to be back any moment now! Come on, hold on!”
I chuckled with a tiny sigh. “You’re not…the type to…cry.”
“And you’re not the type to die.”
Okay, okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start from the beginning, before I even met this guy.
Four months ago
My niece, Charlie, and I walked quickly toward the docks.
“Come on, Charlie!” I panted.
The boat was going to leave any moment, and Charlie, only six-years-old still, was struggling to keep up with me.
“I’m hurrying, Chance!” she panted back.
When we made it to the train we were going to board, Charlie jumped onto the stairs as I gave the captain our tickets. I had to chase her down to make her sit in a seat.
“Chance, why are we moving from France to New York?” she asked.
I sighed. When I was about to answer, she continued. “I mean, what about your job? The family? The friends?”
“Charlie, I’ve told you this too many times,” I replied. “I need to get out of the film business, and the only way I can do that is to run away.”
“Why aren’t you leaving me behind?”
“Charlie, I’m your legal guardian.” Even though she didn’t understand what “legal guardian” meant. “Which means that I take you everywhere I go.”
“Mama would have left me with someone if she was going somewhere.”
“You’re mother died, Charlie,” I said more gently. “She left you with me. She went somewhere.”
“Where did she go when she died?”
“It’s a little thing called the Big City in the Sky, Charlie.”
The engines from the boat startled Charlie, and when the boat started moving, she clung onto my arm like a little lost baby. It was her first time on a boat; her first time being out of France.
“It’s okay, Charlie,” I said quietly, stroking her dark brown hair as tears began to well up in her hazel eyes. “Why don’t I braid your hair to get your mind off of it?”
Her eyes bore into my orange eyes. My eyes weren’t always orange. Sometimes they were completely black, depending on the lighting of the place I was in.
Charlie nodded, and turned, sitting on her knees, looking out the window.
“Chance?” she whispered.
She sighed. “Who is Huey Laforet?”
I stopped braiding her hair, and in a stern voice asked, “Where did you hear that name?”
Charlie swallowed hard. “I didn’t hear it… I-I saw it. In one of your journals.”
“While I was cleaning the bookshelf other day, one of your journals fell off and came opened. I didn’t read the whole thing. It’s just, while I was picking it up, I saw ‘Huey Laforet’.”
“A very good old friend,” I said quickly, continuing to braid her hair.
I cleared my throat, remembering what Huey had promised me when I was so much younger. But that was then. He had gone to jail for terrorism in 1931. When he had promised me, I had just turned thirteen-years-old. He was the one I had gone to live with when my parents were murdered. His daughter, Chane, was about thirteen at the time and had recently had her voice taken away. Back then, I even went by a different name.
“Yes?” I asked.
Huey took the book I was reading and set it down in my lap. His brown eyes bore into my eyes, which were black due to the lighting. “What is your dream?”
“Nothing is impossible if you believe in it.”
“So…being immortal is possible?”
I had a confused expression on my face. “Are you?”
He shrugged. “It’s nice to not have any fears. I could give that to you.”
“I’d ask for you to prove it, but I believe you,” I mumbled, looking down.
Like I had actually asked him to prove it, he grabbed the letter opener from the table and, very quickly, sliced his palm.
I looked from him and to the palm in shock a few times until the blood retreated back into the wound and closed up.
“I’d like it,” I mumbled. “But why would you give it to me?”
He placed a hand on my cheek. “You’re such a sweet girl, Chantal. Losing someone as sweet as you would be such a waste.”
By the way he was looking at me, I could tell he didn’t just think I was a sweet girl.
“But when?” I asked, almost a whisper.
"When the time is right," Huey said.
"When is that?"
"When you're older. Twenty, possibly."
"But that's-" I started.
"That's when the time will be right," Huey interrupted, ruffling my dark red hair.
He smiled, running a hand through his black hair and standing up.
Present Day - 1935
“Chance, how long will it take to get to New York?” Charlie asked, bringing me back from the flashback.
“A good couple of days if the weather stays good,” I replied.