– I’ll bring ice, – said Aiden and quickly left the room.
A minute later he came back. He held a towel in which he wrapped ice cubes.
– I guess you stepped on a mug, – he suggested and putting a cold towel to the back of the girl.
– What? – asked Miranda and looked at him questioningly.
Aiden pointed to this unfortunate object, which was lying on the floor.
– Oh yes… yes … – said the girl, remembering what happened, – I heard footsteps outside the door and was frightened. I jumped up from the couch and… There was this damn mug! Today I’ll throw it out, – as if she was angry with this inanimate object, Miranda growled.
– Yeah. Come on. I think it will not be very upset about this, – joked Aiden.
– Who? – Miranda did not understand.
– Mug, of course. – the man explained.
Miranda looked at him disapprovingly.
– Can you be serious at least once in your life? At least now! My head breaks, and you stand here and laugh! – she was offended.
– Sorry, sorry. But I did not want to laugh at you. And I did not laugh at all! Maybe take you to the hospital?
– No thanks, it is not necessary.
– And if you have a concussion?
– Well, in that case, then you will have something else to laugh at, – Miranda said resentfully.
– Please, honey, don’t be mad. You know that I did not want to upset you, – the man said, and gently kissed her on the back of the head.
– I just don’t like … – she began and looked at Aiden.
– What Don ‘t you like? – he asked.
Miranda puffed out her cheeks and turned away a little from Aiden.
– So, – he said, – Since you started talking, go ahead! Come on, come on! I’m listening!
– Well, since you want it… Ok, – she said and raised her eyebrows, – I do not like that you and grandmother always kidding me! Constantly laugh! What do you think I’m a clown?
The girl got up from her chair and, pending an answer, looked intently at the man’s brown eyes.
– That’s all? – after a short pause he asked.
– And what, this is not enough?!
– Ah, you’re my silly, – Aiden smiled and hugged her, – No one laugh at you. And especially not making fun! It’s just that we are like this with her… And you… You are our silly little girl!
Miranda twitched, thus showing the man that she does not want him to embrace her. But Aiden only stronger pressed her to him.
– I love you, Miranda! I love very much! – he said.
– I love you very much too, – she said and hugged him back.
– Maybe we will go to the hospital? – a little moving away from the girl and looking into her eyes, once again suggested Aiden.
– No. – shook her head softly, she said. – Everything is fine with me. No longer hurts. And, you know, I hate hospitals.
– You are so stubborn, – the man smiled.
– So you did not answer me. What are you doing here?
– I live here.
– Aiden, – Miranda said, – Well, I’m serious!
– Me too, – he smiled.
– All right, I will ask in another way. You should have come only in a couple of days. Right?
– And come now. Right?
The man nodded his head.
– You are so funny, – he said.
– And you… You are so… so…
– Very harmful?
– Very very! So what are you doing here?
– Are you not happy to see me?
– I’m happy. Very. And see, and hear, and feel… I just did not expect…
– I called you late in the evening. When finished work. You again did not answer. I thought you were already asleep. And then my friend, with whom I stayed overnight, called me to the telephone. Said it was you. When I answered, you already hung up.
– Me?! – Miranda was surprised. – But I didn’t call anyone yesterday. He probably mistook something.
– Maybe, – the man agreed, – It was already late at night. But I called you. You picked up the phone, but apparently did not hear me. You had a worried voice. So I decided to come. I would have come earlier, but there was an accident there, on the road… That’s why I’m a little late.
– Accident? – Miranda was scared. – Are you okay?
– Everything is good. I was not even a witness. – Aiden reassured her.
– Thank God, – exhaled Miranda and thought about something.
– Did you call at night? – after a short pause she asked.
The man nodded back.
– The call … – Miranda said softly and her face suddenly changed and turned white.
– What? What happened? Something is wrong? – Aiden worried when he saw this strange change.
– This is so strange … – as if looking through him, the girl said, – I think I… I saw Carolyn at night…
– Carolyn? – the man asked in confusion.
And Miranda told him about the eyes in the mirror, and about the vision that was so real and so similar to her dead friend, and about the strange call.
– Damn, – hissed Aiden, – I knew that you could not come back here! It was necessary to immediately rent another apartment! Why do I always fulfill your whims?!
– This is not a whim! This is my home! I live here!
– It was your home! And now, I am afraid, it will become for you something like a torture chamber!
– Why do you say that?
– Because I know how much you loved Carolyn! I know how much time you spent together! And here everything reminds you of her! Right? Maybe that’s why your imagination is playing with you? Or maybe because her apartment is opposite? And she is there … – Aiden did not finish this sentence. Miranda understood so well what he meant.
– You did not see the dead when, you lived with your grandmother outside the city for a week? – he asked.
– No, I have not seen, – she shook her head.
– Well, – Aiden said, – Pack your bags.
– Why? Where? What for?
– I want us to leave here today. We will stay with my parents until we find another apartment.
– No, Aiden, – Miranda shook her head, – I’m not going anywhere from here! – she said emphatically, – And it is useless to persuade me! I will not leave! At least for now… I need to be here some more. I must! And do not argue! It makes no sense!
– Ufff, –