Trey found his way to the exit doors of the crowded tube as it pulled into Hampstead station. His mind raced; he sought daylight and the high street. Was he too late? In flip-flops and scruffy shorts and a logoed t-shirt, he took strides forward down the slope of the uneven road.
In the distance, he saw the silhouette of a petite woman standing in the glare of the sun. It was little Hallie.
Trey waved as she stood outside her coffee shop, ‘The Smart Bean.’ Dressed from head to toe in black and as ever she wore killer heels in pink suede. He could never remember the name of who designed them. Clompity…clomp. Hallie breezed in and out, served food, coffee, cleared tables and seated customers in the heat of the summer afternoon. All eyes were on Hallie as her chestnut hair flowed in soft curls and framed her face. Eyes that pierced his heart; the colour of the green lake they once lived by. He hurried the last steps and saw her look up.
She immediately recognised Trey’s face; dropped everything and threw herself at him. Hallie wrapped her arms around her beloved twin’s waist. Trey bent down, kissed her cheek and held her while silently he fought back tears of joy.
‘Oh, my dear sweet brother, what a thrill to see you again. Come, come, sit in the sunshine, I’m nearly done for the day. Let me go and grab you a glass of chilled white. Is it still Viognier?’ Trey nodded.
Hallie rushed off, collected crockery and debris on her way. Within minutes she appeared with two large glasses and an ice bucket that held their favourite bottle of French Viognier. They clinked glasses ‘A ton sante mon cher Frere,’ Hallie smiled, took his hand and kissed it.
Sweat pumped from his body. A startled Trey awoke. Bolt upright he looked towards the ceiling fan, masked by the mosquito net that surrounded the bed. Alone in his apartment, the whirr of stale and humid air filled the room. Beyond a rush and crash of waves hit the seashore.
He was in Guadeloupe riddled with stings from lethal jellyfish from his last free dive that ended in tragedy.
The fever tore at his body day and night along with his dreams those dear sweet dreams. His search for Hallie always took him back to Hampstead, London, over and over where he remained filled with new hope. One day he would catch a glimpse of his beautiful twin sister again. They would be reunited. Trey laid his head back against the damp pillow, closed his eyes; the fever abated for now.