He stood and moved a few feet back, and sighed. He sounded worried. I shut my eyes completely then, which sent all of yesterday's events flooding into my mind. My heart started to pick up, and I needed to get some answers. I sat up, startling him, and immediately asked where I was.
"You're at my house...I brought you here last night, remember?"
I could remember talking to him on the beach, and nearly breaking down into tears over the small dinner he had bought me from a diner.
"Where am I?" I asked abrutly.
"Where is that?"
"Um...near the Macadamia Sea."
"Macadamia? You mean Mediterranean?" I swung my legs over the side of the bed, and he watched me, his eyebrows close together in concern.
"No, I mean Macadamia. What's Mediterranean?"
"It's a sea!" I hollered, and jumped to my feet. The soles throbbed, sore from the miles of unprotected running they had been subject to the day before. I could only imagine what bruises and cuts my socks were hiding.
"There is no such thing as the Macadamia Sea. That's a type of nut. And you - people are not blue. How is your skin that color?"
I shook my head.
"Well, then what do people look like where you come from?"
"Well, then what do people look like where you come from?"
I plunged into a detailed explanation, starting with my home. He told me he had never heard of America, or Michigan. I argued that there was - I knew there was. I'd spent all 19 years of my life there! He was the impossibility, not me! He didn't seem to find that true, though.
"Don't take this the wrong way," he started, "but you're the one who is weird looking. I've never, ever seen someone with hair that color before."
"It's blonde!" I screeched. He gave an apologetic smile and shrugged. My head began to spin, and as I looked around the room for the first time, eying the glass of water he had left, he tapped my arm with his finger.
"I'm going to help you." he promised. "I want you to find wherever it is you came from, but you're going to have to do what I say, all right?"
"A Sweetian. A Berry Sweet."
"A Berry what?"
He waved his hand and headed for the door. "I'll explain later. Just sit tight and I'll be back soon. I made you some breakfast, it's in the fridge."
At the door, he looked over his shoulder and smiled. "It's going to be okay."
With that, he walked outside and left me standing in the living room.
"Where am I?" I whispered, as tears began to build in my eyes and clog my throat. Where was this place? This house I was standing in? It was small, I realized, with the only rooms being the nearly empty bedroom I'd woken up in, the living room which had two counters for a kitchen, and a smaller room off to the left which I assumed was the bathroom.
I noticed that all the furniture was hand made from unpainted wood, and the surface of the coffee table seemed to have been carved out of something smooth and pale...seashells.
Where were my parents, and friends? How was my roommate in college? Did she just wake up to discover my bed empty? Where the police frantically looking for me? I couldn't imagine my mother and father waking up to a phone call that I was unable to be found.
When the door opened, I was still standing in the same spot I had an hour ago. The boy gave me a soft smile, and held up two bags. "These are for you."
"What is it?" I asked.
"Clothes, and hair dye."
My eyes widened. "Hair dye?"
He nodded and picked up the smaller, plastic bag that read BlackBerry's Beauty Supplies on the front and gestured toward the bathroom. "Come on."
"Are you ready?"
We were standing in front of the bathroom sink, me with my head in my hands and the boy with a reassuring smile on his face.
"It'll be okay," he said as he removed the dye from the box. "You're going to be fine."
"I still don't understand how this is going to help me fit in."
"Okay, open your eyes. "
"Ta da! What do you think?"
"My hair..." I could barely get the words out. "It's...it's white."
"It's the only thing they had closest to your natural color." he said. "And I thought you might have had a heart attack if I turned it green. So voila! I think it looks good."
"I know. Now I'm going to get the clothes and you can change. Maybe we can head down to the library in a little while? I don't think it closes until 9."
He placed a larger, paper bag by my feet and shut the door as he went to wait in the living room. I studied myself in the mirror for a few more minutes before deciding to get dressed. When I opened the bag, I discovered that everything in it was white as well, apart from the mauve colored ribbon that tied around the shirt.
What was up with this guy?
Shaking my head and deciding to ask questions later, I laid out the top, shorts and shoes and began to undress. A few minutes later, I examined myself in the mirror and smiled. I actually didn't look half bad. When I opened the door, the boy's jaw dropped.
"You look...nice." he stammered. I laughed and thanked him.
"You're actually pretty good at picking out clothes."
"Don't give me any credit," he smiled. "I had the saleswoman do all the work. I hope you don't mind all the white...I just thought it would match your hair. Girls like that stuff right?"
I laughed then, genuinely laughed, and the confused look on his face didn't help me settle down.
"Did I say something?"
"No, nothing at all." I said, as I managed to harness the laughs and soften them to giggles. Amazing how boys here were just as clueless as the ones in America. "Now what did you say about a library?"
I decided that I wanted to take a fast shower before we left, and luckily found a headband at the bottom of the hair dye bag. We left shortly after I finished redressing, and when we reached the nearly empty library, the boy led me into a room filled with towering bookshelves and computers. "What do you say we start with the internet? There has to be something there about this America place."
"Right..." and so we set to work.
Every so often, I would peek over the top of my monitor to see him watching the screen with a determined stare.
When the internet turned out no results, I headed upstairs to start looking through books.
With a sigh, I slid the twelfth book on the shelf and frowned."Did you find anything?"
I turned around and faced the boy.
"No." Judging by the look he gave in return, it was evident he hadn't either. "So what does this mean?"
"That we have to look harder, I guess." he shrugged. "This is only the library. We can do research outside of here, right?"
"I guess so, but where?"
"I'm not sure. I'll figure something out."
We went home, and I fell asleep in his bed again. This time I realized where he had slept the day he first found me - on the couch with no blanket. I insisited it be the other way around, but he refused to hear any of it and wished me a good night before flicking off the lights.
Just as I fell asleep, I heard him quietly call out from the other room, "I'm still going to search for you."
In the morning, I headed out early and took a seat by the small blue fire pit in front of the shack. The cool ocean breeze rushed over my face, and I watched the waves calmly lap against the sand.
"It's a beautiful view, isn't it?" the boy sat down beside me and smiled.
"It is." I nodded.
"I've lived on this beach..." his nose scrunched up as he counted in his head, "five years and haven't grown sick of it."
"Five years? That makes you...?"
"19." he smiled. "And you?"
"You know something? I just realised I never even introduced myself." Saying this out loud made me feel absolutely ridiculous. This person had taken me under his wing and let me stay in his house, and I hadn't even told him my name. "I'm Snow."
"Snow? Where'd you get a name like that?"
"Oh, I was born in the middle of December. I guess my parents aren't too creative."
"No, no. I like it. Snow." The way it rolled off his tongue made it sound completely different, mysterious, as if I hadn't heard it once in my entire life.
"What's yours?" I pressed.
"Oh, sorry." he laughed a little. "I am Loganberry Trifle."
"Loganberry Trifle." I repeated. "Like the fruit and dessert?"
"Yeah, I guess. Hey, don't give me that look."
"What look?" I laughed and stood up, turning around to hide my smile. He did the same and stepped in front of me.
"That 'you're so weird look'. If you think my name is odd, you should hear some of the others around here."
"Well, my last name is probably like theirs. In fact, it's just as strange as yours. It's Créme. The French word for cream. No one is sure how my family got it."
"Hmm, Créme." Once again, he made my name sound so different. Special. "Maybe you're not that strange here after all."