The Butterfly Effect: Hidden Shadows
He saw her image everywhere.
Fate was cruel and, just because they had never met, didn't mean she wasn't the love of his life. Some people believe there's a soul mate for everyone, it's just a question of finding them – well, Evan Treborn had found his and been forced to give her up. But that didn't mean he didn't think about her, about what could have been.
He alone carried the burden of knowing things could have been very different, very different indeed. And he had been tempted to try again. There had to be another way, a way where he and Kayleigh could be together without causing pain and suffering to those closest to them …
But the risk was too great. He had tried so many times and each time his hopes were shot down in flames. He couldn't become a murderer for her, he couldn't condemn his best friend to that sentence either. And he couldn't ruin her life. Or live his own as a useless shell, watching her in the arms of another man – even if that man was his best friend.
That had been the hardest to bear – if only he could have ended it there, knowing she was safe and happy, protected and loved by Lenny. It killed him to see them together, but they both looked so happy – a perfect fit. Without him, they could have had a chance at the life they both deserved.
Trust goddamn Tommy to play hero. Again. Yeah, fate was cruel, but with a strong sense of irony.
Thinking about her so much wrecked havoc with his mind, bombarding him with images, real, not real, imagined, bidden, unbidden. His every waking moment was consumed by her. He saw her a thousand times a day, in every young woman with blonde hair – had even called out her name to strangers, only for them to shoot him a strange look and hurry away.
Sometimes he felt like the only thing keeping him going was the hope that, one day, their paths might collide – she was out there somewhere, living her life, oblivious to his very existence. But she was out there …
She was walking towards him.
Just his treacherous mind playing tricks again – he would look again and she would be gone, replaced by a woman who, aside from the blonde hair, looked nothing like his Kayleigh.
She was getting closer.
Only this time it was no illusion – just a choice. Let her pass him by and out of his life again, maybe forever, or do something. Anything. Anything to have another chance …
Was it just him or did it feel like there was a connection between them? No, she felt it too – she was glancing at him curiously. He had stopped in his tracks in the middle of the pavement though, she was bound to wonder what was wrong with him …
Dragging his gaze away from the vision before him, he could still feel her eyes on him – could practically read the thoughts in her racing mind. Where do I know him from … Who … Should I recognise …
Then it was gone.
He knew without turning round that the moment had passed and that she was continuing on her path, probably shaking it off as just one of those things. Like déjà vu. He knew she had been thrown by it though – just as he had – that her mind wouldn't be where it ought for the rest of the day.
Then he heard the screeching of tyres and the scream he recognised immediately.
to be continued ...