Chp 10

Vinny couldn't sleep that night again. His arm was getting better, so that was not the problem. He got up and took out a box. He remembered when he was young his mother gave him a drawing block and some art supplies. "If you can't sleep, you can take a piece of paper and some colour pencils here. I want you to draw something you like until the whole paper is filled. Maybe that can help you become sleepy because when you think and work, you'll be tired, right", Vinny remembered his mother's words. The box contained his sketch book and some paint. He went to his desk and started to randomly draw. After a while, he felt hungry, as always. He went to the kitchen and made himself some toast and ate in a record time before heading back to his desk to draw again till he fell asleep on the desk.

Raymond, on the other hand, had another dream about Audrey. He woke up again at the beach and saw Vinny, who was still a toddler and had just learned to walk, was running around while Audrey was chasing after him. Raymond rarely smiled, unless it had something to do with Audrey or Vinny or both. Otherwise, it's his game face – the 'Cold-Stoic-Serious' face as Vinny called it.

Raymond woke up. He decided to switch side of the bed and slept at Audrey's side of the bed. It was cold, but there was a faint scent of mixed berries shampoo that Audrey used to wear. The shampoo itself is still in the bathroom, along with Audrey's toothbrush, facial wash and towel. Raymond didn't have the heart to throw it away. He held the pillow tightly and closed his eyes.

It felt so surreal. Audrey was lying down next to him. "Trouble sleeping?", asked Audrey. Raymond blinked his eyes a few times. He was no longer in his room; he was in a white space. "Am I dreaming?", said Raymond. "Hey, no fair! I won't answer your question if you're not answering mine", said Audrey as she turned away and pouted.

"Audrey", said Raymond, but Audrey wouldn't answer him. Raymond attacked her with a hug and held her as if his life was depending on her. "Raymond, I was just kidding. Sheesh, get a grip old man", said Audrey as she tried to hide her snickers. "I miss you, old lady", said Raymond. "I miss you too, old man", said Audrey.

"I can't sleep. It's hard to sleep without you by my side", said Raymond. "But, you've been doing it for so long", said Audrey. "I know, but sometimes I couldn't", said Raymond. "What's wrong? This is not the Raymond I knew", said Audrey. Raymond didn't answer her; instead he snuggled up and sighed. "How's Vinny? He's not in trouble much is?", asked Audrey, trying to change the subject.

"He's fine. Eating well and he's a Timekeeper. He worked hard to get to where he is now", said Raymond. "The apple didn't fall far from the tree now, did it?", said Audrey as she giggled. "I'm so proud of him. Every day, he's becoming more and more like you", said Raymond. "Well, it's better to have someone chirpy. Otherwise, you'll still end up being stoic and cold", said Audrey.

Raymond chuckled and kissed her mouth. "I wish it was real", said Raymond. "I know. Maybe one day it will be real", said Audrey. "Maybe I should just time myself out", said Raymond. "Ray, you can't! Think about Vinny. You can't leave my poor child alone!", Audrey yelled. "He's not a child, Audrey", said Raymond. "I know he is! But don't you think him as fragile? He's our son and yes, he is independent and all grown up, but don't you think he'll end up like you when I died?", said Audrey.

Raymond thought for a while. Vinny is a grown man, but he was too young to be left out on his own. He's like Audrey, but if Vinny's angry and emotionally unstable, he can turn into the 'Angry Raymond'. "I guess you're right", said Raymond. Audrey moved to lie on his chest and said, "One day, we will be together. I know we will".

They stayed still for a while till Audrey said, "Time to get up, Ray. The sun doesn't shine without its ray. Get up, Ray". She kissed him and Raymond woke up to hear thumping outside. Did he wake up late? He turned to look at the clock and it was only 5.45 am. Well, he was bound to get up anyway. Then, Vinny knocked on the door like a madman.

Raymond hurried to the door and opened to see Vinny dressed in full uniform, panting as if he was running in a marathon in those Timekeeper vest and leather coat. "Will Salas and Sylvia Weis escaped", said Vinny. Raymond hurriedly put on his Timekeeper uniform in a record time and the duo hopped into their cruiser and sped off to the Timekeeper HQ.