Amy Tan was dancing around the room.
"Why are you doing that?" I said.
She giggled like a demented schoolgirl. "Because your here, and so am I. And it’s all so... strange."
"It's also in black and white. Like an old movie."
"Yes... I like... very much."
The room was glowing, the atmosphere electric. Like the night I kissed Hedy Lamarr on Tower Bridge in the moonlit dark on our last night together before her return to Heaven.
I wondered if I would get to kiss Amy. I hoped so.
"So," I said, "you write anything good, lately?"
She danced over to my side. "I'm a genius," she said, "Everything I write is pure gold."
"Care to sit on my lap, would you?"
"Hell no, I don't sit on strange men’s laps."
"I'm not such a stranger," I said.
"She looked me full in the eye, then, and said, "I never saw you before in my life till tonight."
I shuddered. This woman is to honest. "Amy," I said, "what if I told you I loved you?"
She stepped away, her face serious now, "You can't," she said, "People don't fall in love within minutes of meeting."
"I do," I said, remembering again how I had met Hedy in that Viennese cafe and seen how beautiful she was and how sad, too, and how I whisked her away to my apartment in Paris.
Of cause, Hedy was a ghost, and I a sorcerer able to bring the dead back. Well, some of them, for a while, in my head.
"You’re just a soppy old romantic," Amy said dancing out of my reach.
"A little less of the old, please," I said, "I'm barely twenty four."
"In your head, yes."
I sighed. Then I had an idea. "Darling," I said, "would you like to go see the Moon?"
She came and sat before me at the table where our dinner of beef stew and dumplings was waiting to be eaten. "Not really," she said, "or any of that crap you have in mind to try to seduce me."
"You’re being very difficult."
"Yes, I know. But..."
"But I want to bed you, goddammit.”
She pushed her meal a way. "Perhaps you should leave now," she said.
"I'm sorry," I said, feeling bad that I was messing this whole thing up.
"I'm a bloody writer," she said, "not some slut for you to put your thing in."
Things were turning bad. I had not expected this kind of response from her. None of my other figures of fantasy had ever turned on me like this one. I thought I was in control, seemed not.
"Why did you choose me?" she said, after a while.
I shrugged. "A feeling, I suppose," I said, "plus, I always kind of had it in my mind the romantic idea of having dinner with Amy Tan."
She smiled now and I sighed with relief.
"Would you dance with me?" I asked.
She reached over and touched my hand. "Never," she said, and laughed.
And I laughed with her, the ice seemingly broken. We began to enjoy each other’s company; we talked about writing, how brilliant she is, how bad I am. It was the most fun I had had in a long time. Such is imagination.
Or was it simply chance that had brought Amy Tan to me that night? Life is strange. We don't know everything. When I said goodbye to her, sometime in the early hours, I assumed she would simply vanish as the others had done before.
When I woke in the morning, though, following a dreamless sleep, there she was standing in my bedroom, bold as brass and grinning like a Cheshire cat. "You don't get rid of me that easily," she said.
I laughed and opened my arms to her, and she came rushing into them and we fell back on the bed, and well, I think you can guess the rest.
© Mimi Dey, 2018. All rights reserved.