My friends, Pluto especially, were always pestering me about Miss Cate and what the inside of the "haunted house" looked like. Really, it was just a super nice house, like, somewhere back before the war, balls and stuff were held. From what I could explore, it was pretty old as it looked outside, and all the dust and old paintings made it look a little eerie, but I never heard any mysterious footsteps or voices from nowhere. If old von Petrov rented to anyone before Miss Cate, they might have been crazy or still had a grudge against city dwellers, although as far as I know he was with the revolution, it was how his whole family got killed... Not to mention he was what people used to call an invalid.... He's deaf. I remember Miss Cate telling me the story of how they first met face to face. There was a bit of communication error since she was blind, so she had to use Sullivan, erm, writing on the hand with the finger, to communicate with him, since she couldn't look him in the eye.
"Nice guy, though," she'd said, "I liked his voice. Good face too. I felt like I could trust him."
I wonder how she'd react with someone she didn't trust. Maybe it was because she probably met him before, but she said the same about me, and I don't remember her at all. You'd think she'd have better judgement after nearly 18 years, but maybe I could have been wrong for once. She did have to adapt, and it probably took a lot of trial and error for her to determine who she could and couldn't trust.
My suspicions were correct, she was unmarried, and didn't seem to have any family , or even seemed to know who they were, yet she was still looking for them, and one of the reasons why she wanted to see again was because she wanted to see them, whoever they may be. Later, I found out one of the other reasons. She used to have a lover, but she couldn't even remember his name, but remembered a lot that could help find him. (So, no Pluto, she'll never go for you.) The way she gushed about the guy, she seemed to be madly in love, and the things she remembered about him ranged from little cute things, like his eyes being "a vibrant electric blue" .... Her words not mine, to weird things like his scent of all things. He liked wearing velveteen, and wore some old fashioned cologue called "Retrovailles" and a deodorant called "Black Swane".... Wait.... No. Surely there were other men besides Dad with that description, and one would think he'd have her same optimistic attitude toward romance as she did, especially judging by the way she talked about whoever this guy was, but that wasn't the case. She even showed me the one keepsake she had left of him, an expensive looking ring with tanzanites and zircons.... The December birthstones... Once again, I thought nothing of it. Lots of people are born in December. It certainly wasn't meant for her, it looked a little big for her, plus her birthday was in August. Something like that could have gotten her a lot of money, a fairly comfortable life for a couple years even, but I guess she already established herself as sentimental. And she may not look like that much, but the way she loves the guy, I bet she probably broke at least one potential thief's nose. Still, she recounted as much as she could, though, and seemed incredibly impatient, so one day, I decided to maybe help things along.
"Miss Cate, you know, my dad's a shrink, maybe he can help you with your memories?" I said.
"Now, now, Katerina," she laughed, "I'm not sure about that. I've had enough people call me crazy."
"I'm not sure how it is on the outskirts, but going to the doctor is pretty common around her," I replied, "He deals with a lot of sad cases every day. If anything you might be a breath of fresh air."
Miss Cate hesitated a bit, but soon smiled again.
"Well, I suppose if he's anything like you, it won't be all that bad."
Yeah, I thought, and you'd definitely feel comfortable with him at least. So I talked to him.... He had heard a little bit about her, and also thought her attitude was a little odd for someone his age in these times, but let it go. He was happy to help, and agreed to meet with her the following Friday. All was well. Or so I thought.
I had to escort Miss Cate there myself so she could get used to the directions, and I thought it would be as simple as him greeting her, then leading her into his office, then me going home. Again, I was wrong. The minute I lead Miss Cate into the waiting room, he went from his "meeting a new person" fake smile, to looking like he'd seen a ghost. Of course, it was only he and I who noticed the sudden change of mood.
"Hi, Doc. It's nice to meet you. I'm Cate Tesla. Well, at least I think so. But I know you'll help me. Katerina said so."
"Yes..." he replied almost solemnly, trying to hide his surprise, "It's... erm... Nice to meet you too. I'll definitely do my best."
He hesitantly shook her hand, and all too quickly, she looked almost as bewildered as he did. Of course he made the choice to wear velveteen... Let's hope there's no transference. Sure enough, she moved a little closer, and I could have sworn I head her inhale. Great.
"I-I'm sorry," she stammered, "You seem very familiar... Your voice got me."
His voice? She never really said anything about his voice.
"I-I don't know... Trina said you were from here, we might have crossed paths."
He obviously wasn't telling the whole truth. He had the same look in his eyes when he told me he was feeling perfectly fine when he clearly wasn't.
"I just... I'm sorry, Doc. May I braille you?"
"I'm sorry?" He turned to me.
"She wants to feel your face, you know, to know what you look like," I said.
"Well...." he paused, "If... If it would make you feel more comfortable."
And she did, but it was different from when she did the same to me. When we first met, she did a brief once over that took less than ten seconds. With him, however... She she was going very slowly, trying to take in every single detail, and while he still looked a little on edge, there was no signs of him about to complain. All my life, I never remembered him even going on a date, so I guessed it had been a while, if ever, he was touched like that, and my suspicions were only confirmed when I thought I saw him shut his eyes. By then, I bet should could feel him change again. I almost felt like I shouldn't have been in the room, even though I've seen couples do worse than that at school. Like this moment was supposed to before them, and then alone. All too quickly, Miss Cate gasped and quickly withdrew her hands.
"It... Y-You... have a very nice face," she said quietly.
Was she blushing? And was he?
"Erm... Thank you. U-Um... Shall we begin?"
Miss Cate nodded almost too emphatically and he lead her into the office. So... I'm supposing my suspicions were wrong, that he probably was the guy she kept going on about. Especially since when he came home after, he was incredibly shaken. Whether he truly was or not, they had obvious history, and knowing how differently they came out of the war, I wonder what happened with them.