Stopping Point

“Nice to meet you, Mundo,” Perry shook Mundo’s hand. He distracted himself from the somber funeral march playing in his head by admiring her attractiveness. Over the years Perry learned to ignore music during the handshake, then reflect on it later.

“If she’s gonna be the death of me, what a way to go,” his mind rambled while he concentrated on her cute button nose. It sat perfectly between her two bright, sparkling yellow eyes and her soft, full lips.

“If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask,” he smiled.

“Thanks!” Mundo leaned closer to Perry and whispered. “Where’s the best place to hide a body?” Perry immediately gave a full, hearty laugh and patted Mundo on the shoulder. He was pleasantly surprised they had the same sense of humor.

“Thank god I finally got someone with a sense of humor,” he chuckled. “Everyone around here is so stiff.”

“So kind of like a morgue, but less fun?” she asked with a large smile. Perry shared another laugh with her, then cleared his throat.

“Alright, I should be a boss I guess. Get to work,” he said. Mundo nodded and returned to her cubicle. Perry finished the walk to his office and sat down.

“Funeral march, eh?” he wondered what it meant. He learned his ability wasn’t as straightforward as he would have liked. He heard wedding bells when he met Sarah, his ex-wife. Perry assumed they’d be married forever. It wasn’t until a year after the divorce that he realized all it meant is that he would marry her. The song hinted at the greatest impact that person would have on Perry’s life. While he tried to give it a meaning, a soft knock came from the door.

“Come in,” he shouted. The door popped open and Mundo poked her head in.

“I have a question, is this a bad time?” Perry shook his head and smiled. He realized he loved the way her eyes half-squinted when she wasn’t sure about something.

“Come on in,” he waved her forward. “I just met her, why do I like her so much?” he wondered. Mundo nodded and slipped in, then closed the door behind her.  She sat down on the chair in front of his desk.

“Do you know what you are?” Mundo asked. Perry started to laugh, but then he realized he did not get the joke.

“Your boss?” he asked. Mundo shook her head.

“Nope,” she smiled. “You’re #15, La Pera. You’re a Unique Soul that probably has some special powers.”

“How do you know?” Perry never mentioned his ability to anyone. He spent a few years trying to hint at it, but no one ever got the hints, so he guessed no one else could do it.

“I’m a Unique too, #37, El Mundo.”

“Not very Unique if there’s two of us in the same room,” Perry laughed.

“Actually, that’s the point. Uniques are drawn to each other.”

“What’s your ability?”Perry asked. Mundo shrugged.

“Knowledge. I don’t know what powers you have, but I have an idea about how most abilities work.”

“I hear music,” Perry said suddenly. “When I meet people for the first time, I hear music.”

“Music?” Mundo asked. Her eyes squinted while she thought. Perry’s heart fluttered. “There’s nothing about music for Pears, but you said it happens the first time you meet?” Perry nodded.

“Is it always the same kind of music, or does it change?”

“It changes.” Mundo nodded.

“Okay,” Mundo sat up straighter. “For you, the way your power works is tied to your emotions. If it happens when you meet someone new, it’s usually a good indicator of your mood while you know them. It’s not about the actual song so much as what feelings that song inspires in you. Concentrate on the emotions you feel when you hear the music.”

“Really? It can’t be that easy,” Perry said. He held his hands up to quiet Mundo and closed his eyes. In his mind, he replayed the wedding march. Now that he was paying attention he felt a definite sense of obligation form in his chest and weigh him down. He shook his head to get rid of the feeling and opened his eyes.

“Wow, things make more sense now,” he said.

“What is it?” Mundo asked with a curious smile.

“When I met my ex-wife, I heard wedding bells. I assumed she was meant to be forever. Now that I think about it I heard a lot of wedding bells growing up. My parents were wedding planners. As a kid, I attended a lot of weddings out of obligation. I did it for my family. When I met Sarah, she was the perfect kind of woman my family would have wanted me to marry. So I felt obligated too…” he said. “Wow. This changes everything.”

“What about me?” Mundo asked. A small flush or red grew on her pale cheeks. “What did you hear when you met me?”

“A funeral march.”

“Really?” Mundo shrank in her seat, and her sparkling eyes clouded over. “What do you think it means?”

Perry started thinking about that right after he realized what the wedding bells meant. He was now in his mid-30s and had never attended a funeral. The only real associations he had for death was the funerals he saw on TV and a song that his father listened to all the time. On TV every funeral looked so peaceful and calming. The song his father over-played buried itself in Perry’s subconscious over the years and gave his death a sense of purpose. Thinking about the song along with the new information about his powers made Perry grin at Mundo. He looked into her eyes and knew exactly what the funeral march meant.

“That’s easy,” he said. “I’ll love you ’til I die.”  

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