The Book of Gateways (Installment 11)

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“Ok, are you ready?” He squeezes my hand. I nod in response. He looks towards the safe and I look over his shoulder. The door is slightly opened all that’s left to do is see what’s inside. He grabs the door and slowly opens it. My heart is pounding so bad I feel like I’m going to throw up.

“Milo’s books!” I shout in excitement and probably too close to Piers’ ears. He gingerly grabs the little contact book and planner. The little Post-it notes still poking out of all the sides. Without words we pour through the contact book. Every page is filled neatly and cleanly with any and every name you could possibly imagine. As we flip through more and more pages, we realize that there are far more pages than there should be. We continue to flip through the meaningless English names, addresses, and phone numbers that turn into more foreign names, addresses, and phone numbers. There are so many foreign names it’s surprising.

“Did you know your uncle knew so many people?” I ask Piers. He shakes his head no. After we flip through the whole contact book we just sit there. Milo had a secret life. A secret life that didn’t make sense or even reveal any hints of existence. I knew Milo had business trips to China and South America, and really all over the place now that I think about it. I just didn’t realize he had so many connections. Piers puts the contact book back in the safe and exchanges it for Milo’s planner.

 “We should send a memorial card for Milo to all of his business contacts. I’m sure they would like to know.”

“Ya, we should. They would probably appreciate it.” Piers smiles. I can tell that these books comfort both of us. Finally we have our prizes. Piers gestures to the planner and I nod. He opens it to the month before Milo’s murder, but when he does I gasp. Throughout the whole planner on each day there are at least three or four entries. I knew Milo was a busy man, but this is just insanity. Monday June fourth: “8am-10am San Diego California book store location, 10:30am-12pm Beijing China Mr.Tao, 12:30pm-2pm lunch with Cesar and nap time, 3pm-4pm Houston Texas book store location.”

“This is craziness!” I exclaim, what in the world could this possibly mean? It is humanly impossible to make it to all of these places in such a short time! Was Milo going insane?

“I don’t know what this means.” Piers sits there flip through all of the pages. Every day is similar to another. Each entry has several different places in several different countries in just a matter of hours. It doesn’t make sense. I’m exasperated at the masses of different countries and times. Finally Piers flips to the month of Milo’s death: August. It’s hard to believe it’s the middle of November. My eyes scan the page for the day of his death. August third: “8am-1pm Toronto Café  w/ Mr. Lange, 2pm-3pm lunch with Chicago bookstore staff, 4pm-5pm London meeting with Mr. Furth, 6pm-7pm Surprise Cesar and the boy with dinner.” I feel sad. His last day was supposed to end with me and Piers. My eyes start to well up and I can feel Piers take a deep breath to suppress his tears. I do the same.

“It’s amazing he spent so much time with us.” I say quietly. Piers nods.

“Ya, he loved us a lot.” His voice cracks on the word “loved”. Piers puts the book down gently in the safe and pulls out a third book. A book I’m not familiar with. It’s a thicker, worn smooth, leather bound book. An emblem of a circle deeply imprinted on the front. The circle looked like it swirled continuously like a ball of energy flowing around trapped forever. Its only outlets were four sections where a stream of the energy flows out creating a wispy looking point. Almost like a throwing star made of heavy fog. The beautiful emblem in its silvery-blue color that was mesmerizing. Piers unties the leather cord that keeps the book shut and opens the first page. The first page is written in an odd and unreadable language. A language I have never seen before.

“Is it just me or can you not read this either?” Piers says turning his head towards me. I shake my head no, staring at it more. “Well it’s pointless to just sit here looking at it when we obviously don’t know what it is.” He says flipping the next page. The next page is a drawing of a meadow. The meadow is green and lush with various flowers of all shapes and sizes that would surely be bobbing in the wind had there been any. In the back of the meadow are tall stoic mountains with snowcaps and clouds shrouding your view from seeing the top of the peak. It’s a beautiful sight and very realistic. I am amazed by the intricacy and details of every little thing. On the top of the page in very nice script it says: “Montana, near Butte.”.

“How bizarre.” I say running my fingers on the page. Around the drawing of the scenery there is a boarder of the same strange writing. It makes a square boarder, meets in the bottom right corner and forms an oval.

“Ya, very weird.” Piers chimes in. He flips another page and it shows another picture. A quiet street corner in front of what looks like a pub and an alleyway, an airport sign just in the corner of the viewpoint. The header reads: “Ireland near main airport.” It looks like it’s very early in the morning. The same boarder and little oval adorn this picture as well. We flip through a few more pages, some more alleys near airports, or even airport bathrooms. Gradually the pages go from one picture per page to double sided, and as we progress the style of pictures change. Finally we get to one that shows an office room with a bookshelf, a table, and a pretty windowsill. In fact, it looked similar to the office we’re standing in. I reach over Piers’ shoulder again and run my fingers over the boarder. For some reason I feel drawn to stare at the page and run my hands over it. I finally I get to the oval and leave my pointer finger over it. The oval is slightly too big for my little finger, but it feels comfortable. Then I feel the paper start to warm up under my finger.

“Piers, I think this paper is warming up. It’s starting to feel hot.” It starts to get hotter.

“What do you mean?” He says touching the paper. “It feels normal to me.” From the oval I feel the warmth spread to the other edges of the paper.

“Oh, I’m starting to feel it now.” Piers says pushing his hand over the page. On the excess of the oval I see it glowing to the silver blue color like the emblem on the front. The shining color spreading with the heat causing the whole page to glow. My heart starts pounding in my chest and I start to go into a cold sweat.

“Piers what’s happening?” I sound panicky.

“I don’t know, take your hand off the page!” He says quickly, but not quick enough. Suddenly the room seems to spiral and I feel the air being crushed out of me. I gulp for air but I start to double over. I see Piers’ hands latch onto the book in reaction to the sudden change. My vision starts to go black and I feel like I’m going to pass out. And then I do.


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