The Mandela Effect: Part 4
"90's" Aubrey Adkins??? | Will Grant (with Spidey powers)
Pacific Point, CA
Once the credits began to roll, Will reached over for the remote and pressed the pause button so the next episode would start. After they had went to brunch and miniature golf, Will finally was able to convince Aubrey to head back to her apartment for the evening and order in something for dinner. For the rest of the night, the two of them enjoyed pizza while binging some of Marvel's Runaways.
“Do you need anything while I’m up?” Will asked as he stood up from his spot on the couch next to Aubrey. While he waited for her response, Will checked the several, almost empty pizza boxes and consolidated the remaining pieces into a single box.
“I could use a quick fill-up,” Aubrey answered. She rattled the ice in her glass, showing it was empty of any liquid besides some water that was melted from the ice. Will reached out to take the glass, but Aubrey fumbled the exchange. Luckily, Will’s reflexes prevented the ice from spilling all over the floor.
“Alright, but after this, I’m cutting you off from the coke. I think you’ve reached your caffeine threshold already,” Will demanded. Although Aubrey’s superhuman physiology gave her a high tolerance to alcohol, so much so that she could outdrink the most redneck drinkers out there, her spider powers came with an intolerance of caffeine. An overdose on caffeine for her would be like a normal person after having a few too many beers.
“I haven’t had that many glasses of pop,” Aubrey replied, “I’ve had my powers long enough to handle, umm, how many glasses have I had?”
“Six, going on seven,” Will answered as he stacked the empty pizza boxes on top of one another and headed toward her kitchen.
“I can handle six glasses of pop. Don’t worry about it!”
“Alright,” Will relented as he pulled out the liter of coke from Aubrey’s refrigerator. Once he filled up Aubrey’s glass, he had emptied the rest of the liter. After rinsing the container out with water, he tossed it into the recycling bin, along with the empty pizza boxes. He had also poured out a full cup of water for himself before returning to the couch.
“Take some more pizza,” Will suggested to Aubrey as he offered the remaining pizza box to her. She reached in and picked up another slice. Once he also took another piece, Will placed the box back on the nearby coffee table and pressed play on the remote.
After a few minutes into the next episode, Will felt Aubrey’s head rest against his shoulder. He took his arm and draped it over her back. This was really surreal for Will. Although he knew that this was not his Aubrey, she still acted like her. Sure, this Aubrey had her own peculiarities. But it was not like she was a completely different person.
While Will was engrossed in the show playing on the television, he suddenly heard ice scatter over the floor. When he peered down, Will noticed that Aubrey’s glass was lying on the ground. Fortunately, she had drunk most of her coke. Therefore, there was only melted ice left. He then glanced over to Aubrey and found her fast asleep. He could hear her softly breathing as she slumbered.
Taking the pillow resting next to him, Will slowly stood up while he gently lowered Aubrey’s head onto the pillow that he had placed where he had been sitting. Will quickly cleaned up the spill before he returned his attention to Aubrey. She continued to snooze on the couch.
Will then gently took his girlfriend and carried her into her bedroom so she would be more comfortable than sleeping on the couch. Once in her bedroom, he carefully lowered her onto the mattress so as not to wake her up. After Will had pulled the covers over her, he paused for a moment, just to make sure she was okay. Even though Aubrey had a healing factor, Will did not want her to choke on her tongue.
After Will felt that Aubrey would be fine for the rest of the night, he turned to return to the living room. However, as Will tried to take his first step, he felt a hand grasp around his wrist. Although he knew he did not have to look, he did so anyways. After everything he had done to get Aubrey back into her bed, she woke up right when he was leaving.
“There’s plenty of room here next to me,” Aubrey told Will as she patted the space next to her on the bed.
“I’ll be perfectly comfortable on the couch,” Will responded to her. However, from the expression on her face, he knew she was not going take that as an answer.
“Why are you so adverse to sleeping in the same bed as me?” Aubrey asked Will. “It’s not like we haven’t shared the same bed before. Like that one time after that ghost guy tried to kidnap us in his taxi.”
Will paused when he heard what Aubrey had just said. Only his Aubrey would know details like that, unless this same event had also happened in this Aubrey’s world, too. Could this be a sign that she was actually his Aubrey, just under the influence of whatever was causing her to think she was an alternate version of herself from a parallel universe? He wanted to say yes, but he could not say for sure. Since Will knew he wasn’t going to get out of this this easily, he took a seat on the edge of the bed, next to Aubrey.
“If I recall that day correctly, I didn’t really have much a choice in those sleeping arrangements. Besides, one thing might lead to the next.” Will paused for a moment as he tried to pick his words wisely, “I’m just not quite ready to—what I’m trying to say is I want to wait until we tie the knot.”
“Ready? It has been seven years! When are you ever going to be ready?” Aubrey complained when she heard Will’s answer. However, instead of going into a fit of rage, Aubrey started to break down into tears.
“Do you have any idea how humiliating it is that I get more action at the strip club than I do from my own boyfriend? And we have a strict ‘hands off’ policy. Is it so wrong to want more than foreplay from my boyfriend when all the sleazy creeps at work get an eyeful?”
Aubrey then pulled off the power nullifier and tossed it on the floor. Her arachnid legs shot out from underneath her bedsheets as her drider physique returned. Two of her rear legs yanked on the sheets and pulled them up enough to reveal part of the red hourglass design on her spider abdomen.
“Don’t you find me attractive?”
“Of course, I do. That’s not the issue,” Will responded as he inched towards Aubrey. “You have just had one too many drinks tonight. I don’t want us to do anything we’ll regret in the morning.”
“I’m fine,” Aubrey tried to convinced Will, but she was clearly still buzzed from the caffeine.
“How about this. Why don’t we sleep separately tonight and in the morning, we can discuss a romantic evening tomorrow?”
“I promise,” Will said as he leaned in to plant a kiss on Aubrey’s forehead. However, Aubrey pulled him towards herself and drew their lips together. Will tried to brace himself from this little surprise. One hand landed on her hip, while the other on her breast.
“A little preview for tomorrow,” Aubrey whispered in Will’s ear after they parted lips. She then rested her head back on her pillow and fell back to sleep.
Will sat there, stunned. What had he gotten himself into? His only hope was that she would not remember their conversation. But now that she was asleep, Will knew this was his opportunity to leave her alone and get back to the living room. Who knows what she would do if she were to wake up again while Will was still in the room.
After Will had pulled out the pillow and blanket he had packed in his luggage and made his bed on the couch, he laid down to rest. However, no matter how much he tried, he could not fall asleep. The uncanny similarities that the Aubrey, who was fast asleep in the other room, had to “his” Aubrey still bothered him. It made him want to believe that she was really “his” Aubrey, but he had no way to be sure.
He then sat up and stared at Aubrey’s bedroom door. Was he overthinking things here? What harm could really come from something as simple as sleeping in the same bed as her? Maybe he had been judging a book by its cover unjustly. And when would he have such an opportunity ever again? Sure, she had comically ridiculous proportions, but “his” Aubrey was also quite well-endowed, too. Will had to admit that this Aubrey had quite the—
What the hell am I thinking? Will mentally gasped when he realized what thoughts were running through his head. Even if this Aubrey was in fact “his” Aubrey, she still was not right in the head. He would not cheat on his girlfriend, even if the woman sleeping in the other room was just her doppelganger from another universe. And what was he doing metaphorically caressing her body in his head?
Will immediately threw off his blanket and stood up. With one press of a button on his wristband, his scarlet and gray costume began to cover his body. For a moment, he paused, using his spider sense to make sure that Aubrey was still asleep. Once Will knew Aubrey was not awake, he silently leapt up onto the ceiling and opened the skylight.
“I’ll find out what has happened to you, Aubrey,” Will muttered under his breath as he shut the rooftop skylight. “I promise you that.”