I really couldn’t make up my mind. I was functioning on adrenaline and the panic in Pops voice. Still there I was staring in a life size mirror, well sort of, we kind of looked like the before and after ads for an aggressive cross fit gym. Where I was comfortable she was tight, where I was splotchy she apparently understood hydration and it’s multiple benefits for skin and complexion. I glared back at her.
“Yes, in fact you can help me” She said, though why she was mad I couldn’t begin to guess. “Have you seen this man?” She held up a picture of Pops. A family picture, a happy smiling Pops family picture. Taken what must have been years before he took me in. It looked like he had a very productive life, 6 kids in the picture and what looked like a very pregnant or very fat happy smiling wife. Who does that? 6 kids. I blinked back tears for what must have been. I mean, I knew he had a family, but.. I had never seen them, so it was a vague notion, I never knew. A couple boys maybe near 7 or 8, an adorable pair of what must have been twin girls, ginger to the root and looking every bit of trouble their hair proclaimed, 6ish maybe? One fat toddler of indeterminate gender, same going for the pudgy baby.
I reached out to touch the picture, because out of this crazy moment that was the one thing that seemed real. She pulled it back with a smile “Ah so I am in the right place” She fixed her glare back on me “Where is he? I will not repeat the question”
“Aw schucks, seeing how you seem nice and not creepy at all I’m so sorry to inform you that you just missed him”
Her eyes narrowed.
In for a penny “Oh yeah, he’s in another country, decided to take a trip. Guess it was time for a break. Y’know just felt like he needed some fresh air. I’m sure I could take a message” I smiled my best good girl too dumb to know better look. If nothing else it usually buys me time to figure out what is going on. I was so far out of my depth it took me as a surprise when fireworks went off under my eyes. Do noses spontaneously explode? Is this a thing? It seemed my face was now connected with her fist, somehow there was no more room between the two, and I’m not sure how that happened but I had just enough time to register the thought before I blinked and the stars were the last thing I saw.
It seemed a pity to move as my back was sorely cramped. I guess I’d never slept in the hallway of our front entrance before. The door was still open, I used the handle to pull myself up. I don’t know how long I’d been out but long enough I see for Ms Crossfit to make a ripe mess of things. What the ever lovin hell had happened? I was confused, hadn’t managed to follow basic directions and had no clue what had happened.