(Back in 2015 & 2016 when I was especially sick with the mast cell disease — before anyone knew what mast cell disease was — I wrote the following incomplete, fictional story titled, “The Girl Next Door.” I’ll finish it if/when I can.)
“Here we are, come in,” I say to my two police escorts as I open the door and welcome them in. “Home, sweet home.”
Before they even get past the front door the young, hyperactive cop blurts out, “Okay, where is she?”
Huh, not much warm and fuzzy “welcome to my humble abode” time, I think to myself. “That’s where it gets a little tricky,” I say.
“What do you mean? Is she here, or isn’t she? If you lied about her, you’re going to be in for a world of hurt.”
“I didn’t lie, she is here,” I said, “uh ... just not in the way you think.”
“Do tell,” said the older policeman as he fingered some books on my bookshelf, looking around, studying everything. Those were the first words he said since we left the police station.
I paused. This is the part where nobody ever believes me, so I’ve found that it’s generally best not to talk about this at all. But when two policemen have you in handcuffs, my decision is more like, do I tell them fast — just blurt it out, or do I find some way to tell them about it slowly? I decide to try to explain it.
“Okay, here’s the deal,” I say, searching for my next words. I walk over to my dining room window and point with my cuffed hands. “Technically, she’s right over there.”
The young, hyper cop comes over and looks out the window. He sees that I’m pointing at a walkway between two buildings. He quickly turns and looks at me. “What kind of game are you playing?,” he asks, seemingly about ready to punch or strangle me.
“No game, sir. This is the thing: Have you ever read about parallel universes?”
“What the ...”