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    Katya Dee
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

The First Lock - 4. Chapter 4

- IV -

 

“Mandy, is that you?” Nate yelled from the kitchen when she opened the front door. “Did you get my clothes, babe?”

“Yeah,” Mandy called absent-mindedly. “Nate, come here, will you?” She turned to the girl who stopped right in front of the door. “Come in,” Mandy nodded at her with a small smile. “Come in.”

Rusty the Dog was the first one to show up, as usual. He let out a happy yelp when he saw Mandy, and tentatively wagged his tail when he noticed Katrena. (“Such a weird name...”) Rusty never barked at strangers. Oh, sure, he would bark at squirrels and cats until he started wheezing, but never at people. Every time a stranger would show up at their front door, Rusty the Dog would only wag his tail and try to sniff the person’s shoes.

Katrena looked at the dog with the same thoughtful expression, and when he came close enough to be able to examine her shoes, she bent down and slowly petted his back, making Rusty’s tail wag more furiously. Nate came out of the kitchen, his mouth glued to his coffee mug. He blinked when he saw Katrena and slowly lowered the mug.

“Nate,” Mandy said in a very determined voice. “This is Katrena. Katrena,” she turned towards the girl. “This is Nate, my husband.”

Katrena blinked when Mandy said the word ‘husband’ as if Mandy just said something in another language.

“Nice to meet you,” Nate nodded, his expression slightly curious.

“Nice to meet you...” Katrena said slowly, as if she was unsure whether she was saying the right thing or not.

Okay, Mandy thought. If she is faking, then she is damn good at that, because she was acting very weird.

“Would you like something to drink?” Mandy asked, and Katrena’s eyes hid behind her eyelashes again. “We have milk, juice, soda, water, and coffee...”

When Mandy said the word ‘coffee,’ Katrena’s eyes flew wide open. “Well,” Mandy shrugged to herself. “At least she knows what coffee is...”

“Coffee would be great!” the girl breathed with unexpected enthusiasm.

Mandy just hemmed; she recognized a caffeine junkie when she saw one. Takes one to know one, right? She nodded.

“All right, let me make some. Cream or sugar?”

Katrena shook her head immediately.

“Black,” she said quickly. “Please,” she added after a few seconds.

Mandy nodded again and headed towards the kitchen.

“Make yourself comfortable,” she said before leaving the room. “Go ahead and sit on the couch... Or the chair,” she shrugged. “Pick a spot!” she laughed softly, and the girl nodded slowly.

Mandy poked Nate in the side and glanced at the kitchen when he looked at her with a silent question. He followed her obediently, his mouth attached to his mug once again. When they were in the kitchen, Mandy started to work her espresso maker and told Nate in a hushed voice about what happened earlier. Nate’s expression became very confused by the time Mandy finished the story.

“So, hold on...” he said slowly. “You don’t know her?”

“Nope,” Mandy shook her head. “It seems that she doesn’t know that either.”

“And you almost ran her over?”

“Oh, God,” Mandy closed her eyes for a second. “I thought I was going to have a heart attack! Seriously, it’s like she came out of nowhere! I look away for three seconds, and then suddenly BAM! She is right there! So bizarre...”

Nate glanced in the direction of the living room.

“You sure she is not faking?” he said with doubt. “I mean, maybe she is in a gang or something... What if they rob us?”

Mandy started laughing – she couldn’t help it. When two people live together for twelve years, they start thinking alike. Nate frowned.

“It’s a possibility,” he said pointedly, and Mandy shook her head.

“I am not laughing at you,” she said finally. “I was thinking the same thing on the way home... I don’t know,” she sighed. “Call me crazy or gullible, but I don’t think she is going to rob us... I don’t know,” she shrugged. “There is something about her...” she shrugged again. “I don’t know,” she finished and glanced at the mug that was sitting under the dripping nozzle of the espresso maker. It was full.

Mandy gave Nate her car keys and grabbed the mug.

“Go get your clothes out of my car,” she said. “You have to leave for work soon.”

“She sure is pretty,” Nate muttered, and Mandy shot him a dirty look. He shrugged sheepishly. “I am married,” he said. “But I am not blind... Don’t worry,” he laughed softly, seeing Mandy’s expression. “I already have an affair with my secretary; it’s quite draining, you know... I don’t need another one... Ow!” he exclaimed when Mandy whacked him on the head with her mug-free hand. “I am kidding! God, woman...”

“Go get your clothes!” Mandy said without a smile.

“Mandy, come on,” he laughed again. “Seriously... I am kidding!”

“Your humor...”

“...sucks,” he finished quickly, and she finally grinned.

“Go,” she said and went into the living room.

Katrena was sitting on the couch, absent-mindedly scratching Rusty’s stomach. The dog lay next to her; he was on his back, all of his four legs spread out shamelessly. One of those legs was twitching rhythmically when Katrena’s fingers found one of his sweet spots. Mandy laughed and pushed the dog off the couch, expecting Katrena to say something like, ‘Oh, it’s all right!’ She never did; instead, she looked almost relieved. Mandy handed her the mug with coffee.

“Thank you,” the girl said gratefully.

She took a sip and closed her eyes. Mandy laughed again, seeing her expression. Katrena opened one eye and gave Mandy a small shrug.

“This is really good,” she said and took another sip. “What is your name?” she asked, and Mandy blinked.

That’s right, she thought. She never told her name to the girl.

“Amanda,” she said. “But everyone calls me Mandy.”

Katrena nodded slowly, the mug never leaving her mouth.

“Thank you again, Mandy,” she said finally.

“So, tell me, Katrena...” Mandy said carefully. “You don’t remember anything except for your name?”

Katrena shrugged and nodded at the same time.

“Do you have any I.D.?”

The girl’s eyes blinked in confusion at that.

“Like a driver’s license or a school I.D.?” Mandy said, and this time, Katrena didn’t look confused.

“No,” she said simply. “I hate to inconvenience you,” she said quickly when Mandy pressed her lips into a thoughtful line. “I will figure something out... I will leave as soon as I finish my coffee... I am going to...”

“Don’t be silly,” Mandy waved her hand at her. “Stay, for all means... The house is big enough. Plus, where would you go? Do you have any money?”

Katrena slowly shook her head ‘no.’ Mandy nodded, as if confirming something she already knew.

“Here is what we are going to do,” Mandy said energetically. “I am going to clean one of the spare rooms for you; we’ll find you some clothes...” she narrowed her eyes critically, looking at Katrena’s proportions. “You can wear something of mine,” she said finally. “It might be a little too big but not by much... How old are you?” she asked suddenly, and Katrena looked very thoughtful again.

“You don’t know,” Mandy sighed, and the girl shrugged apologetically. “Well... I’d say you are at least twenty-one... Anyway, I am going to set up that room for you. Then we will try to figure out what to do next. We’ll go to the police station tomorrow morning...” Katrena’s eyes flashed strangely at that. Mandy frowned. “What?” she asked.

“Police,” Katrena muttered.

“Well,” Mandy said carefully. “They might have some record on you... Maybe you got speeding tickets or parking violations, you know? They could have you on file. This way, we would at least know your last name and address...”

“Oh, right...” now the girl looked relieved.

Okay, Mandy thought. She is definitely very weird. At first, Mandy translated her reaction to the word ‘police’ as fear; maybe she was trying to con them after all, she thought warily. Maybe she was afraid to go to the police because she was some sort of a criminal. Then she looked relieved all of a sudden, as if the word ‘police’ was unfamiliar to her, but as soon as Mandy mentioned speeding tickets and such, the word suddenly made sense. Just like the word ‘husband,’ Mandy remembered.

“I am in Twilight Zone,” Mandy thought. “I should write a memoir eventually...”

“I can’t pay you,” the girl said in a tense voice.

“I know that,” Mandy nodded very seriously. “Sort of figured it out after you said you didn't have any money... I am pretty smart sometimes.”

Katrena smiled at that.

“I hate being a...” she hesitated for a second. “A freeloader,” she finished finally and looked at Mandy, as if waiting for her reaction.

“A freeloader?” Mandy frowned, and Katrena bit her lip.

“It means...”

Mandy rolled her eyes.

“I know what it means,” she snorted, and Katrena’s shoulders slightly relaxed. “If you worry about payment, then how about helping me with the chores around the house?”

“Sure,” Katrena smiled and finished her coffee.

“Excellent,” Mandy took the empty mug from girl’s hands. “Then you are going to help me cleaning that room for you!”

Now Katrena laughed, and Mandy liked the sound of her laughter. Now she sounded relieved and almost carefree. Almost.

 

****

 

They finished cleaning the room in less than an hour. The room wasn’t too messy to begin with, to be honest.

“Are you hungry?” Mandy asked, and Katrena hesitated. “You are hungry,” Mandy nodded and glanced at the clock. It was almost noon. “I don’t feel like cooking,” she said. “How about we’ll have lunch at some restaurant instead? By the time we are done, it’ll be the time to go pick my kids up from school...”

Katrena blinked at that.

“You have kids?” she asked carefully.

“Yeah,” Mandy nodded. “Two of them. They are twins,” she added when Katrena started blinking rapidly for some strange reason.

“Twins...” the girl repeated weakly, as if she was hit by some nasty revelation.

“What?” Mandy frowned.

Katrena took a very deep breath.

“Mandy...” she started twisting her fingers absent-mindedly. “Oh, God... Mandy,” she finally looked Mandy in the eyes. “I think I am pregnant,” she finished, and Mandy was mute.

“Are you sure?” she asked finally.

“No,” Katrena shook her head. “But I think I am... I don’t know why I think that,” she added quickly.

Mandy took a deep breath. Oh boy, she thought. Well, she remembers her name, she reasoned. If she found out that she was pregnant right before it hit her, whatever it was that caused her memory loss, then there is a good chance she might remember that as well. “Or maybe she is faking the whole amnesia thing.” Yeah, maybe that too.

“Well,” Mandy said slowly. “I have a pregnancy test in my bathroom...”

Mandy had a hell of a scare a couple of months ago when she was three days late – a thing that never happened to her before. Well, it happened once, and the twins were the reason. She was thirty-four and she didn’t have a slightest desire to go through the whole ordeal once again. The test was negative, to Mandy’s greatest relief, but there were two tests in one box. The second one was still hiding in her drawer, since she never used it. She decided to keep it because you never know when it might come in handy again.

“Wanna use it?” she asked, and suddenly, Katrena looked beyond miserable.

“Yeah,” she muttered.

©Katya Dee; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Suddenly thrust into a new world,  amnesia is a good cover to get enough knowledge to cope with the differences.

In a married household with twins and a dog is going straight to the deep end of the pool.

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An amnesiac character in a story is also a good way to give your reader a great deal of information without it's becoming overwhelming, blah, blah, blah, as well.

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