Twinepathy (Part 33): Acting Kind of Strange

Hullo, everyone! Oddly enough, I forgot about the post on Monday (I posted it on Tuesday, though!) but I remembered to post today! My brain must be very confused. Enjoy! If you’re new, start at the beginning.

Jen asks Keller a few more questions, and then tells her that she needs to go to IDIA headquarters. Keller reluctantly agrees to go, but Maddie and I leave. We’re probably going to be late to lunch, but at least we’ll have a good, truthful excuse – we lost track of time.

But my big worry right now is Brooklyn. What is she going to think when she finds out I did all of this investigation stuff without her?

Mom’s already got the food for lunch out, and Brooklyn, Denver, and Dad are already at the table. Mom turns when we come in. “What took you so long?” she asks.

“We lost track of time,” I say, doing my best to act normal.

“You and bookstores,” Brooklyn says, grinning.

I can’t help but smile back as Maddie and I take our seats at the table after I set our shopping bag in the living room. Maddie’s quiet, but isn’t she usually? I don’t know. I’m expecting her to act differently, so I’ll notice it more than the others. Right? I hope so.

We dig into Mom’s delicious homemade beef enchiladas. To be honest, the enchilada sauce is my absolute favorite part. That and the delicious melty cheese on top. It’s one of my absolute favorites – but then again, I say that about pretty much every meal she makes. I do my best to keep up a normal chatter during the meal, but it’s hard because my brain is buzzing with all the new information. We have so many answers now, but we still have so many questions. It’ll be just my luck if Brooklyn notices how distracted I am.

Brooklyn volunteers to help Mom with cleanup, so that leaves Denver, Dad, Maddie, and me to entertain ourselves. We go into the living room to show Denver our books while Dad heads to mow the lawn. Maddie and I show Denver our books, and I give my book to Denver for inspection. He doesn’t read as much as I do, but we have similar interests – mystery and thriller books. I tell him when I find a really good book, and if he likes the description, he’ll probably read it.

Denver flips through the book absent-mindedly and then hands it back to me. He leans forward, his eyes worried. “Are you okay? You’ve been acting kind of strange.”

He noticed, and Brooklyn didn’t? Or is he talking about the past week? True, Brooklyn hasn’t had a chance to ask me, so maybe she did notice. I’ll find out soon, I guess. “I’m fine. I’m just a little stressed out with school. And Brooklyn having her headaches and stress isn’t exactly helping.” Definitely not a lie. Not the whole truth, but it’s definitely true.

Denver nods, looking satisfied with my answer. “Okay. Let me know if I can do anything to help.”

I smile at my wonderful big brother. “Don’t worry. I’ll let you know if anything’s really wrong.” As long as it doesn’t have anything to do with IDIA, I add mentally.

He grins. “Good.” He turns his attention to Maddie’s book, but I pause.

“Wait, weren’t you on a date with Ezra? Why’re you back already?”

Denver sighs. “She got an emergency call from work, so we had to reschedule.”

Now that worries me. Is this something related to IDIA, or is it her real job? Does this have something to do with our discoveries this morning? She wasn’t at the meeting or anything, and she must have got the call around that time. I manage to collect my thoughts. “Did she give any details?”

Denver frowns at me. “You’re starting to sound as suspicious as Brooklyn. No, she didn’t but it’s not any of my business, anyway.”

But if she’s discovering the truth about all of Maddie’s past, then it is my business. And if she’s in trouble… then it’s definitely my business.

Twinepathy (Part 12): Girlfriends And Garage Doors

Hullo, everyone! How’re you? I hope you had a great Thanksgiving… and I hope you didn’t miss this post last week. I completely forgot to pre-schedule a post! Whoops! Anyway, I hope you enjoy… Check out Part One if you’re new!

Brooklyn loves to chat with everybody. Everybody. So it’s a miracle that we actually get out of the store in less than half an hour. It’s a momentous occasion I will look back on with fondness and longing.

We hurry home, arriving almost exactly an hour after we left. Mom and Dad aren’t home, thank goodness. Denver’s in the kitchen, and we re-introduce him to Maddie with our added “rescue” story. He seems pretty confused, but he’s also very distracted because of his date. Apparently Ezra, his girlfriend, is coming to pick him up, since she wants the date to be a surprise. Or something like that. So he’s pacing around the kitchen wearing the dreaded flannel shirt. Brooklyn drags him upstairs so she can pick out his outfit. Because, as she says, he needs help.

I dig around in the fridge and find sandwich ingredients. I make one for Maddie and one for me – because I need nourishment, too! – and we finish them off quickly.

Then the doorbell rings.

My heart stops as I consider the possibilities. Is it Jen, with an emergency? Or is it another surprise-random-amnesia victim. But then Brooklyn appears at the top of the stairs. “It’s Ezra! Can you hold her off? Denver’s still a mess.” She rolls her eyes and then disappears.

I go to the front door and open it, revealing Denver’s girlfriend of about three months. She gives me an awkward smile. “Hi, um… yeah. Is Denver here?”

Yeah, she can’t tell Brooklyn and me apart yet, unless we’re right next to each other and doing things the other would obviously never do. “Yes, he’ll be ready in a minute. Come on in. I’d offer you a bacon cookie, but I burned them.”

Her face lightens a little bit. That was enough of a hint that she knows which one I am now. I lead her into the kitchen without thinking. Maddie’s eyes grow to the size of golf balls when we walk in. Ezra is a bit of a sight, in her dressy clothes that set off her purple hair. But she’s even more of a sight when she’s not dressed up.

Ezra looks at Maddie, brow crinkled in a confused expression. “Who’s this?”

I wave a hand in the air, dismissing the subject. “Maddie. It’s a long story. Maddie, this is Ezra, Denver’s girlfriend.”

Maddie’s wide-eyed, nervous expression doesn’t change, and Ezra shifts nervously. “Um, hi?” she says.

Poor Ezra. She’s smart, not social. I’m about to rescue her when Brooklyn and Denver come downstairs. I have to give Brooklyn credit; Denver looks much better now. Not too fancy, but not too casual either. He and Ezra look so cute together. Brooklyn doesn’t agree, but that’s just because she doesn’t want to share Denver.

Ezra’s face lights up when she sees Denver, and he gets a dorky grin on his face. They both completely forget about Maddie and Brooklyn and me as they head out to Ezra’s car, talking about some computer problem Denver is having.

Brooklyn sighs. “We’ve still got an hour or two before Mom and Dad get home. What are we going to do while we wait?”

“We could let Maddie get cleaned up and changed,” I suggest.

Brooklyn tilts her head, considering it. “She might look more sad and stuff if we don’t, but Mom would wonder why we hadn’t already cleaned her up. Might as well,” she finally agrees.

We show Maddie how the shower works and leave her to get cleaned up. In the meantime, we pick up the Go Fish game – finally – and work on tidying up the house. Brownie points, of course.

Maddie gets done quickly, and Brooklyn sits her down on the couch so she can braid Maddie’s damp hair. I have to admit that Maddie looks really cute with pigtail braids, especially with the dress Brooklyn found for her. We manage to find enough to do to keep us kind of occupied, but Brooklyn and I still go to the front windows every five minutes to check for Mom and Dad.

We’re in the middle of teaching Maddie how to hula hoop when we hear the garage door go up. My eyes lock with Brooklyn’s. Time for the show to start.

Yay for hula-hooping! And cleaning house! And Ezra! *fist pump* Sounds like there’s a storm coming… *listens to thunder (or a garage door opening)* What think you?

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