Martin knew he was awake. Bloody hell, he could smell the inaugural vanilla latte No Name was so busy making him in the kitchen…which would never be as good as Starbucks.
But he looked around the room again just to be sure: No Name’s bedroom in San Francisco. Again, nothing was undulating.
Slowly, very slowly, he looked out the window again at the eucalyptus trees.
Jennifer was still there, but this time she was staring straight up at him.
Martin jerked back from the window so fast he fell out of the bed on the other side and hit his head.
“Mo chuisle! My darling!” No Name was all over him.
His head pounded with pain, but he figured he better not let on because then he’d have to explain Jennifer. So he shrugged her off of him and did his best to act playful, first tickling her ruthlessly, then kidding around as he called out to her, “Officer Worth!”
Although convulsed with giggles and trying to get away from the tickling, she looked up at him immediately in that way that no one would unless they were really…
Martin’s mind froze mid-thought, when he noticed the wall behind her.
It was pink.
It was undulating.
“No!” he screamed, turning away from that wall.
But the opposite wall was suddenly covered with wall paper that he knew hadn’t been there before. Dinosaurs. And the T-rexes seemed to be all waking up together and opening their eyes.
The doorbell rang.
Martin knew who it must be.
No Name looked as startled, surprised, and scared as he was. But for a moment Martin forgot about the doorbell as he struggled to remember something important about No Name’s real name. Something from just a minute ago.
But he forgot about it again when No Name answered the door.
There she was, standing in the hall just outside their door. Jennifer.
No Name was talking to her. “Look I don’t usually open my door when there’s a strange man on the other side, but…”
Martin tuned out the rest. He was staring at Jennifer, shaking all over now. Jennifer was staring at him.
No Name went on, something about thanking Jennifer for bringing a heavy package up to her door, and Martin thought he heard some guy say, “No prob,” but the only one in the hall was Jennifer.
Finally No Name closed the door on Jennifer.
Martin was so relieved he almost laughed, turning back toward the wall with the T-Rexes, figuring what were a few T-Rexes compared to…
The T-Rexes were gone. Instead, standing against the wall, was Jennifer.
Martin screamed. Then he talked: “Bloody hell, I did it! I stabbed Frank through what must have been his jugular with a piece of broken glass and I killed him.”
He heard a gasp and turned to see No Name still by the door. It was hard to see her face beneath all the purple caterpillars but he was pretty sure he’d never seen a human face twist itself through so many different, conflicting emotions until it settled into the greatest sorrow he’d ever seen.