12

Erin and I were checking on you from the other side of Main Square. Erin was using the binoculars, because she was the one who could do the better lip-reading.

“He has ordered a chocolate milkshake. Anne is getting an Aztec coffee” she told me.

“What is that?” I hadn’t heard of it.

“It depends on the recipe, but in this place they put some ice cream into the coffee, and then whipped cream on top” Erin explained without putting her eyes off the binoculars. “They are having a friendly chat”.

“What are they talking about?” I asked.

“Pets. He says he would like to have a dog. But they both seem to be talking too passionately about the subject for it to just be dogs”.

“Do you think it could be a metaphor for having children?” I adventured.

“That could make sense” Erin conceded. “The drinks have arrived. Oh. Oh, my. Wow. I cannot believe my eyes!”

“What is it?” I asked worriedly, standing up from the bench. “Do I have to intervene?”

“The waiter has misplaced the drinks, and when they were each getting their own drink, their hands have touched” she explained.

“Was that contact necessary?”

“I don’t think so. I mean, it looked accidental, but you never know” she added. “He is being funny and approachable. He just told a Class B joke”.

“Class B? That’s not too bad. He is being conservative” I commented.

“She has asked about his family and environment. His response seems genuine. OK, add a grandma, a sister and three cousins to the to-check list. We need a whole background check”.

“Got it” I said, as I wrote them in a list.

Oh. My. God.” Erin was taken aback.

“What? What’s going on? Erin, tell me what’s going on!”

“She had placed her hand on the table, and he has placed his hand over hers”.

What? That bastard! I am going there!” I jumped.

“No, wait, wait” Erin held me from the arm. “She seems comfortable with the contact. They are now comparing their hands. Is that…? Yes, that’s prolonged eye to eye contact. She is so going to fall for him”.

“We have to intervene, Erin” I said.

“I agree. Let’s go”.

Erin packed the binoculars on her handbag and I put my notes inside my jacket. We then went around Main Square, making it seem that we were just chilling around. We approached the Parallel Reality cafeteria and went directly to your table. I spoke first.

“Hello, Anne!” I greeted.

“Oh, hello, John, Erin” you greeted back.

“Hello, Anne” Erin greeted you.

“Sorry, are we interrupting something? It looks like you two are on a date or something” I said in a completely calculated maneuver.

“You are just so inopportune, John, disturbing these two” Erin added, in an acted reproach.

Vee then stood and greeted us. “Yes, we were on a date, but from what Anne has told me, I understand that you two are family friends of hers. Please, join us”.

“Yes, please, do join us, Erin, John” you added.

We were positively impressed. I took Vee’s hand and gave him a handshake. His hand had a firm grip. “Nice to meet you, Mr Fier. I am Vitor”.

“Nice to meet you, too” I answered, staring into his eyes. He stared back with a smile.

“We would love to stay” Erin said. “But we have errands to run. We just have happened to run onto you guys and John wanted to say hello”.

“Aha…” you didn’t seem convinced at all. “It’s OK, then. Have a nice afternoon. See you” you saw us go.

We got to the rooftop of the Spanish Centre for English Education, and observed from there.

“What was your impression of the guy?” I asked.

“He was polite and confident. It almost looked like he knew that we were going to pop up” Erin commented, suspiciously.

“Yes, I have stared right into his eyes while we were shaking hands, and he hasn’t flinched at all” I added. “I don’t know what to make out of that”.

“Maybe he is just a genuine guy who is genuinely interested in Anne” Erin proposed.

“Maybe…”

“Wait. That’s too quick. He’s paying the bill. She is saying they should leave. Go for a walk or something. Just go to a more… private spot?” Erin was incredulous.

“Wait, she has suggested that?” I was also confused.

“Oh, I get it. We’ve blown our cover before. Now Anne knows we are watching and would like some privacy” Erin said.

“We need to follow them”.

“They are going to the Farmer’s Market”.

“Let’s go!”

We followed closely, trying to be unnoticed, which was not difficult, because the Market was full of people and farmer’s stands with stuff. We stopped in front of the nun’s stand, pretending to be looking at some tomatoes while observing you guys. Vitor seemed tense. When you guys were about to go around the corner, he made a sword appear. We ran.

Vitor had stopped a man with a brush just in time. The man was painting a mural, and several dead people were lying next to him. The man had tried to attack you both, but he had been ready for it. Vitor fenced against the man, who was an extremely dangerous combatant with just his brush. As they turned and tried to slash at each other, Vitor finally managed to make his sword connect against the serial killer, but he was also hit by the brush. He fell to the floor, wounded.

We were almost there when the mural painter approached you menacingly. Before Erin or I could even pronounce a spell, he brought his brush down on you. You rose your hands, trying to protect yourself, and the man froze. His whole being froze, from the inside out, and he was trapped in an ice block. You gasped and kneeled next to Vitor.

“Are you OK?” you asked.

“It’s alright, don’t worry” he reassured you. “I’ve managed to avoid part of the attack. This wound is just superficial. What’s most important, are you OK?”

“Yes, I’m fine. I’ve managed to freeze him”.

“That was impressive of you” he smiled.

“Well, I mean, he had been weakened by your blow”.

“But you were the one that captured it” he said.

“Let’s say we both did it”.

“Are we interrupting anything?” I asked.

“You are so repetitive, John” you told me. “I knew you guys would be following us”.

I blushed. Erin was much fiercer. “We’re not sorry. It could’ve got dangerous with the serial killer”.

“We’ve managed. We make a good team” you said. “Also, you guys were not concerned about serial killers, you were concerned about how Vee would treat me. I know you guys consider yourselves my extended family, and I understand your concern, but usually you wait a little more before introducing the family”.

You made us promise we would give you some space against our own will. We, however, decided that we would have Mamma show us through her magic mirror.

 

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