Episode Two: Monster Hunting: Scene 5

“Who’s your friend?” Kanesha asked, leaning over the table next to us.

“Her name’s Thea.” I had a growing suspicion that was not, in fact, her name, any more than Jane was really mine.

Thea, though, offered Kanesha a slight smile. “Join us.”

I tensed, but it was the right decision. Throwing her out was only going to make a scene. She settled down next to me with her bowl and I looked at what was left in mine. Not much, and I pushed it around a bit before eating it. I didn’t like this at all…but if Kanesha talked to us and then left, she might be the next person to end up like Barry.

Maybe. But she couldn’t fight as far as I knew. Or could she? I realized I didn’t know her that well, that I didn’t know what her hobbies were. I should have fixed that months ago, but it was too late now. “Hey. How’s it been?”

“Not bad. Are you coming back or are you staying with…” Kanesha did a slight double take. “Are you related?”

“No!” I exclaimed. “Just because we have about the same color hair. No. Thea’s a friend, that’s all.”

Thea laughed a bit, but didn’t say anything. There was something about the laugh, though, that made me abruptly wonder if I was wrong. Maybe we were related after all.

Nah. We couldn’t be.

Kanesha laughed. “You have exactly the same color hair. But you’re right…you don’t look that alike other than that.”

I couldn’t resist, “And you have exactly the same color hair as how many people?” Which was unfair. Blonde varied in tones much more than black did.

She laughed again. “I want to…I want to do lunch some time.” Then, softly, “I need to talk to somebody.”

“I’m not a shrink.”

“I know. I just need…” She tailed off. “And you’ve always struck me as a good listener.”

I knew it was a really bad idea. Despite that, I found myself just nodding to her. A really, really bad idea…but she needed me, and it was hard to walk away from that.

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