We walked out of the bathroom and we left the light on as another Clue for Granpy that someone was here and started to walk back down the hallway to the living room. In my head, I was practicing what I should say to the old man on the couch. Maybe I couldn’t touch him, but I could at least show Jose and we could Talk It Over and decide together what was happening and what we should do.
I thought about it, about what I would say, and what Jose would say, and I did the whole start of the conversation a couple of times so that I would be ready no matter what Jose said. It’s good to practice these things, otherwise I won’t be able to figure out what to say when someone talks to me. The only problem is that lots of times, people say something I didn’t practice for. Then I have to Make It Up while I’m talking to them, and then people don’t like the things I say. It’s hard to be ready for something you don’t expect.
So when we walked into the living room and it was Ms. Fess sitting in my spot on the couch, I didn’t have anything to say.
“It’s Ms. Fess!” Jose said that. I didn’t really know why he said that, since we both knew who she was, but people say things like that all the time. I have some Theories about why. The main Theory is that they don’t trust their own eyes, so they say these things so that other people will say Yes, You’re right, and then they’ll know that they were right. Another Theory is that they are worried that I don’t see what they see, and they are making sure I do. Either way, it seems like they need me to say Yes, You’re right, so that’s what I said to Jose.
But Ms. Fess didn’t say anything. Jose walked over to her and said Hello, Ms. Fess, and she still didn’t say anything. Then he said Please, Ms. Fess, this really isn’t funny, and she still didn’t say anything. Then he sat down on the couch next to her and touched her arm and said Please, please, stop it right now, and she still didn’t say anything or even look at him. She just sighed, which is something people had been doing a lot the last few days, and tapped her fingers on her legs, which were crossed because she was sitting Lady-Like, which is something Granmy always tried to get me to do. Then she stopped tapping her fingers for a few seconds and looked towards the back door. Then she stood up and walked out the back door.
I was going to follow her, but Jose was still sitting on the couch, and since he was the only one who could see me, and since he had saved me earlier, and since I had gotten him into all this trouble In The First Place, I didn’t want to go anywhere without him. He wasn’t looking at me, either. He was looking down at the coffee table. His mouth wasn’t happy or sad. His eyebrows weren’t angry or surprised. His face wasn’t doing anything at all. That’s something that doesn’t happen very often, and I didn’t know what I was supposed to do about it.
There was just one thing that I knew for sure, and that was that there was nobody sitting in my spot on the couch anymore. Earlier, the old man had been sitting there. And then there was Ms. Fess. But now, my spot was free. Jose was sitting next to it, but there was still room for me. So I went and I sat down in my spot next to Jose, and I looked down at the coffee table to see what was so interesting there, but there wasn’t anything. The table was still clean. It had been clean all day, since Granpy Tidied Up the whole house for Jose to come. And maybe he Tidied Up again for Ms. Fess to come.
I still didn’t understand why Ms. Fess was there, and why Granpy had broken our deal to always say when someone was coming over. It made me wonder if maybe he broke our deals other times, too. Maybe he lied to me, and I never even knew it. It didn’t seem like it should be possible, but then I remembered how the Duchess had lied to me and I didn’t know it. Maybe people were really lying to me all the time. Even Granpy. Maybe even Jose. Maybe the kids at school were right and I really was stupid.
Jose’s voice made me jump because I wasn’t expecting it. He said, “They really can’t see us.” His voice sounded sad. This was another one of those things like saying It’s Ms. Fess, so I said Yes, You’re right, like I was supposed to. Then he looked at me with angry eyes, which scared me. His voice sounded angry, too, when he said “But why can’t they see us? What is going on?” I didn’t know what to say, so I stayed quiet, because usually saying the wrong thing is Much Worse than not saying anything at all. After a few seconds, he said, “This doesn’t make any sense! It’s impossible!”|
Now I finally knew what to say. I said, “Something can’t be impossible if it happens.” Jose stared at me for a few seconds, then he started to laugh. It wasn’t his normal laugh, though. It was a strange laugh. It sounded kind of crazy, and kind of Fake, like he was only pretending to laugh. That hurt my feelings. Partly because he laughed at what I said, and partly because it wasn’t even a real laugh.
He stopped All Of A Sudden, and he smiled, and he sighed. I thought that maybe I should count how many times people sighed, but then I realized that I hadn’t been counting all day, so I shouldn’t start counting until the morning.
Jose started talking, and I listened very carefully. He said, “What we need to do is approach this rationally. We need to be scientific. You’re right: it can’t be impossible if it’s happening. And if something is possible, and especially if it’s happening, that means we can study it.” His smile got bigger, and he opened his mouth like he was going to say more, but then there was a very loud noise in the backyard, and we both got Distracted.