Not having any solid idea himself, Casey nodded. “I hope you’re right.”
“Right or wrong,” she countered, “it can’t hurt to try.”
Casey smiled weakly and began telling Jeannette everything he could remember trying his best to mention every little detail he could.
Jeannette listened intently while Casey spoke. She held off asking any questions so as not to disrupt his train of thought. Half an hour later, Casey finished. For the most part, Jeannette’s questions had been answered and the others she felt could wait awhile before mentioning them.
“So, do you think I’m crazy?”
She tilted her head. “I must admit it is a bit strange. Quite unbelievable in fact, but for some reason, I don’t think you’re crazy.”
Casey nodded. “I have to give you credit, because I’d have thought you crazy if you had told me such a story. Do you have any ideas what to do?”
“Are you certain you have all the details correct in the painting?”
“To the best that I can remember but, no, I’m not certain I’ve got them all.”
Jeannette thought for a moment. “We need to look for a photograph. Do you remember having any?”
He shook his head. “Not that I recall. I don’t know, I could have one lying around here someplace but you have to remember, this is not the house I’m used to.”
She glanced at him still trying to understand and grasp the reality of the situation. “I’ll try to keep that in mind.”
As they methodically went from room to room in search of a picture, they talked about different things, including their relationship and interests in each other. Jeannette felt it best to be totally honest and open with him and explained about how they were romantically involved. Casey could not recall any such thing and was just as lost finding a memory to confirm what she was saying, as he did finding a photo of the house.
Over three hours later, they were both tired and hungry and called it a day. Not only had they not found a picture of the house, they didn’t find a single picture to show that Casey had even existed, which made the predicament all the more bizarre and mysterious.
Back in the kitchen, Jeannette set about preparing their supper. Lost in their own thoughts of fathoming what was really going on, neither of them spoke until they finished the meal. Jeannette was the first to speak.
“How is it possible for you to have lived here all this time and not have one single photo to confirm your existence?”
“Because I never lived here,” Casey answered.
She stared at him, confusion evidenced in her eyes.
Casey felt obligated to explain. “I never lived here, that is, the me I am now. If I lived here as you say, then it had to be another me.”
“Are you saying from a parallel universe?”
“Yeah, something like that,” he nodded. “I mean what else could it be that would make sense?”
She thought for a moment then said, “But even if that were true, what happened to the other you who lived here?”
Casey pondered the question before shrugging his shoulders. “I don’t know. Maybe he’s where I was and trying to get back here.”
“That only explains him. What about all his belongings? Everything else should still be here.”
Casey opened his mouth to answer but an explanation failed to present itself. He looked away as if trying to see beyond the walls. A moment later, his face lit up. “He doesn’t have anything here because I changed the house back to my house.”
“Then where are your things?” she challenged.
“I don’t know damn it,” he snapped angrily then quickly added, “I’m sorry I don’t mean to take it out on you. I’m just frustrated by this whole thing.”
She reached over and touched his hand and smiled. “It’s okay, I understand. It must be terrifying for you to be whisked away into an unfamiliar world.”
For the first time that day, Casey genuinely smiled. “You’re very kind. I can see why he was in love with you. I’m sorry I hadn’t realized earlier but this has to be equally difficult for you.”
Her eyes filled with tears. “Do you think we’ll ever be able to figure this out?”