Steven moves anxiously around the room, still reeling from the phone call he received from the mysterious woman. He found the lockbox and key in the places that she said they’d be and the box was full of cards and letters sent to Rebecca from their father, Owen, which she kept for some reason. He wonders how the woman on the phone knew they were there, and, more ominously, what she meant when she said she’d see him. Did Claire get a call? He grabs the portable phone, sits on the couch, and dials a number. A woman answers.
“Claire, Steven Asher. How’ve you been?”
“Hey Steven,” she says. “This is a surprise. Busy. I’ve had back to back studio sessions with a couple of artists, and I’m working the boards for The Comedy Factory on select weekends. Say, what are you up to a week from Friday?”
“I don’t think I’m doing anything,” he says. “What’s up?”
“I’m taking an improv class at the Factory and Friday’s my graduation performance,” she says.
“You don’t say,” he says. “Then I’ll try to make it.”
“Great,” she says. “I’m inviting Rachel also. To what do I owe the pleasure?”
“I had a strange call from some woman claiming to be Becky,” he says.
“Are you serious?” she says. “That sounds freaky. Did you recognize her voice?”
“It didn’t sound like Becky, but her voice did sound familiar,” he says. “She also knew some things only Becky would know. I wanted to give you a heads up in case she tries to contact you.
“Thanks for the warning,” Claire says. “That would really ruin my day.”
He’s interrupted when the doorbell rings several times quickly, and someone starts pounding on the door.
“What’s that?” Claire asks.
“I think this might be round two,” he says. “I need to go check before whoever this is beats the door down.”
“Maybe you should just call the cops,” Claire says.
“You’re probably right,” he says. “Hopefully, I’ll talk to you soon.”
“Be careful,” she says.
He concludes the call and goes to the window overlooking the porch. Outside is a tall, slender, blonde woman in jeans and a plaid top who’s wearing what appears to be a Seattle Mariners baseball cap. She’s watching the window and when she sees him look out, she gestures to him, much in the way Rebecca sometimes did when she misplaced her keys and needed entry. Steven goes to the door and puts on the security latch, then opens the door. Before he can say anything, the woman says, “Find the letters?”
“Yes,” Steven says. “How did you know they were there?”
“Guess there’s only one way to find out,” she says indicating the door.
“Are you here alone?” Steven says.
The woman looks down and to her left. “For the most part.”
Steven closes the door, removes the latch, and opens the door to admit the blonde woman. Once she’s inside, he locks the door, and puts on the latch, then turns to her. “Start by telling me your name and how you know so much about my sister.”
“Stevie it’s me, Becky,” the woman says, presenting herself to him. “I woke up at Grady this morning, in this body, and attached to a ten-year-old Mini-Me that no one else seems to know is there.”
“Okay,” Steven says, backing away from her and toward the phone. “Grady, eh? I think I’m just going to ring up the authorities to let them sort this out.”
The woman goes to him. “I know this sounds crazy. How do you think I feel?” An idea comes to her. “Listen to me. You are Steven Charles Asher. Born March 3, 1987. Mother, Sharon Elizabeth Asher, born May 31, 1959, died from ovarian cancer June 16, 1997. Father, Owen Monroe Asher, a pilot with Northwest, who ditched out on his family when you were three. Ring a bell?”
“Very impressive,” he says, “except for the Northwest part. Dad hasn’t worked there in years, which tells me you probably looked up every bit of that online. It doesn’t prove a damn thing.”
The woman gets a bit choked up as she says, “Okay, how about this? On the night our mother died, you asked me why I wasn’t crying. I told you it was because I had to be strong for both of us. Remember? You said it was okay. You’d be sad for both of us.”
This catches Steven off-guard and for a long moment he cannot speak. When he again finds his voice, he moves slowly toward her. “Who are you and how do you know that? No one else was in the chapel at the time Becky and I had that conversation.”
The woman touches his shoulder. “Your sister was there.”
Steven sighs then goes to the credenza and grabs a photo of Rebecca. He takes it to her. “This is Becky.”
The woman takes the photo, looks it over, then back to Steven. As she speaks, her eyes dart around the room as though she’s tracking someone. “I know that’s how I should look. Mind you, I’m not complaining because I think I look pretty hot in this bod.” She looks toward the couch and says, “No, no. Get down from there, Sweetie.”
Steven looks and sees no one. “Who do you see there?”
“Me,” she says. She waves her hand in front of herself. “Or rather, her.”
“Her, who?” Steven says.
“Alyssa,” she says.
“Alyssa?” Steven says. “Alyssa Caine?”
She nods. “Walker to me, but yeah, I think it’s Caine now. Does that mean something to you?”
Steven puts his hand against his face and turns away from her. “Yeah, as a matter of fact, it does. Now I know where I’ve heard your voice.”