October 21, 2012 § Leave a comment
The front door opened onto a waiting room, the same kind of place you might linger in the hope of learning whether or not a loved one has survived an emergency appendectomy. I looked around uncertainly, wondering what I was supposed to do now. Neither Sebastian nor the estate sale lady had given me any instructions in this regard, so I thought I might just take a seat in the lobby and wait for something to happen. Just then I noticed a stern woman, half my age, with perfect posture and straight brown shoulder-length hair. She watched me from behind a glass window, where a placard read, “Please Sign In.”
She stared at me with a forbidding expression that said she thought I had no business sitting her lobby. And for all I knew, she was right. I didn’t know why I was there. She slid the glass window open briskly and eyed me with suspicion. No doubt I looked guilty; I was still feeling sneaky for trying to change Vera’s life without permission.
Just as the suspicious receptionist asked, “May I help you?” I heard a small commotion down the hallway to my left. A young man in a green uniform called out in a voice meant for the hard-of-hearing, “Wait, Miss Tibbs, your room is this way.” He reached out and took ahold of the elbow of an old, white-haired woman in a periwinkle pantsuit, steering her gently around in a semi-circle.
Tibbs! I heard him say Tibbs! As in Leroy Tibbs…