The next day they were shopping for groceries together which had become their habit. Suddenly Frank said loudly,
“Doug, what are you doing here?”
A man about April’s age walked up to Frank and shook his hand. He did a double take looking at April. She thought ‘Oh boy one of those guys’ but Frank didn’t seem to notice and kept talking to him.
“My wife died about a year ago while we were in Venezuela. I have spent the time since her death working lots of hours until I got over my grief and now I have come home.”
The guy kept staring at April making her feel uncomfortable, so she was becoming angry with Frank for not recognizing the problem and cutting this guy off.
“Are you home to Canada for good?” Frank asked.
“Yes, I got in two days ago. I have visited my folks, who as you know moved away from here. After spending a day with them I am visiting friends here where I grew up before I get serious about finding a job and staying in this community.”
He was still staring at April and Frank finally noticed.
“Doug I would like you to meet my neighbour April.”
“April this is Doug May.”
Doug stuck out his hand for a shake, and she looked away snubbing the gesture.
“I am so sorry for staring at you April. I know it is making you very uncomfortable. Let me show you why.”
He reached in his pocket and pulled out his wallet and got out a picture and handed it to her.
“What are you doing with a picture of me? Where did you get it? I don’t know you.”
“I am sorry. Please be patient with me for just a few more moments.”
April had no desire to be patient with this weirdo stalker. He pulled out a few more pictures which April wouldn’t take so Doug handed them to Frank who said,
“Doug, I have to ask you where you got these pictures of April.”
Doug looked a little shaken but responded, “That isn’t April. That’s my sister Bonnie. You never knew her Frank. She did not get along with my parents and it wasn’t completely her fault. She ran away from home at fifteen, and they have never been in contact since and have no desire for contact. But she and I always had a strong bond, so we have kept in touch. She has her own consulting business in New Zealand, but she has maintained her Canadian citizenship.”
April didn’t believe it. Frank handed her the pictures, and she wasn’t going to look at them but the top one caught her eye. She was standing in front of the fence at the American White House. But she had never been to the White House. She looked through more pictures and found more locations where she had never been, except... there she was in the pictures.
Frank turned to her and said, “April, is there any way you could have a twin sister?”
“I don’t think so. There was just me and my brother. Where was your sister born?” she asked Doug.
They compared dates and locations and Doug said, “I was at the hospital right after she was born. I got to hold her when she was brought into my mom’s room. The dates are wrong, the locations are wrong, so I don’t think you are twins but you could fool just about anybody. It is not just the pictures. I am looking at you April, and I am seeing Bonnie.”
The stress of the unexpected similarity had wound down a little and Frank was asking Doug more about his life and telling April about Doug.
“Doug is an engineer. He graduated from Waterloo.”
“Doug did you and Suzie have any kids?”
“We both wanted kids and tried with no success. The authorities in Venezuela wouldn’t let us adopt because we were foreigners present on work permits. A year ago Suzie was bitten in our home by a poisonous snake called a barba amarilla. I didn’t know much about them.”
“It’s a type of Fer-de-lance,” April said.
Doug looked at her and wondered how she knew such an obscure fact but said nothing and went on.
“Yes, it belongs to that family of snakes and it is one of the world’s most dangerous snakes because it comes into homes where people don’t expect to find it. Besides being bitten, Suzie had an anaphylactic reaction to the venom. I rushed her to the hospital rather than waiting for an ambulance, but she was blue and not breathing when I got there. She was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.”
“I was not in the best of shape mentally but my friends and coworkers were very supportive, so I lost myself in my work. I had a contract which ran for another year, so I completed it and came home to find my sister shopping with one of my mentors from when I was young.” Frank volunteered, “Luella and I used to help local kids, tutoring those with academic problems and helping them make career choices since the guidance counselling at the local high school was not good. I remember taking Doug to Waterloo to open his eyes to what was available. So why did you come back here Doug?”
“Frank, thank you again for spending that afternoon at Waterloo with me. To answer your question, I have come back here to find a wife because I want a family and time is marching on. If I find the right lady, and we can’t have kids, then at least here in Canada we could adopt.”
A light bulb went off in Frank’s head but when he looked at Doug, he saw a man still staring at April and seeing his sister. When he looked at April she was looking away from them and feeling uncomfortable because Doug was still sneaking stares at her. April wished that Frank would cut the conversation short so she could get away from the prying eyes of this bozo.
Of all the kids that Frank and Luella had helped, Doug was the one that Frank held in the highest regard. The situation was right for a romance between these two if the chemistry was right but at the moment he could tell that April hated him.
“Doug, I would like to have you come for a barbecue. I will invite lots of people, many of whom you know. It can be a welcome back barbecue. Please say you will come and help me pick a date.”
If looks could kill, Frank would have just been murdered by April.
“Would Saturday be good?” Doug asked.
“Great. Do you have a place to stay?”
“I am staying at the hotel in town until I get organized.”
“Why don’t you come out to the lake and stay at my place.”
If telekinesis was possible April would have dropped something heavy and crushing onto Frank’s head.
“Thanks, Frank, that is kind and I know how wonderful it would be but I also know myself. I would get too comfortable. What I really need to do is find a more permanent accommodation plus I need to find a job.”
“Let me give you some names to contact about a job.” Frank got out a notebook he always carried and wrote.
“Frank I will finish my shopping while you talk to Doug. I will wait for you in your truck.”
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