Chapter 22 - Lost Time
Back at the house, Mac had a few helpings of Nancy’s special tea.
“Thanks for helping us, boys, Robin and I would never have been able to do that alone.”
“I’ll never be able to do that again,” said Mac. The shaking had slowed somewhat.
“Hopefully, you will never have to,” Malissa said.
“Who were you talking to out there on the lawn, Robin?” Mac asked.
All eyes turned to Robin. Mac had voiced the question the rest of them wanted to know the answer to, but were not quite sure how to ask.
“Well, first I was talking with Jennifer Conroy, and Mr. Johnson. I explained to them what we were doing. Mr. Johnson said he wasn’t upset in the least about us exhuming his body, as long as it helps Jenny. Jenny was very grateful to you all for taking such a risk to help her. She’s only eight, but she’s very smart for her age. Anyway, she said to tell you all ‘thank you’.”
Malissa spoke up: “You can speak to the dead?”
“Yes, dear,” said Nancy. “It seems that our Robin here is the psychic’s psychic. He appears to be developing multiple abilities and all of those are growing at an enormous pace. Our abilities combined are nothing compared to what he is now and minuscule compared to what he’s becoming.”
“I have felt that too, mom. Exciting isn’t it?”
The College Crew sat staring at Robin as though he were a space alien. Malissa smiled at him.
Robin had the sudden urge to take her into his arms and kiss her, but he was interrupted by Nancy’s voice.
“Did she tell you anything about the killer?”
“She couldn’t because he always wore a medical mask and gown. Jenny never saw his face. She was chloroformed and taken to a place that looked like a castle dungeon. That’s all she remembers. She’s still suffering from what he did to her even though she can’t be hurt again.”
Everyone just sat looking at Robin in a nervous silence. Even their experience with Nancy and Malissa’s gifts hadn’t prepared them for this.
“The Bastard!” Mac hissed, hitting the table with his fist. Everyone jumped. “If I get my hands on him there won’t be enough left for a shoe box to bury him in.” He spoke with such vehemence that everyone kept silent. He got up from the table and walked to the window.
After a few minutes Robin interrupted the silence: “I was also talking with the dogs,” he said nonchalantly.
“Now I know he’s crazy,” said Carl.
“He isn’t crazy, Carl, he’s Psychic,” said Nancy firmly. ”Go on dear.”
“I asked the dogs if they had seen anything unusual the night the grave was left open. It took a while to get them to understand what I was getting at because animals don’t think like we do. Even though I can communicate with them telepathically, their thought processes are totally different. Anyway, from what I could understand, we were the first excitement they’ve had in quite some time. They remembered being locked in one night, but animals have no concept of time or dates, so I can only guess that for some reason or other, they were locked up the night Jenny was placed in the grave.”
“That would explain why he got away with trespassing while we were caught – unless he’s a Dr. Doolittle too,” Frank grinned. Robin ignored him.
“One of the other spirits approached me after that and told me that she saw him drive up. She gave me the license number, description of the Van, and a few other things that have nothing to do with the case. She never saw his face either because he wore scrubs and a surgical mask. When we see the Lieutenant tomorrow I’ll fill him in on the facts, but not how I got them.”
The five professors sat dumbfounded at these new revelations.
Mac turned back from the window and faced his friends. “Frankly, I’ve had enough of ghosts and graves for one night, so I’m heading home.” He left the window and returned to the table for his jacket.
“Are you okay to drive?” Nancy asked.
“Yeah, the effects of the ‘tea’ are wearing off. Call me if you ever need my help again, but please, no graves next time.”
“I’ll try,” Nancy said smiling. She kissed him on the cheek and he left. He came back shortly. Everyone gave him a questioning look.
“Forget something?” James asked.
“I’ve lost my watch.” No one said a word. “I think it came off while I was digging in the grave.”
“Great,” Kevin said.
“If anyone asks, we’ve no idea who it belongs to,” Robin offered.
“Thanks. I just thought you should know. Well, I’m off.”
Mac left the room. They could hear his bike starting out front.
“Don’t worry, Nancy. I’ll follow him home,” Frank got his kiss from Nancy and left as well. The others rose from the table, got their kisses, and made their farewells. After the last motorcycle had gone, Robin sat down on the porch swing with his tea. Malissa was sitting next to him. Nancy was knitting in the Queen Liliuokalani wicker chair.
“What time is it?” Nancy asked.
The sun was starting to rise.
“It’s five thirty, mom.”
“No wonder I’m so tired.” Nancy yawned.
Robin had his eyes closed.
There’s that Jasmine smell! I’m having that dream again! He opened his eyes and that beautiful vision was there beside him. I am having that dream again. She’s back!
“No. You aren’t having a dream, Robin,” Malissa said, “You aren’t asleep.”
“What? But that’s impossible! You are the girl in my dream last night. For almost a year now, you have always been the one in my…” He suddenly remembered who she really was. “You… and me… I mean… we…” He stopped trying.
Great! Now I’ve really put my foot in it.
The phone started ringing. Nancy went to answer it.
Malissa looked at Robin, “Robin… About those dreams you’ve been having…”
Robin looked at Malissa, “What about them?”
“I’ve been having them too,” she confessed.
Robin blinked, “What do you mean?”
“I mean, that when you dream of me, I’m dreaming of you. I think we’re psychically linked.”
“Wait a minute. We’ve been dating all this time, in our dreams? Some of those dreams were a bit racy. Do you mean to tell me that…?”
“Yes. That was me you were kissing last night. When you disappeared so fast I knew that something must have awakened you.”
“Yeah, the damn phone… Hold on there! You’re married aren’t you? I mean… What about Mac?”
“Divorced, I’ve been single for three years. Mac and I are still friends, but he just couldn’t put up with my gifts.”
“In my dreams you always tell me you love me – I mean, we’re in love – I mean…”
“I do love you. I fell in love with you when I saw you at my party – the first time we dreamed together ten months ago – and I have loved you ever since.”
“Why didn’t you say something when I opened the door last night?”
“What was I supposed to say? I wasn’t sure the dreams were real. When you opened the door I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Why didn’t you speak up?”
“I felt a bit like a nut falling in love with a dream. Besides, I had just had a dream about you a few minutes before you arrived. How could that be?”
“I had a long day yesterday at the college and fell asleep on my office couch. I was dreaming about you and I woke up when you left me so abruptly in mid-sentence. Lucky thing too, because I looked at the clock and realized I was late for the meeting last night so I jumped in my car and raced over here.”
“When I saw you last night, Malissa, my brain wouldn’t let me believe you were her.” He looked into her eyes, “You know, you are even more beautiful in person”
“Shut up and kiss me,” she ordered.
He did, and he did.
“Now, wait a minute,” Robin said to the air. “I don’t mind you living here with us, but you can’t be spying on Malissa and me.”
“Who are you talking to?” Malissa asked.
“Amanda Potts. She’s a childhood friend of Nancy’s.”
“Who?” She asked in surprise. “Did you say Amanda Potts?”
“Yeah, she came to dinner one night and stayed.”
“But it can’t be. Amanda Potts was my pretend friend when I was a little girl. She doesn’t….”
“Exist?” He interjected. “I assure you she does exist. I don’t believe this. She was your playmate too?”
“Yes, but I thought…”
“I know. So did Nancy.”
Nancy opened the front door and said, “Robin. That was Lt. Hawk on the phone. It seems some grave robbers have dug up the Johnson plot and accidentally found our little Jennifer. They tipped the police.”
Robin smiled. “That was civic minded of them.”
“Yes. He’s been put in charge of finding them now that the police have Jennifer’s body.”
“Do you think he’ll have any luck?” Malissa asked.
“He’s rounding up the usual suspects. If that doesn’t work out it will probably go into the filing cabinet as a cold case.”
“Do we really have people living in San Diego with a history of grave robbing?” Robin asked.
“Ask him. He’ll be here at four this afternoon for tea.”
“You don’t think he suspects us?” Malissa asked.
“The watch…,” Robin began.
“He doesn’t need to suspect,” Nancy said. “He knows. He knows who did it, why they did it, and he doesn’t need a watch or a psychic bone in his body to figure it out.”
“Isn’t it his duty to arrest us?” asked Robin.
“Our good Lieutenant operates in the spirit of the law not the letter of it. As long as we don’t confess to our part in it he doesn’t care who delivered the little girl to him, he only cares that they did.”
“I wonder what Jake would think of this development?”
“Who’s Jake?” Malissa asked.
Robin paused a moment.
“It’s the name he calls himself,” he had a hint of hatred in his voice.
Nancy looked at Robin. She didn’t have to ask who the “he” was. She could sense it. Malissa could too.
“Do you remember anything else? A last name? Anything?” Malissa asked.
“Let me think. It’s a bit hard without any sleep, but I’ll try.”
Robin leaned back in the swing and began his deep breathing exercises. After a minute went by, he slumped against Malissa’s shoulder. She noticed his breathing had become very shallow; too shallow. He had fallen asleep.
“He’s out, mom. Should I wake him?”
“No. We’ll talk to him later.”
Nancy decided it was better for him to sleep, so she left him leaning against Malissa’s shoulder, and headed off to bed.
Malissa suddenly felt sleepy herself so she leaned toward Robin and joined him.