“After you.” Anne motioned to Joaquin with her free hand while holding open the door for him.
“Don’t men usually open the door for the ladies?” He asked.
Anne laughed. “I’m far too old for something as new as chivalry.”
Joaquin’s eyes narrowed. “How old are you?”
“Chivalrous about doors, but not about asking a woman her age?”
Joaquin didn’t reply.
She smiled. “How old do you think I am?
More squinting from Joaquin, followed by, “Early thirties?”
“You’re sweet.” Anna patted him on the cheek and closed the door behind them.
“So, ya gonna tell me or what?”
Anne smiled and motioned towards an open door. “Wait in there.”
Joaquin walked through the door and paused at what he saw. There was a little blonde girl with a pink bow in her hair, a pink fur stole and a pink dress sitting perfectly still. Beside her sat an older woman wearing a blouse with pink, red and orange circles and an orange skirt. To Joaquin, it looked like a grass skirt he had seen on hula dancers. Next was a man dressed in a suit out of the seventies in hideous oranges and pinks to match. They all sat perfectly still – Joaquin couldn’t tell if they were breathing.
Joaquin leaned to examine the little girl and her blue eyes focused on him. The movement of her eyes startled him and he fell on his ass. The girl tilted her head to regard Joaquin and asked, “Are you here to play with me?”
Joaquin looked to the lady and noticed a tear glistening in the harsh light of the room. The light was so strong the dark shadow of the woman and girl contrasted against the pale green wall paint.
“What the hell you doin’ in here?”
Joaquin looked over his shoulder and saw Justin.
“Don’t look at me, dude. Keep your eye on the crazy little girl who can freeze you.”
Joaquin’s head snapped back to the little girl and his eyes focused on her outstretched arm. He scrambled back on all fours and skittered out of the room. He reached up to thank Justin, but when he got close to Justin’s bare forearm, Justin jumped back.
“Whoa, dude!” He grabbed Joaquin’s arm with his gloved hand and helped him to his feet. “That girl can freeze you and make you her plaything, but I’ll age the shit outta you.”