I wake up with warm hands, but my feet are freezing cold. I cautiously open my drowsy eyes to be instantly blinded by the unnatural light. I glance around the place, confused as to where I am.
I appear to be in a log cabin with a humongous hearth containing a blazing fire, which lights up the entire room.
I sit up, pulling my feet under the adorably patterned quilt.
Where am I? The last thing I remember is the horse throwing me. . .
I study the room.
Okay, so this is a normal room with a bed—where I sit now—and paintings and a fireplace. Isn’t it a bit grand to have a fire in a bedroom?
The room itself is painted a pale blue and adorned with bookshelves and littered with various decorations and furniture—for instance, a massive trunk lays at the foot of the bed and a painting of an attractive woman hangs at the opposite side of the room.
Is this my room? I can’t recall if it is nor if it is not. Afterall, I can’t seem to remember anything that has led up to my incident with that horse. Or was it a dog? No, it was definitely a horse; it threw me—I remember that. . . Or is that just my mind playing games? Did the horse really throw me, or did I just dream that I was thrown from a horse? Maybe I just fell asleep like every other night, and this dream just felt realistic, but when in reality, it was a dream. Yeah, maybe so. . .
A young woman opens the door. She stands barely over five feet with slightly wavy blonde locks and bright green eyes. Her eyes are gentle, and her lips pressed in a kindly smile as she crosses the floor to the bed with a bundle in her arms.
Is she my sister? Friend? Cousin? Maid? Mistress? Slave? Do I know her? If I do—or should know her—why can’t I place a name with her face? Or a personality with her person? Surely, I must like her, otherwise I wouldn’t be staying with her, or is she staying with me?
“I cleaned her up for you; she had a dirty diaper.” The young woman hands me the bundle she was previously carrying.
I accept the bundle to discover a relatively newborn baby.
Is this why I’m here? Was I giving birth? Is this my baby? If so, what’s her name? Is it even a girl? What do I do?! Why can’t I remember?!
“Thank you, if you don’t mind me asking—I can’t seem to remember you—who are you?”
The woman—girl rather—smiles sweetly. “My name is London. You probably don’t remember me because we have never met before. My husband found you and your little one just a few miles south of our home the night before last.”
Why can’t I remember anything?
“What’s your name?”
I don’t know!
“I don’t remember! I can’t remember anything since—well, ever! What is happening?!”
“It’s okay; you’re probably having a temporary amnesia episode of some kind. . . My husband said he heard you keep saying ‘angel’ as you slept. Maybe that’s your name?”
I shake my head, muttering. “I can’t believe this is happening. . .”
London tenderly touches my arm. “It’s okay. You’re welcome to stay as long as you like and we’ll help you out all we can to remember everything.”
I can’t believe this is happening! How can I just not remember ANYTHING?! I gaze down at the sweet, innocent babe in my arms. Are you mine? Am I your Mama? If so, then who is your Daddy and where is he? Why are we apart. . . Wait—Does that mean I fell in love? Am I married?! Do I love someone? Why can’t I remember?! It’s kind of important to know if I’m married, so I should remember something about him!
“Just get some rest, Angel. I’ll bring you a tray when dinner is ready.”
I reach out and gently tug at her arm. “London, please don’t leave me,” I plead softly.
She smiles compassionately. “Of course, I’ll stay. . . So, do you have any memory at all? Vague memories? Names?”
I shake my head. “None. I don’t even know if I’m married, or if this is my baby!”
London smiles sympathetically. “It’s okay. Don’t rush into it. They’ll come back when you’re ready.”
I smile. “Thank you, London.”
She grins, gesturing to the baby in my arms. “So, have you picked out a name for the little one until you can remember her real name?”
I shake my head. “Not yet. Any ideas?”
She grins in her own sweet way. “How about London—I’m just jesting with you. . . What about Kimberly?”
I shake my head, developing a slight headache. “No, something about that name doesn’t sit right with me.”
I glance at the portrait of the beautiful woman. “What’s her name?”
London smiles a reverent smile. “That’s my husband’s step-brother’s best friend’s daughter. She died about ten years ago, her and her second husband both. Her name was Maddie if I remember correctly.”
Maddie? Maddie. Why does that name sound so familiar, so soothing? It’s a beautiful name, of course, but it almost seems to be a part of me. . . That shall be the babe’s name.
“Maddie. That’s it. That’s what we should call her.”
“So,” I ask, “Tell me about you, your family, how you came to live in this stunning home.”
She sits down on the edge of my bed, gesturing to the room before speaking with an enchanting Southern accent.
“Well, my past life is history, but I was in a terrible situation until my husband, Carson, rescued me. I was being mistreated, and he and I fell in love. Then he helped me out of a cruel life and we got married. We’ve been married just over a year now.”
Sounds romantic. . . Am I a hopeless romantic?
“Tell me more about this husband of yours.”
She grins girlishly before speaking with love in her eyes. “Carson and I met deep in the South at a party being held on a plantation. I was working the party.”
Was she a servant?
“I made a mistake with the drinks and the Mistress physically reprimanded me once I was out of sight from the guests, but she didn’t know that Carson had snuck into the kitchen for a bottle of wine. He quickly intervened and instantly had my master put out of work. He freed me.”
Was she a slave?
“And then he took me to his family’s house. His sister embraced me as a friend and taught me the edicate of Carson’s world.”
What is that supposed to mean? Is Carson from an upper class family, and she had to learn the ways of the wealthy?
At my confused glance, she clarifies her husband’s situation. “My husband is a Marquise—he’s referred to as Duke, but his official title is Marquise—so I had to learn to be a Duchess before we married.”
“So. . . What’s his relation to the King?”
She takes a deep breath before speaking. “So, Carson’s step brother was close friends with the elder King. But Carson’s step brother had a best friend within the Aspen and Birch bloodline. This friend had a daughter who was betrothed to the elder King by her father to unite the families. However, the daughter vanished the night before her wedding day. She had run off with a man of mixed blood between a poor peasant and an Aspen. The two of them were married, leaving the elder King at the altar—so to speak. . . Carson was given his title through his step brother’s close connection with the elder King. . . It’s not too bad, but it does require us to make an appearance every now and then, especially when it comes to the younger King.”
I rock the babe as she begins to fuss, asking, “Why’s that? Your relation is through the young King’s father, so why are you involved with the son?”
She shrugs. “I guess because we’re around the young King’s age. Maybe his father wants him to be around young people who are royal and yet decent—I can’t say for sure, but that’s my best guess at the situation.”
“Yeah, whenever the young King has an event, whether it’s a coronation, ball, party, or family reunion, we attend. But like I said before, it’s not so bad. Whenever we aren’t at the palace, and Carson isn’t working, we’re hiding out here. The royal family knows where to find us if worst comes to worst.”
London’s life is definitely interesting that’s for sure.
“And where is the young King now? Some foreign country, serving as an ambassador? Oh no, wait! Let me guess! He’s fighting overseas.”
London grins. “No, not exactly. He’s staying at a plantation on official royal business.”
Why a plantation? Surely he’s got better places to stay than a disgusting plantation. Wait, do I hate plantations? Why? Why do I have a problem with them, even though they are totally unethical and filthy and dehumanitized? Why do I have a clearly painted picture of plantations, but I can’t remember my own name?! Ugh! This is so frustrating! I wish I could just remember and be done with all this drama. . . I feel like this is a time where I should reach out to God, but I don’t know if I’m religious or not. Maybe? I don’t know! I guess it couldn’t hurt, right? There’s nothing I could lose from praying to the almighty God of the universe, right? Right.
God, I don’t know if you know me, or if I know you. . . You see, I’m kind of struggling to remember anything right now. Do you think you could help me out? Anything? A name perhaps? Silence. Well, that was A LOT of help.
I glance up to see London studying me. “You were praying, weren’t you?”
How could she possibly know that?!
“Yeah, I was, but I don’t know if I usually do or not.”
She smiles kindly. “If it comes to mind to pray, you probably pray on a regular basis—This is good. If your instincts begin to kick in, soon you’ll remember who you truly are.”
A single thought pops into my head.
What if I don’t want to know who I am? It’s a scary thought. What if I’m a serial killer and this baby isn’t my own but is one of my victim’s children? Why do I even think such thoughts?! This baby is more than likely mine. I’m probably a normal girl who lives a normal life in a normal town. Let tomorrow take care of itself. Today, I’m going to cherish every moment I have. . .
“So, I heard something about dinner? Is it almost ready? I’m really hungry!”
London chuckles. “Coming right up, Your Majesty.”
I giggle slightly. “Don’t call me that unless you’re alluding that I’m a royal pain!”
She grins as she leaves us alone in the immaculate room.
It’s a magnificent place. . . Maybe, one day, I’ll have a place like this.
I glance down at my baby—my baby.
She’s so striking with her deep blue eyes and the blonde patches of hair that adorn her thin, frail face. She’s so small. I don’t recall being around any babies, but this babe is very petite as she rests safely in my arms. . . I have to admit, she doesn’t look anything like me; she must look like her father. Who is her father? Why can’t I remember him? Surely I would be able to remember who I married, but I don’t. Why? I guess I won’t know until my mind is ready to function properly. Right?
I gaze at the sleeping baby, whispering, “I guess it’s just you and me for now, huh, Maddie?”
She coos in her sleep.
She’s such an angel! So, I guess we’ll take the night to rest, but tomorrow I want to get out of this bed! My legs already feel sore from just laying about in bed. Maybe we’ll go exploring or just enjoy the beautiful cabin, and get to know London and Carson better. It’s weird. I feel as if I’ve been relieved of a heavy burden, and yet, I don’t know what that burden is. This is such a strange and intriguing situation! One should lose their memory more often! They can feel free as if they’re a completely new person!
“Here we are!”
I glance up to see London enter with a silver tray in her arms, which she sets down on the little bedside table to my left.
“Thank you, London! I feel terribly hungry for some reason.”
She grins. “Probably because you haven’t eaten in a day!”
Have I been asleep that long? Wow! No wonder I’m so hungry!
“So, what’s the verdict? Do you think I can get up tomorrow and ditch this bed?”
She smiles sweetly. “I’m no doctor, but Carson is, and we both agreed that you’re in perfect health, so whatever you want to do, you can do it. We are just asking that you stay with us until your memory is restored. That way you won’t hurt yourself or anything. Sound good?”
I nod. “Yeah, I can feel my body already begin to become sore. I guess I’m not used to being so inactive. My legs itch to walk and run and move about freely. I’ve already found myself repositioning them to prevent sores from developing.”
London seems intrigued. “Fascinating! You must be very active in whatever life you’re from for bedsores shouldn’t form so quickly. I remember when I stopped moving only for a day or two, my body would become like so.”
Was she a slave? Seems probable.
“Does anything come back to you?”
I shake my head. “Nothing in particular. . . Tell me about your life, and when you visit the palace. Surely, you have some stories to tell!”
She grins, a girlish smile overcoming her lips. “Well, I may have a few that are memorable. . . I love it when we go to the palace for balls, and things of that sort. The people, the music, the gowns, the color. Everything is so cheerful and elegant. I, personally, love to just people watch and try to guess their personalities. Maybe some time you can come with me to one of these balls and people watch with me. We could do it together!”
I grin. “Unless there’s a ball scheduled within the week, I doubt we could ever go together.”
London smiles in excitement with a hint of a mischievous grin. “There is! The day after tomorrow, the young King has a ball planned in honor of his first year as King, but just yesterday, a royal carrier—pigeon that is—came to us, updating the ball arrangements. It seems the King is searching for a mystery woman and has commanded that all eligible women attend the ball!”
I smile politely. “London, I may be married—I’m probably not eli—”
She cuts me off. “We don’t know for sure, and even if you are, you can come as my guest. You don’t even have to see the KIng if you don’t want to. . . What do you say?”
What do I say? I mean, the idea is crazy at the very least, but I would get the chance to attend a royal ball. I mean, realistically speaking, it couldn’t hurt. I might even remember something; my memory might be jogged by the outing, right? I have nothing to lose if I do go, and I wouldn’t be alone; I’d have London and Carson with me, so I wouldn’t get lost or trampled or anything of the sort. It should be harmless enough. I can carry Maddie with me if I don’t feel comfortable with leaving her with London and Carson at the ball. Babies probably shouldn’t be at a ball, but I’m definitely not going to leave her here all by herself. Plus, she’ll need to be fed. So, everything should be fine if I go. Someone may recognize me! Or I may recognize someone and my memory will return! Yes, this really is a great idea! I’ll be exposed to more people and they’ll see me, so that maybe I can find my way back home.
I glance up at London, grinning. “Fine, I’ll go!”
She squeals in delight. “Perfect! I’ll tell Carson tonight! Either tomorrow or early the next day—probably tomorrow—we’ll find you a gown that’ll fit you! This is going to be the best ball yet!”
I sure hope so.
The morning is bright and warm as I wake up to Maddie’s soft cries. I pick the babe up from where she lay in the bascenette and feed her. I gaze at the darling creature as she feasts on her milk.
Is she really mine? I can’t say for sure, but I think I’ve always wanted a baby. They’re so sweet and affectionate and delicate and yet they’re so strong and knowing for such a tiny person. They know exactly what they want AND they know exactly how to get it. But we can also see the deception and greed of humans through babies; and somehow we still love them. Babies are living examples of human nature. I get that adults are too, but through babies one can see emotions form. In adults, the emotions are already developed and typically irreversible. That’s why it’s so important to ingrain and mold children from a young age so that they become better human beings when they grow up to be adults. . . Why do I know or even care about this? Is it something someone instilled into me as a child? Or is it something I always said I’d do when I had children of my own—my mother! It was my mother who said so, wasn’t it?! But why would she tell me? Unless I was old enough to understand when a sibling was born. Or maybe she told me to do so when I was pregnant with Maddie. . .
I wrap Maddie up as I change into the simple, but surprisingly handsome dress. It’s a deep chestnut color where the bust tightens in the front, but the rest of the dress is cream, and the skirt is designed for freeing movement. I tighten the dress to fit my figure before pinning my hair up in a messy-looking bun. I then glance at myself in the mirror.
Good, it’s me. I do actually recognize myself! Well, that’s a relief!
I pick up Baby Maddie before leaving the immaculate room to find the young couple. As I silently make my way down the narrow hallway, I smell fresh eggs and bacon cooking from what must be the kitchen. I follow the pleasantly welcome scent to find London setting the table while a taller man stands at the stove, flipping bacon.
Let’s see, London is about my height of five feet. He’s at least a foot taller than her, if not a foot and a half. He has dark brown hair that’s shorter on the sides, but he has some volume on the top. It’s actually really cute with his wavy hair. He has to have blue eyes! It would complete the cute royal look!
He turns around.
Yes! Blue eyes! This is Carson.
“Good morning, how was your sleep?”
I nod. “Well, and you?”
He nods, grinning. “So, so. It could have been worse.”
He has a thick foreign accent, neither northern or southern, but from an entirely different country!
I join the young couple at the cherry wood table, which seats six. On the table itself is a bowl of eggs, a tower of leaning bacon, cut assorted fruit, golden toast, and glasses of milk. I sit next to London who sits to the right of her husband. Carson blesses the food before we dig in.
It’s actually refreshing to hear. I don’t know why, but it’s nice to hear someone blessing the food. Maybe no one does from where I live. . .
“So, what’s the plan for today?” Carson asks his young wife as she begins to eat her scrambled eggs.
“Well,” she says, swallowing her bite of eggs, “I thought we could all ride up to the lookout and have a picnic in the meadow.”
Carson grins. “Sounds great! We’ll be back just before dinner so we can watch the sun set. Then you girls can pick your gowns out. We’ll leave first thing in the morning, so try to get some sleep. It’ll be a long day tomorrow and we don’t want anyone falling asleep in the middle of a ball again, now do we?”
London shoots her husband an icy glare, muttering, “You promised you wouldn’t mention that time. . .”
Her frown melts into a sweet smile. “Fine, we’ll be sure to get plenty of rest tonight, Husband.”
He grins in response as he continues his meal, smiling—hopelessly in love with London.
That’s the kind of love I know I want. A love that melts my heart every time I glance at my husband. A love that would never run dry after decades of marriage. A love that would be an eternal covenant, never to be broken by anyone, nor death. That’s the kind of love I want. The kind of love Carson and London have, even though they came from two completely different worlds—or so I assume. . . This couple just seems to be so happy, like time itself stops just for them. I want what they have—which honestly scares me because THAT is what I want. But what if I remember again and I’m not happily married? What if I’m abused every night by a drunk husband and the reason I was out here was because I was trying to flee from the situation. What if this is the case and I’ve already ruined my chance at love? What would I do with myself, seeing the perfect couple modeled before me, and not having the opportunity to have that kind of love? Life is frustrating! What shall I do if such a disgusting thing were to happen to me and this baby of mine?! How could such a creature father a child like this anyway?! Wait! Just take a breath. . . You don’t know your husband is like that. You don’t know if you’re even married at all. I’m sure there is a perfectly logical explanation for all of this.
“So, you’re a doctor?” I ask, directing my thoughts to a different topic.
Carson is still smiling from his playful argument with his wife as he answers my question. “Yes, I studied under my mentor and took an accelerated course, so I finished when I was twenty-two. I wanted the knowledge in case of scenarios like yourself. The King titled me at the age of twenty-one, and I already had a partnership with my mentor by the time I met London. When we married, I took over the practice in Ryder City and had more nurses employed. It can practically run itself while I’m away, but I do show up every time I’m in town just to ensure everything is running smoothly. But I trust the staff and they put their all into their work. They do fine without me, but my mentor hangs around as my eyes while I’m gone for business with the King or when I’m here.”
I don’t know why, but that word he just used stings as if it’s a personal blow. Staff. Why don’t I like that word? It feels all too familiar, but it feels cruel and condescending. But Carson was referring to trained nurses, not servants or even slaves, so why does that word make me want to vomit?
I glance back into the young couple’s direction. “Yes?”
London chuckles. “Carson wants to take a look at the cut on your head before we set out on that picnic.”
I nod. “Yeah, sure.”
Carson scoots his chair back and steps around his wife as I turn my chair away from the table and sit down. Carson towers over me; his full attention is on examining a cut I seem to have on my forehead. He presses against it lightly with both of his thumbs, causing slight discomfort, but not what I’d consider pain.
“Does it hurt when I apply pressure?”
I shrug. “Not really. It’s just uncomfortable.”
He grunts slightly as he cleans the cut with a freshly hot, wet cloth. The heat is welcome to the cut as it seems to wash away all my worries from my mind.
For just a few moments, my mind is clear, free of memories, concerns, questions, emotions.
I just sit there with my eyes shut as the young royal doctor cleans my wound—a wound so small that I hadn’t noticed it in the mirror.
However, it’s significant enough to cause a complete mind sweep of all my memories. How can something so small be so deceiving? I guess that’s how life works in the long run.
“I think you’ll be fine. The amnesia should only be temporary. And when your memory does come back, try to not freak out; it’ll only strain your body, and with taking care of the baby—It just isn’t wise.”
I nod. “Don’t freak out when memory comes back. Check.”
Carson smiles. “I’m serious, though. Just take it easy.”
I smile softly. “I will.”
Carson stands and picks up the dishes. “I’ll clear. You two get ready to leave in a few minutes.”
London grins mischievously. “We’ll be ready, Husband.”
She absolutely adores him. It’s like she’s still in the honeymoon stage after a year. I want to have that one day. . .
I hold Maddie close as London grabs two heavy capes. She hands me one.
“It should keep you both warm during the ride. We don’t want either of you to catch cold.”
I smile softly, grateful for my new friend’s generosity. “Thank you—Should we saddle up the horses for the ride?”
She grins. “Yeah, you ride?”
I shrug with a slight smile in place. “I sure hope so! I don’t know how else I got here!”
She smiles softly with a hint of concern hiding behind her eyes. “Yeah, I guess that makes sense, after all, how else could anybody get way out here?”
We exit the house through the back door, where a tiny building claims the title of stable. London continues to chat as we prepare the horses for riding.
“I remember the first time Carson brought me here. We weren’t engaged yet, but we were in love. I remember the day as if it was yesterday. . . Carson had an argument with his father—I later found out that the colorful conversation was in regard to me. Carson was in a fit of rage and couldn’t stay at his parents’ house any longer, so we left. Along the way, I caught the Killer Cough, and Carson nursed me back to health—He had caught it himself when he was a young lad. I remember the hours of just coughing, and how at first, I tried to keep my illness hidden from Carson—I concocked this way to divert the coughs through my nose, so that it sounded as if I had allergies and I was sneezing from the pollen in the air. . . But one time, the coughing fit came too fast for me to cover it up, and Carson figured out what was going on. Of course, I came clean about all the ‘sneezing’, and Carson gave me some medicine for a while. Then we just waited it out until the coughing began to stop. . . Killer Cough can be a fatal disease if one pushes their health to the maximum, but when you allow your body to rest, its victims actually survive—No one ever told me so growing up. It was always, Killer Cough—If you get it, you die. But Carson did say I was a miracle, because when the coughing does lessen, usually you never fully recover. You’ll always seem to cough after laughing too hard, after you shout, after you cry. Your life will never be the same again, but I was lucky enough to beat it without any symptoms in over a year now.”
Wow, she’s one lucky girl, or Carson is some miracle worker. . . I had heard the same that if one caught Killer Cough, they’d die from it. Their life would be shortened by fifty years or so, just by catching an extreme version of a cold. It SEEMS kind of extreme for a body to handle, but apparently one can defeat the fatal disease. I mean, London did. But it also depends on the person’s will to live too, as well as their health. Surely one has to want to live, want to survive in order to beat such a disease. Because, if one doesn’t wish to live, then what is the point in defeating a disease such as Killer Cough; you might as well let the disease conquer you and claim your life. I think that’s why elderly people die more than younger people—because they’re at peace with death, but young people have their whole lives ahead of them. . . I know that if I were to have Killer Cough, I would want to live, but not for my life and future, but for Maddie’s. I guess it’s a mother’s heart that wishes so. . .
“Angel? You ready?”
I glance up to see Carson standing at London’s side with an arm wrapped around her.
They’re so cute together!
“Yeah.” I smile. “Yeah, I think I’m ready to get back on a horse again.”
Carson shoots me an unsure glance, but I put his worries to rest.
“I’m fine. One accident won’t scar me for life. It was just one time.”
I mount the youthful stallion in one quick action. “See? I’m fine.”
He glances at London questioningly, but she helps verify my capability to ride a horse. “She looks fine to me. She definitely knows what she’s doing when it comes to riding. Just look at her posture and the way she carries the reins. She’s had some experience with horses before now—Her horse from before could’ve just been spooked, and you know as well as I do that when a horse is spooked, you can’t do much to calm it down.”
Carson reluctantly nods. “Fine, but we’re going to take it slow, nothing too fast until it has been more time since the accident. I don’t want you to jeopardize your health over a picnic.”
I grin, thinking about how concerned he is after only knowing me for a day. “I’ll be fine. I promise, no races or sprints. Just a light canter.”
He sighs. “Okay, fine, but I lead.”
The young couple mount their separate horses.
I guess I should quit referring to them as young since they’re older than myself. Let’s call them the. . . cute couple. Yeah, that’ll do.
We leave the stable at a light trot with Carson in front of me and London behind me, attempting to keep eyes on me from the front and back.
Do they think I’ll try something when I have a baby in my arms? I don’t even know if I WOULD in general. I’m still trying to figure out my own personality, so how could they know what I would and wouldn’t do? Maybe they know more about me than they’re letting on. . . Or maybe they’re just trying to protect me and the baby. Maybe they want to take no chances and are just trying to be cautious about the ride. It’s not impossible, because even the impossible is possible as we have learned from previous miracles. Anyway, they could just be trying to ultimately help protect me. I’m sorry for my rabbit trails. Sometimes, I just can’t help myself. Besides, I’m a girl, so you should expect A LOT of thoughts and bunny trails—Bunny trails is how one describes thoughts that create thoughts that have nothing to do with what you were thinking about before. It’s how we girls think and often speak. Just in case you didn’t know what I was talking about. . .
“So, Angel, will this be your first ball?”
Did she seriously just ask me that?! I love London!
Carson halts his mount, glancing back at my smiling face. “London, did you forget? Memory loss?”
London hits her head with the palm of her hand, giggling. “Sorry, I must’ve forgotten! It’s hard, because I feel like I’ve known you my entire life and I want to know all about you!”
I know. Me too. . .
“I wish I could tell you something, but I literally know nothing about myself, except that I can ride a horse and I have a baby. Besides that, I can’t give you much.”
Carson smiles sympathetically. “It’ll all come back in time. Just enjoy the time you have to start over.”
Start over? I didn’t think of it like that. I can become the person I’ve always wanted to be—Whatever that is. I can be a completely different person for as long as this memory loss occurs! How many other people get to have the chance to start over?!
I turn my attention in front of me to Carson, where he points in the direction of a thicket that rattles from within.
What is it?!
London smiles sweetly. “Look! There’s two of them!”