Ok I’m back with part 2! Enjoy!
What to do? What to do? I drove for a long time, my mind racing, not paying attention to where I was going. All I wanted to do was get away for a few minutes to think without any Robs in my line of sight. I soon found myself on some country road just outside the city limits. It was the safest place to be if I wanted to avoid people, especially men. As I drove along, my mind racing, trying to find some rational explanation, I noticed someone walking up ahead…a hitchhiker, maybe? I never picked them up and I wasn’t planning to now. As I passed him, I wasn’t sure if I’d been expecting it, or afraid of it, but even the hitchhiker looked like Rob.
A part of me wanted to stop and pick up this “Rob-a-like” hitchhiker but I was too damned scared. The funny thing was that I didn’t know what I was afraid of most…all the Robs, or the fact that I was surely losing my mind. With a final glance in my rearview mirror at the gorgeous Rob hitchhiker and, admittedly, a small sigh of regret, I knew what I had to do. I headed back into town to check myself into the hospital. The closer I got to town, the less sure I was that I could actually do this, especially not under the term ‘mental illness’. One thing was for sure, if there was a voice of reason anywhere, I could find it in my other best friend, Rita! I was supposed to be on a week’s vacation from work but I decided to go into the office and see her. No one could pull the wool over Rita’s eyes and she was just as Rob crazy as I was, if not more so. If she wasn’t seeing Rob everywhere, then I’d know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was totally bonkers. I stopped at our favorite coffee shop to buy two very strong coffee’s cause, one way or another, one of us was going to need it! I approached the counter and placed my order as I dug through my purse for money. I was running the conversation I was about have with Rita through my head, trying to figure out how to tell her that either I was crazy or…or…or what? There was no other explanation for it. Oh, well. At least I could tell her good-bye before they carted me off to the looney bin.
“That’ll be four dollars, ma’am,” I heard the cashier say. I finally found my wallet at the bottom of my bag and handed him a five.
By now, I wasn’t even surprised to see another Rob! I swear, if I wasn’t going insane and terrified of what that meant, I’d be thrilled to see all these gorgeous Rob’s running around. As it was, though, I grabbed the two coffees and left.
On my way up in the elevator, I still hadn’t decided how to tell Rita I’d developed a serious case of Rob-delusion. She’d never believe me. I refused to look at anyone on my way to her cubicle, afraid of what I would see. I sat her coffee on her desk, gaining her attention.
“Rita, I need your help,” I said, sitting on the corner of her desk.
“RF, what are you doing here?” she asked, looking up.
“I think I am going insane,” I replied. She was used to my dramatics by now so the statement was no surprise to her.
“Speaking of insane, did you see the new intern on your way in? He looks just exactly like Rob!” she grinned, with a wink.
“What?”I exclaimed. I’d just about convinced myself that I was going insane and, by now, I had really just come to tell her good-bye.
“Yeah! Come on, I’ll introduce you,” she said, grabbing me by the wrist and dragging me down to his cubicle. She was completely ignoring my protests.
“Gary, I’d like you to meet RF. RF this is Gary the new intern,” she said beaming.
“Hey, RF! It’s nice to meet you!” he said, extending his hand.
Knowing Rita was seeing him, too, made me realize I wasn’t the one who was wrong… they were! All of them. They were perfect replicas of Rob and yet their very existence was wrong. Fascinated, but still a little afraid for different reasons, I shied away from his touch and stood slightly behind my friend.
“Hey, Gary. You been in town long?” I asked shyly.
“Uh, no,” he said awkwardly. Not knowing what to do with his offered and rejected hand, he let it drop. “I actually just got here.”
“You…you look a little familiar. Where,… Where are you from?” I asked. Rita snorted when I’d said he looked a little familiar.
“Oh, here and there. I’ve been all over the place, lately.”
I literally choked at that statement. When I had regained my composure, I made my excuses to get away.
“Um, nice to meet you Ro…err…Gary. If you’ll excuse us, I really need to talk to Rita a…about a new project.” I said, pushing her back in the direction of her cubicle since she was too busy laughing at me for almost calling him Rob to care.
“Is anyone else seeing this?” I asked, once we were back in her cubicle.
“What, the fact that ‘RobsFan~tasy’ is too shy to touch a Rob-a-like? I doubt it!” she giggled.
“No, damn it! The fact that there is a sudden explosion of Rob-a-likes everywhere!” I whispered very loudly.
“What are you talking about?”
“The UPS man, the mailman, the crazy old man down the street, the fire men, the paramedics. Carrie’s son Thomas, they all look just like Rob!”
“You’re loosin’ it, girlfriend. You’re spending too much time on your RobPorn…”
“Yeah, that’s what I thought too until you introduced me to Gary over there as a Roba-like. That means you see them too!”
“C’mon RF, I’ve met Thomas too! He doesn’t look anything like Rob!” she said.
It was obvious she thought I was trying to pull a fast one on her. I wasn’t opposed to the occasional practical joke, but there is no way I could pull this off!
“He does now!” I said emphatically.
“I think you need this vacation more than we thought. Why don’t you go home, get some rest, and stay away from RobPorn for a while, okay?” Rita advised.
“Okay, I will if you can tell me honestly… have you seen any other Rob-a-likes today?”
“No, of course not!” she said adamantly.
“Excuse me, ladies,” came a very familiar voice from behind us.
We turned to see a very young janitor reaching for Rita’s trash can.
He looked like a very young Rob… like Cedric Diggory from Harry Potter and the Goblet of fire. I watched with a smile as he emptied the paper from Rita’s trash can and then returned the can to its place beside her desk. After he walked away, I reached across her desk, put my hand under her chin, and closed her mouth for her. I knew exactly how she felt.
“Believe me now?” I asked.
When she finally regained her composure, we talked for a while about what to do. Rita couldn’t leave her desk or she’d lose her job, so we agreed I would walk to the grocery store a few blocks away to get a newspaper and see if there was anything in the news about all the Robs. In the meantime, I would keep my eyes peeled for any more Rob-a-likes. After I got the afternoon edition of the newspaper, I would return to her office and we’d take it from there.
As I walked down the street to the store, I kept reminding myself to smile and be polite if I saw any Rob-a-likes. There was no point in drawing attention to myself until we found out what the feck was going on. I was doing pretty well until I happened to be looking in just the right spot at just the right time. I looked up and saw a Rob-a-like coming out of an alley. He was straightening his clothes as though he’d just gotten dressed. I must have looked startled because he looked right at me and frowned as he began walking purposefully towards me.
He continued to stare straight at me, all the while getting closer and closer. I panicked and darted across the street to get away from him. I managed not to look behind me until I was safely just outside the grocery store. If he was there, I was going to rush inside and call the police, telling them I was being followed. Taking a deep breath and working up the courage, I turned to look for him but he was gone. I sighed with relief, deciding to go into the store anyway and see if there were any more Robs before I bought a newspaper from the newsstand.
…To be continued tomorrow…
Much love to you all,