"Mom, Dad?" I yelled. And I thought I had a brother, but I couldn't remember his name. I tried. "Harrison, William, Grant? Sam, Billy, Roger, Elliot…"
We didn't have a porch anymore, either. Well, I didn't, seeing as I was alone at the time (and also rather frightened). Just a flat, narrow path leading away from the bland front door, constructed of concrete squares and stray wild daisies (once in a while). There was green.
Bushes, bushes, trees, bushes. A purple tree somewhere, I was sure, but some of this greenness looked native and ALL of it was different.
Pines, palms, decorative bushes. A lot of those bushes.
No more houses in sight, just things poking out of the ground like those carrots I didn't have anymore – why did I ever like carrots anyway, being part of this weird misery as they were – now there was just green, green, brownish-yellowish green, and lots of other colors too, but I thought it all green.
All this I saw from a window, certain there was more. The window was curtained yellow and friendly-looking. There was a knock on the door; I rushed over and timidly clashed the keys and found the right one. Sure that I had made a fatal mistake, I opened the door and winced – what else was I to do?
It wasn't Miranda, for one thing.
I couldn't tell exactly who or what it was, but then I realized (with a jolt) that it was Nobody.
"How are you today?" Nobody asked politely. "Your name is Alicia, I take it?"
"How did you know?"
"How did YOU know?" was Nobody's retort.
"That's a very good question," I mumbled, rubbing my forehead.
"My point exactly." Nobody, a faded silhouette, time-weathered and unidentifiable, let out a deep, gentle sigh. "I have an offer for you, dear."
"Can I trust you?" spurted I.
"Can I trust YOU?" wavered the ghost.
After I decided to stop my retorts – after all, I was talking to Nobody – the apparition continued. "I'll help you find everything and everyone you're looking for."
"And does that have a price?"
"Well, I'm not sure if it's exactly a price, but… I'm in dire need of a companion, and I'll help you in return for your friendship."
"I'm already friends with Nobody," I mused.
"Miranda was your friend, you know."
"But if I become your friend…I'll never have any more friends ever again," I realized, and began to stare at my shoes, those thin-soled torturous moccasins.
"Yes," Nobody wistfully confirmed. "I guess that's why I don't have any friends…"
"But I want you to have a friend!" I declared. "I don't think that's fair in the slightest."
"Who in the world would want to have a shadow as their friend – and nobody more - when they could have a million point two full-fledged acquaintances? What's the use?" And Nobody began to wisp away.
"Wait, don't leave! Maybe we can find a loopho - "
- but Nobody was already gone.
I could never be friends with Nobody because Miranda, though missing, was still my friend and always would be. And all the other people who were my friends at some time or another, and all the ones who would be, too.
But did that mean that everyone had a friend in the world? Because only then could Nobody be left without a friend…
After deciding that philosophy was too confusing to bother about at this time of day anyway, I hiked the meager path away, away, away from this home, whosever home it was, and tried to find something.
All was lost, I suppose, but that meant that Nothing could be found.