The conclusion! (I’ll add the Part 3 link when I get home from vacation.)
“I was just so relieved to see you—her—alive,” Rob moaned, capping the Scotch and dropping it on the coffee table. “I know it’s selfish, but I’m glad that’s not you upstairs. You didn’t get hurt.”
The phone rang, cutting off Monica’s response. “I’ll get that,” she said, jogging to the den. “Hello?” Rob heard. “Yes, this is she. Oh. You did? Well, good. Ah… yes, the address is correct, you can send it there. Thank you so much.”
“That was the airport investigators,” Monica said. “The plane I was supposed to be on crashed? My God, you must have been half out of your mind! Anyway, they found my purse on the plane and they’re going to overnight it here. Which means,” she said, punching three buttons on the phone, “your friend upstairs is the one who stole it in the first place.”
“Oh my God,” Rob said. “The State Department people who called to verify your identity said you looked just like a wanted criminal in the Netherlands. It has to be her!”
The sight of police entering the bedroom was the trigger that restored Monique’s memory. With her leg in a cast and her head still woozy from jet lag and the concussion, she was unable to run and settled for insulting the cops in Dutch. She gave up the “no speak English” gambit when Monica translated the insults, and stopped speaking entirely.
“You’ll want to contact Immigration,” Monica said, as the cops handcuffed Monique to the wheelchair in the foyer. “She’s a Dutch national, probably on a falsified visa, and is wanted by the police in the Netherlands.”
“Jesus, lady,” one of the cops said. “She looks like your twin sister. You think you’re related, maybe?”
“Twin sisters of different mothers?” Monica chuckled. “She never showed up at family gatherings—have you, Monique?”
Monique just glared as the cops wheeled her to the van.
“Next time you go overseas,” Rob said as they watched the cops drive away, “I’m going with you. I don’t think I could take a repeat.”
“That would be peachy,” Monica said, turning him toward the door. “Then when we get our stuff stolen, who do we call to verify that we’re us?”
Rob gave her a cock-eyed look. “For that matter, how do I know you’re really Monica? Maybe I just sent my own wife to the pokey?”
Monica smiled. “Oh, I think I know of a way to verify my identity. Let’s go upstairs and see.”