Chapter 14: Papo
The following morning Frank woke up to sound of chirping birds and the sun rays hitting his face. He opened his eyes and he remembered he was sleeping at Jenny’s barn. He got up and walked around and he could hear his stomach grumbling. As he stepped outside he took several deep breathes and extended his arms, “Now this is what you call a change of scenery” he said out loud as he was not still used to his new surroundings. Gone were the smog and noise that the city had to offer. No people rushing to work but definitely there would be no donuts for him.
He went inside Jenny’s home and tried to look for her. There seemed to be no one around so he went straight to the kitchen. “Oh good morning Franky” Jennifer’s mother greeted him. “Ah good morning missus Appleby” Frank greeted back. “Oh you can call me Lisa, Jenny and Bart went to town so why don’t you take a seat and I shall make you breakfast” Lisa said. Frank sat down and looked around the kitchen; he saw several pictures on the refrigerator.
“Lisa do they have donuts in town?” Frank asked and Lisa nodded. “Great, I do hope Jenny’s wearing her com piece….Ice Queen Do you copy? This is Papo” Frank said as he pressed his transceiver button. Lisa looked at him and smiled, “Oh Jenny gave me that nickname, she named me after a horse” Frank said and Lisa laughed shaking her head.
“I guess she didn’t bring her com piece with her, maybe I will go get some later” he said. “Frank you said Jenny called you Papo?” Lisa asked and Frank nodded. “Yesterday I learned that was the name of her horse, I think she didn’t like me calling her Ice Queen that is why she named me after a horse” he related and again Lisa shook her head.
Lisa took several pictures from the fridge and showed it to Frank. “That is her horse Papo, this is her dog Papo, her rabbit Papo, and the Guinea Pig was also named Papo” Lisa said and Frank was surprised. “Wow I wonder which one of these she named me after” Frank commented. “You see the name Papo is very special to her, when she was just a baby the first word she said was Papo. Silly me, it isn’t even a word but as she grew up she never forgot about that word” Lisa said and Frank smiled.
“Everything that she got as firsts she named as Papo, her first dog, first horse, first rabbit, and many more things she all named them Papo” Lisa said. “Why would she name me Papo then?” Frank asked as he looked at Jenny’s mother. Lisa giggled and patted Frank’s hand, “I don’t recall Jenny naming a guy Papo before. She never introduced any boy to us, you are the first” she said and Frank was confused. “Maybe I am her first enemy” Frank said and Lisa laughed. “She had lots of enemies when she was growing up and most of them were boys. You see Jenny acted boy-like so everyone kept on teasing her” Lisa revealed.
“Oh don’t tell me that…no it’s impossible…Jenny is very pretty and for sure she had lots of suitors of boyfriends” Frank said and Lisa shrugged her shoulders. “Oh well maybe you have to ask her yourself then why she named you Papo. Remember to her Papo means the first” Lisa hinted and they both laughed.
Ten minutes later they heard the truck arrive and Jenny quickly came inside was surprised to see Frank with her mother. “I got you donuts” Jennifer said as she brought out the box and handed it to Frank. Lisa looked at Frank and smiled at her, “You know Jenny he was trying to contact you and tell you about the donuts” Lisa said. “Oh he doesn’t have to remind me, he eats them everyday” Jennifer said as she sat beside Frank and she wiped the cream from Frank’s lips. Frank was embarrassed but Jennifer was persistent. “How sweet” Lisa commented as Bart entered the kitchen. “Who is sweet?” he asked.
“Oh your daughter and her Papo” Lisa teased and Bart was surprised so he looked at Jennifer. “You told her?!” Jennifer asked Frank. “I didn’t, she overheard me using my codename as I was trying to contact you” Frank explained and Jennifer felt embarrassed. Bart took a seat and teased her daughter, “Frank do you know what Papo means?” Bart asked and Jennifer looked at Frank. “Lisa told me everything a while ago” Frank said and Jennifer started to blush. “I don’t know what my mom told you but you have it all wrong, it’s just a name, I couldn’t think of anything else to call you that time” she said as her parents laughed.
“She told me you name all your pets Papo, your dog, horse, and rabbit. So I already figured it out why you called me Papo” Frank said and everyone was looking at him. “You named me Papo because you didn’t have a pet pig. I used to be fat and you teased me about it so I guess you saw me as your pet pig that’s why you called me Papo” Frank said and Jennifer violently shook her head. “No, that’s not it. I didn’t see that way” she said loudly. “You don’t have to explain, it’s alright, you can still call me Papo” he told her and he slowly bowed his head.
“No, you got it all wrong. I called you Papo because you are the first guy I ever liked” Jennifer said and Frank smiled at her. Her parents were smiling at her too and she realized what just happened. Her face turned red in embarrassment as she looked at Frank. “You tricked me. I can’t believe you tricked me” she said and her parents were smiling from ear to ear. “Aw our daughter likes a boy finally” Lisa teased and Jennifer pouter and bowed her head. “Don’t worry I like her too” Frank told them and he held Jenny’s hand.
Jennifer started to smile but was embarrassed to look at her parents. “Look how sweet they are, shy to admit to us that they like each other” Lisa said. “Finally we have hope of having a grandchild. Better yet a super grandchild eh” Bart said and Jennifer looked at Frank and they smiled. “You haven’t told them?” Frank asked and Jenny shook her head. “Told us what? Are you pregnant Jenny?” Bart asked and Jennifer laughed. “Dad, I am not pregnant, we haven’t kissed yet so how could I get pregnant?” she told her father.
“Mom, dad, there is something I want to tell you about Frank” Jennifer said and they all looked at her. “If it’s about the hero think we already know, he is actually famous around her” Bart said. “That’s not it dad” she said. “Well then what? About his super powers, that’s no problem. Did he come from another planet? Probably that’s okay since he looks human as long as he doesn’t have tentacles” Bart added and they laughed. “Dear, we know about Frank, we see him on television too” Lisa said and Jennifer just smiled and looked at Frank. “Well so they already know about you, there nothing else I can do” she told him. “Maybe this is best for now” Frank said.
“Oh don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone you are here. It’s our secret” Bart said.
Jenny took Frank at the back of the house to show him where she used to play. Jennifer started to climb a tree and asked Frank to follow her. “You might fall” Frank said and Jennifer laughed. “I can climb up this tree even with my eyes closed. Come on let go up that big branch, that is where I used to seat and daydream” she said as she climbed up. Jennifer got on the branch and sat on it, Frank slowly followed and as he noticed that the branch was leveled with the roof of the house. “You sure this branch can hold us two?” he asked as he sat down beside her.
“I don’t know; don’t worry if it breaks there a haystack below. Dad was always worried about me so he placed one below just in case I fell” she told him. “Well did you ever fall?” he asked. “Not accidentally, one time I intentionally jumped off. Dad was so mad that he threatened to cut down this tree” she said laughing.
“So who among all your pets was your favorite?” Frank asked and Jennifer sighed and bowed her head. “Papo my dog, I always teased him whenever I go up here. He doesn’t know how to climb. So he just stays down there barking at me, waiting for me to come down” she related and she smiled.
“But you know all my Papo’s always leave me” she softly said. “I didn’t” Frank told her but Jennifer shook her head. “You are hard headed, when I tell you to stay in the car you don’t. Last time you risked you life again. Eventually you will leave me too with what you are doing” she said and Frank laughed. “Leave you as in die on you? That won’t happen; I made a promise with you remember? I won’t die on you” he told her.
“Anyway why didn’t you get another dog? You could have gotten a replacement and still name him Papo” Frank asked and Jennifer sighed. “I wanted to but that dog would not be the same as the real Papo. Once a Papo leaves me they never come back. You are right I could have easily gotten another dog but will it act the same way as the real Papo? I don’t think so. Just like when I lose you, no one can replace you. Papo is Papo, once you lose them they can never come back” she said.
Jennifer looked at Frank who was seating quietly staring at the fields. She wondered what he was thinking and suddenly the memories of her dream came flashing back. “Hey Frank, you never told me how you found us…you know the incident where I got shot” she said. “I saw the place at John’s computer I think, I really don’t remember” he replied. Jennifer didn’t believe him; he was keeping something from her. “Oh, so how did you get there so fast?” she again asked. “I took a cab, paid him double just to speed up” he said.
“I see” she said but still she had doubts. “Frank did you really just go inside to get the bracelet? Is there something you are keeping from me?” she again asked and he looked at her. “What else would I be keeping from you?” he answered. “I don’t know, you tell me” she said. Frank shrugged his shoulders and looked away; Jennifer could feel he was hiding something. There was only one way to find out if her theory was correct, she pushed him off the branch expecting him to do something unbelievable.
Frank fell off the branch and landed on the haystack grimacing in pain. “Oh my God, I am sorry Frank!” she yelled as she quickly got down from the tree. Frank was still on the haystack with his eyes closed; Jennifer quickly knelt down beside him lifting his head. “Are you okay?” she asked. Frank looked at her and smiled, “Why did you push me?” he asked and Jennifer shyly played with her hair and giggled. “Well you see I had a hunch that you had powers, I really thought my dream was real so the only way to find out was to push you off the tree” she said shyly. “Seriously?” Frank asked and she started laughing.
“And what did you find out now that I am here on the ground?” Frank added and she hugged him, “I’m sorry, you’re okay right?” she asked and Frank smiled at her. “I don’t know, I feel pain actually but you know what will make me better?” he told her. “What” she replied. “A kiss would be nice” he said and she stared at him. “Okay, but only if you can catch me” she said and Jennifer stood up and ran away. Frank got up and chased after her, again they were just like children running around the field.
After lunch Bart got on his truck and Lisa walked towards him. “Honey where are you going?” she asked. “To town, to go get a new rake for Jake” Bart said. “A new rake for Jake? Why? A Christmas present for him?” Lisa asked and Bart got out of his truck and signaled his wife to follow him. He looked around and when he saw no one else was there he showed her the old rake. “Look, all of its teeth are bended. I found this a while ago under the haystack near the Papo tree” he said and Lisa was amazed.
“Jenny said Frank fell on the haystack a while ago” Lisa said softly and Bart nodded his head. “I am going to dispose this and get a new one before Jake finds out. Well if we had doubts about Frank here is proof that he is who they say he is” Bart said as Lisa examined the rake further. “I wonder what kind of grandchild we would get; do you think he is an alien?” Lisa asked and Bart laughed. “I don’t know, he looks human to me. Remember the new Superman movie, he had a son, he looked normal” Bart said and Lisa laughed.
“Bart that’s only a movie. Our daughter has a real superhero as a boyfriend. Anyway you should go now before Jake gets back” Lisa told him. “My only wish is that they don’t name our grandson Papo, oh boy I can’t wait to cuddle my cute grandson” Bart said laughing. “Granddaughter, I want her first child to be a girl” Lisa said. “Yeah and they will name her Papolina” Bart joked as he got on his truck.
“One thing I know for sure, we will know when they are making our grandchild” Bart whispered. Lisa looked at him oddly and raised her eyebrows. “Just like in the TV series, the earth shook when Clark and Lana did it” Bart again whispered and Lisa laughed and pinched him. “WE should tell them to warn us then so we could hide under a table” Lisa joked back and they both laughed happily.
Friday, January 9, 2009
Chapter 14: Papo