49: Reunited: Day Sixty-Three

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Brian was in the kitchenette of the penthouse suite, standing at the cupboard and gazing out the patio windows at the sun setting behind the surrounding high rises, while absently snacking on a protein bar. Melanie stood silently in the hallway and looked at Brian. She had been napping in one of the bedrooms and woke up not knowing where she was or where everyone had gone.

Normally, she would have been scared and frantic, but having spent so much time with her friends and the threat of being taken by Otis gone, she was no longer afraid to be alone.

Feeling someone watching him, Brian turned toward the door, smiling when he realized Melanie had joined him.

"Hey, sleepyhead," he greeted her cheerfully. "Can I get you something to eat?"

Melanie shook her head and slowly made her way into the room. She looked around, not used to the suite being quiet and unoccupied.

"Everybody's kind of scattered all over," he explained, realizing what she was searching for. "Victoria and Mel went out to do a bit of shopping and I think Emma and Geri are at the pool or in the spa or something."

Melanie nodded and sat at the table. She pulled her feet onto the chair and tucked her knees into her chest, picking absently at the hem of her trouser leg. Brian frowned curiously, setting his protein bar on the table and sitting on the chair next to Melanie.

"What's going on, honey?" he asked, draping his arm over Melanie's shoulders and pulling her against his side. She thought for a moment, glancing up at Brian momentarily before dropping her gaze once more.

"Can I ask you a question?" she asked softly.

"Of course," he replied. "Ask away."

Melanie went quiet once more, trying to plan out what she wanted to say. Brian squeezed her shoulder supportively, coaxing her to continue.

"What's my name?" Melanie asked almost inaudibly. Brian looked at her, dumbstruck.

"Melanie," he replied quickly. "Chisholm. I don't know if you have a middle name, but I can ask the girls." Melanie shook her head, dismissing his suggestion. "Honey, are you having trouble remembering?" he asked seriously. "More than before?"

"It keeps changing," she stated.

"Your name keeps changing?" Brian asked, trying to make sense of what she was talking about. "How do mean?"

"Everybody calls me different things," she explained.

"What do they call you?" he asked.

"AJ calls me baby girl sometimes," she replied, finally making eye contact with Brian once she realized he hadn't thought her question was stupid. "You just called me honey and sometimes the people outside call me Sporty."

"We've just gone and confused the shit out of you, haven't we?" Brian chuckled sympathetically. "Your name is Melanie," he assured her. "Sporty is your Spice Girl name and everything else we call you are just little pet names."

"Ok," Melanie stated as she nodded, satisfied with the answer. "Like Nick calls you other things sometimes?"

"Exactly," Brian replied. "Do you want us to stop?" He leaned back and ran his fingers through her hair. She shook her head and chewed her fingernail. He smiled and stood up, opening the cupboard and passing her an unopened protein bar before sitting back down to finish his.

"Any other questions I might be able to help you with?" he asked.

Melanie thought for a moment as she removed the wrapper from the bar. "Mel told me to ask you what zig-a-zig ah means," she replied.

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