I don't actually know what they sell at Starbucks, but I love raspberry pastries. Mmm. A shocking revelation!
‘Come on a Monday, come on a Tuesday, they’ll never know… da de de la hmm… Wednesday… dadada hmm hmm… butter… lala de de hmm… his guy Friday, his guy Friday, his guy Friday…’
‘It’s – it’s his GIRL Friday, actually…’
Guy jumped. Without realising it he’d already gone into Starbucks and was queuing for his coffee, with William right behind him. He felt his cheeks burning. How had he forgotten the words to a song by one of his favourite bands? And at such a crucial time, with the lead singer eavesdropping on every word!
‘William! Erm, well… yes, I – I did know the right words, yes, but… I must have just… forgotten… William, how are you this morning?’
He turned round to focus on William properly, and something wasn’t right. He looked fine; in fact, quite good (thought Guy), in his tight jeans and striped polar neck, his hair tousled slightly by the wind outside. But his skin had gone pale, his eyes were wide, his mouth hung open slightly. He was quite obviously shocked. But what at? thought Guy. He was extremely keen to find out.
William was still gaping at Guy, and the queue behind was starting to get restless. Guy pushed William forward a little and he snapped out of his reverie. Gulping, he absent-mindedly ordered two regular coffees for them both, before Guy jumped in.
‘Make mine a tea, please. White. Oh, and a raspberry pastry.’ He’d been too nervous to eat at the hotel, but now he was ravenous. And plus he had quite a sweet tooth.
As they sat down near a window, facing each other, Guy stirred some sugar into his tea. He was fully aware that William was still watching him, no longer shocked but fascinated. He was resting his head in his hands, just staring into Guy’s face. Part of Guy (a small part, but nevertheless) was quite flattered, but most of him was beginning to feel quite nervous. He sighed, took a big gulp of his tea, and plucked up some courage.
He jumped out of his trance and listened in.
‘W-What was the true purpose of meeting me here? And, please, why are you staring at me?’
William gulped and looked at his shoes. ‘You… obviously didn’t… meet ALL of Cobra Starship, did you?’
‘Well, no, as a matter of fact. There was one other chap… what was his name… Ryland, was it?’
William looked up again. ‘Yeah, that’s him…’ He sighed. ‘OK, Guy, I’m gonna tell you something that might freak you out.’
Guy leaned in closer, taking a large bite of his pastry, oblivious to the fact that William hadn’t touched his coffee and was looking quite scared now.
‘Well, last night… Since then I’ve realised… I wasn’t just dehydrated. It was so weird. You know Ryland, right? Well, you don’t know him, but you’ve heard of him… Well, after we came off stage last night, Cobra Starship went on, and I high-fived Ryland as they went on. Then somehow, don’t ask me how, he came running through the back door again. I was completely freaked out, and then he started talking, in this English accent… and then I wasn’t sure who it was after all. ‘Cause it wasn’t him… it was you.’
Guy was puzzled. Poor William, he thought to himself sadly. The stress of touring is obviously taking an effect on his mentality. He took another bite of his pastry.
‘Mmm… Have you ever tried these, William?’ he mumbled through his mouthful, hoping to distract the poor deluded man. ‘Delicious… truly delicious…’
William sighed and rubbed his forehead. ‘You’re not getting it, man! There’s two of you! Who knows, he may be a long-lost relative or something… but you’re just so alike! If Ryland was here now I couldn’t tell the difference between you at all!’
Guy frowned, still not understanding. ‘But I’ve been an only child all my life… What are you saying, William?’
William pulled out his phone, exasperated, and started pressing various buttons. He held the phone up next to Guy’s head and gasped.
‘I knew it! Look! Look at this! There’s your proof!’ he shouted, passing the phone to Guy. He looked at the screen, and suddenly realised what William had been on about all this time.
The screen appeared to hold a photo of Guy. But this wasn’t him. It was a faultless copy. The man in the photo was much more casually dressed, but he was the same towering height, had the same hair, face shape, eye colour. He was a perfect clone in every way. Guy could not believe his eyes. It was like looking in a mirror.
‘See? See what I told you!’ William couldn’t control his burbling. ‘I told you, man! I told you! It’s so weird!’
He then realised that half of Starbucks was staring at him and frowning. Turning back to Guy, he sipped his coffee and mumbled quietly instead.
‘Hey, why don’t you come to Indianapolis with us? Ryland would love to meet you. Together you can both sort this thing out.’ He dropped his voice to a sing-song whisper. ‘Plus Victoria will be there!’
But Guy just nodded absent-mindedly, completely forgetting about Victoria or his imminent flight back home to England. He was far too engrossed in the picture to care. He would have to find out whether this was all real, or if it was just some stupid joke. And it was better to do it now rather than leave it till later. He had the slightest feeling, sitting in a random Starbucks thousands of miles from home, with sticky crumbs on his shirt and a famous musician shouting revelations at him, that things had just started shaking up in the Ripley world.