Updated: Sep 28
Continued from last issue …
“Excuse me?” demanded Joni. “Colin, who is this?”
“I’ll be there momentarily,” called Colin nervously over the phone. He continued to describe his situation to the operator. “She just showed up at my house. She’s insisting she’s my wife and has all these pictures— yes, I’m already married. No, I didn’t know her previously. Well, I might’ve, but I don’t really remember her—” He could hear the two women hollering at each other in the kitchen, equally horrified and confused. Macy wasn’t crying anymore— she was crouched on the floor in a sort of fetal position hyperventilating, pleading with his wife. “Please. I-I… I promise I’ll leave. I just need to know what happened to my children…”
The police arrived quickly in a squadron of patrol cars with an ambulance, sirens blaring in the twilight. They burst from their cars and charged toward Joni and Macy, grabbing them both and breaking them up. “What’s going on here?” demanded an officer. “Is it a domestic dispute?”
“Hi, officer. A strange woman just showed up at my house out of nowhere, and she’s insisting that we’re married. She says we have three kids and her phone is loaded with pictures. But I don’t know who they are, or who she is, and—”
“I’m your wife!” bawled Macy. “I always have been! And my children are nowhere to be found and you’re suddenly insisting they don’t exist!!”
“Are you married to either of these women, sir?” inquired the policeman.
“Yes, actually. I’m married to the blonde one over there with the pageboy haircut. I have no idea where the other one came from—”
“I’M YOUR WIFE!!” Macy screeched.
“No, I am!” cried Joni.
“What even is going on here?” demanded an officer. “What is this, the story of King Solomon? Should we cut him in half? Which one are you really married to, sir?”
“I can prove it.” Joni stepped forward, withdrawing her wallet and cell phone from her purse. “Our last name is Mulligan, see? It’s on our mailbox. Check his phone too. And our family photo is the home screen on his phone. That’s our son over there— his name is Duncan, he’s eight. He can vouch for us…”
Colin handed the policemen his phone, and they scrolled through his personal photos—all the family pictures, all the baby pictures of Duncan with his mother, all the Christmases and soccer games. But what really settled it was the photos Colin had loaded from their wedding reception on his phone— the kind of pictures Macy did not happen to have on her phone.
As they chatted with the officers, Colin glimpsed over at Macy as the officers reasoned with her, hysterical and inconsolable, hyperventilating once again. “Please,” she begged. “I don’t care what happens to me. I don’t care if he doesn’t want to see me again. I just need to know that my babies are okay. I don’t know what he’s done with them. Please—”
“What do you think happened?” Colin asked.
“It’s probably a psychotic break,” replied the officer. “We see these a lot. She’ll need to be evaluated, of course, and depending on the level of treatment she needs we’ll take it from there. You can file a restraining order in the morning.”
“Thank God,” Colin sighed. “I just hope this doesn’t happen again.”
The Mandela effect is a strange phenomenon. Usually it applies to false recollections from our past of many less significant memories we may have; ones that don’t really affect us, but when we realize our memories of certain events are inconsistent with reality we can forget and move on with our lives. It’s no skin off our noses.
But somewhere out there, Macy Flannery-Mulligan is trapped in a locked ward in a world where she is branded a mental case. She has no contact with her children, or the Colin she knew, or the life she knew. And they have no contact with her. Somewhere out there, three children haven’t a clue what happened to their mother. She’s reported as a missing person with all searches inconclusive. Vanished without a trace.
But she’s out there… even if she’s hidden where no one from her old life can ever find her.