Joanne: Part 8

Joanne approached a small, simple looking home in a rather boring residential area of the city. It had brown wooden siding and a similarly coloured roof. It was early in the afternoon and it did not appear that anyone was home at the Dodds’ residence. Joanne walked inside and hoped like she had never hoped before that this was in fact where Terry Dodds used to live.

Joanne walked through the front door with her heart pounding nervously in her chest. She knew no one was home and even if they were they wouldn’t see her, but she still couldn’t help but feel weird about walking into someone else’s home. The house was dimly lit and gave off that nerve wracking “you’re not supposed to be here, Joanne” kind of vibe. She ignored the feeling, though, and began searching around the house. It didn’t take long for her to find a living room with an abundance of family photos hanging on the walls. Several of which had an awkward, nervous looking boy in them. Joanne looked around the room and saw the awkward, nervous development of the exact man she was looking for. She let out a sigh of relief and walked up for a closer look. It was like an awkward, nervous, life story unfolding over years and years of photos. She swore this guy must have come out of the womb already terrified of the world and unsure how to deal with that fact. He was tall and lanky, with a face characterized by almost permanently raised eyebrows and a tight lipped smile. He looked like a man who didn’t want to offend anyone but was clearly unsure what might offend someone. He looked as though he was trying to gauge the response of everything he had ever said. Even more than that, he looked like someone who didn’t have any distinct interests to speak of. No sports jerseys, no work uniforms. No clues as to places he may want to visit in the afterlife. Maybe family photos weren’t the place to start. She decided to try some other rooms instead.

Joanne wandered through the few rooms there were in the house until she passed through a wall and found what looked like a teenagers bedroom. A few photos of Terry sat on a desk and it became clear this used to be his space. Low and behold, the room managed to feel as awkward and nervous as the person who used to sleep there. Movie posters on the wall, hung very neatly, advertising rather generic pictures that would probably be tolerated by most people. A stack of CDs  by some rock bands. Nothing especially hardcore but nothing really soft either. Everything Terry owned seemed to be the most middle of the road, inoffensive stuff you could imagine. He owned nothing that would make him especially noticeable, but also nothing that would cause someone to form an opinion of him. This fact was starting to really bother Joanne as he gave no clues as to where he might like to visit. His home made him look like a man who wanted to go completely unnoticed, and with the exception of a few seconds at the mall he was succeeding with flying colours. With one small exception.

Joanne turned to leave Terry’s room and noticed a small plaque on the wall. It was an award for being the captain of a high school soccer team. Below it was a photo thumb tacked to the wall. Joanne raised an eyebrow when she saw it. It was the first image of Terry she had seen where he looked even remotely comfortable. He had a smile that felt sincere, a stance that looked comfortable, and a group of people that looked a lot like him. He looked like he belonged and for once didn’t have to worry about whether or not he would be out of place. Joanne sighed and decided to take this as the best clue she had. Maybe he remembered the soccer team fondly enough to want to visit. Joanne hoped as hard as she could that she was right, and made her way there. This felt like her only chance to find Terry before going back to square one.

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