Mystic Maya was right. Mr Nick has very long legs, and when he is walking somewhere he walks too fast. He takes big steps and every time he takes a step I have to take three. He's doing that walking thing right now, which is tiring out my legs.
He is frowning a lot. I think he must be sad. But he doesn't act sad or cry. Or maybe he is angry. He might just be Serious. Mother says sometimes that she has Serious Adult Business to Attend to. And she tells me to run along, dearest Pearl.
I think Mr Nick might be Serious and Sad right now at the same time. Maybe he is also angry. But Mystic Maya talked a lot about Mr Nick and she told me a lot of things, which I remembered. She said that Mr Nick was always nice and always kind and bought her burgers and offered to take her on boats, and he was a bit of an idiot and he always needed her a lot. She said that he was patient and wonderful and really smart, and then I said, Mystic Maya, you said he was a bit of an idiot just one second ago, and then she blushed and said, yeah. But he can be both. He's like that.
But I'm confused, because Mystic Maya didn't say that he was angry or sad or serious. I remember what she said and she didn't say that. So I'm confused.
He is walking too fast for me now. I begin to jog so that I can walk with him. I don't think he is noticing me.
"Mr Nick...I'm sorry, but please may you walk a bit slower?" I ask him. I hope I am not troubling him.
He stops walking abruptly and turns around to face me, crouching so that our eye levels are the same. "Pearls! I'm really sorry. Are you OK?"
"Thanks, Mr Nick! I'm fine. Let's keep going." I give him a cheerful smile. But I have noticed something. When he talks to me, his expression changes from grim to concerned and kindly. And everything he has said to me for the short time we have been Investigating together has been nice. So I wonder what is wrong.
"You're worried about Mystic Maya, aren't you? Is that why you are unhappy, Mr Nick?" I say the words before I think, then clap my hand over my mouth. I don't want to be rude to him!
"Yes," he whispers.
I cannot help but squeal in joy. Mr Nick's admission...the way he said it...with tears sparkling at the corners of his eyes...it's the true result of the extent of his devotion to Mystic Maya! I press my hands to my cheeks. Mr Nick and Mystic Maya! They are the perfect couple! They will be together forever and never argue and Mr Nick will always be there for Mystic Maya and me!
He frowns. "Hey...hey, Pearls, you aren't, uh, thinking that Maya and I are together, are you? Because we're not. Um."
"Don't deny your perfect love for Mystic Maya!"
"You're not going to let this go, are you..."
"No!" I think I am now glaring at Mr Nick. His eyes widen as he sees that I am completely serious. "Mr Nick, don't you dare let anything bad happen to Mystic Maya!"
He nods. "Pearls, she's not my special, uh, someone…but don't worry. Maya means the world to me. I'll make sure she's OK. I promise." And Mr Nick smiles.
I can feel my eyes pricking. This is so romantic!
"Good," he says, and the brief interlude in our walk ends. He straightens up and turns away. The grim expression is back in place.
I think I know Mr Nick a little better now.