"Excuse me?" Gary did little more than stare at this unwelcome guest.
"Uh, are you deaf? I said, your the pops; the old man, my padre, if you will." She glanced at her black nails and started chewing on the fourth one on her left hand. Gary was observant.
"Um, sorry kid, you've got the wrong guy. Try next door." He made to shut the door, but the girl wrapped her fingers around the door frame, preventing him from shutting it all the way.
"Listen, you can make this easy or we can do this the really hard way." She bobbed her head back and forth on her shoulders a bit, to look like she was serious, Gary supposed. It wasn't working.
He sighed inwardly.
"Alright kid, I'll make a deal. If I recognize your mother's name then you can come in and we'll get to the bottom of this. If not, you leave." Gary decided to humour her.
"No way, dude! What, you think I'm stupid or something? No matter what I say you're just gonna say you never heard of her."
Damn. Gary seemed to be losing his manipulative touch.
"Fine. You can come in either way, for ten minutes. No longer."
Gary waited. Jessica chewed her nail. Gary waited some more. He finally raised his eyebrows at her in an obvious sort of way and proceeded with: "So who, exactly, is your mother?"
Jessica paused for six seconds for dramatic effect. She counted out the seconds in her head. One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three... When she got to six she said: "Harriet. Harriet Longman."
Oh, bollocks, Gary thought. Gary said things like 'bollocks' even though he wasn't English.
That was Gary.