"First and foremost.. you might not be able to get home," Donny says, watching me carefully. "I need to be honest with you from the start."
"What? I have family back there! I can't just give up on them and stay here!"
"You don't understand... Hannurdock. There are billions of dimensions, the exact number is unknown but there are theories that multiple dimensions may be an unlimited stream of realms pressed together with slight differences."
"I don't get it!" I cry, exasperated.
"I don't get it, neither." Raph folds his arms.
"Look, think of the multiverse as a tin of sardines all tightly packed together. They are close to each other but do not occupy each others' space. They look similar but each have minute differences. The further away from each other they are the more differences you see. A dimension many realms apart may have little in common with those at the other end of the tin... but here is where it differs from your average tin of sardines. The tin itself, that metal container, is infinite in dimensional terms. There is an endless void of space that contains these different realms. At one end, the big bang might never have happened at all. At the other end the big bang might have created another universe made of silken worms instead of planets. There is no rule that these dimensions have to follow. Gravity might work in one dimension but might have no meaning in another. Science from our dimension might seem idiotic in another one much further away from our own realm."
"My brain hurts," Mikey admits.
"Well, the point I'm trying to make here is that we might not be able to find one dimension among the billions that exist. Even those closest to our own dimension with only slight differences might number in their billions. We have no idea if we'd ever be able to find the exact one that you left from." Donny sighed. "I'll do my best for you, Hannurdock. But I confess that you might be stuck here. With us."
I sink into a corner with my mouth gaping open. "So, I'm stuck here?"
"I don't know for sure. I'll do my best to get you home, but you must realise that it may be an impossible task." Donny kneels down and pats my knee as I just sit there, completely stunned. "We'll do everything we can, I promise."
I'm not one to start crying and it takes a lot to draw emotions from me. But this... the thought of never seeing my friends and family again, it is terrifying. Tears escape my eyes and make me further frustrated. Turning away, I stare at the shower wall and try to blank my mind.
"Look gal, if anyone can do it, Donny can," Raph kneels down also. I look at him and the vision is blurred slightly with my tears.
"So, what on earth do I do until I can go home?" My voice became smaller with the uncertainty. I am petrified.
"You can fight? You could patrol with us sometimes." Leo says. "You could always come and live in the lair if you'd like. Till we can get you home."
I stood up and faced them with a new resolve. "Sounds like a plan."
Raph grins and pummels his fist into his palm. "We got a load of bad guys for you to work on. You'll be okay."
"So what do I do with this new life?" I ask, turning to Donatello. "How do I fit in here?"
"We'll get you back to your apartment first," Donny says kindly. "It's much less grimy than the sewers. Then we look into your doppelganger's life story and figure out a way for you to play the part."
Back at the apartment the similaries were striking but the differences made me feel uneasy. There is no martial arts trophies anywhere so I can only assume this world's Hannurdock isn't a practitioner of my favourite activity. This is disquieting.
Meanwhile, Donny is working flat-out on the computer, bringing together a folder on my alter-ego.
"Are you ready?" Don asks, sitting beside me with a frown on his face.
"Yep, lay it on me." I grab the file and start leafing through the information.
Headings strike me full in the heart as I read each section, hardly taking a breath.
"This world's Hannurdock has something called EUPD. Do you know what that is?" Donny asks.
I shake my head.
"It stands for Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder. It's a mental condition that leads to self-mutilation and a whole host of other problems. Your doppelganger is not well." Donny takes in a breath.
I feel the prick of tears again.
I drew the best hand and my other-self had been drawn the worst card of all. It didn't seem fair.
"She has been in and out of hospital for years. Keeps herself to herself. She never got into martial arts." Donny continues.
"I often feel that martial arts has helped me with mental adversity," I admit. "I couldn't imagine life without it."
"You don't need to, it's right here. A life of turmoil." Donny shakes his head and takes back the file. "You need to play this person, at least during the day. At night-time you can patrol with us."
"I can't play a game!" I cry, indignant. "Mental illness isn't a role in a movie! I can't fake what she has gone through!"
"You don't really need to," Donny says. "Just attend an appointment with a mental health doctor once every two months and then keep to yourself the rest of the time. They will colour you to suit their diagnosis. Just don't talk much at all, you'll be fine." Donny turns to Leo and shrugs his shoulders. "It's all you can do."
I wonder about how this person is getting on living my life. I can only hope she feels some happiness or that her life is easier in my world.
In turn, I will try to help her in this world.