For all John's genius, he had overlooked a simple clue.
And the mystery would kill him if he didn't solve it.
The discovery was a freak chance crossover between scammer business plans and half a dozen statistical anomalies. Completely unexpected. Accidental.
And led to a vast conspiracy hidden in plain sight. Or so he thought.
It took one of his spirit guides to make sense of it for him. By taking him on a tour thorugh time and space so he could see for himself.
Her mssion: to change him forever, and cure the mistake his mind had created. One that was driving him insane.
Because his mind was the most potent weapon they had. Aimed at the wrong target, and it would destroy itself. She had this one chance to help him...
The next morning, I rose early and left Sal sleeping - or at least enjoying the opportunity to laze around with nothing scheduled for the day, or at least the morning. Put on some clean jeans, t shirt, and socks. Soft and comfortable without any belt or tools on my waist or in my pockets.
Starting up the coffee, and cooking my usual buckwheat omelet in ghee, the small space was soon saturated with delicious smells. Quietly laying out two table settings at the narrow desk-turned-eatery, I also laid out the butter and home-made jam, with honey and real cream for the coffee. Soon I had enough for a first helping, and was working on the second. A cup of whole milk was at each setting, as well as a cup for coffee.
Sal kept trying to burrow under the comforter and enjoy the body heat, but soon her nose and my clattering wouldn't leave her alone. She rose and stretched, then had a thick, fluffy white bathrobe appear to cover everything. And some fluffy white footies to match.
The bed was made and transformed back into a couch to make more moving-around space.
Sal sat down and settled in to beginning eating the thick omelet by slathering on the real butter and jam. The look on her face became a picture of delight from the first bite.
When I set the second helping down, I raised an eyebrow to question if she wanted it. But with her face full of her last bite, she just gestured with her fork in one hand to set it on her plate, while the other brought her milk glass to her lips to wash it all down so she could enjoy the full flavor of her next helping as well.
After I poured us both our coffee, I dug in. It didn't take long for me to catch up to her. And I showed her how pouring honey over jam made a great syrup. (They trick is in how the hot food thins the honey.)
At last she had cleaned her plate, washed it all down with the rest of her milk, and was sitting back in her chair, holding her coffee mug with both hands. She was thoroughly enjoying life - while looking at me with mischievous thoughts.
Sharing a meal with someone can be very rewarding. And having all this time alone together was making my life feel very complete.
But something was bothering me from last night. Thinking of her brought her sister up, which brought up the graduation party, and then back to what Ben had said in answer. All rapid fire, as my mind was practiced at doing.
Sal noticed the frown starting on my face, and looked concerned. "What's up with you? First you looked like you were the happiest man in the world, and then you looked like you just swallowed something that wasn't supposed to be in your coffee."
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