All That’s Left

Click here for synopsis.

My razor dug in too deep and nipped the skin; a thin sliver of blood stared back at me through the mirror. The wound didn’t heal instantly, which for a moment excited me, attesting that I was again fully human, but it also saddened me for much the same reason. I noticed how much my hairline had receded and my belly seemed to be packing a significantly larger keg. A few strands of grey hair also dotted the porcelain sink below. Middle age, I thought to myself. The clock is ticking but it’s an accomplishment nonetheless.

When I first arrived in this form I wasn’t quite sure on which one of my many names to go by, or if I should use any of them at all. I briefly considered going by Asankyeyo-Aprameyaatmaa, which is perhaps the most accurate name that’s been given to me, but I immediately laughed away the thought.

I don’t wish to take a trip down memory lane as I’m sure you have your own ideas about me, or at least an interpretation that’s been instilled in your head, which I’d love to debate with you some other time. Nonetheless, I’d like to put a few things in perspective. I recall an incident that happened not too long ago shortly after I took up permanent residence on this plain of existence. There was an acclaimed theoretical physicist, renowned for his contributions to the scientific field, but the onset of a debilitating neurological disorder had confined him to a wheelchair. I’m not sure what it was, call it human pity if you will, but for some reason I felt sorrow for this gentleman, being such a great mind but having to talk through a machine. So I decided to heal him, fully restoring his speech and all his motor functions. As always I did this remotely, so as far as those close to him were concerned, his inexplicable recovery was nothing short of a miracle. The physicist himself saw it differently though. Within a year of his return to horseback riding, rock climbing, and croquet, the man had compiled a complete scientific report explaining in full detail how airborne contaminants caused his ganglia to grow stem cells, allowing his cerebral cortex to spontaneously regenerate functioning axons. This set off a chain reaction that caused his pituitary gland to trigger his endocrine system to produce massive amounts of adrenalin and testosterone, which in conjunction with the stem cells, restored any atrophied muscles. Despite how bogus it all sounded, science once again took all the credit. But I guess the whole act of God thing was a bit harder to swallow.

This wasn’t the first nor the last time something like this happened to me. There were many other instances where I’d intervene and some wise-ass would come up with a “rational explanation.” But as this continued, things started to change. After that physicist, I wasn’t able to heal the way I used to. Whenever I was debunked, I lost the ability to perform that miracle. And this has steadily been occurring throughout the ages, right to the point where I myself have been debunked. With what little strength I had left, I reasoned that if I can’t exist as this all-encompassing being, at least I can still exist as an individual. Your typical schmo next door. And so here I am, spending the rest of my days as a human, since I’m pretty certain they won’t be trying to disprove themselves anytime soon.

I’ve only been living in this city for two years, but I’ve been here, in an earthly sense, for much longer. Some might say I never left. I can’t say precisely how long I’ve physically been here. By now I’ve probably resided in every possible corner this world has to offer. Toronto’s a nice place though. The air is clean and the people aren’t afraid to talk to you. The women aren’t entirely

disappointing to look at either, though I still believe my best work is in Brazil and Eastern Europe. Funny, I’ve spent so much time in this flesh I’m beginning to take on some of its male qualities, not that such qualities haven’t arbitrarily been attributed to me already. But aside from that, Toronto prides itself on the multicultural centre that it is, despite that many of its ethnic groups still haven’t shaken off the habit of self-segregation in certain parts. It was this freedom of cultural expression that initially drew me here. Every faith one could imagine could be found here with a substantial community, and I figured that as long as people had faith, no matter the creed, I still had a chance to transcend back into my original self. Unfortunately, Toronto turned out to be an increasingly secular society, masquerading behind a façade of theological tolerance out of fear of offending someone’s beliefs.

I soon remembered that irony is one of this world’s defining characteristics, exemplified in the predictable habit of the most intolerant jurisdictions to be the most religious. As much as I detested the idea, settling in a place where my biggest fans lavished in their ignorance became my only chance of survival. I considered Saudi Arabia, or Gambia perhaps. I even thought of moving to Papua New Guineato live amongst the aboriginals there and thrive in their mythology. But living in Toronto for so long had made me too accustomed to the luxuries westerners take for granted. If I were to embark on this transition from secularism to Dark Age superstition, where I could once again reclaim my former incarnations, I would have to take baby steps.

The idea dropped in on me two winters ago when new tenants were moving into my apartment building. I was passing through the lobby when I saw a woman bringing in what appeared to be a component to a dresser. Her hair was long and dark, eyes almond shaped, suggesting an Oriental background. Boxes had already been stacked in the lobby like a centre piece ornament. “Here let me help you with that,” I offered, relieving her of the load. The thing wasn’t heavy, just awkward. As the building’s landlord, I made it my business to help new tenants move in.

“Oh thanks,” she said as she grabbed a smaller box from the pile on the floor. “That should be the last one from the van.”

“My apologies,” I said as we boarded the elevator. “I didn’t know you would be here so soon.”

“Actually it’s my fault.” She pressed the fourth floor with the top corner of the box. “This was the only time I was able to rent the U-Haul.”

“No worries,” I assured. “A guy like me could use the exercise this time of day.” The elevator dinged as it passed each floor. “And you must be Caitlyn.”

“Yep. Sorry, I didn’t get your name the last time we met.”

“Oh you could just call me–” I was interrupted by her cell phone as she received a text message.

“Shit, sorry.” She rested the box on the floor and slid open her phone, letting out a bubbly giggle as she read the communiqué and replied. The door opened and I stepped out with Caitlyn following. “The apartment’s this way,” she said, noticing I was about to head in the wrong direction. I don’t know if it was that her legs were noticeably longer than mine, or the piece of furniture slowing me down, but she strode in front of me with an impressive gait; I could barely keep up. Within seconds we were in her apartment. I’d forgotten how much larger the rooms looked devoid of furniture. “You can just leave that on the kitchen counter if you don’t mind. And don’t worry about the rest of the stuff downstairs, my son and I could handle the rest.” Her diction was touched with a southern American accent. I tenuously placed it in Tennessee.

“So whereabouts do you hail from?” I asked.

“I grew up in Oklahoma. Right in the middle of Tulsa.” She was rummaging through a box on the floor, pulling out miscellany and placing them on the counter that divided the kitchen and living room. “Used to teach at a school there.”

“Ah, so was it business or pleasure that brought you here?”

“Neither,” she shrugged. “Just wanted to get the hell out of

there.”

That remark intrigued me. I tried probing her omnisciently, but only saw a rather uneventful childhood and an ex-husband. She cheated on him. Her father was also actively involved in a Southern Baptist church she practically grew up in. That was all I was able to get on her. The rest was beyond me, at least now it was. “Needed a change of scenery?”

“Nah. Just grew tired of all the Bible humping is all.”

As we continued to talk, it turned out our reasons for coming to this city were the same yet different: we were both attracted to its balance of secularism and diversity, but drawn to the opposing sides. Not that I could blame her though. America’s a nation of stark contrasts, polarisations, and dichotomies. It’s at the forefront of space exploration, yet behind in so many other areas. Strange, a society that has contributed so much to the scientific community is also one of the hardest working to sabotage that community. And that meant America would be the perfect place for me to call home.

That was winter, two years ago. Now it was a sweltering July morning as the month had been seeing a relentless heat wave with virtually no rain. I was expecting a visit from Mr. Dawkins early afternoon, but until he arrived I needed to inquire about some overdue rent. I decided to pay Sparrow a visit, one of my tenants. She was actually among the first to move in when I bought the place, the young med school student needed a place to live and I needed the rent to help pay the bills. She lived on the first floor of the six story apartment. Room 126.

As I walked down the hall I passed the little chapel. Ms. Fisher was in there talking to herself as usual. She and I would often meet there to play a game of Go. The little chapel was right next to the little mosque and the little temple. Those three rooms had once been apartments before I had them converted into places of worship. Just a little thing to accommodate the tenants who still believed I lived in some kingdom in the sky. At any given time during the day, I might find some practitioners in a room or two, but lately the numbers had been thinning like the hair on my scalp. Although worshipers were obliged to keep the rooms clean, I did most of the maintenance myself. Each and every night I would straiten the seats, mop the floors, and vacuum the carpets. I also never locked the doors. Prayer Row, as some of the tenants called it, had an open door policy for those who sought spiritual enlightenment, no matter the time of day.

When I reached Sparrow’s apartment at the end of the hall, I gave the door a couple of knocks before I heard slippered footsteps shuffle towards it. It was answered by Sparrow’s partner Pricilla, a tall drink of Kenyan beauty. “Good morning,” I said. “Can I speak to Sparrow please?”

“Yeah one sec.” She left the door open as she went back to fetch her girlfriend. A hint of burning incense escaped into the halls.

“Okay, so here’s what’s happening,” announced Sparrow, coming to the door in a pair of sweatpants and a tank top hanging loosely on her thin frame. “I haven’t been getting that many hours at work, so I apologise for the lateness. Thing is though, you said you’ll repair my stove like two weeks ago. I’ve been eating take out since. So you understand why I’m late?”

I had honestly forgotten about her request for a utilities repair. “Well I could have a look at it now, if you don’t mind.”

“Would you?”

I stepped into the ocean of incense smoke. Her apartment had a single bedroom and a bathroom down the narrow hall. The carpet was a nasty shade of green with a few cookie crumbs speckled here and there. The kitchen was tucked away in the corner and had a sink full of dishes. Sparrow had the windows open, allowing the thick hot air to billow in like car exhaust. “Forgive the mess,” she smiled. “Haven’t had much time to fix up the place.”

“No worries,” I said. The stove gave little trouble when I pulled it out, and it didn’t take an engineering degree to see that the old thing needed replacing. “I’ll have you a new one by the end of the week.”

“You would? Oh, thank you.” She wrapped her arms around me, burying my face in her yellow, cannabis-scented dreadlocks. As I was walking out I said, “And don’t worry about the rent for now. I’ll extend it until next week, first thing in the morning.”

“That’s fantastic,” Sparrow popped. “Listen, Pricilla’s finally going to be moving in with me so that should make things a lot easier.”

I nodded my head. Contrary to popular belief, I hold no qualms against Sparrow’s lifestyle. Like everything else in nature, same sex intimacy is designed with a purpose; otherwise I wouldn’t have it occur in the first place. But it’s funny how people make assumptions about you. It reminds me of those so-called “entertainment news” programs, which I admit are a guilty pleasure of mine. Because of America’s obsession with celebrities, these programs feed off those modern deities like mosquitoes, swarming them with camera flashes then stitching together all sorts of tabloid stories about them, whether they be true or not. Well, if people could say these things about today’s gods, imagine all the nonsense that’s been said about me, especially by those who claim to know me best.

“Why don’t you stop by sometime for some herbal tea?” asked Sparrow.

“I’m not too sure about that. The last time I had your tea I started seeing ten digits on each of my hands.”

“That’s the whole purpose of the communal drink,” she said passionately. “Besides, when else would we get a chance to sit down and chat after you leave?”

“What’s this I hear about you leaving?” asked Pricilla, coming to the door with bowl of Cheerios.

“He’s selling the place,” replied Sparrow curtly.

“Oh yeah?” asked Pricilla. “Let’s just hope the next landlord is as forgiving as you.”

Me, forgiving?” I laughed. “Maybe now, but in my younger days, not so much.”

“When are you selling the place?” Pricilla asked.

“I’m meeting a buyer today, actually. He sounds like a pretty nice fellow. You might like him.”

Sparrow didn’t look convinced. “So where’re you moving to anyways?”

“You won’t like the answer, Sparrow.”

“Why not? It’s not like you’re moving to Americaor something,” Sparrow snickered.

I looked away and scratched the back of my head.

Really?” She was giving me the same look her mother probably gave her when she came out of the closet.

“Anyways, good luck on your exam this afternoon, I’m pretty sure all that studying you’ve been doing is going to pay off.”

A look of bewilderment wrinkled Sparrow’s brow. “I told you about my exam?”

“Yes… How else would I know about it?”

“Oh. Well, thanks, I guess.”

“See you around, Sparrow. Bye, Pricilla.”

Pricilla returned the farewell as I walked away, whispering to her partner, “What’s his name again?”

I was careless, I thought as I walked back down the hall. Then again I hadn’t clairvoyanted, for lack of a better word, in months, since my omniscience was growing rustier with each passing year. Although now my intuition was no more advanced than that of anyone else, it behaved much like a flickering flame of a dying candle. I would every so often have these hiccups, if you will, where I would spill some kind of foreknowledge before it was brought up. But I knew Sparrow was going to pass the exam nonetheless.

After collecting the remaining overdue rent from a couple of other tenants, which made me feel like a church collection plate, I stepped out for a cup of coffee and a pack of cigarettes. Outside was like a sauna and the air rolled thick and heavy. The brisk walk to the Timmy’s down the street already had me sweating. The air conditioned interior was welcoming. When I got in line there was a man by the counter, apparently taking out his stress and inadequacies out on the young Sri Lankan girl at the register. “I asked for an extra-large steeped tea with a little cream and three sweeteners,” he said in his pretentious British accent. “This is hardly what I asked for. So if you would so kindly do your job properly, that would be very much appreciated.” The girl did her best to maintain her professionalism and promptly prepared him another cup. “I’m not paying the difference for this by the way,” the man continued.

“Yes, sir,” blankly replied the girl.

“Don’t worry about the difference,” I cut in. “This one’s on me.”

“Excuse me, do I know you?” asked the man, his cheeks still rosy from the outside heat.

“In fact you do. Mr. Dawkins I presume. We spoke over the telephone. I own the apartment on Dufferin you want to buy.”

His face went as blank as a switched off television then turned back on just as quickly. “Oh well pardon me,” said Dawkins eagerly pumping my hand. “H-how did you know who I was?”

Silly me had another omniscient hiccup. “Didn’t I just say we spoke over the telephone? I recognized your voice.” That would have to do. I immediately turned my attention back to the cashier. “You’ll have to excuse my friend. This heat wave has everyone on edge.”

“No problem, sir,” she said. “Here’s your tea.”

Dawkins thanked the girl and I bought my coffee and a peach juice, which wasn’t as cold as I hoped it would be. “Very kind of you for this tea,” he said as we walked out.

“Don’t mention it. Consider it my way of sweetening the deal.”

“So you throw in a free cup of tea with a sixty-year-old apartment building? That’s quite a bargain.” He stood at least seven inches above me, and he faintly reminded me of that talk show host Conan O’Brian: his forehead peppered with freckles, a rather small pair of eyes, a nose sharp like the edge of a dagger, and a well-defined jaw. Except his hair was nothing to fuss over: coarse and light brown with a touch of grey on each side.

I showed Dawkins around the old apartment building. We went down into the dark, musky bowls of the building and he inspected the aging boiler, pipes and the new water softener I had installed after I acquired the place. “This boiler has got to be older than me,” said Dawkins, wiping the fog off his glasses with his thin cotton shirt. “But looks like she’s still going strong.”

“I tell you, it’ll probably out live us both.”

“Yeah. I shouldn’t worry about replacing it anytime soon, I suppose.” He put his spectacles back on, fitting back into the imprints left on the bridge of his nose. It was plus thirty-six degrees Celsius outside alone, so we had no desire to stick around in that oven of a basement; we headed back up.

There was an easy breeze out on the rooftop, making the heat slightly more bearable. The roof had been converted into a garden, each section of green, yellow, and violet looked after by a tenant. Sparrow was one of them; she grew a patch of green peppers. She would often swing by my apartment to give me the honour of a taste test. They were quite delicious actually, with a curiously spicy aftertaste. Sometimes I wondered what exactly she put in her crops. And for myself I grew a collection of germaniums and some onions. The entire roof was covered with greenery, save for the few walkways that crisscrossed the terrace.

Dawkins and I found Ms. Fisher up there, tending to her perennials and white mushrooms. “Are you mad, woman?” I greeted. “Why are you gardening in this heat?”

She looked up at us with a smile shaded by her sun hat. “Actually I was just finishing up.” Decades of cigarettes had made her voice like sandpaper.

“You shouldn’t have to worry about this, Ms. Fisher. I keep telling you I’d look after them for you until the weather cools down.”

She stood up slapping the dirt from her hands and said, “The day I trust you with my mushrooms would be the day I take up pole dancing.” A woman of her age and girth, I thought that would be interesting to see. “And you must be Mr. Dawkins.”

“Am I a celebrity? Everyone seems to know who I am. Please, you can just call me Charles.”

“Ms. Fisher and I speak frequently,” I said. “She already knows about my plans to sell the building.”

“I also know you’re quite ruthless on the housing and development block,” she said to Dawkins. “I’ve read up on you. I hear you own half of the west end and you’re vying for a cozy little council seat at City Hall.”

“You know more than my wife,” joked Dawkins. Part of what he said was ironically true. Ms. Fisher was a prostitute in her younger years before she found Christ. Indeed, ladies of her former profession do have a tendency to know more about a man than the woman he’s married to.

“Well, this building isn’t just another notch on the old belt,” said Ms. Fisher. “I just hope you’ll pay as much attention to it as I’m sure you do your accounts.” She turned back to me. “Anyways I’m gonnah head back down before I suffer a heat stroke. Come see me in the chapel if you wannah finish that game of Go. Nice meeting you, Charles.”

“I certainly will,” I replied as she waddled through the door.

“Well I expect she and I would get along quite nicely,” said Dawkins.

“Oh don’t mind her. She just doesn’t trust the business type.” I walked over to the edge of the roof and leaned over the ledge, lit a cigarette and looked off towards the downtown core. “This is my favourite part of the building. Some would say I spend more time up here than I do in my apartment. I don’t know, I just find it easier to think up here, with the people below.” Brings back memories, I thought. Dawkins simply nodded his head with a smile, cautiously staying in one spot, well away from the edge. I looked back at him. “Not a fan of heights?”

“Oh, I’m perfectly fine right here, thanks.” He noticed my cage of homing pigeons and went over to investigate. “So what prompted you to sell such a fine estate?” he asked, inspecting my fowl. “A place like this I can’t see someone parting with that easily.”

“You’re right on that account,” I said opening the cage. “But I found some good prospects down in Oklahoma, Alabama, and Mississippi.” I reached in to let a pigeon perch on my finger and eased it from the cage. “Here, take her. Don’t worry, this one’s friendlier than most of the others.”

Dawkins took the bird with both hands, gently. “My auntie had a few just like these back in Shrewsbury,” he said. “I detested the things. When I was seven, she gave me quite the licks when I… accidentally set them free.”

I couldn’t help but laugh at that. “Then I’ll let you two get better acquainted.” I closed back the cage and left him with Lilith the homing pigeon. He looked at her, admiring her glossy, dark grey plume touched with iridescent emerald and magenta highlights. She stared back at him, twitching her neck in that avian fashion, blinking at him oddly with that queer nictitating eyelid.

“I take it you’ll want me to look after your birds,” he said.

“My onions too, if you don’t mind.” The corner of Dawkins’ upper lip curled up, baring his coffee-stained incisors. He relieved himself of my beloved Columbia livia domestica and placed her back in the cage.

Mustering the courage, he was finally able to join me at the ledge. “That lady who was just up here with us mentioned those chapels you showed me earlier,” said Dawkins.

“What about them?”

“I’ve been thinking, from a business standpoint of course, should you really have all that livable space being used for such a purpose? Prayer Row you called it?”

I looked at him suspiciously. “What do you mean?”

“Well, while I was down there, attendance seemed rather sparse.”

“It’s a Monday afternoon, what do you expect.”

“So then I can expect to see the pews filled up and twenty Muslims praying towards the East this Sunday is what you’re telling me?”

I had no answer for that question. Come Sunday, hymns won’t be filling the halls of the first floor, and Mecca would receive few prayers from my little mosque.

“What I’m trying to say is that the world has changed much since when you and I were kids,” said Dawkins, “but fundamentally it’s still the same. People are a bit harder to fool these days, so religion isn’t as effective as it used to. But those in power simply found another system of control. The Church of Mass Media and Pop Culture. The only drawback with this one is that it’s much harder to justify going to war, am I right?” He let out a pompous guffaw and slapped me on the shoulder.

I feigned a smile. “But there’s still quite the following where I’ll be heading.”

“Ah yes,” Dawkins sighed. “The Bible Belt. But their efforts won’t carry on much longer, though. Not as more and more people are coming to their senses and grow out of this whole God delusion. There isn’t much all that’s left.”

That made me wince somewhat. It forced me to remember how people are blessed with free will for the most part, although the vast majority of them are content to live as sheep. I’ve sent countless shepherds to guide them, enlighten them. But like any flock, there are those who would follow for a time, but would eventually stray. Some of these strays have taken others with them, claiming to be shepherds themselves. This has occurred on both sides, secular and religious.

“Once I buy this place, I’m turning those rooms back into apartments,” said Dawkins looking out towards the city. “I’m sure the extra rent they pull in could go towards a few repairs I noticed this building could use.” He turned and looked at me. “You won’t have a problem with that, would you?”

Yes, I thought. You know this building needs no serious repairs. By repairs you mean upgrades. Upgrades that would raise property value so you can sell the place for more than you bought it for by this time next year. A city council seat would be a fine addition to the quarter of the real estate market that’s already in your pocket. “No,” I finally replied. “Business is business I guess.”

“See, I knew you were a reasonable man. Now let’s get the hell out of this heat, shall we?” I had one last pull of my cigarette and outed it on the ledge.

He was quite content to be back in the cool atmosphere of the building. We swapped information and he told me to call him in a week’s time to further discuss any details and close the deal. As we headed out we noticed a commotion outside. I saw Carlos Batista, a stocky, Filipino electrician, speed through the lobby. “What’s going on?” I asked him.

“There’s been a car accident,” he said as he shot out the door. Dawkins and I chased him out into the sizzling air and followed him around the corner. When we arrived at the scene my heart immediately leapt into my throat; not at what I saw, but because of the people I instantly knew were in the car. Dawkins was already on his cell phone with a 911 dispatcher. The small red Kia Venga was flipped over like an upturned land tortoise, its front wheels still spinning. Shards of broken glass surrounded the vehicle like a moat of jagged spikes. About seven metres away was another car, this one an SUV with its front end smashed in, looking like a compressed accordion. The driver in that vehicle was unconscious, slumped over the steering wheel. Its horn wailed incessantly. Rarely do I discriminate, if ever, but my anger towards the driver of the SUV made me ignore him completely, and my personal feelings for the two young women in the Kia made me focus solely on them. I swept aside the broken glass with my feet to clear a path, and crouched down by the twisted window frame to look inside. Then I saw them, Sparrow and Pricilla.

They were hanging from their safety belts. Sparrow, over on the passenger side, looked unconscious with her yellow dreadlocks dangling down. Pricilla was awake but in shock; her neck was jerked to one side as gravity pressed the side of her head against the roof. Her voice strained out of her clenched teeth like a spasm. I reached in and grabbed her hand. It was limp to my touch. Her eyes shifted and made contact with mine as she became aware of me. And for a moment it seemed as though her pain subsided as the fear in her eyes relaxed. We simply stared at each other as I kept hold of her hand, letting her know that I was with her. I wanted to pull her out but my better judgment knew better. Batista pulled me away as the ambulance appeared, its sirens screaming down the road. I let go, and just as quickly the fear in Pricilla’s eyes returned, as if I was abandoning her. It tore my heart out that I had to leave them pinned in that fiberglass wreck and stand by, knowing that it would be in the paramedics’ hands to help them. For the first time ever, I truly felt powerless.

****

The following week I was in the laundry room, watching the clothes roll and tumble away in the dryer. My thoughts had never left Sparrow and Pricilla since the accident. Ms. Fisher visited them in the hospital as soon as she heard the news. I went to see them but left shortly after, not bearing to see one as lively and boisterous as Sparrow being kept asleep with intravenous drugs, mummified in bandages and slings. I couldn’t stand the thought of what would happen if the machine she was hooked up to were to suddenly stop beeping. But I dropped in on the gentlemen in the SUV. The hospital released him the same day of the accident with minor injuries, and he willingly took full responsibility for the accident. He also vowed never to touch a liquor bottle again.

I grew bored of the dryer and looked around for a newspaper. “I take it you’re lookin’ for this,” said Caitlyn, handing me a Toronto Star with a basket of clothes in her other arm.

“Oh, thanks,” I said as she sat down beside me.

“You all right?”

“I’m hanging in there,” I replied.

She nodded her head. “So the others and I are throwing a welcome back party for Sparrow and Pricilla.”

“Already? When?”

“Tomorrow, which is when they’re comin’ back. And what would a party be without our favourite landlord?”

“Wait, hold on,” I said, putting aside the newspaper. “They’re coming back tomorrow? But the last time I saw them they were all tubes and casts.”

She got up and began loading her clothes into the washer. “Well, I just came back from visiting them. And trust me when I say that even the doctors couldn’t quite understand it. I mean other than a few scrapes and bruises, they’ve made a full recovery.”

Those last two words almost made me jump off the bench.

“With the kind of injuries they had when they arrived at Mount Sinai, the doctors doubted if Sparrow would even walk again,” continued Caitlyn. “Now it looks like she’ll be rid of her crutches by the weekend.”

“How is this possible?” I whispered.

“Funny you should ask. They brought in all these top physiologists and trauma experts and what not, and they still can’t figure it out. Some of them even called it a miracle.”

But I had nothing to do with it, I kept thinking. “And what of the girls? What’s their take on this?”

“They’re just as amazed as everyone else,” said Caitlyn. “Pricilla on the other hand… she’s been pretty silent about it. She said she wants to speak to you when she gets back. Any idea why?” I was struck dumb at that moment. I stood up and walked to the door like a zombie. “Where you goin’?” asked Caitlyn.

“I need some fresh air…”

“Sure, if you’ll still call it air in this heat.”

I couldn’t understand it. With my mind set heavily on Pricilla and Sparrow, had I unwittingly willed this to happen? I hadn’t done anything like it in years. I began to wonder if perhaps I had underestimated the will of these people, as until that point I’d been underestimating myself. I finally realized that no matter what others had told me, or whatever I’d been telling myself, my true aspects were saying otherwise. I thought I was all that was left, but there was so much more.

I stepped out into the hot air. I would have to call Dawkins to tell him don’t bother coming this week. He would be quite disappointed to hear that the building was no longer for sale. As far as he was concerned, I’d be staying put. And as a smile unfolded across my face, I decided right then and there I had enough of this blasted heat wave. The temperature plummeted as the streets welcomed a cool draft. The crisp blue sky soaked up all the humidity like a thirsty sponge, and fat grey clouds condensed in the air, hanging low above. With a thunderous crack, the clouds spilt open. And for the first time in months it began to rain.

 

End.

 

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