9: In the morning’s light
by Jesse Gold
Okay, so I admit it. The guy made
my heart skip a beat or two. And rescuing
them was a great rush. That evening at
the celebration feast, well, I almost felt like I was part of their community. It was invigorating; they sang and danced,
and at first I held back and refused to feel the warmth that flowed all around
me. But then I guess I drank too much nectar,
and I let my guard down and found myself dancing with them. I felt like I belonged, and though I couldn’t
understand a word the Injawabi said, we laughed and sang and I felt joyful in
a way that I never had before. I let myself
feel that way, for the first time in as long as I could remember.
Afterwards, under a billion, billion stars, I found myself walking along
the beach with Artie, listening to his fears and hopes, and his compassion and
candor were so darned disarming, I found myself sharing my own as well. Well, at least some of my hopes and fears.
As I tried to sleep that night, I was angry for allowing myself to feel
as I had that evening. The only way I was
able to fall asleep was to promise my heart that I wouldn’t let it be so vulnerable
With the morning’s
light the world was filled with hope, but I only partly cared. We had a job to do, and less than a year to
complete it. That’s all that mattered.
I completely expected to have to rebuff Arthur’s newly assumed familiarity,
but that morning he greeted me only with detached politeness.
I guess he had his own baggage that made him rethink the accelerated intimacy
we’d shared the night before. I didn’t
feel put off, or let down or disappointed -- this is exactly what my cold guard
was designed to protect me from.
Jimmy, and Maya as well, were a bit surprised at breakfast when neither
Arthur nor I even glanced at each other. But
we all moved on, and said nothing about it at all. Instead, apparently Jimmy and
Maya had been up the whole night talking, deciding our futures for the next year,
and it spurted out of them over breakfast like a leaky faucet. I slumped back
in my chair and tried to resign myself to this fate, once again.
I don’t know how they came up with all their plans, and I certainly would
have approached it all differently, but it didn’t matter.
Not really. I just wanted them to
tell me what I had to do, and somehow this year would pass. On January 2, I’d be able to get on with my
life, once and for all. Free of my uncle and everything that went with him.
Except for the money, of course. That
So, I was informed,
we would be heading back to my estate ion Peacetopia to set up the first of twelve
Peace Centers. The rest of the Centers
would be set up all around the world, headed by Maya’s and Jimmy’s widely dispersed
circles of friends, as well as others we’d be meeting when we “cast out our nets.”
All twelve of the Centers would be closely linked through the Internet. Arthur would be setting that cyber-network up.
Apparently he’s a wiz at that sort of thing, or used to be, once-upon-a-time.
What exactly these Peace Centers would be doing sounded a bit overzealous
to me, but I didn’t say a word. According
to Jimmy, they’d “help to inspire and organize all of the people and organizations
in that region who were working for a better world to work together on a series
of events culminating, of course, in the hopeful celebration of One Day In Peace
on January 1.”
Whatever. So just how was I supposed
to fit in, in all of this? My name wasn’t
mentioned. Apparently I was just along
to sign the checks.
Later that afternoon, as Maya had predicted, the bus carrying Arthur’s
non-profit organization’s reinforcements arrived, with the legal documents needed
to win back the Injawabi’s southern lands. I
signed the check securing their destiny for posterity. Then the four of us -- Arthur, Maya, Jimmy and I -- caught the bus
to Quito, and from there took a plane to Seattle for the next chapter in our adventure.
Oh, lucky me.
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7 | Ch 8 | Ch 9 |Ch
10 | Ch 11 |
Ch 12 | Ch
13 | Ch 14 | Ch 15 | Ch
16 | Ch 17 |
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19 | Ch 20 | Ch 21 | Ch
22 | Ch 23 |
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25 | Ch 26 | Ch 27 | Ch
28 | Ch 29