Chapter 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 again.

       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 I’d keep.

       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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Table of Contents | Preface | Ch 1

| Ch 2 | Ch 3 | Ch 4 |
Ch 5 | Ch 6 | Ch 7 | Ch 8 | Ch 9 |Ch 10 | Ch 11 |
Ch 12 | Ch 13 | Ch 14 | Ch 15 | Ch 16 | Ch 17 |
Ch 18 | Ch 19 | Ch 20 | Ch 21 | Ch 22 | Ch 23 |
Ch 24 | Ch 25 | Ch 26 | Ch 27 | Ch 28 | Ch 29

A Novel about creating humanity's first day of peace
Robert Alan Silverstein

The People For Peace Project

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May Peace Prevail On Earth