You would have thought that the confusing stage of my life had finally ended when God walked away from me on that field. I didn’t have a clue really. It was a long walk home because my legs were just weak and tired. By the time I had gotten to the fork in the road that left me facing down town I could see a perfectly complete and whole down town, except for one glaring issue. My diner was still totaled. I walked over to it and just couldn’t believe that out of everything that happened I was now unemployed to boot. I looked up on the side of our only hill and there was the Skillings plant like nothing had ever happened. Perhaps the diner was just left leveled so that I could slip into the belief that I was insane. This fixed that.
The wreckage of the diner told me that it was many days old so that would explain why there were nobody here gawking at it. Nothing in it was distinguishable, so I don’t know what had been picked through, and what was just crushed. I just didn’t have it in me to care and I turned around and started walking towards my house. It was a nice evening actually and the sun was just starting to go away behind the Skillings plant but the breeze was beautiful and it really did feel like I hadn’t noticed a nice breeze in decades. The street all the way down to my house was empty save a big limousine that looked like it might be parked around my house. The closer I walked towards my house I could see that the limo was parked in the street directly in front of my house. I really didn’t want company, but that was nothing new. At least this company appeared to have money and after the week I had maybe they are looking for a crazy wife to add to a harem or something. Its probably a good life goal now.
Jake was sitting on the stairs as I walked up the walkway, and he made a gesture with his index finger over his lips, so I just sat down next to him and gave him a hug. He didn’t flinch or tighten up or any of the other things that would have told me it wasn’t him. Thank God it was about time, I got something this simple to make me feel better. Jake under his breath said, “The Chubby’s people are here again,” and when I gave him a confused look he said, “I didn’t know if you were still, ‘the you’ from yesterday or not. Chubby’s is the chain of diners that mysteriously showed up yesterday, after the diner was destroyed over the weekend,” and I continued to look at him confused.
I just shook it off and said softly, “What destroyed the diner?” and he shrugged. “Some help you are,” and then I looked over my shoulder then back at Jake, “What do you know?” and he smiled.
He looked back shiftily again and said, “I know how to cure cancer but I am going to keep that under my hat until after I get out of college and can make some money off of it,” and I looked at him with incredulity. Then I held out my hand and he slapped me five and went on, “I’ve been alone aside from a different version of you for the last two days, I don’t know how you came out or when, I just know everything, and with everything means that I don’t let anyone know that I know anything. The other you and I have had this conversation twice, so I don’t know if you are going to retain this or not.”
I smiled, “Yeah it’s not a brilliant move to explain stories like we have now, because most people assume you are crazy,” and then I thought about it for a moment, “What say you tell me a little about that cancer cure and we’ll see how crazy I actually am?”
He looked at me, “Don’t have time, we have to get rid of your new bosses in there and then I have a few things that I was told you had to know. Appears that you are now subject to ‘the law’ as am I,” he stopped me from standing up, “the good news is that I know ‘the law’ as well as ‘the law’ though, so maybe we can find a way around some of it?” he slapped me five again.
We went inside and the men who owned the chain restaurants were nice enough. They had dreams and they included me in on all of them. The world is a different place now that I am jaded, because everything they brought up was perfectly reasonable. They explained how their chain of diners always sits off the beaten path and it brings in commerce. Jake had been talking along about how he looked up this and looked up that on the internet. Deep inside I had a feeling that he didn’t look up anything outside of his own brain, but I do have some serious plans for that kid coming pretty soon. They were even able to convince me of why I had to be the person to run this restaurant for them. There wasn’t any pie in the sky attitude here either. It all came down to simple logistics and the fact that I knew every name in town and could carry a lot of coffee in a day already, and employees liked that in a boss. I agreed and they agreed and they set up my own account at the local bank to draw my salary and hire people over the coming months while they build what they called a “super drive-in” where that diner sat.
I probably wouldn’t have done much of anything if my son didn’t do all the negotiating for me. There was a distinct possibility that his “friend” had written all the known works of literature, text books, the internet, and many of the popular religions out there. It didn’t much matter to me; I wasn’t impressed until Jake dies a half a dozen times. Ok I didn’t mean that but you get my point don’t you? What was a girl to do anyway?
The very first thing Jake said to me after the Chubby’s executives left, “You’ll never see Lucifer again you realize?” It was blunt and to the point and unfortunately did answer the most important question I had but was too afraid to bring up. All heresy aside I had a feeling that inviting the devil into your house was a bad idea even to Miss Manners. I can imagine this is what someone who is a huge lover of art would feel like if they were told that they would never see Michelangelo’s work ever again. I could see the face of Lou and it was still the most beautiful thing I had ever known. Unfortunately that was how he was created so I like any other woman am spoiled for absolute beauty. Oh well, he was evil too so that would make him perfect ex-husband material.
Aside from that I really didn’t think about it all that much and I said as much. Jake looked at me not completely convinced. He then decided that it was best for him to just drop it, thankfully. I decided to ask, “Is there anything else in town that is horribly out of sorts that might take me by surprise?”
Jake shook his head and said, “It’s completely odd. The diner collapsed while I was playing baseball. You were there so the place was closed. This was during the time that re-happened after Darius ceased to exist,” and that was what finally made some interesting sense. Darius ceased to exist and now everything he did changed, well except the two of us. Jake saw my thinking and said, “Then of course we have you, who changed time over and over again, and remember more than anyone including me. I only know what I know and what ‘the law’ knew and what the two of us knew as of the time she left,” and I was about to say something but he stopped me and said, “Yeah, I guess God is a she too. Do you think the pastor at the Methodist church would believe me if I told him?”
I didn’t ask about Jake’s father, but as he came back from the living room carrying a box that had been delivered, I was wondering a little. The package wasn’t all that big, but it seemed kind of heavy when he handed it to me. He then said regardless of whether I had actually asked him or not, “Dad died last Monday,” and then he helped me peel back the corner of the brown paper covering the box I had. He continued, “It happened at the same moment Darius would have destroyed the Skillings plant. Dad apparently had a heart attack at his loader and they found him when the day crew came in,” he managed to get the seam of the paper opened, “You managed to contain your laughter when everyone came into the diner to tell you about it that day if I am not mistaken, but I was still incapacitated personally.”
The paper was finally removed from the package and there was two items inside of it. The leather bound book that I had seen Lou take out and read from on all those occasions in the diner. You have to wonder if any of that actually happened now that Darius ceased to exist, there was no reason for Lou to come here was there? I opened it up and gazed upon the Aramaic that it was written in, and figured that Lou must have wanted me to know that he remembered too. Before it had changed to a language I could understand, but now it didn’t seem to do as such, which was a bummer of sorts. Jake took the book off my lap and said, “Oh cool, it’s hard to get Aramaic text these days,” and wandered off into the other room. You have to admit that it is strange to have a son all of a sudden that still has the general attitude of a teenager using terms like “oh cool” and the wisdom of, well, forever which would add, “it’s hard to get Aramaic text these days” in the same sentence. His whistling faded out as he started reading through the book on the couch in the livingroom.
Now left on my lap was a box that said “Toshiba” on it which was quite heavy for its size. I tore open the side of it, and then slid out a new laptop computer that was more than a month’s salary for me. Well it used to be more than a month’s salary for me, as I remembered that my new salary was about to put me in the upper middle class of this town easily. I opened it up and turned it on. The thing was fully charged and started up a lot quicker than that old computer that Jake and I have been using for years, one of the customers at the diner had given me after he had had it long enough to be old. The screen had a beautiful picture of daisies, and it made beautiful sounds, through the little speakers just above the little keyboard. I was so easily impressed but it was a simple life as I had said at the beginning of all this. A week of excitement wasn’t going to change me too much was it?
A box popped up in the middle of my screen that said “AIM” in the corner. Inside of it there was a long message, “I couldn’t just leave you hanging. It’s been too much for you to go through and then just walk away from, and I came up with the perfect plan. You need to click that big W on the desktop and then write a book. Write about everything that happened exactly as you remember it and simply call it ‘fiction’ because you have evolved beyond all this. I promise to buy your first million copies of the book. Forever in your debt, Lou”
I clicked on the big W and a pretty page appeared that looked like a piece of paper that I could type on, so I did just that, “Six Days” and then I looked at it imagining how long it would take me to write down everything that I had lived through. I typed a little more and then was really excited that it would fix the words I spelled wrong and tell me where to put a comma or a period. This is great! I was a bit sad now that I couldn’t just thank Lou for doing this for me. I started typing a bit more when the “AIM” thing jumped in front of what I was typing and read under what was there before, “Can you go get Jake and have him explain Instant Messenger to you?”