It is Kewe's initiation time, and because of that, because he has a flow of initiation energy, Kewe has gone to the battle site.
The Great Spirits have requested this of him, and his intention is to bring the force by giving a special focus to the mantra prayer he will use.
The mantra will be the permission.
Chapter Two
Robert
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The retreat is over. Knowing many people were taking the early shuttle, Kewe had made all of his farewells the previous evening.
His intention is to rest up for a couple of hours, which he did, in the morning. He did not need to be at the airport until the afternoon.
Kewe thinks he has the entire upstairs of the retreat center to himself. Shaving, having a few moments exploring the events of the night he left the physical body, he is asking himself about the sensation. How it felt in a body not his physical body. How it felt floating.
It seemed just like waking from sleep. He felt lighter (maybe) he’s not sure. He could see painted wood in front of his face. He had touched the wood with his hand. It felt solid, like wood. A soft, metallic shine came from his body. This glow lit up the dark.
The quizzing Kewe believes he is having with himself is very persistent. ‘Describe the space below you?’
Kewe replies in his mind, ‘I didn’t look down. I was always looking up.’
The thoughts then ask if he was afraid to look down. Kewe doesn’t think that he was afraid.
‘Why did you not remember that you had come to a place to get out of your body and that you were in a unit?’
That he cannot answer. Intuitively he knew his other body was lying sleeping on the bed below. The hovering, being suspended in air with wood on four sides, had been confusing.
The cramped space made no sense.
Space had been below him he was sure of that. There was a bed below. He had no doubt about that. He was just confused about where he was.
The more he concentrates on the questions, the more the thoughts seem to be focusing on his loss of memory. On his not knowing where he had found himself with white painted wood all around.
‘There is one reason why I probably didn’t remember. We connect with many memories when a face or a building is recognized. This associates us with what we are seeing. When I became awake in the upper part of the cubicle nothing was familiar. I could not identify or recognize anything. The visual site all around me was only wood and even that took some time to understand, that it was wood.’
He thinks another reason is that his thought process was now inside his mind. He was no longer inside his human physical brain.
His mind would lack memory not needed by mind that Kewe inside the brain presently uses to identify his reality.
When we are a ghost, which being inside the second body we are, over time, if we remain in contact with Earth beings, we can recapture that ability to function upon Earth as we are able inside the human brain. But that would take time. It would be a relearning experience of how to understand and also to recognize quickly everything we do while in the human brain. We do not have a human physical body as a ghost. Most humans cannot see or hear us. So ghost body functionality with regard to Earth is limited. We might experience with other ghosts an Earth-bound existence, which some ghosts have as a life.
Kewe is telling himself that he did not have this experience of memory because this was the first time he had been consciously apart from his human brain while needing to deal with his human physical frequency reality.
But it was more than that.
If he were out of his body in a hospital and was looking down at doctors working on his body, an operation he knew he was having, his associations with Earth, his memory with Earth, would be with him because memories of being in a hospital, if only from watching television and or films, these files stored in his memories would be inside his mind, as well as his human brain.
But his human brain had no knowledge of the reality in which he found himself. If he were standing on a ladder with his head in the space, his brain would learn all that this space surrounded by wood paneling looks like, and the memory filed within his brain would get transferred to his mind as soon as it did his brain.
But Kewe had never been on a ladder with his head in such a space. Not a do-it-yourself person he has no idea of anything to do with paneling, placing paneling or working in such a space. Never done anything in his life that his brain could attach itself, and so his mind also had no memory. Nothing for his mind to remember because there was no memory of such a thing.
That which is stored in our brain is our life experiences. That which is stored in our mind is also our human body life experiences. Mind may have experiences that the brain does not have. But these are to do with experiences say when one is asleep and not dreaming. They would be other frequency experiences that his brain does not have any record, or only a vague memory because mind has imprinted a little or some of the experience to his physical brain, but not transferred as a complete memory.
Experiences, both in the inner frequencies in which his mind has experiences, and all Earth frequency experiences recorded by the brain, are recorded as files in a computer. The brain computer, unless irreparably damaged, stores all that the human experiences as files. The metaphysical — beyond the physical — mind, that also acts as a computer in its existence in another frequency, stores all that the brain has in its records.
A brain is a very gifted computer with many files, a lifetime of files for most of us. Mind might be a metaphysical computer that for a few humans operates upon varied levels, many frequencies, one of them the frequency of the Earth brain in which the mind through birth is part, is connected. Each brain having its own frequency. Each mind its own frequency.
For most of us, mind — created as physical body and brain is formed in the womb — is only those experiences that brain gathers through the Earth life. That is why when we depart the human physical existence and move from the ghost state into our new existence upon some frequency we are most suited to be placed — that maybe with family members that we have empathy and love, loved ones we have in an inner level, a place we wish to be — we are the person who left the human body. We do not become someone else. Our personality, all that we thought of oneself as being upon Earth, is there in this new existence. We are that person we were upon Earth in our new environment.
To grow we have to move on from that point.
Kewe — thinking all this out sometime in the future — tells himself, in the present that he was not sleepy up there in the space surrounded by wood paneling. Where he found himself — floating near the top of the cubicle in his other body — he would say he felt more awake, more alive, except for having no idea where he was.
He keeps returning to the idea that the brain stores facts relating to the physical world. The other mind does that, but its substance also has to acknowledge where Kewe’s world is in the present now. It deals with where it lives in the moment. His attention — because mind also has an emotional capacity — is focused on the confusion he was feeling not knowing where he was, even to asking himself why he was confused.
Mystics refer to the second body — and mind that is connected with the second body — as the emotive body experience. One characteristic of the emotive body is that we learn to expect detail to develop around us, to be created by our desires. We are in the almost immediate experience.
His mind expected him to be able to push his hand through the wood, to go through the wood, and when he couldn’t, he had no idea what to do next. To penetrate his hands into the wood seemed normal and he would he’s sure have tried again, if confusion about where he found himself hadn’t superseded any other thought.
But he hovered up there within a span of time. He had options? All he remembers is that he wished to escape from the trapped state, and to do that he had to return to the body. A body that he knew, although he never looked down, lay below
Once he made that decision, everything went black for a couple of seconds. Then he awakes in his human body, staring through eyes that were his physical eyes. He remembers that he had the thought, ‘Oh that’s what it’s like to re-enter the brain. I always wondered how it would feel.’
Turning on the light switch, looking up, it was obvious that the wood he had been staring at so closely only moments before was indeed the ceiling of the cubicle above him.
He had never looked up into the roof of the cubicle all the time he had been in the room, or if he had looked up he had not taken notice of that which is was looking at, or recorded any knowledge of it in his memory.
He became peeved, angry with himself for not staying in his other form longer. He should have pushed the wood more. The trip had been truncated because all his attention had focused on the confusion of being trapped.
Out-of-body flying is a learning process he thinks as he continues shaving in the bathroom.
He has to do it more than once.
One thing he does know. There is another mind, a second mind.
Kewe is taking some time to cotton to the idea that the thoughts that keep grilling him are not his thoughts. Half understanding he has been having a thought conversation with someone else he finishes his shaving.
. . .
Back in his room, he’s done with packing.
The housing-staff are around changing sheets, cleaning rooms. A housekeeper is knocking on his door, asking if he’s still inside. It’s time to go.
Casting one last look around the room, Kewe carries his bags down to the lodge entrance. A women he had spoken to a few times stands by the door waiting for the airport van. Kewe mentions his plane doesn’t take off until four.
He says he has half the day to mess around somewhere. Save him please, from hours in the concession store.
The woman laughs. She says she’s going to miss him. She’s going to miss everyone.
The shuttle-van pulls around the corner. The woman grabs his hand, asks if she can hug him. “It’s been good to meet you,” she says holding him close. Before she lets go, she whispers in his ear, “Stop off at the university. You’ll be glad you did.”
Kewe looks at the map after the shuttle takes off. The university is almost no diversion from the airport road. He throws his bags into the car, follows the road back to the highway.
Following the signs to the university, a row of shops, bookstores he is passing. He sees the gates to the university up ahead.
Parking on a street at the back, he walks over to the university grounds a quadrangle before him.
Two students kicking around a ball on the center lawn, the ball is coming directly towards. Not usually this agile, Kewe captures it, kicks it back.
“Good save,” the student shouts.
“Thanks,” Kewe yells. “Hey, how come you are the only one’s around here?”
“No classes!”
Sending a wave to the students, Kewe strolls on.
An arcade passageway leads to old red brick housing of some kind. Then into alleys, pocket gardens, rooms with seasoned masonry. The decorative walkways covered with overhung plant life — which creeps down at him at times — gives the feeling of an overgrown and slightly forgotten garden.
In the silence, it feels good to be here. He’s not sure why he’s here but then a drop of rain brushes his face. Kewe looks up. He hadn’t noticed it getting so dark. The sky seems ripe for a heavy cloudburst.
The open passageways afford no protection and he sees a building across from an area of grass with a tier of steps, columned pillars, and more importantly, an overhang.
Taking the steps, he tries the large, main door at the top to see if it opens. The door is firmly locked. He doesn’t mind. Under the overhang he can sit, wait out the shower that has started to come down.
His back propped against the wall, passing the time he tries to identify the trees in the park across from him. He sees maybe a sycamore, is that an ash, a hickory?
Sitting on the stone slab he watches as the branches bend to the quickening breeze. The leaves rustle and beneath the stir of the leaves he can hear the wind-sound as it snaps across the tall grass. He waits as the drizzle begins in earnest.
Well protected by the overhang, it feels as if he should be here. He’s not sure why, but he knows the message given him to come here had been correct. As he listens to the rain, to the wind, his thoughts take him back to the wind energy that had lifted his body just a few days ago.
It was a great beginning. A wind of life is the best he can describe it. He can think of no other term to give to the strange force. The sense he makes is that electric energy came in a form that was able to transform, rearrange his brain, or part of his brain. Whatever came did so in a way as to create something new.
He still doesn’t understand everything. Even now he has difficulty knowing how to think of the personality that had emerged. Was it a sort of variant of himself?
To have this change happen to him in a group meeting was embarrassing but there had to be people around otherwise he would not have known there had been a change. Obviously a scenario had been set up and not by him. By who? George the elderly psychiatrist talked to him later privately. George laughing said to him that he could himself do with a younger persona.
It was so extraordinary this happening while the group were talking about a young child ghost.
The day had gone well. They were in the hall for the evening presentation. The front of the stage had massive speakers each side. The hall, a simple country building made of wood, they only came here in the evening,
Long tables allowed them to write or doodle. The tables faced each other. The center of the room was empty.
Eric, standing by the side of one of the stage speakers waits until everyone takes a seat. “We are gathered here tonight,” he says in a doleful utterance, “to listen to a lost soul.” Classic Eric, thinks Kewe, playing this for all its worth. “We will present to you a lost spirit,” Eric intones. “A spirit who has not passed. A spirit who has lingered never entered into the light.”
Kewe can hear people in the group gasping. He himself, looking up found it easy in the beams, in the nooks and cracks of the angled roof, to conjure some apparition. A glimpse of a specter, hidden, waiting.
A sudden hiss from the speakers brings his attention back to the stage. A boy is talking. “The ocean is cold. I am keeping afloat.” Every intonation, every quiver of the child’s voice, resounds through the large speakers.
The man Kewe came here to see, the man he had heard on the radio. speaks next. He asks the boy how long he has been swimming.
“Hours, for hours,” the boy replies. “I’m on my own. Can you help me?” Long moments go by where there is only a whispering, hissing from the tape. Startling everyone, the man’s voice asks, “What year is this?”
The thin voice of the child seems confused. “What year?”
Over the hushed breathing emanating from everyone in the room, the boy gives a date. The date is more than a hundred years past.
“Our ship has downed,” the boy begins to shout. “It comes up sudden. The fierce storm it tosses us over. The mates are finished. Only me left now.” He is choking with sobs.
There is a pause while the tape hisses away. Eric reaches over from where he is standing and presses a button stopping the machine.
Kewe looks at the faces of people around him. Like himself they are trying to make sense of that which they have just heard.
Eric explains this is an interview taking place between the founder of the retreat center and a woman spiritualist. Talking in a studio here at the retreat center, the two are being audio recorded. The woman is a sensitive who has the ability to tune into the spirit boy’s thoughts. It is her voice vocalizing as the boy.
The sensitive has made a bond of support, an adhesion that attracts the spirit of the boy. The boy hears in his mind the founder of the retreat center’s questions through the thoughts of the sensitive.
Eric looking out at the group’s mystification switches the tape machine back on. There is a click, a sudden crackling. The interviewer asks, “How long have you been swimming?”
Silence! The question is repeated. “How long have you been swimming?” Long seconds go by before a subdued voice speaks.
“Hours,” the boy says softly. “I’ve been here hours.”
The interviewer responds, “Is there anything above you?”
The tape hisses away.
Suddenly, “Stars!”
“I’m bringing help,” the man says.
Seconds slip by.
People must be sprung tight because when theinterviewer returns and tells the boy to look for a light the whole room moves in collective shock. “Look for the light approaching. Can you see the light? Can you see it?”
Everyone waits expectantly. Suddenly the boy begins to shout joyfully, “Ma. Ma. I see you. I can see you Ma.”
He keeps calling, “Ma. Ma.” until at last his voice fades.
Eric turns off the machine.
Everyone waits until a man remarks with a chuckle, “She must be a really good actress. Those mediums, they sure know how to do their stuff.”
The groan that emanates through the room is intense. Like a play, the people listening have until this moment suspended their belief. With reality back, they now have no idea how they should think.
“Was he really in the ocean for a hundred years?” is a question.
“In my opinion he was,” one woman says, defending the tape. “You could tell the medium was not faking. It’s real.”
“Why?”
For some there’s a sense of belief, but a few people are snickering. “The date given, had he been swimming in the ocean for a hundred years?”
The woman defending again speaks up. “A boy lost in an ocean might be disoriented. You have to look at the situation. He no longer has a body. It’s no longer the physical world as such. He’s in a dream and the dream keeps reoccurring.”
The man who thinks this is a creation of the medium shouts, “Fake! Bullshit! Real it might sound, but no one is in an ocean for a hundred years. “It’s overblown nonsense. All rubbish! End and beginning of it. Period!”
Another woman decides to intervene. “Why blame the medium? This might disturb you, but the boy’s inability to escape from where he is has likely to have more to do with his fear than anything else. It’s the same as any ghost who repeats, repeats, repeats to infinity its death scene.”
“Bah!” The man is livid. “The boy isn’t stuck. No, this doesn’t happen. Souls go on. They don’t just swim.”
“That’s the question isn’t it?” the woman who has just spoken asks. “Do we sometimes just swim?”
People are nodding.
The woman turns to stare at the man. “Have you considered that time on the other side has nothing to do with a clock. The boy is stuck. He cannot see himself as being anywhere else but in the ocean water. He is in the middle of his own fantasy. I don’t see it as strange at all to think that we might keep focusing on where we believe we are.”
She looks around. “That he is swimming surely has become the boy’s fantasy that this session, these words to the boy by the medium in her thoughts is attempting to change. “This was allowing a shift of attention within the boy. Telling him to look for a light, this new direction brought the boy to see his mother.”
“Tell me please the out-of-body experience is not this?” the man cries. “I cannot believe a boy has been swimming alone for a hundred years. Please tell me this is not something that happens when we die. Eric and the center have done this to wind us up. Can’t you see?”
Everyone is now talking. “What happened to the light?” “Where are the angels?”
“He is only a child.”
Another person stops everyone by shouting out, “Don’t we in this world rely on our minds to build the world around us? Our thoughts build our consciousness and that determines how we relate to everything that happens to us in the future. Why should it be different on the other side? We forge our world with the beliefs we adopt. The boy imagines he is in the sea, so he is in the sea. If nothing comes to change that viewpoint in his life he will always be in the sea. At some point he will forget there is anything but the sea because there is nothing for him but the sea.”
Some people are laughing. They think this is too bizarre for words. One soul makes the comment that when death is accidental there is a natural disorientation. People wandering for hundreds, maybe thousands of years with some illusion. Is not our whole life an illusion?
A general groan after this comment. People sit stunned.
Kewe himself thinks he has an expression to describe the mechanism he thinks controls the universe. But it might be an illusion. ‘The organic computer in the sky.’ He calls it organic because he believes it is in some sense alive, and he doesn’t know any other way to describe this wholeness that people consider the working attributes of God.
The computer placed the intervention, Kewe would say. The computer in the sky has as its job become involved in the boy’s plight. It has ‘knowledge’ of everything taking place. Why it waited a hundred years Kewe is searching his mind for an answer. It would be aware of the interviewer, and the medium in our time, a hundred years later.
He thinks it was likely the boy had been in the ocean for only a short time. Maybe minutes, at the most, hours. Fate was activated by the computer in the sky. Freeing of the boy would have taken place differently, if the boy had chosen not to accept his ocean swimming reality. As it was, the focusing of the sensitive, and the boy, and the mother, all of this taking place more than a hundred years apart, meant nothing to the computer. Time to the computer is merely a variable. Time as we believe is time, is not a factor in connecting the boy to his mother.
Kewe thinking about this is not sure why he is getting so excited, but some stimulus, some prodding from deep inside is beginning to rise up from his stomach. There’s a feeling trying to get through (an overwhelming sense of a child-like energy he will say later). It’s moving him into a strange space.
He hears his voice say, “Excuse me. Excuse me. To talk about this I need to enter into an altered state.”
The squeaky voice might be loud, might be coming through his mouth, but it’s not him speaking. A child’s voice, in a high-pitch, is talking. The room has become deathly quiet.
Everyone turns.
“Kewe had a similar experience in his trying to release some ghosts.,” this child voice in its high pitch is announcing. Kewe’s neck is stiff. His eyes blink rapidly. He has a strained and altered expression on his face.
People opposite stare at him. People on his side of the room lean over their tables trying to get a better look. It’s obvious just by watching him that in the very essence of his disarray he exudes an awful weirdness.
Across from him a woman leaves her seat, dashes up the empty center, stands in front of Kewe. She starts to wave her hands in front of his face. Eyes blinking rapidly, his body taught and stiff, Kewe sees the hands moving.
Up and down the hands shift, up and down right in front of his flickering eyeballs.
The child who is inside and part of Kewe, part of his mind, ignoring the woman’s hand movements speaks: “The message came from the higher beings. There were those who wanted to be released, and some who didn’t. The task for Kewe was to release the ghosts, as many as he could. To see them back to the light.”
The child’s voice is intense. “He needed to give the spirits that were there, that were aware of Kewe’s presence, permission. To give the ghosts a focus for when the light would come.”
Kewe in the hall at the retreat center listens to the child speaking through hi smouth. Kewe understands everything being said. The child is giving an explanation as he would. The thing is, he wouldn’t being saying it, not here, not in front of all these people.
Everyone in the room is staring at him. His neck is protruding. His muscles are locked. His eyes blink non-stop and he’s aware he’s entered some altered state and has no idea how to get free. In this moment, the idea sets. He shouldn’t have come here. The retreat, all this stuff happening, he never, ever should have come here.
Unexpectedly a voice booms from the back of the room. “Did you release the ghosts?” The whole room turns towards the back. Kewe, who is continually blinking, has only blurred peripheral vision, but he knows the voice, it is Eric’s. The last time he saw Eric he was by the speakers. Now he must be standing at the rear of the hall.
Kewe moves forward slightly, his stiff body straining to see, straining to turn to where he thinks Eric is standing. He can see two figures at the back. The other has to be Charl. Both are standing in front of a table that is set up with brochures.
“Did you do it?” Eric shouts loudly. The question rams into Kewe. He’d answer if he had any control of his voice, but his voice is disconnected, locked. The child has to answer.
He is waiting for the child to answer and the child isn’t answering. “Did you do it?” Eric bellows.
The woman in front of him suddenly steps back in either fear or surprise. There is another voice talking. Kewe more surprised than anyone is hearing a third voice, not the child, not him. A young man’s voice has begun to speak, is speaking through him, through his body. Kewe hears himself saying in this new, young, masculine voice, “Some of the ghosts would not go. Kewe was surprised by that.”
In the absolute quiet, Kewe has an image of a young man staring through his eyes.
“What did you do with the Spirits?” Eric shouts, not missing a beat.
“Do with them?” Kewe has the knowledge but he is not answering, this young man is. “A great treachery had taken place. Those who are now ghosts, the warriors, butchered they were in their attempt to defend their homes, and even though it has been many years, these incorporeal souls still remain where they have died. It became their purpose as they saw it to enact revenge, on the families, on all who came after, both the descendants of those who killed them, and the descendents of the traitors.”
As Kewe understood from talking to some of the families, those families that never came to the fields, the harmful acts the spirits tried fell only to passing strangers. “It was Kewe’s initiation time,” the young man’s voice continues, “and because of that, because Kewe had a flow of initiation energy he had gone to the site. The Great Spirits had requested this of him, and his intention was to allow by giving a special focus to the mantra prayer he would use.
“The mantra would be permission. Spirits who wished could recognize this as a moment they could open themselves and return to the families they came from.
“They would be told with their inner sense, and they would know in the flow that they would be welcomed. The spirits would depart as the Hu sound Kewe chanted would bring the descent of the Great Spirits’ energy.”
Kewe can still see the silhouettes of the few ghosts who remained. He can still sense the anger. He listens curiously as the young man relays this then finishes with answering that which Eric had asked. “Do with them! The ghosts could not be forced to leave. Those who stayed, still haunting the place I bet.”
. . .
Sitting under the overhang, the emptiness of the building behind him, the pitter-pattering of rain, Kewe has been lost in his thoughts of the retreat.
Watching, watching, while the wind moves through the branches, the whooshing sound the wind makes as it does so, he thinks almost that he hears his name.
For a moment he catches perhaps a touch on his shoulder. He turns, is someone behind him. No one. The wind picks up, he shivers.
Kewe had known about the child for years long before the young man emerged. The child is not the inner child, our human energy-force, to Kewe perhaps also a representation of soul.
This child personality that had spoken at the retreat is a micro-personality that is a part of his personality. He has seen these somewhat strange half-personalities emerge in others.
They would come with their own voice. To Kewe they were feeling attached to an earlier emotional state, something the brain activated when mind needed to express itself differently.
The masks he’s seen in others came mostly as a sexual response, to seek some sexual favor.
When the child appeared, Kewe would pass if off jokingly. It was role-playing if the other person didn’t understand. An inner aspect of how the person for a moment, had become. It was always a shock to him when this feeling persona emerged in others.
On the steps of the university building the breeze shuffles around him. The rain pours down in buckets. The stone underneath...
‘ — Kewe.’
Across the park all he sees are trees. He hears his name, but the rain pouring and the leaves crackling, he’s not sure.
Now he has a new personality different from the child. Is this a new micro-personality? Why would he have a need to express himself as a youth?
Drifting in his thoughts, he reminds himself there is a mind outside the brain. Mind is much less restricted. He is wondering — why would he be getting these thoughts? — that the young man is a version of his inner, should he say mind. Why is he getting thoughts that this is more than a creation of his brain?
Resting on the stone steps, in a half-trance he hears again his name.
‘ — Kewe.’
This time he recognizes the voice.
‘I’m hearing you.’ Kewe guardedly gives a response. ‘Yes.’
‘I was the voice who asked....’
He’s been hearing the voice all week on the tapes. It is the man who died!
‘Yes, I’m hearing you,’ Kewe says. ‘Yes.’ But then, suddenly extremely excited, he goes into hyper mode. A thousand questions he asks in his thoughts, all at once, and the thoughts that return become scattered in his own complexity of thinking, creating a fog. He no longer hears words. The sound of the voice, the hearing as if the man is talking, is lost.
The problem is all words he hears are mixed with his ideas, his desires, with an answer he wants. He tries to calm down, to keep himself open. He asks, ‘Am I still hearing you?’
Then suddenly calling out in his mind, ‘What name shall I call you?’
‘ — Robert,’ comes back the answer.
‘ — Robert.’
Now he heard that. He really did hear that. It was as clear as if the man were standing next to him, as if someone were speaking on the steps. He must still be connected.
Kewe apologizes in his mind for the problem he’s having. Then the thoughts spin out and become once again a jumbled mess. There are so many questions flowing with answers that may be his own answers, may not. Kewe asks if there’s something he can do for Robert. If there’s some plan Robert wants him to fulfill.
‘Please, I want to help. I’ll do anything I can to help. ‘Please,' he keeps repeating. ‘Please, let me know.’
He’s surprised at the sudden clearing in his head, surprised at the long pause. Surprised even more by the complicated, “Yes!” In the “Yes,” there is so much gravity.
Kewe can feel the presence looking down at him only it’s more than that. He feels it’s like God touching him, God reaching him. He knows it is Robert, but the emotion he experiences is so somber, so extremely serious, and yet it’s detached, also so very detached.
Through the barrier of his brain he tries to see if Robert is still there. For minutes Kewe struggles to make contact, but the voice, the thoughts, the presence has gone.
In his head he says a silent, ‘Bye.’
The rain has stopped. With all the clouds gone, the sun is shining on his walk back out of the University. As he strolls under the old, red brick arches, the grounds take on a bright, washed, sparkly look.
When Kewe arrives at where he thinks he left the car, it isn’t there.
Venturing into other streets, then streets that he knows perfectly well he didn’t park the car anywhere near, overwhelmed he sits down on the curb, just sits there.
Then some inspiration disposes him to look behind. Behind him is the window of a coffee shop. He’s thirsty. He’s miserable. What else does he have to do?
A woman pops her head from under the glass counter. “Hold a sec,” she calls out. “I’m just finishing. The glass gets sticky with all these cakes.”
Kewe watches while she rubs the shelves with a cloth.
“Would you believe I lost my car,” he says as she stands up. “I parked it an hour back and now it’s disappeared.”
The woman doesn’t seem to bat an eyelid. “Happens all the time. I can’t tell you the times students come in here and tell me they’ve lost their car.”
Kewe blinks. “They do?”
The woman is now throwing the rag she’s been using into the sink behind. “What would you like today? I have some really good strawberry cheesecake. The coffee’s fresh made.”
Kewe orders, finds a corner table, sits, stares out the window.
When the cheesecake and coffee is brought, he eats and drinks in silence.
Minutes pass and suddenly he hears, “It’s getting late.” The woman is picking up his empty dishes, smiling.
“It is?” Kewe shakes himself. “Can you tell me the time?”
“Past two,” the woman says as she walks away with the dishes.
Kewe jumps up. “My plane is taking off at four. I have to be at the airport. I have to find the car.”
All excited he rushes to pay the bill. As he’s paying, the woman points back where he came. “Try up the street, up there.” He thanks her, says yes, he’ll look.
“Don’thurry,” she calls after him as he leaves. “You’ll make your plane.”
She was right about the car, and the plane.
No problem!
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