CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and TWENTY-THREE
“What ends the time in the in-between?” Nelson asked.
“You decide that you’ve had enough of life or you commit to life again,” Hedone said. “You’ve done this before.”
“On the bus to Georgetown,” Nelson said. “Yes. But then I had this great future ahead of me — college, medical school, being an ER doctor. It wasn’t hard to commit to life then.”
“And now?” Hedone asked.
“I …” Nelson started and then stopped. He nodded his head. “I have nothing to look forward to. I’ve blown it with Blane and I’ve been sick and my career is …”
He stopped talking and looked horrified.
“I have to be in court tomorrow morning,” Nelson said. “I don’t have time for this.”
“Why do you look so smirky?” Nelson asked.
“You only have time for this,” Hedone said. She gave him a kind look.
“I need sleep,” Nelson said. “I’m exhausted. I don’t have time for an existential crisis!”
“You’re in the middle of one anyway,” Hedone said.
Nelson scowled. Hedone lifted a shoulder.
“It’s bent time,” Hedone said. “I can put you back to where you were when you walked into your home. You can go to bed and …”
“No,” Nelson said, shaking his head. “If I go back, I’ll go back to … the darkness.”
“Can you help?” Nelson asked.
“That’s why I am here,” Hedone said.
“What needs to happen?” Nelson asked.
“We need to look into the dark spot that has consumed your life,” Hedone said.
“You mean that cretin M.J.,” Nelson said with disgust in his voice.
“No,” Hedone said. “He is merely a screen for the real darkness, your real pain.”
“Like a metaphor,” Hedone said. “He did something awful that you remember. You then hang all of this emotion on it. Some of the emotion belongs to what M.J. did. But let’s be honest …”
Nelson looked into her eyes.
“You felt this way long before you met M.J.,” Hedone said.
Nelson opened his mouth to respond. Looking into the Goddesses eyes, his excuses and defenses seemed like a waste of time. His head went up and down in a slight nod. She smiled at him.
“But …” Nelson said.
“It is frightening to look into the darkest places of your psyche,” Hedone said. “Terrifying. At least it was for me.”
Nelson didn’t respond.
“I can allow you someone to go with you,” Hedone said. “Someone to be your witness and help you when it’s too hard.”
“You’ll be there,” Nelson said.
“I will,” Hedone said. “But I will need to be impartial. I cannot comfort you or help you in anyway. I cannot give you advice. If I do, we can get lost in the web of time.”
Nelson squinted at her. She sighed.
“It’s like the Christmas Carole,” Hedone said.
“I love that play,” Nelson said.
“You’re in that play right now,” Hedone said.
“Oh, I get it,” Nelson said. “The ghosts can only show Scrooge things. They cannot advise about them. Some of them say some snide things but …”
“Exactly,” Hedone said. “You may want someone there to be on your side. To help you and only you.”
Nelson nodded his head. He looked down at the ground.
“Can it be someone who is dead?” Nelson asked.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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