The blonde man entered the next morning and there was no smile on his face this time. He reached over the head of Robbie and did something.
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“My name is Jason. Listen to this.” He took out of his pocket a small tape recorder and switched it on. The monologue by Robbie was on it. He let it play for nearly a minute. “It is all there. I have spent the whole night listening to it again and again. I have come to the conclusion you were not talking to yourself. The conclusion I came to was staggering in it’s implications.”
He took another three tapes out of his pockets. Without a word he crushed them, tearing the tapes till they were crumpled and in pieces.
“What do I do now?”
“You do not have a choice.”
He shook his head. “I will no longer be a party to this, I can no longer justify it to myself. You told the truth, my doctor confirmed it.”
“I need to understand.” Robbie pulled himself up and he moaned with the pain of his broken fingers and cracked ribs. “You knew that I mainly healed whites, people of your community. In any other country I would have been treated as a miracle worker - which I am not. You checked and found out that I told the truth about the little boy and his parents. Yet the reaction was to use even more violence. Why?”
“I saw it as a threat to my people, to my race.”
“Why not now?”
“First I had the news from my doctor and then I heard the tapes. I first thought you were playing games with us. The more I heard though, the stronger became my conviction that you were talking to your family, that you believed they could hear every word - even your voice changed as it filled with love. Then you talked of races from other worlds! People that you consider friends!! You did not try to poison their minds against us. You actually justified the torture, tried to make them understand us with sympathy. Robert, either you are a saint with a warped sense of humour or you truly spoke to others I cannot see and there is a truth in such a possibility that has frightened me. That is why I destroyed the tapes. True or not, this information is not for any government.”
Robbie smiled. “I only have daughters. If you have a son, will you name him Robert in memory? Not of me, but of the day you found yourself?”
“I have asked for my wife and I to adopt the little boy. The parents are going to be permanently hospitalised - it would have been kinder to have killed them.”
“I could not kill.”
“Seeing what you did to them helped convince me. What you did was an act of rage beyond reason.”
“I will carry the memory forever and suffer for what I did. Jason, it was not rage. I could not kill, but I did not dare leave them healthy enough to continue with their abuse of their son.”
All the pain in Robbie vanished and his wounds visibly repaired till there was not even a scar. As Jason stared in a religious awe, Robbie became the Robbie we know and love, his skin the light sun-tanned colour he carries because of our preference.
“You better leave now or else you will not be able to explain how I disappeared in your presence. One last bit of advice. There are other worlds, they are alternate worlds where things worked out in different ways. On my world your government released Mandela and he won the elections. He advocated equality, that all people of the rainbow nation work together as one to make this a great nation. There were no reprisals and all worked together to bury the hatreds of the past. In this world your country took a different direction. It does not have to stay as it is. If enough people learn to see beyond their fear and hatred, who knows where it may end?”
“I would prefer to stay. Are there people such as you in our world?”
“I do not know. I only came here to learn a lesson so that I become a better leader of my people.”
“Oh my God!! What have we done! You are leader of your world?”
“Only of a few on my Earth and of a number other worlds and races. Jason, the difference between your skin colours is so small compared to the differences of those I lead, and yet all are human inside where the heart rules.”
“How you must despise us for our prejudices!”
Robbie smiled with that remarkable tenderness of his. “Is that what you saw, my green leaf?”
He vanished into the darkness of the in-between, on his way to a new world and who knows what new lessons.
# “Did you hear that!? How could he call him his green leaf?”
# Cherine answered Nicko. “He planted a seed of hope.”
# Tina giggled and we all looked at her. “You know what Robbie will say? ‘you forgot to trust me!’.”
# That only made Cherine look glum. She went and laid on a bed deep in thought. Rosie looked around and then followed and lay down next to her.
# “What is it mum?”
# “I was thinking. Never did any of us have more reason to lose hope. You know what he did Rosie? He used his humour and love to win. He also showed us something else I think none of us suspected before. Rosie he is brave! You have the bravest father in the world.
# If he was able to turn things around after all the hate and suffering and still manage to keep his empathy, how can I ever doubt him again?”
# Rosie lifted herself onto her elbow and looked at her mother. “Mum, from the first day you met dad you have not doubted him once. What you did is fear for him. That is different. Even when you feared you did not despair, because you have always known he is special.”
# Cherine turned and hugged Rosie with that special love a mother feels. “And you are my special girl?”
# Rosie softly laughed. “For now. Once you have your next baby she will be the special one.”
# “You have not learnt from Robert? Darling, it is possible to love more than one, when I have another child she will be special, but you will still be special. Even if I have another twenty.”
# They lay cuddling and dozed off and all of us were careful not to wake them. Moments of sweetness are so rare for all of us now.
# Kleanthi and Agapi were sitting together whispering. When any of us whisper to another we presume they have put a ‘privacy’ notice and we do not intrude. Wendy went over to them.
# “Would you like some cool drink?”
# “Yeah, we’ll come with you.” They went to the kitchen. I checked and found their minds were open and since I was curious I listened in.
# Wendy asked them why they were feeling so down.
# “We were saying how stupid we were.”
# “That time we went to Cyprus with him to make love and have his baby. We let him talk us out of it. We were much younger; we knew he was special, but we did not realise then how special - to have had his child would really have been something!”
# Wendy cocked her head in that funny way she has when she is thinking deeply. “If you were too young to see how special he was, then maybe you were too young to have his baby.”
# “Do you think we are old enough now Wendy?”
# “Not you Agapi. Klo is.”
# “I will wait for Agapi.”
# “When you have your babies, I promise you that I will write a special song to welcome the two of them.”
# Rob was speaking to Keith and Annabelle. “I’d never thought about it before. I had assumed that when we jumped from our reality to this one it is instant. Now that we can watch Robert we see it takes from half an hour to two hours. I’m wondering what happens to us during the jump.”
# Themi mused aloud, “To me the question is why the difference in time. Are the realities at various distances from each other?”
# “Perhaps it is because Robert is not jumping from reality two, lets say, to three. The old man would not be sending him to consecutive realities, but choosing those he feels Robert could learn from. Perhaps alternate realities also fly off from the prime one in different directions.”
# “That does not make sense Eddie, for then it would mean they are building a distance between them, growing further apart. All current theory holds that they occupy the same space.”
# “The facts do not seem to support that theory.”
# Meli asked, “What if Robbie is going from one reality to another alternate reality that split off from another reality?”
# “Melina, the possibilities are infinite then. You may very well be right.”
# This is the kind of conversation I enjoy joining, as it offers me the opportunity to spin some fantastic theories ( I can’t claim them to be crazy, for then Robbie will think I did so out of envy. J) that may not be based on fact, or entirely incorrect, but, as I talk and imagine it, the words and pictures light up my inner universe with a sense of magic. I decided to play with an idea born out of their discussion.
# “I recall reading something interesting and maybe relevant to your discussion, about photons. For those who don’t know, say a photon is created within the heart of a sun at one end of the universe and, from our point of view, it takes trillions of years to arrive at the other end, from the point of view of the photon, it came into existence and instantly died as it instantly arrived at the other end of the universe.
# What if teleporting is like that…I suppose it could only be like that when teleporting between realities? As our teleporting takes us through the interface of the reality we are in, as a photon would, we arrive instantly at the next interface. If my ideas are possible, it then means that we spend no time between realities, and maybe we cannot, but to arrive at the reality we are aiming for, we pass through a great number of ‘wrong’ interfaces…or interfaces that lie between our reality and our target reality. It does sort of explain why some jumps take longer than others…I think.”
# Themi looked to Keith, hoping he can intelligently debate my suggestion. Keith explained, “Photons are partly described as ‘an elementary particle that is its own antiparticle’. Samantha's ideas are interesting and may seem possible if you know that light is carried by photons, which means they travel at the speed of light - and at that speed, time stops, it does not exist, which is why the photon dies at the same instant of its birth - however distantly it travels.”
# Alki grinned as I scowled in thought, but I barely noticed, for I was fascinated by the possibilities I saw flowering within my mind. “Keith, what if not all photons die instantly?”
# He frowned. “What suggests that possibility to you?”
# “As far as I know, if I’ve understood what I read, light can be slowed down - for instance, by extremes of gravity, such as at a dark hole? Isn’t it true also of the times it passes through material slightly opaque, like a crystal?”
# “I hadn’t thought of those possibilities!” Suddenly his face lit up and with a muttered oath (of delight?) he jumped to his home.
# Annabelle smiled. “I think you’ve given him an idea of how to make his new computer chip work.” She scowled at me. “Are you going to make Keith love you more than he loves me?”
# As I floundered, trying to assure her nothing of the sort can occur, Annabelle and my loves, and then all other Cherinians, burst out laughing as she shared with them how she’d only said it to tease me.# When Cherine woke up, she shook Rosie and came to sit with the rest of us, with the air of waiting for something she knows will happen - and a number of us looked at each other wondering. A minute later Robbie arrived at the next world and all of us looked at Cherine with awe; how had she been able to recognise his imminent arrival?r>
Next PALNet Post 102
I hope you enjoy reading this story of fantasy, adventure and love - and should some of it be true for our reality, I hope you will love our Cherine.
Αλέξανδρος Ζήνον Ευσταθίου(Alexander Zenon Eustace)
12th November, 2019
* posted : 12th November, 2019