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   Chapter 25 No.25

A Girl Named Sandy By Paul Kater Characters: 13265

Updated: 2018-02-11 12:04


The silence

"The silence?" Paul was puzzled. This was new to him.

"Can I tell it, grandpa?" Benji asked, looking at Walter in an almost hankering way.

"Yes. Tell the story, Benji. Practice is the best way to remember it."

The little boy smiled and held out his hands. "I need to hold your hands."

Paul and Sandy each took a small hand in theirs. Benji then took a deep breath and closed his eyes, just like his grandpa had done. Paul felt a slight rush; it had to come from the small boy, and then Benji started talking.

"This I know. When the old race had decided that they had to leave their home, they built ships to take their people to safety. We do not know how many places of safety they had discovered, but there were many. More places meant more chances of survival. Our ancestors knew that one day the planet would revive again, and then automated ships would go out to seek their offspring. For this they employed a manner of the silence. The silence will be dormant in all the offspring and the ships will find this silence. The closer the ships come, the more silence the offspring will know, and this will be a sign for the offspring that their return home is imminent. The silence was an important detail of daily life on the home planet, for the old race knew that without silence there is no balance for the sound. Silence is found in the forests and the mountains and the plains and the ships and the offspring. The offspring will learn the silence when the time of the homegoing draws near. They will learn it, to know and employ it for the journey. This I know." Benji opened his eyes and smiled. He was proud of himself, Paul sensed that in a very acute way.

"Well done, Benji." These simple words from Walter conveyed a pride from the older man that Paul had not thought possible.

As Benji released his and Sandy's hand, Paul's mind was already trying to make sense of this story. Silence? It was a kiss from Sandy that pulled him back to the table and the people around it.

"Can you make sense of it already?" Sandy grinned. "Everyone's puzzled about the silence."

Paul admitted that he wasn't the one to understand this either. "I am in a different trade. Silence is for Zen monks, as far as I'm concerned." He then looked at Benji and patted him on the head. "You did that very well indeed, Benji. Thank you." Another proud smile was Paul's reward.

As Paul asked if there were more stories like the ones he had heard, Walter smiled. "Very many. I'll have to talk for a few days if you want to hear them all, but what you have heard now is the most important part. It is important to know where we came from." The man's black eyes rested on Paul. "Even if you don't yet believe it entirely. You will, eventually."

Sandy took Paul's hand again. "Walter is, what we suspect, advanced in the development towards the original old race. There are more people like him. They seem to know, see and feel more things than we can. Like the psychics you hear about." She saw him frown. "Okay, maybe you never heard of psychics, recluse that you've been."

"Be careful, woman, " Paul warned her, "you are not too old to get a spanking." As he said it, he knew he was in trouble, with Sandy's current mood.

"Would you really? Should we hurry home now?"

Indeed, he should not have said that. Walter did not help when he told them that he needed to tell Benji a few more stories, so after thanking Walter and Benji, they were soon back in the car. Sandy promised not to drive so fast, and while she kept her promise, Paul called Adele to let her know they were on the way back, to pick her up for lunch.

***

The few remaining days in Annapolis went by very fast, and equally fast the newly married couple found themselves back in Bristol. Sandy still had a few weeks of Summer break to enjoy but she did not want to stay in the apartment alone, so she'd usually go with Paul and work with him and Don in the laboratory, a

am." She rested her head against his shoulder. "I don't know how much younger he will get, but I feel he is not at an end yet."

Paul made a mental note to ask her about that. Was she able to tell if he was still getting younger? His changing appearance had caused plenty of questions already at the university, among his colleagues, and so far they had been able to joke it away, but at a certain moment that would no longer hold.

"Impressive. You, sir, are a very lucky man. And now I should make my way home again. I am very grateful for your time, and pleased that you are joining our little band of offworlders." Paul and Sandy saw Lester to the bathroom where his long coat was done dripping, and wished him good luck on the way home, as rain was still beating down relentlessly.

After Lester had left, Paul first cleaned away the rain that had come into the hall. The floor was water resistant, but that had its limits. By the time he was done with that, Sandy had already poured the wine that they had planned a lot earlier. With her sitting snugly in his lap, they toasted each other and their happiness.

Then Paul asked: "When Lester was here you mentioned something about knowing that I am still getting younger. How do you do that? How do you know?"

"I wish I could tell you." Sandy looked into his eyes, as she touched his cheek with the tip of her fingers. "It's something that I can do, but it's like breathing or blinking my eyes. Not something that I consciously switch on or off."

"But how did you learn about it? Did you suddenly start making people younger?"

Sandy grinned. She loved his curiosity, especially when he was curious about her. "It doesn't work that way. Mom can do it too. She sometimes does it for a while with other people that respond to her. Not everyone rejuvenates with someone like her or me. We can feel who does, though, and that is also impossible to explain. Like I can see shoes I like or don't like, I can see someone and know if it works or not. When you came to our house in Annapolis that first time, I knew I could do it for you."

"And you did. That and so much more." Paul loved how she comfortably leaned into him, as if their bodies were made for each other. He relished her soft kiss on his cheek and the response of her body as his hand slowly slid from her knee over her hip to her shoulder. His fingers mixed with her hair and slowly he turned her head so he could kiss her. When he saw the desire in her eyes, which also radiated to and from him in the special ways they could not see but sense all the more, he lifted her up and carried her to their bedroom.

***

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