He crossed the yard and entered the house. He looked through the kitchen to the living room and saw his mother. The TV wasn’t on, and it didn’t look like she was reading.
She locked eyes with him. “You left.” Her voice was soft, but it was clear she was upset.
“I told you I was going to hang out with Jordan,” Paul said confused.
“But I told you to do your homework first,” she said.
Paul laughed. Is that what this is about? “The homework isn’t hard. I’ll do it right now.”
“Yes, you will,” she said, “but that’s not the point. The point is you disobeyed me.”
“What?” Paul finally walked into the room with her. “I said it was easy. I’m a straight A student now.”
“You’re telling me why you disobeyed.” Her voice was shaking. “I’m trying to tell you that your reasons for disobeying me don’t change the fact that you did it.”
“What do you want from me?” Paul asked.
“I want you to stop ignoring me.” Paul knew she wanted to shout, but she held it in.
“I’m not ignoring you!” Paul didn’t have any issues shouting. “I told you I was going to do it now!”
“I told you to do it before you left.” That time, her voice climbed a bit, and for some reason that made Paul angry.
“What does it matter when it’s done as long as I do it?”
“It matters because I told you to do it before you left!” The words were no sooner out of her mouth than she jerked as if something bit her. She covered her mouth and took a trembling breath. “Go to you room. You’re grounded.”
She’d never grounded him before in his life. As he thought about it, she’d never punished him. And now she grounds him for his stupid homework? He picks fight after fight for years and she just lets him, but she grounds him because his homework is done at seven instead of five?”
“Go. To. Your. Room.” She was shaking, but she kept her body straight like some soldier in a movie.
“This is stupid!” Paul stomped around her, pounding his feet up the stairs. He marched down the upper hall and slammed his door shut for good measure, but he did what she said. He spun around and froze.
He always kept his room clean even after the years his father had been in prison. But someone had pulled the Bible Nobody gave him out from the drawer by his bed. It lay open next to what was probably a hand-written letter, and there was a dark patch on his brown carpet as if someone had dropped a glass of water on the floor.
Nobody had been there.
Paul started looking around. Nobody wasn’t in the closet or anywhere to be seen. Paul went to his desk drawer and pulled out a device. He’d been working on it for months. He watched hours of videos online to learn to make a Geiger counter. He flipped it on. Sure enough, the device gave a reading of 120 mSvs. That wasn’t anything dangerous according to his research, but it was definitely higher than normal.
Even a few steps away from the damp part of his carpet caused the needle to fall back down to 25 mSvs.
Whatever Nobody did to teleport, it emitted radiation.
He walked over to the desk. It didn’t show any readings above normal, but the Bible was open, and Nobody had apparently highlighted a few verses, Ephesians 6:1-2.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ (this is the first commandment with a promise).”
Paul let out a breath and muttered, “You couldn’t even be bothered to wait and talk to me, but you made sure to give me crap for arguing with my mom.”
He picked up the note Nobody had left.
Weren’t you the one who told you mother you wanted her to be your mom? How can she be your parent if you refuse to respect her?”
Paul let out a deep breath. “It’s so stupid!”
There wasn’t anyone there to respond, and Paul couldn’t help but feel ashamed. He looked at the letter to read the rest.
“Men can say a lot. The worst sort of man twists the word of God to fit his own views. A wise man reads the Bible to learn what God wants. Dorny said a lot, but how much of it is true? Even if he accurately quoted the words, what do they refer to? What is the chapter or segment about? All men talk, but it’s Christ I want you to follow. When you do that, I’m proud of you.
“I’m just a man. Dorny is just a man. Even Satan quotes the Bible, Matthew 4:6. But a wise man seeks understanding instead of trying to make himself sound wise. If I were to visit and tell you what I think, I’m just another Dorny. Instead, I invite you to look to scripture and see what is true.”
Paul set the letter down. It was an effort not to crumble it in frustration. The only thing more frustrating than trying to figure out how Nobody teleported was trying to puzzle out how Nobody seemed to know practically everything about Paul.
… to be continued …