Tim Says No

5

Tim says extramarital affair means one is needy. One’s not getting enough. One doesn’t know the meaning of enough. It’s all about physical desires getting the better out of one. One wants what one wants and one gets it somehow. One doesn’t care about his spouse, how it’ll affect one’s marriage. One gets excited by changing bodies like one changes clothes. It’s unholy and only a dispirited individual act.

What does Time really know? He led to his husband wanting to date other guys. He doesn’t know that and he’ll never accept that. He’s too full of himself to accept anything. I’m out there staring at dudes, fantasizing about them, flirting and ricocheting dirty looks. I’m loving each moment of this. It’s strange how much I’m loving this. I didn’t know I can be such a man’s man. When I’m out there, I know I’m wanted, desired, and fantasized about. If this doesn’t make me happy, then I don’t know what will.

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The Bridge Will Collapse

6

Till now, the sewers was the perfect location to hide. The Nomans never went down. The smell wasn’t conducive to their cause. It acted as a fence to ward off evil. Peter realized this and made it possible to live down there where people in earlier times would have never thought of living.

Peter found a large enough area to house a hundred people or maybe more. He filtered out the smell in that area and put some ventilation pipes. He did pretty well to save lots of lives over time. He met a woman who started living with him in the sewers from the beginning. They had a child after a year. Now, that child is eight. Peter named him Jonathan after his brother John. Once, they were close, Peter and John.

Just when everything seemed to fall in place for Peter, everything was taken away – his home, his family, and his friends. The vehicles brought earlier by John attracted undue attention. Peter went out to get some wood and other supplies. Upon his return, the place was ransacked by the Nomans.

The Bridge Will Collapse

5

John and his men reach their destination in three hours. They can’t see a single soul. Tina directs them towards a tunnel.

Peter made the sewers a home for hundreds of people. John realizes he can’t take them all. But in time, definitely.

Peter speaks out for his people. He’s the leader. He gives a cold shoulder to his brother and addresses the rest of the gang. He’s happy to see Tom and Tina again.

‘Please be my guest. You’ve the freedom to choose. You may have a way better life out there with them. Isn’t that right, John?’ Peter said.

‘Yes, I came here for you. I heard about your family,’ John said.

‘Yes, but no thanks. I’m not going back ever.’

None of the sewer guys show an iota of interest in leaving with John. They seem to be doing very well hiding underground. Peter was good at making things happen. He made hiding possible on either side of the ground.

John is proud of his brother but angry at the same time. John made a difficult decision ten years ago for the sake of his community, and now Peter is making one for his community. They seem to have some similarity on this.

Tom and Tina pleaded with their uncle. They begged till their tears dried out. By dusk, John returns empty-handed to his home.

The Bridge Will Collapse

4

‘You out of your mind. What, why?’ Mary asked.

‘If our children can do it, then why not some grey-haired guys? I’ve to get him back,’ John said. Mary nods and kisses him goodbye.

‘But you’re not taking the kids.’

‘Who else? They know how to reach him quickly. Plus, they’ll have protection.’

Mary relents but finally gives in. She thinks about the wrongdoings on her brother-in-law. Now, he has a family of his own. It will be crueler for them not to get him back to where he belongs.

John asks two dozen of his finest men and women for the trip. They are among the ones who are well-versed in dealing with the Nomans. They know the ways of the soulless beings. John trained them.

The men and women on patrol make sure that the coast is clear. They lift up the bridge. John leads his search and rescue team outside. Eight vehicles march together to get back as many people as possible. The eyes wander and wonder at the wasteland. There is no sign of life. If there’s any, it’s not evident to a human eye.

Carbon in Favor

5

Jeremy is crazy about it. His devotion is incredible. This is his religion and it’s called the F. His life is all about the score. The score goes up, he goes tensed. He finds this terrifying. It makes him insecure which leads to a string of curses, alleviating his medical condition. Poor Jeremy starts taking anxiety pills. The Doc is worried. If this goes on for long, Jeremy will succumb to the pressure.

The Doc decides to get to the bottom of this. ‘You have to take care of yourself. Get her back in your life,’ he said.

‘Karen, she’s a lost cause,’ Jeremy said. ‘And she’s possibly getting married to a loser. I lost her and he will too one day.’

‘Is there anything else, J? Anything at all.’

‘Yes, our planet. I’ve to save it.’ Jeremy wants to start a campaign in support of the F score. He wants the demise of the rise of the dissidents. The Doc thinks it can work. This may be the cure. If all goes well, it is bound to help Jeremy put his focus on the greater good of society. He gives J a green signal.

Carbon in Favor

4

On his way back, Jeremy’s eyes squinch up in disbelief. He sees a group of men in grey masks holding placards saying: Carbon Deceit in Your Favor, Not Ours; F for Fuck U; Why Pay Fine When It’s Fine; God Didn’t Say Let There Be Quacks.

They are marching down the beautiful street where Jeremy loves to peddle. He is stranded behind them. The thought of taking another route is making his blood run faster. He tries to keep his cool and remembers all the blondes as usual. He wonders what he would have done with an army tank. He wants to crush them all. What is making them hate the system so much? It’s all for the common good. We have to deal with the problem called carbon.

Jeremy looks down at them as a bunch of miscreants caring only about their comforts. Men will be men, the worst of all the animals. They started it, now they want to continue. It can’t be helped. The greed of man has taken a toll on the planet. Now, everyone suffers. There’s no rich or poor. Everyone ends up looking at their F score. This score turns out to be a leveler. Maybe, society needed this to bridge the divide between the 1% versus 99%. This issue was raised after the housing crisis in the year 2007. It was further augmented after a decade with many thought leaders saying that we don’t need billionaires. Their philanthropy is a sham. They are the real problems, definitely not the solution. They control the world economy and politics. They rule while others taste dirt all the time.

Carbon in Favor

3

Jeremy rushes to the bike shop at the end of the day. He considers it the worst day of the decade. He can’t stop cursing the rascals who made this day an unfortunate one for him. He feels his blood pressure mounting. The Doc said to always keep his calm. If he’s not, he is supposed to imagine all the goody-goody things he likes. He loves blondes in their two-piece suits. This turns him on and keeps him off danger at the same time. Usually, he’ll fill his head with the visions of all the blondes he has met in his life. Many a time he’ll fantasize about them with minimal clothing or nothing at all. He tries hard to put a lid on married women. But once his imagination runs wild, it’s a dead end. It runs like a juggernaut.

This moment is making him behave irresponsibly. He can’t think of anything other than his current predicament. He finds his foot in a pile of excrement. It’s time for dogs now. They are supposed to be cursed. He is glad at one thing. There’s no C score. Otherwise, his curse rate would have spiked as well.

He leaves the bike shop with an upgrade over his last one. It costed more. He believes that life is supposed to be comfort-driven in direct relation to age.