As my mother stalks out of the room, I continue to sit, pondering the case. How can a man who is constantly watched simply disappear? I’m sure my mother will have an idea by the end of the day, so I know it’s not worth my consideration. But I want to prove I can do this on my own, because I can do this on my own.
It’s that reason why I decided not to tell her about the newspaper, because she’ll take over. One day, she’ll be gone and even the after is an uncertain time – what’s to say that we’re simply in the middle of the before and the after rather than…
My parents are always making remarks about how strange the after is. They say its a better world – a more peaceful and advanced world – but it feels too peaceful… Too wrong. No one but us is asking questions about things. Most people wouldn’t have noticed the man with the newspaper this morning.
I hear my mother shout my name and I look up. She’s standing outside the door and waving furiously. I go to her, and she tells me she has an assignment. I need to find the plans to John Salem’s house.
It’s medial work – a simple trip to a government office and a clever cover story – but she’s angry with me, so I take what I can. It takes the rest of the day for me to end up unsuccessful (apparently being a student of architecture is not enough to secure plans to a public figure’s house) so after a call to my mother, I go back to my apartment.
As I sit down with my evening meal, I start to look through the newspaper for clues. And then I see it. It’s in the newspaper. John Salem, missing. How did this guy know?