Rebirth: Chapter vi - Whispers by Roy Neyman

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Several weeks later found Anderson at his desk, tapping away at an email to one of his clients. The days continued inevitably by with successes and failures, progress and setbacks towards a generally positive outcome. At least he was surviving, getting paid, and business was profitable. There wasn't much excitement, though, even less fulfillment, but the barely audible scraping, background murmur in his head had become his constant companion. Sometimes he could almost distinguish a single voice, discerning what might have been a word.

This day he heard one. "Shssh," it said as a mother would calm her child.

Anderson was definitely not calmed. Oddly enough, he wasn't scared either. He should have been, he thought. First dreams that leaped across the boundaries of sleep into wakefulness and back again, then the constantly murmuring crowd in his head, now actual words. Well, not actual words but damned close.


He'd stopped typing and stared dumbly at the wavering molecules of air between his face and his computer screen. Instead he tuned in on the noise, searching, concentrating, listening.

"It doesn't matter, so shssh."

Oddly, rather than spinning up at the inaudible sentence, Anderson actually was calmed. He recognized the voice. It was his own, though slightly fragile as if filtered through the silvery surface of his bathroom mirror. He thought back to that early morning encounter and saw the faintly knowing look of his own eyes gazing back at him. It's okay, he thought. It doesn't matter, so shssh.

The rest of the day breezed by unhindered by caring for the judgment of others or even his own. He found that his thoughts flowed smoothly through fingers and tongue, that objectives were met and people were effortlessly satisfied. He went home on time without the usual burden of the next day's obligations weighing him down. It was spring again, and the early afternoon made the thought of an evening with Marcy in their favorite park a temptation that could not be resisted.

Anderson turned on his phone and asked Siri to dial Marcy's cell. Her smile beamed from the screen at him as the call went through. "Hi, Sweetie! What's up?" she answered.

"Let's catch sunset from the park," he suggested. "I'm on my way home."

"Okay, you're on. I bought a baguette and some cheese today, so I'll grab them and a bottle of wine and meet you out front."

"Had a good day today," he told Marcy as she slid into the BMW's bucket seat.

She drew back a little, looking quizzical. "Really!" Then relaxing as she clipped her seatbelt. "That's great honey. It's been a long time since I heard that!"

"Yeah, I know. Strange, though. You know how I've had so much trouble caring recently? Well, I finally told myself that it didn't matter. Not really that I didn't care, but that it didn't matter, ...even whether I cared or not. From there on I just felt relaxed and things went like clockwork."

The conversation meandered on, casual and loving. Their relationship was low key, but deep.

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