iii. Aubrey

Once again, I was alone in the dining room.

I wasn't sure if I should be pleased about the fact that Dr. Stone, Terry, and Nigel seemed to be acting relatively amicable toward each other. Sure, they had all excused themselves early and gone off in their respective directions, but at least they were speaking, albeit not much.

I thought about my conversation with Terry earlier in the day: had I been right to tell him what was on my mind? Had he conveyed it to Dr. Stone? Did it even matter, what I thought? Somehow, though, I trusted that he would present it in the correct way, should he decide to present it at all. I wondered why I had dreaded having him visit, since he had been quite pleasant and an excellent guest since he had arrived.

Then there was Nigel, another excellent guest. Already I was enjoying having a child around the house; I was already convinced that he was in fact Dr. Stone's true son, and all there was left to do was to convince him that having a child did not signal the end of one's useful life. That was not going to be easy, but as long as he didn't send Nigel away, I was willing to take on the job.

I finished up the dinner dishes and spent the rest of the evening doing minor chores around the lower floor of the Manor. There was nothing on the trideo that I cared to see tonight, so I wanted to catch up with some things I had not done in awhile, like finishing up the dusting. By the time I was ready to leave for my apartment, it was ten p.m.

There was a light on in the study, so I poked my head in the door to see what Dr. Stone was doing. The room was silent; I thought for a moment that he was not there, but then I saw him slumped in his ratty brown leather armchair, an old book open on his lap, fast asleep. Beyond him, the window revealed the nighttime fog rolling in, obscuring anything outside in its white blanket. Smiling, I decided not to disturb him. I flicked off the main light switch, leaving only the small lamp glowing, and then headed for home, looking forward to a good night's sleep.

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