This is my rough draft completely unedited. For a full explanation go to Part I.

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Today – Part IX – Rough Draft

Years past and contrary to what Kael thought his wounds did heal things did get brighter. Carinen and Levi made every day a little brighter for him. He would never say hat he stopped missing Willow. When he was a lone which was a lot more now that the kids were getting older, he would still look blankly out it to nothing. As if he was searching the heavens for Willow. He could never find her. If every he forgot who he was looking for, he would read through the journal he had made for her. He usually kept this a private but once Carinen had walked in and discovered what he was doing. She told him that he shouldn’t do that to himself. He needs to move one.

Move on Kael thought to himself that is what he had heard so many times from people. Had he not moved on. Was it not a miracle that he learned how to smile again. He even laughed. He enjoyed his life, for the most part. How could they expect anyone to move on from their forever. Willow was his everything. His kids were great, but they would leave him for other. Willow was his steady mate. She was the one who was going to be there through thick and thin. Move on how dare they even say such a thing. When Kael heard it from well meaning people it was all he could do to keep his tongue civil. Kael always had a propensity for a sharp tongue, and keeping it from lashing out was hard when Willow was brought up.

He couldn’t think of a day that he had searched the heavens for her, or thought of her. He would weep anytime he opened his journal, that had the word Willow inscribed on it.

The years continued to tumble forward. Time was harsh and just kept pushing Kael. He had hobbies and passions and the less of the children he saw the more he threw himself back into his business. It was his one love know. The business had become his forever.

The world itself changed since Willow had left him. Cars drove themselves, reality was whatever you wanted it to be with virtual reality, and you could print anything you wanted at your local 3d print shop. Kael’s car was in fact printed just two years prior.

Carinen and Levi each had grown into wonderful human beings. They were 27 and 25 each with a spouse of their own. Kael loved them all and was beyond proud of them. He just wished Willow could’ve seen what she had done. Kael had done his best to not mess up what she had already started 25 years ago.

It was about this time that her heard of it. It was whispered about like it was some sort of dark secret. A startup virtual reality shop had discovered a way to see your lost love ones. Willow clung to that rumor and clawed at it until he rooted out where this place was.

He pulled up to the building. It had been a long drive for him to get here, but it was surely worth it. He hoped. It sat in the middle of the downtown and was a completely unassuming steel and glass office building.

His stomach began to turn with anticipation and a little bit of nervousness with a dash of skepticism.

He walked into the lobby, and found what floor he was looking for. “Beyond Virtual Reality (BVR) – Room 442”

Kael made his way to the elevator and before he knew it he was standing outside the door with his hand poised to knock but nothing happened

What if they can’t do it right he thought to himself. What if they just make somebody that looks like Willow in my head but I’ll know it’s not her. Lurking under those fears was the bigger one, what if they did it right. What if she was perfect. Would he be able to stay in this alternate reality.

The door swung open and Kael was ripped out of his imagination.

“Oh hello, You scared me there.” Kael casually put his arm down like he was just about to knock, not that he was standing their with fist raised just for fun.

‘Hello, you must be Kael.” Said the greeter he was an average height young man, probably around the same age as Levi. He had dark hair and a clean shaven face. He wore jeans and a button up and he stepped back and held his hand out motioning Kael to come inside.

The front room was simple. It had a desk with an office chair pulled up to it, and a very sleek looking chair opposite the desk. The young man made his way behind the desk and Kael assumed the chair was for him. It didn’t look that comfortable, but as he sat down he changed his mind. It wasn’t the same as sitting in a super soft recliner that cuddled you up. It was firm but it contoured to the body so well that it kept Kael erect in an alert comfortable position.

“Yes that me!” Kael answered the man.

“Well Kael, My name is Jim.”
“Nice to meet you Jim.” Kael had no idea what else to say so he just stayed polite and erect in his seat.

“How did you hear about us here Kael.” Jim asked. He seemed so sure of himself for such a young man.

“Well to be honest with you, It was through the rumor mill. It was kind of a hush hush thing like people didn’t want anyone to know.”
“That’s probably because they are afraid what we claim is true.” The young man shook his head slightly.

“What is it exactly that you claim?” Kael wanted to hear it from this man himself.

There was not hesitation of uncomfortableness in the Jim’s voice when he replied, “We can bring back any one of your lost love ones for the span of a whole day.”
Silence enveloped the room. This is exactly what Kael had thought they would do.

“How?” Was all Kael could get out.

“Well it’s a pretty complicated process but we basically hook you up to a machine that tricks your mind into thinking you are with that loved one. I believe from our phone call you said her name was Willow.”
“Yes.” Kael’s mouth was dry and to add on top of that very few people said the name Willow around him anymore. It was a trigger word for him to go into a slum. It sounded odd to him. He seldom said it himself.

“What are the risks?” Kael asked.

“Well the risks are that you lose everything, actually that’s not really a risk more of a requirement.” Jim said this simply and kept his eyes on Kael without even a flicker.

He sure has a taste for the dramatic side doesn’t he Kael thought to himself. “What, what does that even mean?” Kael couldn’t even formulate the right question to ask the man.

“Well what we do is a very complicated process, but I will explain it as simply as I can. We aren’t not your run of the mill virtual reality office. We don’t put a head set on you and give you some sensors on your fingers to make it seem like you are experiencing something you are not. No we go right to the source of what we are trying to trick. Your brain. Put simply we put you under and temporarily rewire your brain to give you the situation that you want.”
“Rewire my brain? Are you talking about surgery?” Kael was shocked who in the world would do something like this.

“No, no surgery we use electric currents that affect the way your brain communicates. Doing it this way ensures that your loved one is actually your loved one. And virtual reality place can mock up a person for you and put a headset on you and you can look at her. They can even give her some words to say but only the thickest numb skull would ever mistake her for the real thing. We go to the source. You. Your brain tells the machine how to recreate your loved one.”

Again silence overtook the room and Jim didn’t seem the least bit concerned about it. Kael had so many questions but didn’t really know which one to ask or what to say.

“How much?” Kael said just barely audible.

“As I said before it will cost you everything you have, but what we actually charge is only $100,000.”

“Per session?” Kael was blown away.

“You only get one session.” Jim replied

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