'Some of us have a way of bending the world around us,' he says. 'And when circumstances dictate, your young man is one of those. Of course, you should never go and have children with him. There's all sorts of potential for cosmic issues...but even as I say it, I'm seeing that that's not a problem.'
It is a problem, because I'm leaving soon and I haven't told Phoenix my plans yet. It's a problem because he might want to come with me when I don't want him to, and it's a problem because he might not want to come with me, and I kind of want him to want to come, even if I don't want him to come.
I still care for him. I still care a ton, and I'm not sure yet which way is going to hurt us both the least. 'So anyway,' I say.
'So anyway,' the Piano Man smirks.
The stretching continues. I wonder how long the world will bear the strain. I wonder if it's my fault that it's stretching, and if someone will blame me if it snaps.
'This business...you being here...' I say. 'This is all linked to him coming back from the dead, isn't it? He has some kind of grand destiny or something.'
Piano Man looks amused. 'Grand destiny? Little lady, he already did his part ensuring that his town survived the apocalypse. How much more grand does it get than that?'
'Oh. Well, if his destiny is all played out, why are you here?'
'Phoenix has some quiet times ahead for now,' Piano Man says, and his eyes begin to sparkle. 'But you, Jayci Clemence...your story is just about to begin.'