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The Happy Haven


Bill gently banged his forehead against the hardwood door in frustration of having to temporarily leave behind the raw, naked fulfillment of a life filled with nothing but pleasure.


“Wow,” he whispered in disbelief.


The smile beaming from an insatiable conscious confirmed that the reality of the situation was true as it had been many times through the two years of the cycles.  Yet, the body stood before the door paralyzed for fear that it was just a dream and with just one misstep would shatter the illusion. 


Never in a million years did he imagine experiencing such pure ecstasy, especially considering that he was initially thrown into the midst of an adult situation while just reaching the tender age of eighteen.  The memories of the hormonal rampage back in his school years evoked a chuckle.  He thought about his body which was more than able to lust after the women from the freshmen to the seniors in high school and the undergraduates to the post-graduates in college.  The mind, however, had not a clue as to what to do.


Beyond the memories of stumbling through the initial stages of sexual maturity, Bill remembered the awkwardness of having to interact with real women.   They posed a challenge.   Unlike manipulating static strings of mathematical equations on a computer, he could do no such thing an actual female.


Everyone around him had been much older and their mental wherewithal refined.  Personal interactions were at a sophisticated level far above his ability and were often ridden with anxiety.  Worse, he recalled, was the fact that most of the female students were only interested in establishing relationships with males of the same mental wherewithal.  While he came from a bloodline abundant in wealth and power, the wherewithal was sorely lacking.  For Bill, mathematics and computers were his suitable companions, just like so many of the other boy geniuses.  But now the immaturity of the past had transformed into a reality in which all such physical cravings were now being fulfilled.  


For minutes he stood facing the door fighting off wave after wave of temptation to go back inside.  He so wanted to indulge in yet a few more hours of lustful pleasure, but the seductive acts would have to wait until the early evening.  Bbeyond that, to a future where endless streams of money, sex, and power would freely flow forever.  For now, as the forehead kissed the door, fulfilling one of the clauses of the contract took precedence over the fleshly rewards that momentarily served as icing on the cake.


As the access card to the elevator was tapped on a sensor, Bill could not help but to think about the  strangeness of it all.  He found the situation peculiar.  After all, it all came about from a simple love of mathematics and science.  In near disbelief, he felt that he would never fully the understand how a love for logic could lead to a life where his wildest fantasies and dreams became reality.


The elevator doors opened.  The access card was tapped again and the button for the basement garage pushed.   Just the mere thought about the stash of the tens of millions of dollars at his disposal, sitting securely in a vault hidden in the master bedroom’s walk-in closet, had him grinning from ear to ear.  Just think, he mused, all that readily available wealth that was just a small percentage of what is to come.  It makes any future inheritance from my parent’s vast wealth seem as mere pocket change. 


Riding the elevator from the penthouse floor to the parking garage afforded Bill enough time to get the mind back on track to what lay ahead.  In anticipation to receiving word that success had been achieved while away on the rest and relaxation period, he was more than willing to forego the remaining twenty eight days and twenty nine nights of pleasure and be there to celebrate the greatest invention since time began.  To share a bottle of the finest brandy and to puff away on the best imported cigar money could buy was anticipated.  Even better, to share the exhilaration of overcoming the impossible with Paul, Kevin, and Terry would make what was on the other side of that apartment door just a crude sampling of the rewards to come.  


It had all started innocent enough, as Bill remembered.  The four friends and fellow graduate students each had multiple job offers even before attaining their doctorate degrees, but it seemed fate intervened with an interesting proposal.


He, as with his three colleagues, had met with a man claiming to be a representative of a consortium of individuals looking for a way to gain an advantage over those that competed against them.  He, as the others, presumed what the men sought involved a superior mathmatical tool or method within the competitive battles waged in the business world.


When Bill found out what they truly expected, what immediately surfaced in his thoughts was what the consortium sought not only seemed elusive, but too complex and quite impossible for it to be taken seriously.  In fact, as he recalled, the proposal was so ridiculous that he wondered that it had to have been part of a sophisticated prank initiated by one of his professors, regardless of that professor’s esteemed status at one of the most prestigious, private universities in the world.  The suspicion and doubt, however, was quickly swept under the rug at the appearance of a briefcase stuffed with gobs of cash and promises of wealth way beyond the loose change before him.  The offer was accepted.


As the elevator car neared the bottom, Bill fidgeted about.  He stabbed at buttons in an effort to immediately have the doors slide open.  In a matter of minutes, a message just might be waiting to confirm that the project, one at which they had been steadily at work on for the past couple of years, was completed.  He knew they were so close at achieving the objective.


Again, he could not stop thinking about the willingness to forego the relaxation period just to be there to share in the exact moment of victory.  He just knew he had to witness the final step of transformation from theory to application.   He also understood that by skipping any part of the relaxation period, that could be thought of as an egregious violation of the contract and grounds for dismissal—goodbye to the charmed life. 


The elevator doors opened and revealed yet another favorite perk added on top of the outrageous sums of money and other carnal rewards.  The sleek, black beauty sat alone glistening under soft lights.  It was lovingly sheltered in a temperature controlled bay.


The high performance vehicle just waited to roar to life and race through the city streets, to a pre-selected destination where a communiqué could be picked up in anonymity.  Funny, thought Bill, my own dad wouldn’t even give me a cheap little Porsche because he believed it would just attract trouble.


But to his surprise, the representative, in the brief time they spent together hammering out the details of the contract, came through with their demands.  He never once voiced concerns that the Maserati Gran Turino would probably stand out too much thus bringing about unwanted attention and brew suspicions.  “Thank you sir,” he whimsically chuckled while revving up the engine. 


Racing out of the underground parking structure, the accelerator was floored sending the high performance sport’s vehicle skidding into the turn with tires smoking.   The engine whined with an increasing intensity as the stick shift rapidly moved up the gears.  Having long learned the ins and outs of the car’s capabilities, Bill easily darted in and out of lanes.  That just made other drivers mad as indicated by horns honking from behind.


In minutes, the car arrived at the destination and came to a skidding stop.  A glance around the streets and sidewalks for anyone appearing unimpressed, too unfazed by the presence of the exotic vehicle parked in a neighborhood that best could be described as quaint, revealed only awe inspiring stares and smiles.


Upon exiting, Bill ogled the black beauty.  A close inspection for miniscule dents and pits and scratches, for signs that its value had been compromised by the roughness of the asphalt surface, produced not a single blemish.


He lovingly stared at the face of the diamond studded Rolex clasped securely to the left wrist.  The time revealed that if a message had been dispatched, the magazine would have already been delivered and set in the appropriate slot.  Wanting to avoid appearing overanxious, he casually strolled into the store and down the center aisle whistling a cheerful tune while eyes were secretly transfixed on the specific slot of the magazine rack.


“Yes,” was whispered under the breath having spotted the magazine turned upside down.  He reached down and took hold of the cellophane wrapped periodical and pinned it securely under an armpit.


The whistling tune rang with excitement as he turned and strutted up to the cashier.  “Keep the change,” he said tossing a twenty dollar bill up on the counter.


As a matter of precaution, the man had advised Bill and the others as well that whenever messages were exchanged, to stop and take a look around to make sure that someone did not appear to pay close attention to what they were doing.  In doing so, each had to be on the lookout for anyone that seemingly scrutinize every move that was made.  And while he wanted to adhere to the advice, the rush of excitement blinded such suspicions from the eyes and muted the sounds of possible deceit from the ears.


The anticipation of the news threw out any thoughts of crossing the street at the traffic light to the right.  The legs raced him ahead darting into traffic.  He easily dodged the steady flow of cars coming from both directions.


Eyes barely noticed the absence of patrons seeking to revitalize their energy with eye popping caffeine and rich, creamy pastry as he walked through the doors of the charming coffee lounge.  Only a few stragglers were scattered about.   Each one was sitting alone reading the morning paper.  And except for the two young workers engaged in idle chitchat while attending to morning messes made here and there, the counter was clear.          


“Just a small cup of the house brew with a touch of cream and sugar please,” he requested from the young woman.


Within minutes, she walked up with the order.  Bill handed her a twenty dollar bill and with coffee in hand rushed to a booth in the back.


The cellophane was ripped off.  The seal was broken.  The magazine opened exposing the index card adhering to one of the pages.   The small note was torn off.


“SUCCESS!!!!” the message screamed.


Bill squelched the impulse to jump out of the seat and prance about with joy, and instead whispered a triumphant “yes” while punching the air with a fist.


Thoughts of all the rewards promised by the man circled around in the mind.  A wealth that surpassed the collective riches of his parents, his friends’ parents, of everyone in the select circle of those that considered themselves luxuriously well-off was about to be realized.


Only in dreams Bill had believed that a life lived with the extravagances of all that was fine and precious and taboo existed, but now it was about to become reality.


The message was joyfully repeated over and over as he looked at that one word.  The other part of the message, however, the part that had been hidden by sheer excitement, suddenly came into the consciousness.


“Oh, you have to be kidding,” he moaned.  “How could they have gone through with it?” was uttered in disbelief.


The very idea of even bending the rules of the contract, let alone outright breaking such a key provision, had never been discussed.  Through the whole duration of the project such a violation was never entertained even in a joking manner.   But the thought of Kevin’s arrogance reared its ugly head.  The meaning of “success” was not for conveying the actual accomplishment, but it was penned as a matter of stroking his ego and to silently cry out to the world of the power of his ingenious mind.&

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