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Look around you. Concentrate on seeing all at once. What you see on every side are the events of your many lives. Events that, you will find, need not be set in stone.

Roger’s eyes popped open. This was frustrating. The chipped gray paint on the floorboards slowly came into focus before him. His arms tingled as if they’d been asleep for a century. His cramped legs were solid stone and he had to drag each of them out of the half-lotus position. His shoulders and arms, full of pins- and-needles, protested their use in pushing his legs out straight. Unbalanced, he fell backward. His head smacked audibly into something soft and he sighed. Pure goddamn frustration.

He looked up into a pair of riveting eyes.

A bit stiff?”

Roger flicked his eyes away so Teacher couldn’t see the frustration glowing in them. He nodded against the pillow, unable to clear his throat enough to talk. A twinge of guilt flickered through his gut. When Teacher spoke, it was proper form to answer . . . verbally, not with a nod. When this thought crossed Roger’s mind, he saw understanding in Teacher’s eyes.

Teacher laughed. “Don’t worry. Circulation will come back in a minute.” Teacher stood back to give him room. “Get up. And don’t worry about being frustrated.”

Roger was always surprised at Teacher’s insight. He knew exactly what Roger was feeling whenever they were together. More so now that they’d started this new series of lessons.

When Roger straightened his legs, he let out an involuntary howl. The pain of reawakening limbs pushed the last remnants of the mystical realm from his mind. He hobbled to the ancient couch under the window. He practically fell onto it.

Roger blinked several times, squinting against the glaring light of reality. He was exhausted. Finally he found his voice.

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