David's little hacienda apartment was finally coming together. When Megan left, it seemed like she had taken the soul of the place with her. But little by little, David found cheap items at yard sales that made the place feel more like home again. One weekend, he picked up a pair of nice old wooden chairs from a free pile on the side of the road a few blocks down. When he found them, they were in pretty bad shape with a bunch of bangs and nicks and loose pieces hanging off. But with a screwdriver, a couple long screws, a piece of sandpaper, and a small tin of clear finish (a grand total of $6.28 from Ace Hardware), they looked pretty good. For his dining room table, David picked up an old door and four posts at a salvage shop for twenty dollars and a can of grey spray paint. He used these little projects to stay busy when he wasn't working on Cryptobit.
Andrew joined David on his morning runs. But due to Heather's situation, the runs were more like somber walks. As they made it back to David's apartment, Andrew fell onto the black leather couch that David bought the week before.
"I can't believe you found this at Goodwill. The Goodwill guys must be making out like bandits."
David wasn't paying attention. He sat at his computer and logged into his bank account. He stared at the balance. After paying the invoices for the contractors he had hired and this week's rent, he wondered if he had enough to pay the hospital bill.
"How was your sister this morning?"
"Good, I guess. I thought she smiled, but the nurse told me it was just a reflex."
"They know when she'll wake up?"
They both didn't say anything for a while.
"When did the Rocketship guys say they would get back to you?"
"Was supposed to be this week, but who knows. It's Thursday, so if we don't hear back by tomorrow, it probably won't be until next week."
"What's taking them so long? Didn't they know by the time you walked out of the room whether or not they were going to invest? You told them I was back in, didn't you?"
"Yes, I told them. I don't know what's holding them up. But this whole thing has been so confusing, I don't know what to expect any more. Just when I think things are going to work out, they fall apart again. I should get back to work, though. We shouldn't put our whole lives on hold just for a stupid email."
Andrew jumped up from the couch.
"No. I know just what you need. And it's not work. Come on, you need to get your mind off things. Let's go to Carson Hot Springs."
"I should probably just go back to the hospital in case Heather wakes up."
"Just take a little time away. Clear your head. Lots going on. Trust me."
Upon arriving at Carson Hot Springs, David and Andrew walked into the white historic hotel that looked like it had been pulled out of a Wild West ghost town. The hundred-year-old building hadn't been used as a hotel for years since a modern resort had been built around it. But you still had to check in and buy your tickets for the mineral bath soak in the main lodge.
"Two soaks, please," said Andrew.
A large old man with a wart on his nose put down a newspaper, the Carson News. David snuck a peek and noticed he was reading the obituaries. The man wiggled up to the counter in no rush, as if David and Andrew had interrupted his important work. He looked the two young men up and down and took David's credit card without saying a word.
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The Term Sheet | Wattys 2016 WinnerMystery / Thriller
2016 WATTY AWARD WINNER - HQ LOVE THE TERM SHEET is a fast-paced technothriller about entrepreneurship, startups, encryption, and the delicate balance between national security and individual privacy. Its complex characters explore thought-provoking...