Zeta and Justus went to the Swami’s restrooms, got out of their wetsuits, toweled off, and put on fresh clothes. Back at the condo, Carol suggested having Chinese food delivered, and the hungry surfers agreed. The food arrived, and they consumed chicken fried rice with vegetables and orange ginger sauce. “I love eating with chopsticks,” Zeta said. “Me too, I think it even somehow makes food taste better,” Carol agreed. Justus fumbled with the sticks while they watched his futile attempt to get some food in his mouth. “Would you like a fork, Justus?” Zeta asked. “Oh, I don’t think so. Can you teach me how to do that?” “Yes, if you can learn to surf you should be able to conquer this skill with minimal mishap.”
Justus observed how to hold the sticks and use them as pinchers. The girls laughed while he dropped the food before it reached his mouth or a stick flipped out of his hand. Finally, he started having some success, “This is harder than it looks. I’ve never done anything like it, so we may need to order Chinese a few more times until I master the skill set.”
Carol had turned on the flat screen TV while they were eating to hear the news and check the surf weather report. “The predicted one hundred year surf should be hitting our southern California beaches before sunrise tomorrow. It’s being called the Monster Surf. Top surfers from Hawaii and Australia are flying here to ride the anticipated epic waves.”
“Well it’s going to hit really big here,” Zeta said excitedly.
Then a Breaking News message flashed on the TV screen. “And now we go to our KFMB News 8 reporter on the scene, Rita Crowley.” “Thank you, Richard, I’m reporting live from the cliff overlooking a popular surf spot in North San Diego County, Swami’s State Park. It’s getting dark here, and only a few surfers are still in the water. Just an hour ago the Coast Guard reported that a charter fishing boat had located the body of a surfer, still attached to his surfboard by a leash, floating approximately one mile offshore past the kelp beds.” “Do we know the identity of the surfer or what happened Rita?” “No Richard, at this time that’s all the information we have.”
Just then another surfer rushed into view of the live TV camera and Rita said, “Just one moment please Richard.” The camera stayed on Rita as a surfer still in his wet suit started talking to her, and she turned her mike back on. “Richard, I’m talking to Lucas, and Lucas could you repeat what you just told me for our viewers please?”
“I think the surfer they found outside the kelp beds is my friend Hank.”
“And why do you believe that, Lucas?”
“We was done surfing, at least I thought we was done, and Hank and me come out of the water together. Some dude chewed out Hank sayin’ he deliberately ran into his girlfriend on a wave and Hank didn’t do no such thing ma’am.”
“And then what happened Lucas?”
“Hank coulda kicked that dude’s ass, but he didn’t, he just paddled back out into the water ma’am.”
“Well Lucas, how could that be him if he just went back to surf? There’s no rip tide today that would take anyone out that far.”
“That’s what just shook the holy crap outta me. I just talked to a guy who was out there surfing, and he said Hank paddled past them like he was in a daze without sayin’ one single word, and he just paddled out of sight.”
“What is your friend’s full name?”
“Hank Palmer ma’am.”
“Ok thank you, Lucas. I hope that isn’t your friend. That’s the latest here on the surfer found off of Swami’s beach. This is Rita Crowley reporting live for KFMB News 8, now back to you Richard.”
“Wow,” Carol gasped, “That’s where we were today.”
“Yes, must have happened after we left,” Zeta added looking over at Justus still wrestling with the chopsticks.
After the TV news and weather report finished, Carol turned the TV down and excused herself to go to the bathroom. Zeta turned to Justus and said, “I know the guy was a rude bastard but wasn’t that a bit much payback for cussing me, dinging my board, and throwing an elbow? Are bodies going to show up everywhere we go?”
Putting down the chopsticks, Justus looked at Zeta and soberly told her, “That would have been overkill payback if that was all the payback was regarding. I got close enough to Benton to know the evil inside of him. I saw the images of what he’d done to you flash in my mind. When I was with Menser, I felt his evil and saw the sexual molestation he did to those young women with his gun. And when I engaged the surfer today I saw the scenes of him raping several little girls. He won’t be doing that anymore. I don’t see all the evil a person has done, just enough.” Then Justus picked up his chopsticks and continued trying to motivate Chinese food to enter his mouth.
Zeta didn’t say anything. She couldn’t think of anything to say. She knew what Benton had done. She knew Menser was under investigation for sexually molesting some young women. She’d met Aakifah and found her story credible. She watched Justus erase Kifat’s head and a helicopter, with a small meteorite. She’d had an encounter with a Vee in the New York subway entrance. She remembered the superhuman gymnastics on the Sky Walk, Grand Canyon rattlesnakes, mountain lions, Bubba’s massive muscular forearm and the shattered bones, and a pitched rock exploding like lightning on a Kingman boulder. And today she watched Justus surf like a pro, after just a few tries on a surfboard. Then she remembered making love that was out of this world, in the Trump Tower penthouse and the shower in Sedona.
After recalling these recent events, she said to herself, “I’m a skeptic, a critical thinker. I’m trained in the scientific method. I don’t believe unless I have verifiable evidence, and the evidence is piling up.” Then she got up, went over and kissed Justus on the cheek and took her dirty dishes to the kitchen while Justus continued trying to master the chopsticks.