End of the Age: Final Deception HTML version

Chapter 3
Over the next few weeks, Jesse spent much of her time with her grandmother.
They chatted while working around the house, weeding flowerbeds and cooking. She
spent her spare time reading psychology books she collected over the years but never
thought she’d have time to read. Gabriel was away most days but came home evenings.
He occasionally invited her to relax on the front porch after supper. Their conversations
were comfortable. They talked about everything, anything—childhood memories, likes,
dislikes, poetry, history and world affairs. The only topic that neither mentioned was past
romances. She enjoyed Gabriel’s company and as the days passed, she found herself
checking the time more often, impatient for his return.
One evening Jesse stepped onto the front porch to see Gabriel in the drive
waiting for her. Although tempted, she managed to control the smile as she neared the
jeep. “Thanks for asking me along, Gabriel.”
Opening the passenger side door, he said, “How could I refuse such a polite
As he got into the vehicle, she said, “Maybe I was bluffing.”
“Maybe I had planned to invite you along before you threatened to drive
yourself into town,” he said.
She smiled. “Well, then, I guess it worked out for both of us.” Giving in, she
laughed softly before saying, “I’m sorry, Gabriel, but I’m bored. I haven’t been away
from the house in days, not since returning the rental. I’m going stir crazy.”
“I understand,” he said, starting the Jeep. “I know you want to go out on your
own, but it’s not safe. Things have changed.”
She thought about recent news reports. Yes, things had changed. The nation was
still trying to recover from an economic crisis and the price of food and gasoline had
skyrocketed. The United States wasn’t the only country suffering. The global economy
was coming apart even while natural disasters continued to shock the world.
She turned to Gabriel to ask, “Do you think global warming has anything to do
with all these natural disasters? Just in the last few months, there’s been tornadoes, a
hurricane along the east coast, an earthquake along the west coast and while most of the
country is in a drought, the Mississippi River overflowed its banks.”
“I don’t know,” he said, shaking his head. “Some people say climate change is
caused by increased solar activity. Others say carbon dioxide emissions are to blame. I
recently read an article saying the temperature on all planets in our solar system is rising.