“There’s nothing special about me,” Stuart shrugged. “Why me?” he asked the pale stranger. The lean man wore an impeccable dark suit matched with a perfect chestnut crewcut. Not a single hair on his head looked out of place; the wrinkles around his eyes tightened when he smiled at Stuart.
Stuart sat in the shade of a large oak reading when the stranger approached. He introduced himself as God and after sufficient proof, he told Stuart about his offer. Stuart firmly believed the man was who he claimed to be. No matter how hard he tried to envision it, Stuart could not imagine himself being worthy of the gift.
“Entertainment,” the man replied.
“Entertainment? But, you created everything; can’t you just do more of that?” the gentleman shrugged.
“Creating universes is my job. I’m like the chef that doesn’t want to cook after working in a restaurant all day. So, I need to find other diversions. As for why you, you happen to be the first person I saw after coming up with the idea. Right place, right time.” His answers eased Stuart’s doubts enough that he started to consider how to best improve the world.
“So I get three lies?” he wanted to make sure he was very clear on the rules.
“You get three statements. They can be lies, but they’re not obligated to be. There’s no trickery or genie-like twists involved in what I’m giving you. The only concrete stipulation is that the person or persons must hear it directly from your mouth. No video cameras, or even microphones.”
“No microphones!?” Stuart’s thoughts of addressing a stadium full of people immediately vanished when the stranger replied with a shake of his head. “Whoa, that makes it a little bit tougher.”
“That makes it entertainment,” the man smiled again. “It makes you wonder how many people you need to rely on to change your world.”
“My world!?” Stuart was shocked. “You’re an alien!?”
“I suppose you could look at it like that. Technically, if I created this Earth I’m not from it, right?” he said. “But rest assured, I am 100% human. It’s complicated up there, but we don’t need to go into it. I’ve chosen you to receive this gift, just to see what you do with it. Do you accept?”
Stuart was quick to nod, even though he didn’t have a plan yet. The moment his head dipped forward he noticed a tingling sensation in his mind. It felt like the number ‘3’ was sitting on his brain.
“Concentrate on the numbers to issue your statements. Good luck,” the stranger waved and disappeared in front of Stuart’s eyes. The tingling in his mind encouraged Stuart to head home to figure out the best use of his new gift.
He lived several blocks away from the park, but the day was cool and sunny. He walked to the park that morning and used the walk back home to consider his next step.
“He said no trickery, so I can probably say the same thing to three different groups,” he thought, then stopped in his tracks. “Then what?” he asked aloud. “If I yell, I can get maybe 30, three times is about a 100.” He stood still for a few moments, then shrugged.
“I guess I just have to get the right people,” he decided then resumed the trek home while pondering his new plan.
“Who are the right people to change the world? People with money that can get things done. So, how am I going to get a group of millionaires and billionaires together?”‘ he wondered while strolling.
“Which ones? Who’s the best choice to improve the world?” Stuart arrived at his apartment building. He kept repeating the thought as he rode the elevator up. As he opened his door, his train of thought merged with the welcoming sensation he always felt when he got home. It reminded him of something the suited stranger told him. He chuckled and spoke aloud, “Who’s the best choice to improve MY world, haha.” He stopped at the mirror in his foyer to welcome himself home.
“Welcome home!” He smiled at himself, but somehow his reflection looked sadder than he expected. He let go of the forced smile entirely and sighed. “My world really needs some changes.” The number 3 tickled the back of his mind. His mirror self reflected a broad, sincere grin topped with sparkling brown eyes.
“My words will be believed as truth no matter what,” the thought spilled out of Stuart’s mouth as his plan formed. “Okay brain, listen up. Three statements, are you ready?” He concentrated on the number 3 and his mind tingled wildly in response. He stared himself in the eyes and smiled.
“I’m good enough.”
“I’m smart enough.”
“And doggone it, people like me.”