Charlie and Dr Bruner walked through the flower garden and talked together. Susanna sat with Raymond, who was still writing in his notebook.

‘What can I tell you?’ the doctor asked.

‘Where to begin?’

‘What does he write in that notebook?’

‘He writes down things that he thinks are dangerous. Things like bad weather reports.’

‘Why does he do that?’

‘I think he writes dangerous things down to try and hide them. Raymond sees danger everywhere. Any change frightens him. That is why he always does things in the same way every day.’

‘What do you mean?’

‘Raymond always eats the same way, sleeps the same way, talks the same way. Everything. But he’s a person, your brother. In some ways, a very intelligent person.’

Dr Bruner looked at Charlie for a second or two, then he continued. ‘Raymond cannot have relationships with other people, and he cannot see the relationship between things. He talks to you, but he also talks to the car and the television. Everything is the same to him. Doctors call this sort of person autistic.’

Charlie thought about this. It was difficult to understand.

‘And the most important thing is that Raymond can’t feel. He cannot be happy or sad in the way that we are happy or sad.’

Dr Bruner stopped speaking and looked at Charlie. Charlie was biting his lip and looking over at his brother.

‘What Raymond did with you today… that was very good,’ Dr Bruner said softly. ‘Very good. For a stranger.’

Charlie shook his head and laughed. ‘The world is strange,’ he said. ‘Three million dollars! What’s he going to spend it on?’

It was late afternoon. Charlie was walking with Raymond. Susanna waited in the car. She thought that Charlie was saying goodbye to his new brother.

Charlie walked quickly towards the Buick. Raymond walked next to him.

‘This is Daddy’s car,’ Raymond said. ‘It was white. But now this is a blue car.’

Charlie got into the Buick. ‘Get in, Raymond,’ he said.

Raymond got into the car.

‘Charlie, wait a minute!’ Susanna said. ‘Where are we taking him?’

‘For a holiday,’ Charlie said. He started the car and they drove away. Raymond looked back over his shoulder at the house that they were leaving. There was no expression on his face, but it was very clear that he was anxious.

‘Don’t worry, Raymond,’ Susanna told him, ‘you’re coming back.’

Charlie said nothing.


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