Jessie opened the door.
“My mother talked to you didn’t she?” Jessie accused The Last Prophet on her doorstep.
He smiled and nodded. Jessie rolled her eyes.
The Last Prophet entered the home.
“Very nice home you’ve got here.”
“Enjoy it while it lasts, Mom can’t afford it on her own so we have to sell it.”
“I see. Aren’t you going to offer me some tea?”
Jessie frowned, “why should I?”
“You’re old enough to know about manners I’m sure, especially with a mother like yours.”
“Yes I’m old enough, not quite 2000 years old, but old enough.” She eyed The Last Prophet in search of a reaction.
“You’ve been doing your homework I see.”
“Quite the opposite,” Jessie replied smiling, “and, I’ve decided I believe you.”
“How about that tea?” The Last Prophet replied.
Jessie glared at him. “Didn’t you hear me? I said I believe you.”
“And I heard you.”
“So why are you asking about tea?”
The Last Prophet shrugged. “Because I want tea.”
Jessie growled at him. He growled back, sarcastically.
The Last Prophet followed her into the kitchen. She took an iced tea out of the fridge and slapped it down on the table. The Last Prophet picked it up and eyed it suspiciously.
Jessie crossed her arms and smirked.
“Beggars can’t be choosers. You like my mother so much, that is her favorite thing to say.”
The Last Prophet cracked open the iced tea. “I didn’t say anything.” He took a sip and let out a long “ahh”.
“So?” Jessie demanded.
“So what are you here for? What has Mother decided is best for me now?”
The Last Prophet was silent for a moment. “She wants me to lie to you.”
Jessie gave a rude snort of laughter. “Of course she does.”
“And why should I not?” The Last Prophet asked.
“Because I want to know, because you wouldn’t have told me your story if you didn’t want to finish it.” Jessie couldn’t hide how proud she was of her own cleverness. She smiled.
The Last Prophet chuckled. “Interesting point. But that is not the reason I am going to tell you.”
“And, also, because–oh?” Jessie gave him a skeptical look. “Why then?”
The Last Prophet went about reading the ingredients of the ice tea in his hand. “Do you have any idea what is in this stuff?” He said, looking up at Jessie.
Jessie stared, expectantly. “So, are you going to lie to me, or have I actually convinced you?”
The Last Prophet laughed. “Neither. I’d like to say you’ve convinced me or moved me but, honestly, I am just tired and very old and you’ve given me a excuse.”
Jessie let her arms fall and she gave him a hurt look.
“Oh don’t look at me like that. You’re an exceptional girl. Convincing an old man to spill his secrets should not be the metric on which you base your self-worth. But, knowing this, do you still want to know?”
Jessie stayed silent for a moment. Then responded, “what does metric mean?”
“A way of measuring something.” The Last Prophet said.
Jessie took a minute to think about it. Then said, “Okay, tell me.”
The Last Prophet swirled the remains of the ice tea around in the can, sucked it down, and told her.