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Commonwealth: A Novel of Utopia, part 1, chapter 4

Author’s Note: This is an excerpt from my novel Commonwealth. The rest of today’s installment is free, but only on my Patreon site. If you want to read the next part today, it’s already up on Patreon as well. You can sign up for as little as $1/month.

Seeing her friends huddled on the bed, overrun with worry and fear, Rae felt a surge of pity. She thought it might help to change the subject.

“I’m sorry, but I have to ask. Will Anton hasn’t contacted either of you, has he?”

“No,” Zoe said, and Michael shook his head. “I don’t think we’ve heard from him since college. Why?”

“You’ll never believe this, but he tried to recruit me again today. He just drove up to me on the street— Oh, I’m so sorry.”

The instant it was out of her mouth, Rae realized how insensitive she sounded. Her friends had lost their jobs, and she was bragging about being wooed by a billionaire.

But neither of them took offense. “It’s okay,” Zoe said with a weak smile. “I wouldn’t take his money. Not even now.”

“Besides,” Michael said, “I doubt Anton Aerospace is hiring teachers. Or musicians.”

“You never know,” Rae said, glad for their understanding. “Maybe I should send him your way.

“Anyway, this is where it gets weird. I turned him down, of course, and he said something about my friends not being so obstinate. That’s why I had to ask if you’d heard from him. Do you remember Elaina Cortez? I tried to contact her… but my e-mail bounced back, and her phone was disconnected.”

“Elaina? No, it can’t be. She’d never work for Will Anton any more than you would. There must be some mistake,” Zoe said.

“Something isn’t right about this,” Michael said. “No billionaire pursues anyone this hard. Not for a regular job.”

“I thought so too. But I don’t know how to explain it.”

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DAYLIGHT ATHEISM Adam Lee is an atheist author and speaker from New York City. His previously published books include "Daylight Atheism," "Meta: On God, the Big Questions, and the Just City," and most...