A/N: Last chapter. Special thanks to all my readers. Super-duper special thanks to Purridot. :)
"Come on," I said, shaking his shoulder. "Rise and shine. Time to get up."
"It can't be," Greg mumbled into the pillow and threw the covers over his head.
"It is. No pancakes today, there isn't enough flour. You can have the rest of the waffles if you want."
"How Gandhi-esque of you," was his muffled reply.
"Thank you," I said. "I do what I can to keep the peace around here."
"It was a crime when the Nobel people gave the nomination to that Bono dude."
I shook my head at his remark. He never seemed to run out of them. They were like candy bars in a vending machine; if he took one there was another spiraling up in its place, waiting for the right amount of change to be deposited. I threw back my half of the covers and got up; he didn't move a muscle.
"Greg," I sighed, walked over and threw the covers off him. He moaned and tried to pulled them back up. I tossed them to the foot of the bed and grabbed his wrists. "If you don't get up now you're not going to have time to eat. Now let's go. I don't know about you but I'm hungry."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah…You better get some goddamn flour soon, that's all I have to say," he griped.
"Why didn't you get any the last time you were at the store?"
"I was in a hurry and forgot."
"What kind of waffles do we have?"
"Blueberry. Now get up."
He sat up and gave me a strange, solemn look. "Where do you think that kid is?"
I frowned. "What kid?"
"The one who showed me how to look for God in the outlets. Where do you think he is now?"
At first I thought it was a joke and nearly laughed. Then Greg looked at me expectantly, wanting an answer I didn't have. Like his mood swings and his random tests of my limits, his rare moments of concern over the fate of another human being came at odd times. I sat down, cleared my throat, and hoped he was looking for a plain and simple answer to his question. "I'd like to think he's in a better place," I said quietly.
"You think he's in heaven?" he asked in all seriousness.
"I hope so."
"He wound up killing himself," Greg said. "Isn't suicide a sin?"
"From what you told me, he didn't set out to kill himself. It wasn't suicide. He just happened to die."
Greg looked down at the tangle of blankets and sheets and said, "You don't think he's just in a wooden box covered by six feet of dirt?"
"His soul isn't, no."
"Yeah…well…," he muttered, swinging his legs over the side of the bed and standing up. "Wherever he is, at least he found what he was looking for."
"What about you?" I asked, handing him his cane.
"I stuck a knife into an outlet looking for God and all I got was a lousy burned hand," he answered with his trademark smirk. "God didn't even give me a tee shirt for my trouble, the cheap bastard."
"I'm glad it wasn't worse," I said.
"So am I," he said a little too nonchalantly.
We walked to the kitchen. He sat down and watched me put some water on for coffee and get his waffles out of the freezer.
I had just turned on the toaster when I heard him say, "You put up with a lot from me."
"So?" I poured us each a cup of coffee and sat at the table with him. "Did you just figure that out? Is that supposed to be some kind of big revelation or something?"
"Anyone else would have bolted a long time ago."
"I'm not anyone else, and neither are you," I said, watching the steam rise out of my cup. Then I smiled and told him, "You're as God made you."
He had been taking a sip of coffee when I said that and nearly choked on it. Much to my surprise he laughed instead of ripping me up one side and down the other.
"That was a compliment, Greg."
"Yeah," he replied quietly, setting his coffee down to let it cool for a while. "I know you meant it that way."