PART A (The Psychologist) — 6

The Rolmans were given a winning lottery ticket.

Or maybe the money was willed to them by some rich relative.

It really doesn’t matter how.

Basically, the Rolmans were given huge amounts of cash.

They had no idea how much.

It might as well have been billions (or trillions) of dollars.

The money was one of the few things Mr. Rolman never mentioned to the Psychologist.

He just never thought to bring it up in their sessions.

But Mr. Rolman did have plans for the money.

He stuffed it in the innermost pockets of his oldest coats, which hung in the living room closet below stacks of board games, umbrellas, flashlights, and other ordinary knickknacks.

Mr. and Mrs. Rolman took money from the pockets whenever they needed it.

Mrs. Rolman bought a hairbrush, and a birthday cake for their son.

Mr. Rolman bought the boy a scooter.

One day, Mr. Rolman began to feel a dull pain just below and to the side of his right knee.

From then on, the pain seemed to flare up whenever he would run to keep up with the boy at the park near their home.

The pain grew worse week by week until eventually it remained a steady, sharp tinge that made him cringe each time he panted and pumped his arms to go faster.

But the boy never stopped blasting forward and away on his shiny yellow scooter, circling and whooping, playing all sorts of little games Mr. Rolman never quite understood.

Sometimes Mr. Rolman’s attention would be drawn away to seeds, or nuts, or rocks, or lizards, or whatever else he might come across on the ground as the boy carried on.

The Psychologist had told Mr. Rolman it was okay to be a little absent-minded, that the important thing was how much time he was always spending with his son, and that it was great he was encouraging the boy’s individuality and confidence.

Much of what the Psychologist told the Rolmans would eventually be shown to be somewhat incomplete, like games with missing pieces or wrong instruction cards.

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