The carp glides through the water, a twist of its body tilts forwards to hide under a lily pad. A girl laughs, her head poking through the wooden slats of the little bridge over the pond, her chubby hand pointing at the dark water where other shapes flow with gold and red. Arret watches her, trying to remember the simple joy of seeing, of letting the flow of thoughts fade and simply to know that there are clouds low in the sky, threatening rain, the smells of the hot dogs from the barbeque stand, the wordless chatter of the people in the park.
It cannot happen. His mind is wrapped around this thing so completely that there is room for nothing else. He wonders how he got to the park and he does not remember. He has come here a lot, he knows this, but there is only the problem. The knot of mathematics wrapped inside him, trying to break its way out but hampered by the constant bewilderment at the sudden row that has erupted, the shouted arguments and irrational behaviour of the managers above him fighting for possession of something he does not yet even have and which they certainly do not understand.
The girl has turned back to her parents. Her mind has switched to another matter, to another thing in front of her. He is envious, and realises that in that envy is the way out. That he can let it all go. He stands up and readies himself to go home, walking to the edge of the park where he can catch a taxi.
Before he can get there a woman has fallen in step beside him. He has caught a glance of her but does not want to look again. She touches his arm.
Dr Arret? She says. He halts and nods. You need to come with me.
He starts to protest but there is a nudge of metal from underneath the coat over her arm. He recognises it as a gun although he has never seen one before.
Your bodyguard is not around. She tells him. He has been compromised. If you do what I say you will not be hurt.
Which way? He asks.
She tilts her head for him to carry on along the path.