Extracts from The Diaries of 'Professor' Cornelius Crane

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February 17th, 1997

Talk about Monday Blues! Steve gave me the bad news today. Although I was sort of expecting it ever since Friday when he told me he had planned an extra special romantic weekend away for him and Nikki to celebrate Valentine’s.

Nikki is going to be his blushing June bride in a fraction less than 4 months from now.

All my attempts to keep the two apart have failed miserably, but perhaps I can use the situation to my advantage.

I see it clearly now. The only way to do this whole sordid thing is to let it run its course. Any attempt on my part to separate the two before Nikki shows her true colors will only bring upon me Steve’s anger and displeasure.

A true friendship can never be forced. As hard as I keep trying to make it so, the friendship between Steve and I is not what it once was. It was a different situation when we were partners in the company – equals! Now he seems almost obliged to grovel around the big boss. I know that he is a man who believes strictly in the saying that, ‘Familiarity breeds contempt.’ Yet, anybody with his brains would have…should have asked for a slice of the company profits by now. But he is a good man and a perfect employee – I almost hate him for it.

Worst of all, he seems to be content working for me. The dreams he once shared about starting his own company seem to have all but vanished. It’s amazing how different he’s turned out in this new timeline. If I didn’t know better, I would almost say he’s turned into a bit of a bootlicker – a yes man!

Ironically, the only time he has ever stood up to me was that time regarding Nikki’s interview.

Yes, sometimes a woman can light a fire under a man’s arse; turn him into that knight in shining armor. Unfortunately, more often than not, they also end up dousing us, like a cold shower that kills our needs and desires.

Anyway, if possible, I may be able to use the wedding to my advantage.

Tomorrow I’ll tell the both of them that I want to pay for the whole shindig – no expenses spared. This will include everything! The flowers, dresses, cake, reception, photographer, wedding night hotel accommodation and the honeymoon - everything!

Being the aforementioned good man, Steve will probably decline the proposal, but this is why I intend to make the offer to both of them at the same time. Knowing women, especially Nikki, she will not pass up this opportunity of a lifetime. Also, if I’m lucky, then hopefully the good man will make me his Best Man! And that will be one small step for me but one giant leap towards elevating our friendship!

I know also that a true friendship cannot be bought. But that is not the reason for my generous offer.

I know for a fact that later when the marriage inevitably falls apart, Steve will experience the guilt trip of his life. He will feel an inclination to confess to me the truth about Nikki, as well as his regret regarding the vast amount of time and money wasted on her by the both of us.

He will be feeling down and in his most dejected state ever. He will need a big shoulder to cry on; a shoulder that only I will be able to provide.

And only a real friend will be able to lift him out of the muck.

Then, God willing, I will be able to manipulate the situation to my advantage, making him once again my only true and trusted friend.

Then, with the passing of some time I will once again be able to take him into my confidence. Only then will I be able to reveal to him the entire and unadulterated truth behind Cornelius Crane. If anything, the entries in my diaries should be more than sufficient to convince him of the fact.

Strange, I look forward with great eagerness to sharing my secret with him. It has been a terrible burden for one man to have carried all these long years. At last I will be able to safely reveal it to someone else.

And then, finally, we can start working together again in earnest in constructing the (next) Consciousness Projector.

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