What, the puzzle box?
It’s not a terribly interesting story.
A few months after we met, we were working on improving his abilities; testing his limits.
I’d seen him lift cars and invert statues and disassemble tables, but he was still having trouble with minute manipulations. He lacked the mental equivalent of fine motor skills.
So, one day I was browsing a local thrift store and found a small metal puzzle box. It was small cube with many interlocking gears and metal components. It was very intricate and difficult to manipulate with your hands. It was just the thing I was looking for, and I got it for less than 5 dollars.
The next morning, I gave him the box and we spent the entire day training with it. By the end, his control had increased at least threefold, and I learned a lot about how his telekinesis worked. It’s fascinating, the energy he generates is mostly focused on one small point. He says it takes more willpower to affect multiple points at once than it does to make the effect stronger. He can lift cars or statues with a few distinct points of force, but liquids just slip through his psionic fingers.
Anyway, after we were done for the day, just as I was leaving, he stopped me at the door. He said he wanted to make a point of thanking me for the puzzle box. He said it was the best birthday present he had ever received.
I didn’t know. He hadn’t told me. I never even thought to ask.
And I think I’m still the only normal person who knows what day it is.
Well, unless you count his brother.
But looking back, that day was when we really started working together. Every interaction we had before was so… clinical. After his birthday, I began to understand how his personality, his mind, affected his powers. So many major breakthroughs happened in the year that followed.
So, exactly one year later, I went out and found another puzzle box. This time, I got the biggest and most complicated one I could find. It was bigger than a microwave, and cost about two hundred dollars. But it was worth it to see how far he had come, and to see him that happy again.
And every year since, I’ve gotten him a bigger and more intricate puzzle box. Just to see him happy.
Never tell him I said that. He’d never let me live it down. It’s in his nature.