Teddy got out of his car in the chilly winter air. The first snowfall of the year and it was almost Christmas. Shivering, he pulled his overcoat a little tighter around him as he went into the recovery facility where Markus had been moved a few months ago.
It was a little a year since he'd expelled Salem and escorted Markus back to St. Louis. His recovery was harsh, but he was making large stride. Admittedly, something like using a smartphone was probably still a way off, but he was able to fully cook and clean himself.
He had also taken a huge interest in the bible and in God; enter Teddy. Markus had read through Teddy's old bible in three months, and immediately bombarded him with questions as soon as he'd visited. Not that Teddy minded at all. Honestly he looked forward to visiting Markus, and he felt like the man looked forward to his visits as well.
However this time the man had news that floored Teddy a bit.
"How sure are they?" he asked Markus.
"They say it's a 99% accurate test. HIV positive."
Still, as he said it, a huge grin broke out over his face.
"Markus, how can you be happy about this?"
"Maybe it would be sad for some people, but honestly I like to think of it as a reminder. I'm going to be treated for it, but I'm never going to be fully rid of it."
"Exactly. You realize this is ultimately fatal?"
"Yes, but think what I can use this for."
"Use it, how?"
"It's the mark that Salem left on me. People think that things like demons don't exist. They think that demonic killings and possessions only happen in movies and books. They don't realize that there is a real danger to things like Ouija boards and demonic symbols. I'm a living example that those things are really dangerous, and if people begin to understand that demons are real, maybe they'll understand that God is too, and they can defend themselves."
Teddy shook his head.
"I don't understand how you can have such a positive outlook on it, but I'm glad you do."
"I don't understand how you can look right at the man who murdered your brother and try and help him get his life together. We often think very little of our own gifts, because to us they seem ordinary. I think little of my disease other than what opportunity it provides me. I wouldn't want to be free of it, even if I could. It would diminish what Salem did, and I will never make that lighter than what it was."
Teddy nodded somberly and opened his own bible to the book of proverbs.
"So let's talk about this…"