Tommy - The Trials and Tribulations of a Girl? - Chapter 115


Tommy
The Trials and Tribulations of a Girl?

A Novel By Teddie S.

Copyright © 2018 Teddie S.
All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 115
Grandpa Devereux. What the … The secretaries.

There was a large number of people at grandma’s funeral yesterday. It was a hard day for me, Ajie, and I think all of the family. But now it was over. We’d had a surprise when Aunt Ruth told the four grandchildren that grandma had requested that the four grandchildren share some of her silver jewelry.

We had met grandma’s other two grandchildren, Sani and Hok'ee Biakeddy, for the first time. They’re Aunt Ginny and Uncle Gaagii’s boys. One is a criminal lawyer and the other works for the Border Patrol. And they are both older than Ajie and me. At first one of them, Sani, was uneasy with me being a Nádleeh. But over the course of the day, he got over being uncomfortable around me.

The boys weren’t into jewelry, but after I told them that it was all made by their great-great-grandfather, they became interested. But they only wanted one ring each. And they were surprised when Ajie and I decided to put three pieces of grandma’s jewelry in the display case.

And I was worried about Ajie’s parents hearing what they had about Kai. Time will tell.

Ajie and I were up before the Sun on Sunday morning and hiked the cliff trail to watch the sunrise. Since it was starting to be cold in the mornings, there were no guests on the cliff. So we had the Sunrise all to ourselves. And it was a beautiful one. With a lot of reds.

Once the Sun was up, we slowly walked back down the trail, passed the hotel, and to my aunt and uncle’s house. The door was still locked, so we let ourselves into the house. There was no one up. Shortly we heard a knock on the door. I walked over to answer it, and it was Ajie’s parents.

I said, “Good morning, mom and dad.”

I got a friendly, “Good morning, Kai. Did you sleep well?”, from my mother-in-law. And a nice "Good morning.", from my father-in-law.

“I always sleep well out here.", I replied. "Did you?”

“Oh yes.”, Ajie’s dad said. “We soaked in a thermal pool for half an hour, and then went right to bed.”

“I know, those thermal pools are very relaxing.”

When I walked back into the kitchen with Ajie’s mom and dad, Ajie greeted them with a hug. Then slowly everyone else wandered into the kitchen. Then Aunt Ruth, Aunt Ginny, my mom, and Ajie started talking about breakfast. My cousins finally showed up, so there were twelve of us for breakfast. And guess what we are having, frybread breakfast tacos. So, we set up a production line, and it wasn’t long until we were all enjoying a good breakfast.

The earliest return flight our parents could get was at twelve-fifteen. So we needed to be out of the resort by nine, to get them to the airport by eleven, drop off the rental car, and check in for their flight.

But before we left the resort, Ajie got her mother aside and talked to her.

Ajie and I were going to follow our parents to the airport to see them off. And as we were saying so long to my aunts, uncles, and cousins, there were a lot of hugs and handshakes.

As we drove south towards Albuquerque, Ajie said, “I talked to mom this morning.”

“I noticed.”

“I asked her if what she and dad had heard yesterday about us was too much.”

“And?”

“She said that it was more interesting than troubling. They’ve realized for a long time that you’re special, and they learned more about you and our relationship. They had worried about us, but the trip out here had opened their eyes as to who we are. And now they’re happy with our relationship and where it’s going. Also while they were soaking in a thermal pool last night with your parents, they had a nice talk with your mom. And she helped them understand everything. Their biggest worry is if someone figures out that you’re Tom.”

“That’s good to hear. And if someone figures out that I’m Tom? I guess we’ll handle that when it happens, and it will depend on when it happens and with who as to how we handle it.”

“That’s what I told them.

“Mom also asked me about my black hair.”

“I was wondering if she would.”

“She didn’t say anything until we talked, because she didn’t want to upset me anymore, what with grandma passing and all.”

“So what did you tell her.”

“The truth. That out here I felt close to the people, that they accepted me, and that they knew me as both Amy Young and Ajie Nez. And that at times I felt like I needed to be a native girl. Plus a wig out here with the heat wasn’t comfortable.”

“And what did she say?”

“Something that surprised me. That I should be who I feel that I am.”

“Wow. I wonder if your dad feels the same way?”

“I don’t know.

“And, there was one other thing that mom asked me about?”

“What was that?”

“If they’re ever going to be grandparents?”

I almost drove off the road, and I asked, “What did you tell them?”

“That we did want children, but that we wanted to wait until we finished our graduate work. I’m right. Aren’t I?”

“Yes, you know that I want children. Five or more of them.”

“Excuse me?”

“You heard me. I'd like five or more children.”

“In your dreams lover. In your dreams. Maybe two or three at the most, but then the baby factory gets turned off.”

I glanced at Ajie, smiled, and said, “I’d be happy with only one, as long as it was with you.”

“Smarty. Ayóó anííníshní.”

“Ayóó anííníshní aldó’.” (I love you too.)

When we were at the airport, and after our parents had checked in, we had a little time before they could board. So we were able to sit and talk.

One thing that I asked my mother was, “Mom, why hasn’t anyone ever talked about Grandpa Devereux?”

“I don’t know, honey. Why?”, my mother answered.

“When we were at the cemetery I saw his headstone. He was a Colonel in the Army Air Corps and died in 1940. What happened to him?”

“He was killed in a training accident. They were flying bombers in a tight formation, and the plane he was flying in was hit by another plane, and everyone in both planes was killed.

“Grandma didn’t like talking about it. So we never talked about him much.”

“How did he become a Colonel?”

“After college, he went into the Army and worked his way up through the ranks. He learned to fly during World War I and stayed with it. And when they started the Air Corps, he went right into it.”

Just then they called for the boarding of the flight, so my mother said, “Ask your Aunt Ginny. She knows the family history better than anyone.”

As we said so long to our parents, we told them that we hoped to see them around Christmas. Then we watched them board the plane and waited until they took off. Then we headed back to the apartment with a stop for lunch at our favorite drive-in.

Of course, our favorite carhop was working and ran out to the car. And of course he was delighted to see me, Kai, driving, and he became very attentive. We placed our order, cheeseburgers with pickles, french fries, and I had a ginger ale milkshake, and Ajie had a strawberry milkshake.

As we waited for our food, we sat and listened to the radio. When our friendly carhop brought our food, he said, “Enjoy your food. And let me know if you need anything.”

Then Ajie said, “Excuse me. Didn’t you tell us that your mother was Mrs. Davidson?”

“Yes.”, he replied. “Why?”

“She’s one of the supervisors in the ER.”

“Oh. That’s right. You’re a nurse.”

“Yes. By the way, we don’t know your name?”

“It’s James, but everyone calls me Jimmy. Gotta run.”

Then he ran off to another car.

As we sat and enjoyed our meal, I said, “You know. I’ve got to find out more about Grandpa Devereux.”

“That might be interesting.”, Ajie said.

We finished our lunch and headed to the apartment. After we’d unloaded the car, we changed into shorts, blouses, and sneakers, and went grocery shopping. When we were back home and had the groceries put away, I glanced at the answering machine, and the light was flashing.

I rewound the tape and listened to it. It was Dr. Joe, and he and Mary were wondering if we’d like to get together for a late dinner in Old Town.

I looked at Amy, and she said, “I don’t know why not. I don’t have to work tomorrow. And I’m planning on sleeping in.”

“I’d like to sleep in too.”, I said. “So why not enjoy a nice evening with friends.”

I called Dr. Joe back, and when he answered, I said, “So, where do you want to go and eat?”

“Kai.”, Dr. Joe said. “That’s no way to answer the phone.”

“Why waste words.”

“Kai. You’re funny. After I hung up after leaving the message, I thought of another place that we like, but it's not in Old Town. It’s called Paul’s Monterrey Inn.”

“Any good?”

“Yes.”

“I’m willing to give it a try. Is it hard to find?”

“No. It’s easy. You know where Lomas Boulevard is?”

“Of course. The hospital’s on it.”

“Go east until you hit Juan Tabe Boulevard, turn left, and the Monterrey Inn will be on your right. It shouldn’t take you more than twenty minutes.”

“Sounds good. How’s seven?”

“That works. See you then. Bye.”

“So long, Dr. Joe.”

At six-thirty Amy and I, dressed in long skirts, blouses, moccasins, and a little jewelry, were heading east on Lomas Boulevard. Then we turned north on Juan Tabe Boulevard. And it wasn’t long until we were parking at Paul’s Monterrey Inn.

We had a lovely dinner and a great time with Dr. Joe and Mary. And while we were eating, Mary said, “We’re having a baby.”

“That’s wonderful.”, Amy said.

I looked at Amy and smiled. Dr. Joe saw it, and said, “What are you grinning at, Kai?”

“Oh, nothing.”, I said. “But congratulations you two.”

“Yes.”, Amy said. “Congratulations. How far along are you?”

“About six weeks.”, Mary said.

“So, you probably don’t know if it’s a boy or girl yet?”

“Not yet.”

I was still grinning.

“Kai.”, Dr. Joe said. “What’s so funny?”

“Nothing.”, I replied. “I just feel happy for you.”

“Kai! There’s something else?”

I looked at Amy, then at Mary, and asked, “Do you want to know what you’re having?”

“Of course.”, Mary said. “But how?”

I told her the story of my cousin Mary and the twins. And then the story of our friend Kelly. Dr. Joe and Mary just looked at me, then Mary said, “So … So you feel the spirit of the baby?”

“Yes.”, I replied. “As well as the spirit of the mother.”

“And, you felt something from me?”

I smiled, then said, “Remember when we went out to dinner when my grandmother passed?”

“Of course?”

“I felt two spirits from you.”

“Two?”

“Yes, yours and the babies.”

“And you didn’t say anything.”, Dr. Joe said.

“No.”, I said. “I waited until you said something. I didn’t want to cause a problem if I said something at the wrong time.”

“Can you do this for everyone.”

“No. It only works for relatives and people that I’m close to.”

“Close to?”

“Like good friends.”

“So.”, Mary said. “Are you going to tell us?”

“Are you sure that you want to know?”

“Yes!”

“A boy.”

Mary smiled, and Dr. Joe slowly got a big grin.

“Are you sure.”, Dr. Joe asked.

“You’re only the third one that I’ve done this with, but I haven’t been wrong yet.”

“You know, if I weren’t an Indian, I’d say you were completely crazy. But, knowing about two spirit people, I find it entirely plausible.”

It was dark when we said goodnight to them and headed back towards the apartment.

As I drove up in front of the apartment, something caught my eye. So, instead of pulling into the driveway, I stopped in front of the apartment and turned off the lights. Amy asked, “What are you doing?”

“I think I saw a light through our apartment window.”, I replied.

Amy turned and looked at the apartment, and a few seconds later, she said, “Wait. I think I saw something too. … Yeah! I did.”

I got out of the car, and so did Amy, and she asked, “What are you going to do?”

“First.”, I said, “See if Charlie and Jackie are home, have them call the cops, then see if I can catch the guy.”

“Don’t go after the guy, let the cops do it.”

Together we half ran over to our neighbor’s, Charlie and Jackie, apartment, and they were sitting on the patio. As we walked up, Charlie started to say, “Hi guys … ”

I held my finger up to my lips, and said, “Shhh.”

Charlie whispered, “What’s wrong?”

“We think someone is in our apartment. Do you have a phone?”

“Holly cow! Yeah, we’ve got a phone.”

“Good. Call the cops and tell them.”

“What are you going to do?”

“Try and catch ‘em.”

“You’ll get hurt.”

“I’ll take the chance.”

Jackie got up, headed for the door, and she whispered, “I’ll call the police.”

“Kai, I’ll go with you.”, Charlie whispered.

“No. You stay here with Amy.”

“I’m not staying here.”, Amy said. “I’m going with you.”

“I know you won’t take no for an answer. So come on.”

To check the windows, we ran around the apartment quad. All the windows appeared to be closed and intact. That left only two ways in, the garage, and that door was closed, or the front door, and that’s partially hidden by the patio wall.

Amy and I quietly approached the front door, and it was open just a crack. I whispered to Amy, “Stay by the front door in case he gets passed me.”

“Be careful.”, Amy whispered.

I slowly opened the door, looked inside, and I didn’t see anything. I quietly walked in, looked in the kitchen area, and nothing. I then checked the downstairs bathroom and nothing. Then I carefully opened the door to the small room where the safe is, and still nothing.

Then I heard sirens, and that was followed by movement upstairs, and I yelled, “He’s upstairs.”

I heard him run across the upstairs hall, and then quickly down the steps. I just missed him at the bottom of the steps. Then I heard a loud thud, and someone let out a scream. And by the time I got to the front door, I saw Amy, in a defensive stance, standing over him. He was half in, and half out of the door, not moving, and his right arm was bent at a strange angle.

Charlie came running up with a baseball bat in his hand, and said, “Amy. Kai. Are you guys all right?”

“I’m fine.”, Amy said as she knelt down to check the guy. You know Amy, always the nurse.

“Me too.”, I said.

Charlie looked at the guy on the ground, and said, “He sure isn’t. Hey! That’s Adam.”

“Adam! The guy from the other apartment?”

“Yeah.”

Just then two police cruisers pulled up. One was an Albuquerque city police car, and the other was a university police car. Three officers got out of the two cars and walked up to the apartment. And one of them asked, “What’s going on?”

I looked at them, and said, “We caught this guy in our apartment.”

“And you might want to get him an ambulance.”, Amy added.

“Why?”

“Well, officer, he’s unconscious and has a broken arm.”

“Is he alive.”

“He was when I checked him.”

“How did that happen?”

“He was in our apartment, and he tried to push past me.”

“And you did this to him?”

“Yes, he came running down the steps, tried to push me out of his way to get out of the door, and I reacted.”

“I guess you did.”

One of the other officers used his radio to call for an ambulance.

Then the officer asked, “How long ago did this happen?”

“Just before you got here.”

“What did you use on him?”

“Just my hands.”

“How did you break his arm?”

“I guess it happened when I bounced him off the door frame. Then he hit his head hard on the floor when he fell.”

“He’s twice your size.”

“So.”

“You used some martial arts stuff on him. Didn’t you?”

“Karate.”

The officer looked at his partner, and said, “Remind me to not argue with her.”

“Don’t worry, officer.”, Amy said. “I only use it to defend myself.”

“I’m glad to hear that. I guess I’d better start the report.”

Our friend on the ground started to moan, and move. One of the officers knelt down, and said, “Buddy, you're hurt. You’d just better stay there.”

And the guy moaned and just stayed down.

Shortly the ambulance showed up, and when the two guys from the ambulance walked up, Amy said, “He has a fractured right radius and ulna, and he was unconscious for about five minutes from hitting his head on the floor.”

The guys looked at Amy in a puzzled way. She smiled a little, and said, “I’m an emergency room nurse at the hospital.”

“Oh. Okay, lady.”, one of the guys said.

One of the officers said to the ambulance guys, “He’s under arrest. So one of us goes with him.”

Then one officer went into the apartment with us, and asked, “Is anything missing?”

“Don’t know.”, I said. “We haven’t had time to look around yet.”

“Let’s take a quick look around, and then we’ll get a report started.”

Amy, the officer, and I took a quick look around starting upstairs. Somethings had been moved, and some drawers pulled out, but we couldn’t see anything missing right off. After we’d finished looking around, I said, “The rifles!”

“Rifles?”, the officer said.

“Yes. We hike in the mountains and on the recommendation of a Forest Service ranger, we carry side arms and rifles when we hike.”

“Yeah. Good idea. Where do you keep them?”

“The handguns are in the safe, and we found a place to hide the rifles in the basement. I checked on the safe, and it wasn’t touched.”

“And the rifles are in the basement?”

“Yes.”

“Obviously he didn’t have them on him, but why don’t you go and check on them.”

I ran down the basement and checked. The rifles were there.

I went back upstairs, and said, “They’re safe and sound.”

“Good.”, the officer said. “Now tell me what happened.”

Amy, the officer, and I sat at the table, and we told him our story. And the officer wrote down what we told him.

One of the other officers stuck his head in the door, and said, “Hey Paul. The ambulance guys are ready to go, and I’m going to ride with them. And there’s another guy out here that told me that the guy’s first name is Adam and he lives in one of the other apartments in this quad.”

“Okay.”, Officer Paul said. “When he’s awake enough inform him that he’s under arrest, and don’t forget to read the guy his Miranda rights before you question him. Tell that other guy to wait. I want to talk to him. And I’ll be over to the hospital as soon as I’m finished here.” Then he looked at Amy and me, and said, “Miss Young. Miss Nez. You could have been hurt or worse. You should have waited and let us take care of it.”

“I was just standing by the door when he came out, he shoved me, and my training kicked in.”, Amy replied.

Then he handed Amy a business card, and said, “If you find anything missing, give me a call. Now I’d like both of you to read over what I’ve written, and if you agree with it, sign it.”

Amy and I both read it over and signed it. Then I asked, “Any idea how he got in?”

“Well.”, the officer said. “All the windows were locked. The door from the garage was locked. So, it was probably through the front door, since you found it ajar.”

“How did he get through there? I didn’t see any damage.”

“Are you sure it was locked?”

“Yes. We’re very careful about that.”

“He may have picked the lock.”

“Is it that easy to pick?”

“It may be, and if he’s done it before it would be easy for him.”

Then the officer found Charlie standing by the door, and he asked, “Did you see any of this?”

“No.”, Charlie replied. “Amy and Kai stopped at our apartment and asked us to call you guys. Then they came over here. And by the time I got here, the guy was on the ground.”

“Do you know who he is?”

“All I know is his name is Adam. He and his wife live directly behind Kai and Amy. And when he first met Kai and Amy he had a real problem with the two girls living in the apartments.”

“Oh. Did he say why?”

“Not really, he just said that it wasn’t natural.”

“Hmm. Can I have your name and phone number for my report?”

“Sure. It’s Charlie or Charles Hamilton, and the phone is 555-1212.

“Okay. Thank you, Mr. Hamilton. Can you show me the apartment where he lives?”

“Sure. Come with me.”

As they walked away, the officer said to us, “Don’t touch anything there’s a detective on the way out here.”

The police officer and Charlie left. And, Amy and I went back inside and waited for the detective.

Shortly there was a knock at the door, I answered it, and a detective was standing there. He introduced himself as Detective Roberts and then he handed me his business card. He asked us all kinds of questions, and we had to go over our story again. Then he took some pictures and fingerprints from many places. As he was leaving, he told us that we could start straightening up.

As we were looking at what we had to do, there was another knock at the door, and I answered it. It was Charlie, and he asked, “I just wanted to make sure that you guys were all right?”

“Yeah, Charlie. We are.”, I said. “A little shaken up, and we have a little cleaning up to do. And thanks for your help.”

“You’re welcome. And if we can do anything, please let us know.”

“Thanks. We will.”

Charlie left, and I said to Amy, “Well, where do we start?”

“I guess in the living room.”

We spent some time straightening up. The only thing that was broken was the piece of pottery that Amy had bought to place by the television. We took pictures of it, as proof of the damage, before we cleaned it up. And Amy found a small box to put it in.

It was getting late, but we managed to get everything straightened up. When I looked at the clock again, it was very late. Then I remembered that the car was still on the street, so I went out to move it into the garage. As I walked out the front door, I looked at the door and door frame again, and nothing was broken. How did this guy get into the apartment?

When I got to the car, there was something on the windshield. Wouldn’t you know it, I got a parking ticket for parking in a fire lane.

When I came in from the garage, I showed the ticket to Amy, she grinned, and said, “I’ve told you. And told you, not to park on the street.”

I put my hands on my hips, and said, “Now who’s being a brat.”

I happened to glance at the answering machine, and the light was blinking. I rewound the tape, and we listened to it. It was my mother calling to say that they had arrived home safely. Then she said, “Kai. Honey, I wanted to thank you again for helping me be at peace with grandma’s passing. I love both you and Amy so much.”

Then I started rechecking the windows. If the guy hadn’t broken the lock on the door, how did he get in? I checked every window, and they were all closed and locked. Was the cop right, had he picked the front door lock. This was going to bother me.

As we cuddled in bed that night, I asked Amy, “Where you really just standing there when that guy came through the door?”

“Yeah.”, Amy said, “But I was ready for him.”

“I thought so.”

Amy and I did sleep in on Monday if you can call sleeping in until eight sleeping in. And once we were up and having breakfast, Amy said, “Let's go find our classrooms this morning, it’ll help in all the craziness with tomorrow being the first day of classes.”

“Okay. I need to stop by the engineering college and see if my copies are ready. But, I’d like to make one stop first.”

“Where?”

“Cousin Ahiga shop.”

“Why?”

“I’d like to get something for the two secretaries that did all the typing.”

“You don’t need to do something like that.”

“I know. But, I want to.”

“Okay.”

Then I said, “Give me the card that the detective gave us last night.”

“Why?”, Amy asked.

“I want to see if they've found out anything. And I also want to tell him that nothing is missing.”

Amy went and retrieved the officers business card. I called the number and asked for the detective. And they transferred me to him.

When he answered, I told the detective that we hadn’t found anything missing from the apartment, then he told me that when they searched the guy that they found a set of lock picks on him. I then asked, “So, he picked the lock on the door?”

“Yes.”, the detective said. “When he was confronted with the evidence, he admitted everything.”

“Are these locks easy to pick?”

“The officer made a note on his report that indicates that he thinks that the locks on those apartments aren’t the best.”

“I’ll guess I’ll have to speak to the housing office.”

“Good luck, young lady. You’ll need it.”

“Why?”

“They don’t like to spend money.”

“Hmm. We’ll see. Can I get a copy of the report?”

“Of course. Stop by the station and ask for me.”

“Oh. One last question. Why did he have lock picks?”

“He told us that his father is a locksmith. And he helped him on some jobs, and has always carried a set.”

“Do you believe him?”

“We’re still checking on his story. But I don't believe him.”

“What are they going to do with him?”

“They’ll probably, at least, charge him with breaking and entering. And possibly the possession of burglary tools. ”

“Let us know if you find out why he picked on us?”

“I will.”

Amy and I dressed in the usual long skirts, and pretty blouses. We did our hair in single braids. And added a little jewelry. And then headed for Old Town and Cousin Ahiga’s shop. As we walked into the shop Cousin Ahiga and Yas were there. We chatted for a few minutes, then I found a couple of almost identical silver and turquoise rings, and I bought them.

We then headed to campus, and found the class rooms where we’d be teaching this quarter. Then we walked over to the engineering college’s Dean’s office. Sara and Jerry were sitting at their desks, and when Sara saw me, she said, “Look out Jerry. I bet she has more typing for us.”

“Not today, but maybe tomorrow.”, I said with a smile. “This is my cousin, Amy Young. Amy this is Sara and Jerry.”

They exchanged greetings.

Then I asked, “Did the copies get done?”

“Yes, they’re right here.”

I looked at the stack of paper, and said, “I didn’t think there would be this much.”

“It’s not bad, just a little over a ream.”

“I guess that’s not bad.”

I then reached into my purse and took out the two rings. I kept one ring in my right hand and transferred the other one to my left hand.

Then I said, “Jerry, come over here for a minute.

Jerry got up and walked over to Sara’s desk. Then I said, “Both of you close your eyes and hold out your right hands.”

“What are you up to?”, Sara asked.

“Just do it.”

“Okay.”

“Keep your eyes closed.” Both Sara and Jerry stuck out their right hands and closed their eyes. I dropped one ring into each of their hands. Then I said, “Okay open your eyes.”

The two girls opened their eyes. Sara was the first one to say something, “They're gorgeous. But what are they for?”

“To say thank you.”, I said.

“We didn’t do anything.”

“You went above and beyond getting these handouts done.”

“You shouldn’t do this. It’s our job.”

“What, doing all that work for a grad assistant?”

“Kai, we can’t accept these.”

“Yes, you can. It’s my way of saying thank you.

“Don’t argue with her.”, Amy said. “You’ll lose.”

“Kai, thank you.”, Jerry said.

“Yes, Kai, thank you very much.”, Sara added. “But, you still shouldn’t have done this.”

I just smiled, picked up my copies, said, “Thank you again for doing this.” Then as Amy and I started walking towards the office door, two men walked in. One was Dean Rutherford. The other one I didn’t know.

Dean Rutherford saw us, smiled, and said, “Miss Nez.”

I replied, “Dean Rutherford.”

“It’s nice to see you again.”

“And you too.”

“I’d like you to meet Dr. Lingham. He’s the president of the university. Dr. Ligham, this is the girl, Kai Nez, that we’ve talked about.”

I just stared, as he reached out his hand, and said, “Miss Nez. I’ve heard a lot about you.”

As I took his hand, I thought, ‘I bet you have.’

We shook hands, and with a dry mouth I was able to get out, “I hope it was all good, sir.”

“It was. And it was also fascinating.”

I finally remembered that Amy was standing there, and I said, “Amy, this is Dr. Lingham, President of the University and Dean Rutherford, Dean of the College of Engineering. Gentlemen this is my cousin Amy Young.”

They exchanged greetings. Then Dr. Lingham said, “Miss Nez, I understand that you and I have a mutual friend.”

“Oh.”, I said. Who’s that?”

“Chief Kinlicheeny. And he and I had a nice chat about you.”

“Why was that?”

“After I’d had a meeting with Dean Miller, Dean Rutherford, and Dr. Etsitty about the situation that Dr. Kilmer caused, how it was being solved, and that you were involved. After hearing about you, I was concerned. The Chief’s name had come up a couple of times. So, knowing that you were a Navajo and what your situation is, I needed to talk with him. The Chief put my fears to rest. He said that you impressed him from the first time he met you.”

Dean Rutherford then said, “Kai, we had to tell Dr. Lingham what was going on with what Dr. Kilmer did and how we proposed to fix it. And in the process we had to tell him about you. All about you.”

Dr. Lingham continued with, “Yes, I was very surprised as to what Dean Rutherford told me about the classes and the research project. And then what Dr. Etsitty told me about you and your proposal to solve the problem.

“I wasn’t sure if I should let it continue. But I needed to find out more about you, so I met with Chief Kinlicheeny. And he told me about you, and some of the things that you’ve done, like setting up that scholarship. He also said that you are a very confident person, that presents themselves well, and are a real orator. And now meeting you, I can see that you are a very confident person.

“He also told me that you are a special person to your people. And I can believe that.”

“That’s good to hear, sir.”, I said. “The Chief and I have been friends since we met. We don’t always see eye to eye on everything. But that would be boring.”

So, Miss Nez.”, Dr. Lingham said. “Do you think that you’ll be able to teach these two subjects?”

“Yes, sir. I know that it’ll be a challenge. But, I’m confident that once my students find out that I know the subject, that everything will work out.”

“Miss Nez. Miss Young. It was a pleasure to meet both of you. I’d like to talk with you some more, but I have a meeting that I have to attend.”

“Any time, Dr. Lingham.”, I said.

“Thank you, Miss Nez. Oh, I understand that you graduated from Ohio State?”

“Yes, sir. Both Amy and I did.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, I’m a Michigan alumni.”

“I won’t hold that against you, sir.”

We smiled at each other. Then we shook hands, and both Dean Rutherford and Dr. Lingham left.

As we walked out of the building, I said, “That was a real surprise.”

“Yes.”, Amy said. “I guess that they had to take the whole thing of you teaching all the way to the top.”

“I just wish Vickie had told me.”

“Maybe it was a meeting that they decided to keep quiet.”

“Could be.”

When we walked into the apartment, I set the copies on the table, and we made a late lunch. As we ate, I asked, “Where do you want to go? The east slope?”

“No, I thought we might go to the Sandia Crest and explore.”

“I like it. Then maybe go out to dinner someplace.”

“And, I like that even more.”

~o~O~o~ ~o~O~o~ ~o~O~o~

AUTHORS NOTE: Just a heads up. My SO is having heart surgery this coming week (the week of 2018/09/09), and I might be a little late with the next chapter of "Tommy." But, I'll try not to leave you hanging by your fingernails for too long. Teddie

~o~O~o~

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