Tommy - The Trials and Tribulations of a Girl? - Chapter 168



Tommy
The Trials and Tribulations of a Girl?

A Novel By Teddie S.

Copyright © 2019 Teddie S.
All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 168

A letter. A talk and a meeting.
Oh dear Great Spirit, not him!


The Eagles had shown us two things. That il hózho´ - (the emotion of being happy) is within our reach, and they bring it to us every time that they visit with us. And, Ajie had figured out an improved title for her seminar.

We’d had Vickie and Chief Tom over for dinner. I’d told them the story of what Los Alamos had done and how we’d handled it. Then Amy had told Vickie about the new title for the seminar that she’s doing, and both Vickie and Chief Tom were happy with the change.

Then Vickie told Amy that if she expanded on the idea that she has with the seminar that it could be an excellent doctoral thesis.

On Sunday we’d gone to the resort. While Ajie and I had soaked in one of the pools, Ajie had told me about her doubts of completing her doctoral degree and why. She has some valid concerns.

Then we went to the remote hogan to sit and talk with our spirits. We found Naainish there, and he told us some things about the Eagles, and ourselves. Then he left us alone to sit a vigil together, and we did.

Dinner was a surprise, not the meal, but the company. My Aunt Ginny and Uncle Gaagii were there. And, of course, Naainish was also there. I told everyone the story of the project, Mr. Smith, the FBI, and Los Alamos. My Uncle Gaagii chastised me for interfering with the capture of Mr. Smith.

Then Uncle Paul and I got to talking about how this thing with Los Alamos would interfere with my schooling and when I told everyone my feelings it had upset Ajie. She and I went to our room, and after she calmed down, we had a nice talk.

So, this trip to the resort brought out how Ajie and I both feel about our graduate degrees. And, we understand each other better than ever, if that’s possible.

The first two days of the week were regular days for us, and so was Wednesday until I walked into the engineering college’s office to check my mailbox. There was only one letter in it. And it was from the office of Assistant Director Dr. Fredrich Millman at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

I opened the envelope, took the letter out of the envelope, and unfolded it. As I unfolded the letter a small folded piece of paper fell to the floor. I stooped down, picked up the piece of paper, and unfolded it. I read it twice, folded it back up, and put it in my purse.

Then I read the letter, and thought, ‘Oh well. It’s Wednesday.’

I folded the letter back up, put it back in the envelope, and put the envelope in my purse. Then as I started to walk out of the office, Sara said, “Kai, you forgot your briefcase.”

I stopped, walked back to when I’d left my briefcase, looked at Sara, and said, “Thanks, Sara. I have too much on my mind.”

“I know the feeling, Kai.”

“I’ll see you later.”

“Have a good day,”

“Yeah. You too, Sara.”

I left the engineering college’s office and walked over to Dr. Joe’s office. It was dark. I used my key to unlock the door. I went into the office, closed and re-locked the door, and sat at Dr. Joe’s desk. The north facing window allowed enough light into the room so that I didn’t need to turn on the light.

I took the envelope out of my purse, removed the letter, and reread it.

It said,

Dear Miss Kai Nez,

First, I’d like to say that it was a real pleasure to meet you. And, that the other issue that we spoke about is addressed on the other paper enclosed in this letter.

Miss Nez, you are an outstanding researcher, and we’d like to have you remain as a researcher for us through the University of New Mexico. But, there is a requirement, that we haven’t been enforcing, that we must now implement, and that is the requirement that all employees of the Laboratory and it’s contractors must have background checks done. As you know, some of our work is very secret and must be kept that way. All of us know of the quality of your research and want to see it continue for us. But, we also understand your feelings about allowing a background check. And, we hope that you’ll reconsider having one done so that you can continue to do work for us.

In the hope that you will allow us to do a background check on you, I’ve enclosed a form for you to use to authorize us to do this background check. A change in policy requires that the form be completed before any background checks can begin.

I will also promise you that all findings from your background check will be kept strictly confidential.

Sincerely,

Dr. Fredrich Millman, PhD
Assistant Director

I sat there and just looked at the letter. I didn’t know what I was going to do. Do I walk away, or do I yield to this, or what?

The phone ringing jolted me out of my thoughts. But, I just let it ring. After about a half-dozen rings it stopped.

I just continued to sit there and think about this whole mess.

About half an hour later, I heard a key in the door. When it opened, as I figured it would be, it was Dr. Joe. He looked at me, and said, “Got a letter today. Didn’t you?”

“Yeah.”, I replied. “How did you know?”

“You’re sitting here in the dark, with a letter in front of you, and I’ve very seldom seen you without a smile on your face. Plus I got one too.”

“They’ve never done a background check on you?”

“Nope. Never.”

I handed Dr. Joe my letter. He read it. Then asked, “What’s this other piece of paper?”

Before I could answer, the phone rang again. Dr. Joe answered it, and I heard his side of the conversation, and it went like this, “Hello. This is Dr. Oshie” … “Hello, Dean.” … “Yes, sir. She happens to be here with me now.” … “Yes, sir. We’ll be right there. Goodbye.”

As Dr. Joe hung up the phone, he looked at me, and said, “Come on, Kai. The Dean wants to see us.”

I stood, took the letter back from Dr. Joe, put it back in the envelope, and into my purse. Then Dr. Joe and I walked to the Dean’s office. As we walked into the outer office, Sara saw us, and said, “Go on back. He’s expecting you.”

We walked back to the Dean’s office and knocked. And, we heard, “Come.”

We walked in, the Dean looked at us, and he said, “Have a seat.”

Dr. Joe and I sat in two chairs in front of the Dean’s desk.

Then Dean Rutherford said, “By the looks on your faces I think you’ve received the letters from Los Alamos?”

Dr. Joe said, “Yes.” And, I just nodded yes.

Then Dean Rutherford said, “Dr. Höllmann called me this morning and explained everything. It appears they have to enforce the background check rule.”

“Yes, Sir.”, I said. “That’s what I understand too.”

“Miss Nez, I understand your feelings on doing that.”

“I know, sir.”

“There’s no changing your mind. Is there?”

“No, sir. I don’t think so.”

“Dr. Oshie.”, Dean Rutherford said. “I take it that you will have yours done.”

“I don’t know.”, Dr. Joe replied.

“Excuse me. Why?”

“I have to support Miss Nez.”

“Dr. Joe.”, I said. “Don’t do this.”

“Kai, it’s important to me to support you.”, Dr. Joe said. “I understand what you’re about more than anyone else here. You’re a great friend and researcher. And, I don’t want to lose either.”

“Dr. Joe, we’ll always be friends even when I’m gone. And, you and Mary are important to Amy and me. And, especially with the baby coming you need to have a secure position.”

“Miss Nez.”, Dean Rutherford said. “What did you mean by, when I’m gone?”

“Sir. I can see no reason to stay here. I can no longer do something that I love doing. Right now I don’t even see me finishing any graduate degree. So, I have no reason to be here.”

“What about Amy?”, Dr. Joe asked.

“We’ll talk about it, and she’ll understand. And, as I promised, we’ll stay until the end of the academic year. And, I’ll teach the courses that I said I would.”

“Miss Nez.”, the Dean said. “Please don’t make any rash decisions.”

“Dean. I won’t.” Then looking at Dr. Joe, I said, “And, you Dr. Oshie, don’t worry about me. I’ll survive. Worry about Mary and the baby. Allow Los Alamos to do your background check, and continue doing research for them. And, find another research partner to work with you.”

“Kai, leave it to you to be the level headed one.”, Dr. Joe said. “But, I’ll never find anyone as a researcher that is as good as you are.”

“Dr. Joe, flattery will get you everywhere.”

As I stood up, I said, “Gentlemen, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and talk to Amy.”

“I understand, Miss Nez.”, Dean Rutherford said. “But, please no rash decisions?”

“Dean.”, Dr. Joe said. “Kai won’t make a rash decision. She and Amy will talk about it, and they will do what is best for them.”

Then, I walked out of the Dean’s office and back to Dr. Joe’s office. I retrieved my briefcase and headed to the apartment. When I was back at the apartment, Amy was there, she looked at me, and said, “Something’s wrong.”

“Kind of.”, I replied.

“What?”

I took the letter out of my purse, and said, “Read this.”

Amy took the letter and read it. Then she looked at me, and said, “Does this mean what I think it does?”

“Yeah. No more research for me on any Los Alamos projects unless I submit to a background check.”

“There’s more. Isn’t there?”

“Is there any sangria left?”

“No, but I still have the makings.”

“Could you make some, while I change.”

“Sure honey.”

When I came back downstairs, Amy was sitting on the couch, and there was two glass of sangria sitting on the end table. I picked one up and gave it to Amy. I picked the other glass up and sat on the couch.

I took a sip of sangria, looked at Amy, and said, “This is the best yet.”

“Thanks.”, Amy replied.

We looked at each other for a few seconds, then I said, “Dr. Joe and I met with the Dean a little while ago.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah. And I told the Dean that I was thinking of leaving the university at the end of the academic year.”

“Why?”

“There’s nothing here for me without the research.”

“I’m here.”

“I know. I mean there’s nothing more for me at the university.”

“What about your teaching. You are a wonderful teacher. From what you and others have said, and what was in the school paper today, you are one of the best.”

“School paper? I didn’t see it.”

Amy got up, picked the school paper up off the kitchen table, handed it to me, and said, “Look at the back page.”

I looked at the back page, and there was an article with the results of the instructor's survey from fall quarter. There was a chart of instructors that had taken part in the survey by their last name with a couple of different categories and the higher the number in a category the higher the rating your students gave you. The categories included such things as, knowledge of the subject, ability to teach the subject, and a couple more.

I looked down the list and found me, and just said “Oh!”

“Yes, oh.”, Amy said. “And, you beat me.”

I found her on the list, and said, “Maybe, but not by much.”

“Now, about your teaching.”

“What about it?”

“Do you think that you're doing some good with your teaching?”

“I guess.”

“No, guess, love. You are a good instructor. And, by being a good instructor, you are doing something good. You are imparting knowledge into fertile minds in the hope that you can produce learned people.”

“Yeah. You’re right. But, you know my love for research.”

“Aren’t there other research projects?”

“Yeah. But, the research from Los Alamos is usually the most interesting and provides the biggest challenge.”

“You need the challenge. Don’t you?”

“Yes. It helps to keep my mind occupied and out of trouble.”

“So, it’s Los Alamos or nothing?”, Amy asked.

“I guess.”, I replied.

“Why not just do the background check. Dr. Millman did tell you that it'll be kept confidential.”

“Do you think that I can trust them after all of the crap that they’ve put me through?”

“It would be hard. Is there anyone there that you do trust?”

“After this mess, I’d say … Dr. Höllmann, Dr. Fontheim, and maybe … Dr. Millman. After all the meetings with them, I’ve never felt anything bad.”

“Who’s the top dog of those three?”

“Dr. Millman.”

“How close to the top?”

“He’s an assistant director of the whole laboratory.”, I replied.

“And, he took an interest in this thing with you?”, Amy asked.

“Yeah.”

“Why would someone that important take an interest in you?”

“Good question. But, he did complement Dr. Joe and me on that first project. So, he may like to keep a close eye on things that are being done. And, they might like my work. They did offer me a job.”

“True. Could you talk to him about this background thing and get the details?”

“Probably. You want me to stay here don’t you?”

“Honey. I want you to stay where you’re happy. And, until this background crap, you were happy here.”

“And, you’re happy here too. Aren’t you?”

“Yeah. But, I’m still not sure about doing my doctoral. I still need to talk to Vickie.

“Would this Dr. Millman talk to you about your concerns?”

“He might.”, I replied.

“Would it be worth a phone call to put this whole thing to rest?”, Amy asked.

“You mean maybe allow them to do the background check. Then stay here, teach and do the research stuff?”

“Think on it.”

“I will. You talk to Vickie.”

“I will.

“Now, in that letter from Los Alamos, whoever wrote it mentioned something about a note that was enclosed in the letter.”

“Oh, that.”, I said. “It was Dr. Millman who wrote the letter. He was checking into who might have given them the information on the link between Tom and me.”

“Oh. I think that this Dr. Millman would be someone good for you to talk to. So, who leaked it?”

I went and retrieved the folded piece of paper from my purse, and as I handed it to Amy, I said, “You’ll love this.”

Amy took the paper, unfolded it, and read the typewritten note that said, ”Look at someone called Peshlakai to be involved in the information about you being leaked.”

After she’d read the note, Amy looked at me, and said, “You know. It doesn’t surprise me. Even from prison, he’s causing trouble for us.”

“I know. He has friends on the outside.”, I replied. “I’m tempted to talk to Uncle Gaagii about this.”

“That might be what it will take to end it. And, I’d put that letter and note in the safe.”

“I’m going to do that.

“So, you think I should talk to Dr. Millman?”

“I do.”, Amy replied.

I picked up the phone and dialed Dr. Joe’s number. When Dr. Joe answered, I said, “Dr. Joe, it’s Kai. Amy and I just talked.”

“About this letter thing?”, Dr. Joe asked.

“Yes, this thing with Los Alamos and the background check.” And, I went on to tell him about the talk.

When I finished, Dr. Joe asked, “So, you’re going to talk to Dr. Millman. When?”

“I may try to call yet today and see if I can get an appointment to see him.”

“Let me know what happens, and if you decide to let them do a background check on you, I’ll do mine.”

“Will do. Do you have the phone number for Los Alamos?”

Dr. Joe gave me the phone number, and I called. Of course, an operator answered, and I asked for Dr. Millman’s office. The operator transferred me to his office, and his secretary answered with, “Good afternoon. Dr. Millman’s office.”

“Hello.”, I said. “This is Kai Nez. I had a meeting with Dr. Millman last week, and I’d like to set up another meeting if I could.”

“You’re Miss Nez? Miss Kai Nez?”

“Yes.”

“Please hold the line.”

“Sure.”

I was on hold for about a minute when I heard a man’s voice say, “Miss Nez?”

“Yes. Who’s this?”

“This is Dr. Millman. I understand that you want to meet?”

“Yes, sir. I want to talk to you about the letter that you sent to me, and this background check thing.”

“I would be happy to, Miss Nez.”

“Oh. Ah okay. When?”

“I’m available this Friday afternoon.”

“So, am I. What time should I be there?”

“Why don’t I come to the university?”

“You could. But, I’d be happy to come down there.”

“Miss Nez, we’ve already inconvenienced you enough.”

“It’s your call sir.”, I said.

“Good.”, Dr. Millman said. “We’ll see you at one on Friday in the College of Engineering’s Dean’s Office.”

“We?”

“Yes. I want to bring someone with me?”

“Ah. Who?”

“She would be the person that would be working on your background check. And, I think it might help you make your decision if you met her.”

“Well … I don’t know. I just wanted to meet with you.”

“I think that you will like Ms. Blackington. And, meeting her may help put you at ease about this.

“Well … I guess that would be okay.”

After I hung up with Dr. Millman, I looked at Amy, and said, “I just spoke with Dr. Millman, and he offered to come here to the university.”

“I gathered as much.”, Amy said. “Is that a good thing?”

“I think it is.”

I then called Dean Rutherford’s office and had Sara reserve a meeting room for me. Then I called Dr. Joe back and told him about my talk with Dr. Millman. He was surprised. And, we agreed to meet at Nunzio's Pizza for dinner at six.

During dinner, we talked more, and I promised to let him know what happened as soon as I could.

Thursday, was a typical day. Teaching, attending a grad-level class, and wondering what was going to happen on Friday.

The only other thing that I did on Thursday was to call my Aunt Ruth and ask if Amy and I could come up for the weekend. And, of course, that wasn’t a problem. I also asked if she could see if Aunt Ginny and Uncle Gaagii could come over on Saturday, and maybe even see if Chief Kinlicheeny and Naainish could be there too. When Aunt Ruth asked, “Why?”

I just said, “Aunt Ruth, I only need to say one word as to why. And that word is, Peshlakai.”

On Friday, after I taught my two classes, I went back to the apartment, and changed into a fancy long skirt, a fancy blouse, and wrap moccasins. My hair was already in a ponytail, and I added a fancy ponytail holder to it. I wore the earrings that my grandfather had made. But, I decided to wear only one ring and one bracelet, and no necklace or choker other than the meteorite necklace.

As I was leaving the apartment, Amy gave me the once over, then a big kiss. And her usual caution, “Kai, keep your temper under control.”

“I have a feeling, that I won’t need to worry about that.”, I replied.

“We’ll see.”

It was cold out, so I put on a coat, slung my purse over my shoulder, gave Amy another kiss, and walked over to the university and the engineering building. As I walked into the College of Engineering’s office, Sara saw me, and said, “Your party arrived about five minutes ago and there in the conference room.”

“Am I late?”, I asked.

“No, they arrived early. And, you can leave your coat here if you like, Kai.”

I took my coat off, handed it to Sara, and walked down the hall to the conference room. I stopped at the door, took a deep breath, and walked in the door. As I closed the door, I said, “I hope I didn’t keep you waiting.”

“No, Miss Nez, we were early.”, Dr. Millman said. “And, Miss Nez this is Ms. Blackington. Ms. Blackington this is Miss Kai Nez.”

We exchanged greetings. Then I said, “Ms. Blackington, I sense that you’re confused about something.”

“Well, I … I thought you were a boy. I don’t know what I was expecting to see when I met you. But, I’m seeing a pretty native girl, not a boy looking like a girl.”, Ms. Blackington said.

“Who told you that I was a boy?”

“Dr. Millman.”

I looked at Dr. Millman, and said, “I wish that you would have let me tell her.”

“I’m sorry.”, Dr. Millman said. “We were just talking, and it came up in the conversation.”

“That’s all right. And, Ms. Blackington, yes, I am a boy or a man.”

“But, you’re so pretty.”, Ms. Blackington said.

“Thank you. It’s the mix of my Navajo and Anglo blood, with the help of my strong female spirit.”

“You’re a male and dress like a girl. Why?”

“Before I go any further. Dr. Millman, I take it that everything that we
talk about will be, as you said in your letter, strictly confidential?”

“Yes, Miss Nez. It will be kept strictly confidential.”

I then gave Ms. Blackington the history of the Nádleeh and how I fit into it. Plus why I dress as a girl here in New Mexico. When I finished, Ms. Blackington said, “I’ve done many background checks and have never heard anything like this. Why do I feel that it’s true.”

“Because it is.”

“Is there anyone that can verify this.”

“Well, you can start with a psychologist at Ohio State that’s met my two spirits. At first, she thought that I might have a split personality, but then she realized what she was witnessing was someone with two spirits.

“Then there’s a Navajo medicine man, who is also a two spirt person, that has taught me a lot of things.

“There’s my cousin Amy, who knows both of my sides very well. And, of course, there’s my parents and my cousin's parents.

“I also have some friends that know both sides of me. Two of those friends are working on their graduate degrees in psychology. One wrote an undergraduate paper about me.”

“These people have all accepted you?”, Ms. Blackington asked.

“Yes. More so the native people because of their belief in the Nádleeh. I can give you a long list of native people who know me and know about me.”

We just looked at each other for a minute, then I asked, “If I agree to allow you to do this background check on me, will me being a Nádleeh or a two spirit person, and being a man and presenting as a woman be a problem?”

Ms. Blackington looked at Dr. Millman, and Dr. Millman said, “In my eyes, Miss Nez, your work and what you did when they attempted to set you up has more than proven your work ethic and loyalty to me. But, we do need to do this properly.

“Miss Nez, are you willing to allow us to do the background check?”

“Dr. Millman, you didn’t answer my question about me being a two spirit person.”, I said.

“We aren’t looking for a Top Secret or Secret clearance are we sir?”, Ms. Blackington asked Dr. Millman.

“No, we’re looking for a Confidential clearance.”, Dr. Millman answered.

“And, you said that Miss Nez threw Mr. Yountz a curve when they tried that stupid plan of his.”

“Yes, she did. She brought the FBI into it, and put Mr. Richman in the hospital.”

“That served Yountz right. He’s too gung ho and doesn’t think things through. I feel sorry for Mr. Richman getting drawn into it, but he didn’t have a choice. And, Yountz, as far as I know, does’t know how to run a covert operation.

“And, sir I don’t think that we should have a problem with Miss Nez’s background, even with her being a two spirit person, as long as the people we talk to give us what we’re looking for.”

“Well, Miss Nez, what do you think?”, Dr. Millman asked me.

“Well, Dr. Millman, I loved doing that one research project for you.”, I said. “It did challenge me a little bit. And, I figure that you can give me some projects that will again challenge me. Plus, if I’m here at the university and doing research for you, I will still be able to teach. And, be able to work with my people.

“So, I guess that you can do the background check on me.”

“We’ll need a list of people that we can talk to. Plus we need that new form filled out.”, Ms. Blackington said.

I picked up my purse, opened it and took out some papers. As I placed them on the table, I said, “Here’s your form, all filled out and signed.

“And, here is a list of people to contact. I’ve listed family separate from everyone else. Those that know that I’m a two spirit person and present as a girl I’ve put a green dot next to. Those that don’t know have a red dot.

“I will see some of these people this weekend, and I’ll tell them to expect to hear from you. Give me until early next week to contact the others especially the ones in Ohio.”

Ms. Blackington took the papers and looked at them, then said, “Miss Nez, thank you for typing these, and you’ve given me more names than I need.”

“I figured the more, the merrier and the neater, the better.”

“And, there are some powerful names here.”

“They’re all friends or co-workers at the university, and know about me.”

“Be sure to tell them that they may or may not hear from us.”

“I will.

“And, Dr. Millman, Dr. Oshie will probably consent to a background check now.”

“He wasn’t going to do one. Was he?”, Dr. Millman asked.

“No, he wasn’t.”, I replied.

“Why?”

“Because I wasn’t.”

“Why?”

“He was supporting me.”

“I see. So, you two support each other?”

“Yes. And I’ve talked to him, and I hope that I got him to change his mind. But, now with me doing it, he probably will.”

“I hope. From what I hear, you two make a great team.”

“Thank you.”, I said. “I guess we do.”

“One last thing, Miss Nez.”, Ms. Blackington said. “You’ve used the name Kai Nez on your form. Is that your real name?”

“It’s not the name on my birth certificate or my marriage license.”, I replied. “But, Kai Nez is the name I’m known by out here, it was given to me by the Navajo Nation, and it’s on my certificate of membership in the Nation. It’s on my driver’s license, and my school records out here. In Ohio and at Ohio State, I’m known as Thomas Young.”

“Miss Nez, did you say marriage license!?”

“Yes. The girl that most people think is my cousin, Amy Young, is my wife.”

Ms. Blackington sat back in her chair and looked at me. Then she said, “You live a fascinating life, Miss Nez. And, if you’re married that almost answers the other question.”

“You want to ask if I’m gay?”, I asked.

“Yes. Are you?”

“No.”

“I know that it’s feasible for a gay man to be married to a woman. But, there is something about you that tells me that you aren’t one of them.

“And, why do I feel so at ease with you? I know that there is a guy under there somewhere, but I feel like I’m with a woman.”

“I’ve had many people tell me that, and it may be because of my strong feminine spirit.”

As we were saying so long, Dr. Millman said, “Miss Nez, I’m glad we made the trip up here. It was well worth it to have you back on the team.”

“Thank you, Dr. Millman.”. I replied. “It feels good to be almost back on the team.”

“Almost, Miss Nez?”

“Won’t it depend on what Ms. Blackington finds out?”

“I guess it will. But, I don’t foresee any problems.”

“Me either.”, Ms. Blackington added.

I walked with Dr. Millman and Ms. Blackington to the college office, we retrieved our coats, and I was going to walk with them to their car. But, as we were ready to walk out of the office, Sara said, “Miss Nez, the Dean would like to see you.”

So, I said so long, and walked over to Sara’s desk, and said, “Why so formal, Sara?”

“They were visitors. And, I try to be professional.”

“So, the Dean wants to see me?”

“Yes, he’ll be right out.”

And he was. He walked up to me, and said, “Miss Nez, I understand that you have decided to allow the background check to be done?”

“Dean, how did you hear that?”, I asked.

“Dr. Oshie said that your were.”

“I was only thinking about it until a few minutes ago.”, I said. “Amy and I had a long talk, and she’s more level headed than I am. She helped me see that what I want to do is teach and do research. And, that to do it here and to the level that I want to do it that I need to allow the background check.

“And, I just had a meeting with Dr. Millman and a Ms. Blackington.”

“I know. I saw them and asked Sara about it. So, how did that go?”

“It went well. I gave them the paperwork that they needed to do the background check.”

“Two words, Miss Nez. Thank you. You would have been missed around here.”

With a smile, I said, “That was more than two words, Dean.”

“Miss Nez.”

“Sorry. But, I couldn’t resist.”

After I left the college office, I walk over to Dr. Joe’s office, I knocked, and he said, “Come.”

I walked in, sat down, and Dr. Joe said, “Well?”

“They have my paperwork. Now, do yours.”

He held up an envelope and said, “It’s ready to go in the mail. I was just waiting to see what you did.”

I reached over, grabbed the envelope, and said, “Good. I’ll mail it on the way back to the apartment.”

“Kai! At least give it to Sara, so the university pays the postage.”

“Oh okay.”

“Does the Dean know?”

“Yes, he and I just talked.”

“Good. Now he’ll be happy.”

“Happy?”

“He was really worried about losing you.”

“Really?”

“Yes. And, so was I.”

Later when I was back at the apartment, I told Amy all about the meeting, and she was happy. And, to be honest, so was I.

Friday evening, we went out to dinner with Charlie and Jackie, and then went bowling. Did we tell them about the past couple of weeks? No, not yet.

~o~O~o~

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