“Ms. Williams”, pause. “Ms. Williams”!
“Yes Mr. Herne”. I looked up from my student’s papers and then finally into his appealing blue eyes. “May I do something for you”?
“No”, he replied in an ungrateful tone as to, why should he be bothered with anything to do with her. “You have a phone call waiting for you in the Deans office. You should learn to keep your personal business at home where it belongs. I suppose you have a cell phone”?
Was that a question? He knew I had one he called it almost every day complaining about one thing or another. He acted like he was the Dean instead of being head of the maintenance department on campus. I made the mistake of letting him connect with me at a school function over Christmas break. I was just trying to be nice to the, ugh, well man. He was a creep, paunchy, then the dirt. He was filthy every time I seen him, and did I say creepy, but his eyes were the bluest of blue I had ever seen.
“Contacts”, a female voice said.
“Ahh”! I screamed, “What, huh, what”?
It was Karen the Social Science Professor, we were best of friends on campus. “His eyes their contacts, you knew that didn’t you”?
“What, what huh, what, yea of course, how-how, how did you know, I mean how do you know”? I shuddered and stammered.
“You know last Christmas? Well”! She sings songs.
“Yuck, him”? I exclaimed in pretend discussed, we laughed. “Ok, I got to know how far”?
“Later you have an important phone call in the Dean’s secretary’s office”. She pulled me up out of my desk chair and pushed me down the hall to the golf cart waiting at the entrance to my building.
“Come on get in, its long distance”. Karen pushed again.
Long distance no one has long distance anymore, just pick up a cell phone and push in the number and presto your connected no charge. Then I thought about my big brother he was ten years older than me. He never had anything to do with my family he ran off right after high school. He didn’t even come to our parents funerals. Never called, he never cared. I had four siblings, one brother from Dads first wife and two sisters from my mother, making me the middle sister of the three girls. Frank or Frank junior by name and title never seemed to fit in. After I grew up and matured I figured he never tried to fit in. At eight he held his mom in his arms after a car wreck he was with her when she died. I expect Frank never got over it and my mother was no substitute in his mind. I don’t think that frank and mom fought any more than most kids do with their parents for that matter, yet he still left.
Karen and I walked into the Deans office and the secretary, announced that the party would call back in about fifteen minutes. I sat down in one of the chairs normally reserved for waiting students. The Dean stuck his head out the door, “where you waiting to see me”?
“No I don’t believe so; I was waiting on a phone call”. I replied.
“Students don’t take personal phone calls here unless it is some kind of an emergency, Miss”.
“Yes, I know that and I have no idea what it’s all about and sir I am not a student”. I smiled as I returned fire.
He was yanked from the half opened door and the door was shut by a woman’s arm. “Hum what was that all about? You think he’s got a student or a faculty member in there calling the shots”?
“Who cares”, I replied. From another door the secretary walked through and sat at her desk, I then realized that it was her arm we saw. “Can you tell me who the phone call was from”? I asked. She politely smiled and shook her head and said nothing. She kept looking at me stealing a mournful glance whenever she thought I wouldn’t see. I was fed up!
“Okay, what’s up”? I stood up abruptly and walked over to her with purpose. “you know something Elaine, spill it”, I demanded.
“Okay, you can’t shoot the messenger, do you agree”?