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   Chapter 6 No.6

A Girl Named Sandy By Paul Kater Characters: 13268

Updated: 2018-02-11 12:04


Back to Bristol

"It was very much our pleasure, Paul, and we'd love to hear from you again." Adele shook both Paul's hands as he was ready to leave. Angela, Sandy and Travis had said goodbye earlier, as jobs and schools demanded their attention.

"Timothy has my card with my e-mail address, and he also has my telephone number. I am certain we can stay in contact, " Paul said.

"We will. Count on it." Timothy picked up Paul's bag. "Christ, what do you have in there? It weighs a tonne!"

Paul laughed and took the bag. "It's nothing special. My computer, a tablet and some paperwork." He was used to the weight. "Well, it was very special to be here. Thank you once again. I hope that I can return the favour for you someday."

"I am convinced you can, one way or the other, " Adele nodded. "Have a good journey home, Paul."

The men went to the car, and Timothy drove Paul to his hotel. After wishing him a safe trip the friendly man drove off. Paul watched the car until it had disappeared around a corner. Only then he went inside and started gathering his belongings. As he was busy with that, there was a moderate knock on his door. When he answered it, he saw Don standing there, in the overly dramatic clothes and a hand over an eye. "Good grief, Don, what happened?"

Don came in and crashed into a seat. "Megan happened. She is stronger than she looks, and also a lot fiercer. Do you understand women, Paul? If you do, please explain them to me because I don't. We had such a good time these past two days, and just now I asked her for her telephone number, to stay in touch, and she refused? I mean, after all the things we did-"

"And you are not going to share with me, " Paul interjected.

"-which I am of course not going to share with you, " Don agreed.

"To answer your question: no, I don't understand women, but then I have only my sister as a reference. I would suggest you forget whatever happened that caused your current state, freshen up, get packed and then we find a taxi to the airport. Where are your glasses?"

Don searched his pockets and brought out a few parts which combined would make his glasses.

"We may find some shop at the airport that can fix that for you, if only temporarily."

***

As Paul had predicted, they found a shop that could do something with glue and tape, so Don did not have to stagger into the aeroplane half blind. Don buried himself in the notes and sheets from the conference, sealing himself off from the world. Paul recognised the symptoms. It would be a lot better once they were home again.

A stroke of luck was with them on the return voyage. Their flight to London departed from Baltimore, which saved them a good number of hours, and from there they even had the good fortune to find that the train to Bristol was about to leave. Don's mood had gotten better after arriving in London, where Paul had bought his friend a large beer. In Bristol they shared a taxi that dropped Don of first, and at last Paul was home in his apartment in the Pithay Court tower, overlooking the river.

Dusk was slowly descending onto the city; lights came on everywhere. Paul stood on the balcony, leaning over the railing with a glass of wine in his hand. He was tired, yes, but he wanted to savour the view for a while longer before turning in. His mind drifted back to Don, how he was doing better. Gods, see that he gets over the loss quickly, he thought to himself. Don was still young compared to himself, and lacked experience in life, due to the solitary confinement called work he had put himself in. The researcher looked up to the few stars that were visible through the thin layer of clouds and took his time to ponder the mysteries of those distant, celestial objects. The very reason he had ventured into astronomy and astrophysics.

Finally the chilly evening air made him shiver, convincing him to shower and find some sleep, jet lag willing. To prevent any boredom, he hauled h

decided to make it an easy night then. After all, if the object kept its speed and would head towards earth, it would still take over two years before it landed in someone's backyard. Although, if the thing could be spotted from earth at this distance, it might be somewhat larger than anyone's known backyard.

The men were relieved by the next team that would monitor the telescope's output, and they had just decided which pub they'd go to for dinner when Paul suddenly and for no reason at all had to think of Sandy, the astrophysics enthusiast in the States. "You go ahead and I'll catch up later. I have some stuff on my desk that I need to put away, I'll see you at the Llandoger Trow in an hour or so, " Paul said. He liked the Llandoger Trow.

"Sure, and if Don's still around, drag him over. He often screams but he's no good at kicking anyone."

Paul waved a hand at the men and caught a taxi back to the University, where he quickly paced through the empty corridors. His desk in the lab was the only thing bathed in light. Don had left the desk lamp on, which meant that there would be no dragging of Don to the pub. He tapped the keyboard, the monitor of his computer came to life. He opened his e-mail, for a quick final check and then he frowned. An e-mail address marked 'unknown' was in the middle of all his other mail. The subject of the mail was simply "Hello". It came from 'sroyce'. "I'll be buggered, " Paul mumbled to himself as he clicked the e-mail message.

"Hello Paul. I hope you get this e-mail. Travis told me it would never get to you because of spam programs and things like that, but I send this anyway. Did you get home safely? I have been thinking about you a lot, and I miss how we talked. I'd really like a reply from you, no matter how short. Have a nice afternoon. Sandy."

Afternoon. Paul grinned. She had no idea of time zones probably. He quickly typed a reply, thanking her for the message and that he was about to go out for dinner as it was evening. "I may write back more to you later. If you have questions, don't hesitate to write again, your e-mail came through just fine. Have a nice afternoon yourself. Best from Paul." After a click to send, the message disappeared from his screen. As he shut the computer down, he shook his head. How remarkable that he had just thought of her, and to find this e-mail now. Nid oes dim yn digwydd heb reswm, he thought again. Nothing happens without a reason. It was just a matter of finding the reason, most of the time. He stuffed his belongings in his bag, flipped off the light, and made his way to the Llandoger Trow on his trusty bicycle.

***

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