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   Chapter 7 No.7

A Girl Named Sandy By Paul Kater Characters: 10296

Updated: 2018-02-11 12:04


It's been a while

The days had found their regular rhythm again and work progressed steadily for Paul and Don. The move to involve a class full of eager students had been a mastermind plan; the simulator was actually performing now, and it had to. Daily feeds of data about the mysterious object that no one could explain came from around the world and were fed into the system, and 3D modelling software took over where the simulator's capacity ended.

Every few days there was an e-mail from Sandy, which Paul received with increasing delight. He enjoyed her short rambles, her questions and how bright she was, and the interest she displayed in his field. Even Don had noticed a clear change in Paul. "Did you get another letter from your girlfriend?"

"Don, please. I told you she's not a girlfriend. She is almost seventeen now. She's just clever and very much into astrophysics." Paul had told Don everything about the Royce family. Don in turn had been silent, even tight-lipped about Megan Reynolds, which Paul accepted and respected.

Don laughed. "I am just teasing you. Honest, I like the way you look younger since you've been corresponding with her. Nowhere near forty-nine, more like forty-eight and a few days shy of twelve months."

Paul threw a ball of paper at his friend, missed, and had to endure some more laughing. Then he read her last e-mail again.

"Dear Paul. Maybe you think I am pushing or so. If so, I'm sorry. There is something I would like to ask you, and it feels stupid doing it like this, in a mail. Do you know Skype? I have an account and I would like to be able to really talk to you. Next weekend would be easiest I guess, with the difference in time. If you want I can write directions on how to install Skype. It's free. Let me know please? Thanks. Your ffrriend Sandy."

He smiled at the mistake in ffrind she had made. Then he started typing. "Hello Sandy, I do have Skype. What is the best time for you to have a chat, in the morning or the afternoon?..."

***

Paul sat waiting by his computer, at home. It was late afternoon, the spring sun was shining into his apartment and he was looking at the screen where suddenly Sandy's name popped up as 'online'. "Right then, here we go, " he said, but before he could call her, a call request from her to him was already on the screen. "No patience, " he chuckled, then answered the call. The monitor hesitated for a moment, then a video window opened. It showed Sandy, intently staring at the camera, or something on her screen.

"Good afternoon, fy ffrind, my friend. It's been a while."

Sandy seemed to jolt at his words. "Oh, hey! I'm sorry, I was looking at something."

"That much was obvious, " Paul grinned as he sat back. Again the blue rim along her hair ends struck him. It was quite remarkable and distinguishing. On the wall behind her he noticed a poster with the Horsehead nebula. "Well, here we are, and you said you wanted to talk with me."

"Uhm, yes." Sandy nodded. "Again, I don't want to push or anything and I hope you won't be offended or so." She

ittle, " Sandy pouted.

Paul and Adele laughed at her face, and then Adele left them, after wishing Paul a good night. Sandy then smiled at Paul. "Thank you. I really appreciate this, and I'm happy now, Paul."

The astrophysicist felt a faint shudder going through him, which was odd. There was no reason for it, and yet it was there. And it felt good. "I am glad you feel happy, Sandy. And to be honest, I am still uncertain how your mother and you managed to convince me." He grinned. Sandy smiled at his words. It was, he thought, as if there was a knowledge behind her smile and her expression, but that was probably because it was evening already, and the light and his eyes were playing tricks on him.

"Are you tired?" Sandy then asked. "You look tired."

"Yes, I feel tired too, " Paul admitted. "Perhaps we should say our goodbye now, for the evening. Afternoon. Then you can enjoy the rest of your Saturday afternoon."

"I am enjoying it already, " Sandy smiled. "Thank you again, ffrind, for everything."

"So far all I did was make promises."

The girl in the screen shook her head. The blue rim around her hair danced. "You did more than that. I know that for sure. Good night." Sandy leaned forward. Her grey eyes almost filled the entire monitor for a moment, and then the connection was broken.

Paul stared at the screen for a while, without moving to switch anything off on his end. How had this happened? How had Adele and Sandy managed to convince him that the girl could live in his bachelor apartment? Was there some hidden, perverted streak inside himself that looked forward to having a teenager living with him? Those and dozens of other questions raced through his mind, and nowhere did he find an answer for any of them. Not even on the balcony, where he stood in the fresh evening air for a while. That only cooled his skin, not his mind. After a sigh and a last look over the city in front of him he went inside, hoping that the night would bring him some peace and that the morning would carry answers.

***

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