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   Chapter 18 No.18

A Girl Named Sandy By Paul Kater Characters: 10799

Updated: 2018-02-11 12:04


Taking off

The weekend had been a very busy one, with packing suitcases, making sure they had all the paperwork, and frequent contact with Puerto Rico, which was mainly the task for Sandy, because Miguel Juarez was their main contact and he had no feeling for other languages than Spanish at all. Sandy had dug up a Spanish textbook in a book store, to make sure she was as prepared as she could be.

During a relaxed train voyage to Gatwick International Airport, Sandy had looked at her hand almost constantly, which much of the time was in Paul's hand. On her finger was a thin gold and silver ring with a small sapphire in it, which Paul had bought for her before they had gone home on the Friday before. He wore a similar one. Her head lay against his shoulder, slowly rocking in the rhythm of the moving train, and she blinked at times as the sunlight reflected sharply from the precious piece of jewellery.

"We shocked old Mrs. Harris quite some, didn't we?" she said as she thought back to the Friday evening. She made no attempt to hide her wicked grin.

"Quite, indeed. And Betty and Suzette were surprised as well."

Betty and Suzette were two women living on the same floor as Paul and Sandy. Paul suspected they were lesbian, although he had no proof for that. Old Mrs. Harris was Paul's next door neighbour. On Friday they had returned from the jeweller's shop, and Sandy had been 'psyched enough to bounce off every wall', as she had put it. As they walked up, after storing their bicycles, Sandy and Paul had done a little waltzing through the hall as they waited for the lift, as far as they knew how to dance a waltz. Mrs. Harris had, at that point, stepped out of the lift and stared at the two, asking if they were well.

Sandy had run up to the old and charming lady, given her a hug and a kiss, and explained that they were going to get married. Paul had introduced Sandy to his neighbours some time ago, so Sandy wasn't exactly a stranger to Mrs. Harris, but this news surprised her. "Oh my, that is very nice, " she had said, "but aren't you..." The look on Mrs. Harris' face expressed something entirely different than what she said. "Aren't you rushing into this? I remember how you came to live here, Sandy, not even a half year ago." What her face and eyes actually said was that Paul should be arrested for child abuse.

"We are not, Mrs. Harris. You can rest assured about that, " Paul had said, and after wishing her a nice day, he had scooped up Sandy in his arms and carried her into the lift. As they had reached their floor, Betty and Suzette were just coming out of their apartment.

"Whoa, what's that? Are you hurt?" Betty was a registered nurse and always looking for ways to help people. She and her friend Suzette had been thrilled to hear the news. Contrary to Mrs. Harris they had congratulated the two and lots of hugs and kisses had been going back and forth.

"Yes, they were, " Sandy slowly nodded. "Too bad they won't be at the wedding." She lifted her head from his shoulder and then made herself comfortable in Paul's lap.

He looked into her eyes as he sensed her loving energy radiating towards him. The scientist in him still had plenty of moments of wonder and dou

rd to talk with you again, Doctor Carmichael. Of course, if you would like to relax after the journey, I can be here tomorrow morning, seven thirty; you can have breakfast with the professor then, at the site."

"How do you feel about that, Sandy?"

Sandy looked at Paul. She was tired, but shrugged. "We're here for your work, it's your call." Her heart did a little happy dance when Paul opted for going the next morning. Filipe wished them a pleasant evening before he left and then they changed the two single rooms for one double, an endeavour in which Sandy could practice her Spanish again. Before they had a shower, Sandy called her parents to let them know they had arrived safely.

***

After dinner, Sandy and Paul lounged in the pool behind the hotel. As they sipped a cocktail, courtesy of the hotel, Sandy said: "You know what, I think you never told me why we're coming here?"

"I think you never asked me?" Paul retorted.

"Oh, stop being such a smart-ass." Sandy splashed some water at him, almost diluting his cocktail in the process. "But okay. Why are we here? It has to do with that stimulator the courier picked up, I remember that." They laughed over the mistake the pick-up man had made.

Paul told her about the anomaly they had discovered in deep space, months ago. "We've been comparing data ever since. Juarez asked if he could have a deep-space trajectory simulator like we have in Bristol, so we built him his own and now we are here to install it, show them how it works, and see that they don't blow it up. And, while we're here, we can have a look around. They changed things since I was here last."

"You and Don built that stimulator?" Sandy looked at Paul with new eyes. "I knew you are good, but that's awesome!"

"It's a simulator, and yes, we designed and built it. It's full of astrophysics laws and we sometimes call it Newton." Paul grinned at that.

"So where does this anomaly come from?" Sandy wanted to know.

"We don't know. Nor what it is, " Paul started. Then the talk became more technical rapidly, and only when someone came to switch off the terrace lights, they went to bed.

***

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