account was related, more or less, to me by the husband himself.
was sitting on a sofa in the Student Common Room, in Marion Building.
walked in. "Hey, Vivka." "Hi, Rogers." "You
have a class this late?" "Uh-huh. Just this one time, in a
few minutes." "I am here for a Student Representative
Council meeting. We picked this late hour because we did not want to
meet where there were classes. Our meetings can get noisy." "I
know. I attended a few. Senior students so quickly turn into
obnoxious pre-pubescent brats."
lights in the building went out. "Whoa! What is this?" "It
means I will not be having a class. I can leave the building."
prolonged commotion including shouting was heard coming from
somewhere in the building.
sounds like problems on the stairs." They listened in silence
for a few seconds. "You have a light on you?" "No. I
don't smoke. Better wait until the lights come on before you try
going down those 50-odd stairs. They are pretty steep. The SRC
advised the University to not rent this building because it was built
for commercial enterprise; not for university undergraduate mentality
waited in silence. "Rogers, perhaps you should call out to
anyone else in the building?" "Good idea." He called
out aloud, "Hello? Everybody in the dark in the building. We are
here in the Student Common Room, second floor. Call out if you are
whispered to him. "Tell them to bring a light, if they have one.
We are desperate here." He whispered back to her, "Okay."
called out loudly again. "And bring us a light, please. We are
about to panic here in the dark." They waited in silence for a
said, "Looks like we are all alone, kiddo. In the dark. You feel
safe being here alone with me?" "Why not, since I am
wearing army boots." "Of course. Army boots are a classic
turn off, even in daylight." He sniggered; she remained silent.
hi for me to Dell." "Come home sometime and say hi to him
yourself. You haven't visited in a while. Last time was with Rahbya."
phone rang. Vivka blurted out. "That's you, Rogers. I do not
have a phone." Rogers answered his cell. "Yes? Fern! Where
are you? I am here in Marion. Student Common Room. Really? The lights
are out in the building. Come get me. Come with a flashlight. Okay."
He put his phone into his pocket, as he spoke to Vivka.
coming to fetch me. I got the place wrong. The SRC meeting is in City
Building across the road. Not here. She is coming up with a light.
Come down with us, Vivka." "That is your Fern?" "Yep.
That is my Fern." "And she is going to see me with you in
come, now, Vivka." "Rogers, you and Rahbya just broke up
because of Fern. I think it is best if you go with Fern without me.
In fact, go meet her halfway down. I do not want her to see me. It
will not help my friendship with Rahbya if she finds out I was with
you and Fern."
I am glad it is dark. I cannot see the expression on your face.
Rahbya used to tell me what good friends she is with you. It must
hurt you that she is so unhappy. But, Vivka, let me say this to you.
It was over between Rahbya and me for months before Fern came into my
life." "Rahbya told me that. But she is still not over you,
Rogers. I asked her to not give me details of your break-up. I am
still friends with both of you." There was a short silence.
long will you stay here by yourself?" "Until the lights
come back on." "Okay. If Fern and I see students waiting
downstairs, I will tell them you are up here." "Thanks,
Rogers. Is there no chance of you and Rahbya getting together again?"
is every chance, Vivka. I have kept this between Fern and me, at a
light level. It has been months, but what happened or did not happen
between Rahbya and me is still up to Rahbya. I am waiting. I do not
know how long I will wait. But, please, Vivka, do not tell Rahbya I
am waiting. She has to make up her mind all by herself. Okay?"
She replied him, softly, in pain, "Okay."
heard him leave. A few seconds later she heard him conversing in the
dark with a woman. "Rogers!" "Yes, love. I'm here!"
"Okay. I'm coming up. I have my cigarette lighter. Watch for
it." "Good. I can see some of it already. Coming down."
sounds faded away. Vivka sat in the dark in silence for a few
seconds. There was a sound at the door. She spoke almost at a
replied, "Yes. You want light? I have my lighter." "You
said you gave up smoking?" "I have. This is an old friend I
keep around just until all the fluid has burned out. Are you not glad
I still have it on me?"
right. Keep it handy, but do not light it just yet." "I
heard you tell him you have classes here." "I had to say
that. There are no classes in this building this late. Remember? I
told you." "So, we can still go up to the roof garden?"
while there is a problem with the lights. Somebody could show up at
any minute to check. And the roof garden is where all the generators
are. Let us just go home." "I was wondering why you were
taking so long. There are no lights up there, and so I was not aware
the lights were out down here. Your sister is expecting us after ten
o'clock. After classes."
think up a reason. Light the lighter, and hope it does not run out of
fuel. We have about fifty steps to go down." "Yeah, bad
enough when there is light. In this dark, they will be malicious and
wicked, and seem like hundreds.
lit the lighter. They moved to the stairway. He mumbled, "The
things we do to make us time-alone from the children."
of the message
won't know where to send it.)
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