Secrets 2: Looking Through Different Eyes

Chapter 01: Heading Back to CSU

Devin and I slept until 9:30, and when we woke up we went down to the kitchen to see what there was to eat.  As soon as my mom saw us, she asked a question. 

“Are you ready for breakfast?”

“Yeah, we are,” I answered. 

“Would you like scrambled eggs, sausages, and toast or waffles and sausages?”

“Can we have the scrambled eggs, sausages, and toast with a waffle on the side?”

“Certainly, I’ll get right on it.  Your father and I have already eaten, but we’ll sit with you and have a cup of coffee while you’re eating.” 

Fifteen minutes later she brought out two plates with the egg, sausages, and toast on it, and a minute later she brought out the waffles on separate plates. 

“The butter and syrup are on the table,” she told us. 

Devin and I hurriedly fixed the waffle the way we wanted it, and then we basically inhaled the food.  As soon as our plates were empty, my mom asked another question. 

“Would you like some more?”

“No, we’re fine and everything was great.  Thank you.” 

“Yeah, thanks, Ma.  That should hold us over until we reach Fort Collins.” 

“I hope you’re not planning on driving as fast as you just ate,” my dad joked.

“No, we’ll be very careful and we won’t speed.”

Now that we’d finished breakfast, Devin and I loaded up his SUV with the things we were taking to the house in Fort Collins, and then we went back in the house to say goodbye to my parents.

“Ok, we’re ready to leave now, and you don’t have to say it, because I already know what you’re going to tell us.  We’ll drive carefully and I’ll call you when we reach the house.”

“I guess we’ve train him well, Mike,” my mom said as she looked at my dad.

“And all this time I never thought he was listening,” he joked in response.

We then said our goodbyes and we both hugged my mom and kissed her on the cheek, and we gave my dad a hug as well.  They followed us outside as I got into the driver’s seat and Devin took his place next to me.  My parents waved at us as we started the long journey to Fort Collins. 

Devin let me drive the first leg, and then we stopped for gas and grabbed a drink before we switched places and continued on.  When we reached Fort Collins, we went directly to the house, since Devin’s grandfathers had told us they would be there when we arrived.  Gramps SUV was parked along the street so Devin could use the garage, but Devin merely parked in the driveway for now, because we had to unload everything first.

When we went inside, we found Gramps and Pops sitting in the living room, and they got up to greet us.  Neither of them appeared to be particularly happy as they asked how the trip was, and after we told him it was fine, Gramps made a comment.   

“The caretaker was just finishing up the yardwork when we arrived and he congratulated us on having such great kids in our family.  He then handed us an article that appeared in the local newspaper this past winter.  He said he recognized Mac in the photo that went along with the article, and then saw your last name when he read it.  That’s when he realized you two had collected Christmas presents to give to the sick children at the hospital.”

Devin and I glanced quickly at the page he was holding, and then at each other before we looked at him again.

“Devin, even though you weren’t in the photo with Mac, or at least our caretaker didn’t realize you were, he thought we’d like to read the article and see the positive impact you two are having on the local community.” 

The article not only told about our visit with the children at the local hospital, but it also mentioned the donation we’d made to Toys for Tots. 

“Don’t you think that’s a good thing?” Devin asked uncertainly.

“Yes, it is, but this would make it four times that you transitioned last year while you were living in the dorm.  As I recall, you transitioned the first time when you pretended to be a representative from the campus housing department.  And then you did it another time when you pretended to be Bigfoot to get even with the guys on your floor that wouldn’t agree to quiet down so you could study.  You did it again while you were chasing after the rapist and now we learn about this, which we didn’t know about until we arrived here a week and half ago.” 

“I told you we were going to do it when I came home for Thanksgiving and you even gave me money to buy presents with.”

“That’s true, but you didn’t tell us you were going to transition into Santa.  We thought you were going to get someone else to play the part.”

“Oh, yeah.  I guess I did forget to tell you about that.”

“Devin, you definitely have to be more careful from now on or there’s a good chance that you’ll get caught.  Worse yet, someone might even begin to suspect what you’re capable of doing.”

“I know and I’ll be more careful from now on.  It will be easier now that we’ll be living here.”

“Didn’t anyone ever question why you weren’t in this photo, since you were as much a part of doing this as Mac was?”

“Yeah, but I told them I wasn’t feeling well that day and stayed home because I didn’t want to give the kids another problem to deal with.”

“And how did you explain Santa?”

“Even before we did this, we were telling the other students that Mac’s grandfather was going to play Santa for us.”

“Well, I’m glad you did that much.  Are you planning on going to the hospital again this Christmas?”

“Yeah, we are.”

“Ok, then I’ll come back here at that time and pretend to be Mac’s grandfather so no one will get suspicious.  It means both of you will be able to be elves this year.”

“Ok, then I’ll order another elf costume and another sack.”

“I’m glad you’re doing things like this for those less fortunate than yourself, but I have to reiterate how dangerous it will be for you if someone else realizes that you can transition.  It’s even dangerous if others merely suspect that you’re capable of doing it.  A lot of people aren’t very good at dealing with things they don’t or can’t understand, and I’m convinced they wouldn’t be able to comprehend your unique ability.  Even if they could, rather than attempting to learn more about it or considering how you use your ability, a substantial percentage of the population would simply fear you because you are different and can do things they are unable to do.  They might even try to kill you.” 

Devin was looking down at the floor and I suspected he was trying to come up with the right words to respond.  However, before he was able to do that, Pops spoke.

“Maybe you’d understand it better if I put it another way.  You learned a great deal about the Navajo this past summer and you might be able to relate with this example better.  If someone was to suspect what you are capable of doing, the situation could become similar to the way the early Spanish explorers and missionaries viewed the Native Americans.  They felt the Native Americans were uncivilized and their beliefs and customs were quite strange, especially some of their ceremonies.  They even considered them ungodly. 

“For that reason, the missionaries tried to get the Native Americans to change so they’d become more like themselves.   In order to do this, the Spaniards had to destroy as much of the Native American history and culture as they could, and they even tried to prevent the Native Americans from speaking in their native tongue.  When that didn’t accomplish their objective, the explorers attempted to kill many of the Native Americans instead.”

“Yeah, that was awful,” Devin agreed. 

“And as more and more settlers came, they began to look at the Native Americans as ‘heathens’ and didn’t even consider them to be human.  They even felt they had a God-given right to take their lands, and they didn’t like it when the Native Americans fought back.  Over time, the settlers adopted an approach that directed others of their kind to ‘shoot first and ask questions later’. 

“This meant the settlers didn’t even attempt to understand the Native Americans or try to get along with them.  Their sole purpose was to eradicate as many of them as possible, even women and children.  In fact, when one man was asked why he was killing the children, his answer was, ‘Even nits, or eggs, eventually grow into lice.’ 

“Basically, what the guy was saying was that the Native Americans were vermin and needed to be destroyed, basically because they were different from them.  I remember these things because I lived through some of it, and I’m certain that you don’t want to get caught up in anything like that.  You don’t want to get to the point where others want to kill you and anyone related to you or associated with you, as well as anyone that has the same ability as you.”

“No, and I promise I’ll be more careful from now on and I’ll do better this year.  I think it will be easier, now that we’ll be living here, rather than on campus.”

“Good, because you got lucky last year and no one connected those incidents,” Gramps added.  “No one in Fort Collins knows about our ability, not even the caretaker or anyone else we know, and we want to keep it that way.”

“I hope you’ve learned your lesson,” Gramps continued.  “If you feel as if you want to transition and go for a run, you and Mac can always transition into dogs or cats and run around the backyard.  However, I’d suggest you don’t go any farther away from the house than that, especially if you choose to be dogs, because the city has very strict leash laws.  You might even consider taking one another to the local dog park instead, but just say you’re making extra money as a dog walker.” 

“Yeah, we talked about possibly going to the dog park already, but we didn’t think about the dog walker stuff.”

“I suggest you just run around in the yard instead.  It’s the reason we own so much land, and it’s also why people want to buy this place.  It’s not because the house is anything special, it’s due to the fact that it’s built on a quadruple lot.  What I mean by that is, it’s two lots wide and two lots deep, and we had the house built at the center of the front lots so it sets back from the street.  We also made certain the entire lot is surrounded by fences or thick hedges to keep nosy neighbors at bay.”

“Yeah, we’ve noticed that.”  

In fact, on the left side and rear of the house there’s an 8’ (2.45 m) high stone fence and every 6’ (1.8 m) there’s a 3’ (0.9 m) square stone column that’s 9’ (2.75 m) tall for added support.  In the back wall there’s also a double-wide wooden gate that is locked all of the time, and on the right side of the property is a very thick privacy hedge.”  

“Yeah, those things pretty much prevent anyone from seeing what’s going on in the backyard,” Devin agreed.

“And across the front of the property there’s a decorative 8’ (2.45 m) high wrought iron fence with a single gate in front of the walk that leads up to the front door, and a double gate in front of the garage.  To the right of the single gate is an opening with a flap accessing a wooden box in which the mailman leaves the mail or any packages he’s delivering, but the box is designed so that others can’t retrieve those items from the street side.  The caretaker, Jacob, I and the two of you can all access it, because the key to the house also works on it, as well as in each of the gates.” 

“I didn’t know that.  I just thought my key worked on the house, the double-gate in front of the garage, and the garage door,” Devin replied. 

“Can I ask a question?” I stated when there was a slight lull in the conversation.  “Why is there a stone wall on the left side, but just a hedge on the right side of the property?”

“That’s a very good question, and here’s the answer,” Pops replied.  “The guy who used to live in the house on the left side was a real pain in the ass and was constantly trying to claim some of our land, so we hired a surveyor to layout the property line for us.  As soon as he finished, we had the stone wall built so we wouldn’t have any further problems with the guy.  In fact, I believe his granddaughter owns the property now and lives in the house.  The hedge on the right side was just meant to give us a little privacy.”

“I see, so why is there a stone wall in the back as well?”

“It’s because it worked out better, since we wanted to put a gate back there so we could bring supplies in an out of it at various times.  If you remember, I told you that at one time the house had a coal furnace, so we needed a way for the coal to be delivered in the rear of the house where the chute to the coal bin was located.” 

“Ok, that makes sense, but I was just surprised that the fences and hedges were so tall.”

“That was meant to ensure our privacy, even from people jumping up and trying to look over them.  It would probably be illegal to build a fence that high today because of the building code, but since they were all installed before the restrictions were enacted, our fences were grandfathered in.”

“Ah, ok.  Now I understand.”

“And it’s also why we have a caretaker,” Gramps added.  “He checks on the house from time to time when we’re not around, and he also mows the grass and trims the hedges.  When it snows, he uses the snow-blower to clear the sidewalk that lies outside of the front fence and runs parallel to the street.  He also uses it on the sidewalk that leads up to the house, along with the other one that goes between the house and the detached garage and runs around to the backdoor. 

“We have the caretaker do these things because we realize it is imperative that the property is well maintained, even when we’re not here.  That way we avoid any problems that might cause people to show up to inspect the place for negligence and safety violations.”

“Ok, then let me ask you a different question.  Is there an isolated place in the country where we might be able to run around as well, because then Mac and I could do it together as dogs or another animal?”

“Well, there might be a possibility, since we have a friend that owns quite a bit of property in the country.  He bought it as a hunting camp and it’s heavily posted so you wouldn’t have to worry about intruders.  He even has a small hunting cabin that is set back quite a ways from the road near the front entrance, and you could even park your SUV out of sight from the road as well.  I’ll get in touch with him and see if he’ll let you boys use it to go hunting or just go on hikes, so he won’t ask what you plan on doing there.”

“That would be great if you could.”

“Is there anything else you’d like to discuss?”

“Yes, has the internet been connected yet?” Devin followed.

“Yes, it’s one of the reasons we came here.  We had the technician hook up the modem and router in the room we sometimes use as an office.  We felt it would be out of your way there, because you boys plan on connecting using WiFi, correct?”

“Yes and Mac’s dad bought us a WiFi booster to make sure we can connect to the internet from any room in the house, so I’ll just have to hook that up as well.”

“That’s great, so I guess you’re all set then.”

“As far as we know, that should take care of everything.”

Now that this had been settled, I made a comment. 

“Devin and I need to go out to the SUV and bring our things inside so we can get situated.  After we do that then we’ll need to eat, because we haven’t had anything since my mom fixed us a late breakfast.” 

“That’s actually a good idea, because I’m getting hungry as well,” Pops agreed.  

“And we’ll take you to Dominick’s and it will be my treat,” Gramps added.  

Once we all agreed, Devin and I went out to unload the SUV and Gramps and Pops followed us outside so they could lend a hand.

“We weren’t sure how much you had to bring inside, but we thought we might be able to give you a hand.” Gramps said when we realized they were behind us. 

“Thanks.  It will make this go a lot faster,” I replied.

As soon as we’d taken everything into the house and carried it up to the bedroom we’ll be using, the four of us went outside and loaded into Gramps SUV so he could drive us over to Dominick’s.  When we arrived there, we were seated rather quickly, and after we ordered Pops started another conversation. 

“So, what did you do when you were with Mac’s parents?”   

“They had to work most of the time,” I began, “because they didn’t know for sure when we’d be back, but they did things with us on the weekends, and then they took us on a 3-day trip.”

“Where did you go?”

“They took us to Lakeside Amusement Park and Michael Garman’s Magic Town, and we spent the day in between at Glen Eyrie,” Devin answered. 

“I know all of those places.  Did you stay at Glen Eyrie or just tour the place?”

“We stayed there for two nights,” I replied. 

“Did you stay in rooms in the Castle or in the newer building?”

“We stayed in rooms on the second floor of the Castle.  We also took a tour around the outside of the castle and a history tour on the inside of the Castle.  We also took a tour of the Garden of the Gods.”

“Did you enjoy doing those things?”

“Yeah, they were neat,” Devin answered. 

“And the one at the Garden of the Gods was a blast, because we did that one riding around on segways,” I added.

“It sounds like your dad went all out.  I’m impressed.”

About that time our meals were delivered to the table.  Once the food was divvied up, we continued to talk as we ate. 


“My parents said that since I was saving them money by living at the house instead of in a dorm, they felt they could spend a little more on our vacation.  They would have done even more if they had known when we were going to return, because they would have taken more of their vacation time.”

“And they said they wanted to do something similar every year for a week or two while we’re in college,” Devin added.  “We agreed to spend the last two weeks of July at the cabin and the first two weeks of August with Mac’s family before we return to college.” 

“Ah, I thought you wanted to look for treasure next summer,” Gramps stated.

“We do, but we can do that from the middle of June until we go to the cabin.”

“Ok, then we’ll try to have a couple of ideas you can choose from so we can discuss them when you come home for Thanksgiving.”

“But we won’t all be together over Thanksgiving,” I pointed out.

“Then we’ll explain our ideas to Devin and he can tell you about them during the ride back here.  Once you’ve made up your minds, he can call us and let us know what you want to do, and then you can tell your parents about it when you return home for Christmas.”

“Great!  Sounds like a plan.”

“It looks as if you two have it made then.  You’ll get to spend time with us looking for treasure, and then you’ll get to spend two weeks in the wilderness with Aaron and Doris, followed by two more weeks with Mac’s parents doing all sorts of different things.”

“Yeah, it’s going to be great,” we both agreed. 

“Just so you know, we plan on coming back here in the spring to go fishing,” Pops added, “and if you boys want to join us we can plan on doing it over your Spring Break.”

“That sounds great!” Devin enthused.

“And I’ll break the news about Spring Break and going with you guys for part of the summer when I go home for Christmas.  I hope my parents don’t get upset about me doing those things.”

“You’re an adult now,” Devin stated forcefully, “so they have to realize that you will make your own plans from time to time.  You’ll be home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and a couple of weeks before we go with Gramps and Pops, and then we’ll be with them for two more weeks in August.”

“Yeah, they should be satisfied with that,” I agreed.

We’d finished eating by the time that conversation ended, and of course the food was delicious, as always.  We then returned to the house and Devin and I had to unpack some of our things so we could make the bed.  We used the flannel sheets and pillow cases my parents had bought for us, along with the new pillows, and once the bed was made, Devin offered an intriguing suggestion. 

“We’ll break in the new sheets by making love on them tonight.”

“Uh, isn’t Pops staying in the room next to ours and Gramps is in the room across the hall?”

“Yeah, so what?”

“Well, they gave us grief when we were at the cabin and we didn’t even make love that night!  I’d rather wait until after they leave before we do anything.”

“So we’re not going to make love while they’re here?  We don’t even know when they’ll be leaving.”

“We can still have oral sex, because we can be a lot quieter when we’re doing that.”

“Damn it, Mac, they were just teasing us the last time.  I’m sure they know we’re having sex, so just get over your hang-up.”

“You really think they know we’re having sex?”

“Yes, I do.”

“Yeah, you’re probably right,” I said after considering it briefly, “and they have been very supportive about everything else, so I guess we can make love, as long as we don’t make too much noise.”

We tried to be as quiet as possible while doing it, since I felt there was no sense in poking the hornet’s nest with a stick.  We will   probably get enough abuse from Gramps and Pops about doing it anyway, even if we aren’t making it obvious. 

When we finished, we went to shower before getting back into bed, and then we cuddled together and slept soundly until morning.

When we woke up on Friday, Gramps and Pops offered to take us out for breakfast before we had to be on campus, and we happily accepted their generous offer.  After enjoying a very filling meal with them, they dropped us off at the appropriate building on campus so we could do everything that was required. 

As soon as we entered, we headed directly over to the sophomore (2nd year) check-in table.  There weren’t a lot of other students there yet, since the check-in period ran from 9:00 to 5:00, in order to accommodate those arriving from out of the area.  After checking off our names, the person signing us in looked at us slightly confused.

“There seems to be a problem with your information, because there isn’t any residence hall or room number listed for either of you.”

“That’s because we’re going to live off campus this year,” Devin explained. 

“Oh, I guess that clears it up then.  We’re also telling everyone to stop by their faculty advisor’s office sometime today or tomorrow to sign up for a conference time.  You’ll have to do something similar at the administration building and meet with a financial advisor to make sure your bill is paid.  Now, you’ll just have to get in the line over there so the photographer can take your ID photo for this year.”

After thanking her, we went over to get in line, and after our photos had been taken, we decided to walk over to the administration building and sign up for a spot with a financial advisor.  Since we were the only two there, we immediately got to meet with someone and they checked to see if our loans and grants had arrived, although this didn’t apply to Devin.  The guy I was meeting with said my parents would be billed for any shortage and arrangements would have to be made to pay it off, if there was a shortage.  They both also made sure we got our ram cards that would cover everything from our meals to using campus transportation. 

As soon as we finished up there, we had to split up in order to go to our faculty advisors’ office, so we agreed where we’d meet up once we were done.  We then set out in different directions to sign up for a conference time. 

When I arrived at my faculty advisor’s office, I found multiple sheets of paper stapled together and pinned to the bulletin board on the wall outside of his office.  There was one packet for each day he’d be in his office and each day’s sheets had the day and date listed at the top, followed by multiple time slots in half hour blocks.  Each time was followed by a blank line for the student to add his or her name, and they were all basically blank at this point. 

I chose the sheets for today, and the first time listed was for 1:00.  After thinking about it briefly, I decided that I might as well get this taken care of quickly, so I signed up for the first open slot available.  I felt Devin would probably do the same thing, and we could do other things in the meantime and then go to our appointments after lunch. 

Even though I had signed up for a time slot, I quickly glanced at the sheets for the other days and was mildly surprised to discover he was offering Saturday time slots as well, ranging from 9:00 to 1:30.  This made me wonder if Dr. Lerner had a family, but after thinking about it for a little longer, I decided it was possible that he just wanted to get the meetings over with as quickly as possible as well. 

It was also possible that he didn’t have enough alternate conference times during the following week to cover each of his advisees, since there were also time slots for Monday through Friday.  Since those openings were sporadic, I assumed he had arranged them around his class schedule, which only made sense. 

Seeing I’d made my appointment, I headed over to the location where Devin and I had agreed to meet up, because I was eager to see which slot Devin had chosen.  He was already there by the time I arrived. 

“I signed up for a 1:00 appointment,” I blurted out as I approached.  

“That works for me, because I signed up for the same time.  It was the first one offered.”

“Yeah, same here.  I figured I could head over to meet with him after we had lunch.”  

“I just wanted to get it out of the way as quickly as I could, because I didn’t want to sit around all day waiting to do it.”

“I agree, and I also noticed my advisor was offering times from 9:00 to 1:30 tomorrow, as well as times all next week.  Is your advisor doing the same thing?”

“I’m not sure, because I didn’t bother to look at the other times.  Once I wrote my name down I came straight here, because I didn’t care if he was offering any other times.”

“That’s probably why you got here first.  So, what do you want to do now?”

“Let’s walk around for a while to see if we run into anyone we know.”

“Ok, because we’ve got quite a bit of time to kill.”

During our walk we began running across other students that had been in one of our classes the previous year.  After the one that knew the person introduced him to the other one, the odd man out would wait around while they chatted.  It soon became obvious that whoever was waiting for the other one to rekindle his acquaintance would spend the time uneasily shifting his weight from one leg to the other until their conversation ended.  Neither of us complained about it, though, since we were equally guilty of making the other one wait while this happened. 

At one point, we ran into Barry, the RA from the residence hall that we lived in last year, and this was someone we could both chat with. 

“Yep, it’s definitely Devin,” he began as we approached.  “I can tell by the oversized clothes he’s wearing.”

“Hey, I just like loose fitting clothing.”

“You mean you aren’t still waiting to grow into them.”

“Yeah, that too,” Devin replied shyly. 

“And I want to thank both of you for your help last year while we were   looking for the rapist.”

“I just wish that I’d been the one who’d caught him,” Devin replied.  I felt he probably said this to further deflect any suspicion that he might have had something to do with it.

“Yeah, but I’d like to know who was involved in catching him, because according to the girl being attacked, the guy who saved her was some sort of a giant.” 

“That definitely leaves me out then,” Devin stated with a smirk.

“Maybe it was Hagrid,” I joked.

“Or that dude from The Princess Bride,” Devin offered. 

“Or someone about the same size as either of them, but I’m serious about thanking you guys.  You were a big help, even if we weren’t the ones who caught him.  Where are you guys living this semester, because I didn’t see your names on my list?”

“We’re living off campus this year,” I replied.  “I had all I can take with noisy neighbors.”

“I understand what you mean, but he’s not back this semester.  Some of his buddies’ names are on my list, though, so I hope they aren’t going to be as bad as their friend.”

“We hope not either, for your sake, and good luck with that.  Hey, why aren’t you at the dorm signing up the guys when they arrive?”

“The other RA is covering for me.”

“Is it Adam again?”

“No, he graduated.  The new guy’s name is Dave.”

“You’ll have to introduce us sometime.”

“I’d be happy to do that.”

After Barry continued on his way, we ran into a few other students who wanted to know if we’re going to take up a collection for the hospital again this year at Christmas. 

“Yes, we’re planning on doing that again,” we told each one.

“Great, then I’ll start letting the other fraternities and sororities know so they can start planning early,” one of the guys from a fraternity stated.  “I’m hoping we’ll be able to collect even more donations this year.”

“Thank you.  That will be very helpful and much appreciated.”

We also ran into the guy who didn’t think Devin would make a good Santa. 

“Mac, is your grandfather going to be Santa again this year?”

“Yes, he’s already agreed to drive here so he can do it for us.”

“Great!  He made an awesome Santa.”

We continued walking around and chatting with others until noon, and then we went over to the dining hall to grab some lunch.  We ran into even more people that we knew while we were there, mostly due to our notoriety from our Christmas outing.  When we finished our lunch, we headed over to our advisors’ offices for our meetings.

Since I was a little early, I stood outside of the office and watched as a few other students signed up for a conference time.   I’d been doing this for a short time when I happened to notice Dr. Lerner walking down the hallway in my direction.  When he reached my location, he asked the next student in line to wait a second while he checked to see who was listed for the first couple of appointments.  After reading the names quickly, he turned and looked around, and when he spotted me he spoke. 

“Michael, we might as well get started now, if you don’t mind.” 

“No, that would be great.” 

After he unlocked his office door, we went inside and I sat down while he looked in one of his file cabinets for something.  Eventually, he pulled out a folder, opened it, and quickly glanced at what was inside, and then he looked up at me and smiled.

“It appears that I don’t have a lot to offer you.  I just looked at a copy of your schedule for this semester and it looks fine.  I also looked over the grades you received for both semesters last year and you did extremely well.   It seems all I have left to do is to go over the courses that I’d recommend you take in the spring, and then I’ll answer any questions you might have.”

He then listed the courses he thought I should take the following semester, after checking the list I’d given to him last fall.  He also mentioned a few alternative courses in case those classes were full, and then he asked if I had any questions. 

“No, I think I’m all set.”

“Just keep up the great work then, and please don’t be afraid to leave a note for me on the bulletin board or slip it under my door if you have any questions, problems, or just wish to speak with me.  I’ve looked at my class lists already and noticed that you’re not in any of my classes this semester.”

“Yeah, I know, and I wish you were teaching one of the math classes I’m taking.  I’ll also contact you if I need anything and thank you for your help.”

The meeting had only taken about fifteen minutes, so I went to find Devin.  On my way there I ran into one of my other math professors and he greeted me as I approached. 

“Michael, it’s nice to see you again.  You were one of my best students last year.”

“I enjoyed being in your class as well,” I replied, since I wasn’t about to pass up an opportunity to score a few brownie points.  “I was sad to see that you won’t be teaching any of the classes I’m taking this semester.” 

“Well, maybe next semester then.”

After we both continued on our way, it didn’t take long before I reached the place where Devin and I had agreed to meet up.  He wasn’t there yet, so I waited for him to arrive.  He showed up about twenty minutes later. 

“Damn, how long have you been waiting?” he asked when he saw me. 

“Not too long.  Dr. Lerner was pleased with my schedule and how I’d done last year, so he just went over the courses he recommends that I take in the spring.”

“Yeah, it was pretty much the same for me, except Dr. Bonnick also told me to let him know if I ever needed a tutor.  He thought I could have brought up each of the A minus grades I’d gotten in the core curriculum subjects to an A if I’d just utilized a tutor.  Other than how I did in those classes, I guess our advisors felt we’ve been doing well enough that they aren’t terribly worried about us.”

“Yeah, it appears that way.  Are you ready to head back to the house?”

“Yeah, and then I want to get the SUV so we can go to the campus bookstore and pick up the things we’ll need before everyone else decides to go there.”

“Ok, we can do that.”

This was possible because we’d received our class schedules in an email previously.  It not only informed us of the times, buildings, and room number where each class would meet, it also listed the name of the professor who would be teaching the class.  There was also an attachment that informed us which textbook(s) we’d be using for each class with those specific professors. 

After going to the house, we discovered Pops and Gramps weren’t there.  We got the lists we’d printed out previously and then went out to get in the SUV.  We found there were only a few other students at the campus bookstore when we arrived, and since we could move around easily to get the things we needed, it didn’t take us very long before we checked out. 

I was glad we’d gone back to the house for the SUV, because now we didn’t have to lug everything back to the house.  We merely put it all in the SUV, headed back to the house, and then carried everything inside.  Devin’s grandfathers still weren’t around, so we dumped the items we’d purchased on the couch in the living room and went to the kitchen to grab a drink.