Aftermath - Cover


Copyright© 2010 by Pedant

Chapter 6

Thursday at SciTech had been bizarre. The kids wanted to know if I was a 'war hero.' The staff (depending on their politics) thought I was a 'traitor' or a 'victim of state oppression.' I think those were the extremes.

When I got home, Patrick was sitting on the grass, digging with a soup spoon. "Urms," he said.

"Right, worms," I responded to my budding invertebrate zoologist.

"Go fish with gra'pa?"

"Not today." Ah, a sportsman! "Want to come in and clean up?"

"Sure." He got up and toddled/lurched into the house. I picked up the spoon and followed.

"What was he doing?" asked Weena. "He's filthy."

"Digging for worms with the spoon so he could go fishing with Rob."

"Ah. I suppose that demonstrates advanced learning, eh? I guess I'll bathe him before dinner."

In the evening Martha asked whether I'd be in the office on Friday and whether she could come and talk to me 'about a problem.' We set it up for 10:30 – that would give me time to go through whatever the day's absence had heaped on my desk. I wondered what her 'problem' was.

There was plenty to throw away when I got to the office, but I'd transferred the paper to the trash can within an hour and was contemplating why we had so much waste paper when we had the Internet when Martha knocked on the door.

"Come on in. Can I offer you tea?"

"Nothing, Gordy." She sat down, but was clearly very nervous.

"Go on, talk to me."

"It's very hard."

"Go ahead. You know I don't bite."

"Yes. You're very nice. So's Weena. And all your friends. That's what confuses me."

"That we're nice?"

"Yes. No. Sort of. Alice said I could talk to you. Wrote. Emailed me."

"Take a big breath. Let it out. Now let out the big knot."

"I-I-I met a boy."

"I'm glad. Is he a student?"

"He's a graduate student in Social and Cultural Studies. And ... and he writes poetry."

"That doesn't sound so bad. Really interesting folks write poetry. How long have you known him?"

"A few weeks."

"Okay. So you met a young man who's a graduate student and writes poetry. I must be stupid. I don't see the problem."

"You're not stupid, Gordy. It's ... it's..."


"He's white!"

"So am I. So's Weena."

"I'm not. I'm a halfcaste. I don't know who my dad was." There were tears running down her face.

"I know that. I'm sure your young man noticed that you're part Aborigine. Does he say anything?"

"No. He acts like I'm a girl. A woman. Oh, Gordy! He's nice to me! He wants to take me out to the theatre and to restaurants! I don't know what to do!"

"Hold on. You've me a young man. He's a European. He doesn't seem to care that you aren't. Has he been pushing you for sex?"

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