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Tales Out Of College  ©2009  Shirley Ann Howard

 Prequel to Tales Out Of School


A tall, light-haired man—leaning against the shaft of a thick Doric column—was fully engaged in observing a young woman speak. She was beautiful and articulate, intelligent and passionate. He’d met her once before. On this day she was standing on a table in the middle of the Student Union, protesting Boston University’s policy on what would be published in the school newspaper. She claimed it was censorship, a violation of first amendment rights. There was quite a crowd watching and listening. Her faded jeans hugged her curvy backside. Her short, tight sweater hugged her curvy bust, exposing a bit of her midsection every time she raised her arms. She had long, flowing hair the color of honey, but the campus police were not as impressed as he, as they broke up the gathering, forced her down from the table, and led her away.


He returned to the campus store the next day. Outside the entrance was a towering stack of BU newspapers with her photo on the front page. The caption underneath it read, “Sandra Scott, Student Editor-in-chief, was detained yesterday by University Police for illegally conducting a rally and inciting a riot.” The black and white picture did not nearly convey the vitality she had radiated in person.


After buying his essentials, he wound his way to the back corners of the Campus Center, where The University organizations had their offices, including the newspaper. She was there, madly typing away at her computer, looking just as hot as the day before. She was accompanied by a dark-haired male student, who was smoking and staring at his own computer screen. Not as intent on the work as she, he stopped when he perceived the tall blond gentleman standing in the doorway. The light-haired man continued to stare at the young woman until she looked up, acknowledging his presence.


“Sandra Scott,” he said in a mellow voice she’d heard before. “I saw you speaking yesterday… and wanted to let you know I agree with your position.” She locked a gaze on him and addressed him by name.


“Leonard Bachenweiler, what are you doing here? I thought you graduated.”


“I’m back as a grad student—in biochemistry. I’m surprised you remember me.” It thrilled him.


“I would never forget the first person I interviewed for the paper… and how nice you were.” She smiled. “And how you caught me when I slipped on the chunk of pineapple.” They shared a little chuckle. He added friendly to her list of attributes.


“What happened when the cops took you away yesterday?” he asked with concern.


“They threatened to arrest me on those trumped-up charges, as per the Chancellor’s orders, if I didn’t agree to squash controversial articles. My parents insisted I cooperate, so I caved, but I’m writing an editorial about it for Friday’s edition.”


Their conversation was interrupted by the throat clearing of the other guy in the office. “I’m sorry, Donny,” Sandy apologized. “Lenny earned the Outstanding Achievement Award in Natural Science a few years ago. They gave him a very nice reception, well attended and well deserved.” She introduced Lenny to Donald Sanderson, the layout editor. The men eyed each other with suspicion. Lenny couldn’t help wondering if Don was laying out the editor-in-chief in addition to the pages of The University Union.


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