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Old 05-04-2017, 09:36 PM   #286
StrugglingWriter
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 361
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Default Bitter much?

When she got to Lierman’s office, 20 minutes before the lab meeting the way he had requested, the inside door was cracked. She pushed the door aside to see Lierman sitting at his desk as she expected.

Ms. Lennox was sitting in one of the chairs across from him.

“Oh! I’m sorry! Here. I’ll wait outside a minute.”

“Nono!” exclaimed Lierman. “Come on in. We’re just finishing up here. Jenny, I’ll get on what you asked first thing this afternoon.”

“I appreciate that, Dennis. Hello, Kelly,” she said sweetly, though by her face she looked to be in some bit of pain. “You’re looking especially lovely today. The fabric on that jacket is exquisite—you really do seem to have quite the eye for that sort of thing.”

It was a colorful knit, raw silk tweed jacket that Kelly had picked up at Nordstrom on her Vegas trip. For all her focus on the number of the scale (198.2 this morning!) and it’s stubborn recalcitrance, she’d come to recognize she was slimmer—at least up top, particularly in her arms, and at least enough to fit her jacket, at least unbuttoned. She’d wanted to be prepared for a serious conversation with serious dress, even gone to bed early to devote more time that morning to craft her make-up and to touch up her long-neglected highlights the best a box of Essence (on clearance, no less) could allow.

“Thank you, Ms. Lennox!” Even with the resentment she still felt while talking to her, she was flattered. Especially now that she realized Lennox knew what she was talking about: some time after their last encounter, during one of her more insufferably long mornings in the lab, she’d looked up Ms. Lennox’s textiles class—and what exactly was meant by textiles.

Not that it changed whether Kelly would ever get the chance to take that class! Kelly imagined that was exactly the angle Lennox was driving at.

“Thank you. That means a lot coming from you. But I looked up your class, the one on textiles you told me about, and I, uh, I—“

“That’s OK, Kelly.” She looked down. “That class has been cancelled for lack of enrollment.”

“Jenny,” Lierman interjected, “you don’t have—“

“Nono, Dennis! Now that I’ve made my decision there’s really no reason to keep it under wraps.” Lennox turned back to Kelly. “Enrollment in DCFS has been way down for some time, and they’re cutting back on instructors. The demand for home economics just isn’t what it was. It’s a good time for me to step away while I can to finally finish off my education and still find something else to do.

“If they fill up, I’ll teach a couple of cooking classes in the Spring, and then that will be it.”

Lennox gave a wan smile like she might be holding back tears. They might have tugged at Kelly’s heart more—if Lennox had ever given her that A!

Kelly mumbled an “I see” and a few condolences, which felt oddly out of place, like she was somehow consoling Lennox for a death in her family. A few polite exchanges between the three of them and Lennox and her short, frumpy form slipped out the door and closed it behind her.

“Well that’s really sad,” Lierman said, a little too loudly to reflect too much true feeling, still sitting as he was in his chair. “We’ll certainly miss her around here. We’ll make sure she puts in a good word for your reinstatement before she leaves. So tell me, what’s this situation you needed to tell me about?”
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