“Rachel? Our department secretary?” Kayla’s eyes widen. They’re so pretty with the specks of green against the light gold background. They remind me of a cat. A lovely, warm kitten that should sleep in my bed. I have just the place for her. I realize I’m drifting and drag my thoughts back on track.
“Yes. Rachel our secretary.”
“I didn’t realize she would be involved in any juicy gossip. That totally surprises me, but go on.” Kayla leans forward, her arms pressing her tits together. Where was I again? Oh, yeah, Rachel.
“Rachel brought in a special shake. I think she mentioned she was dieting. I don’t recall.” I wasn’t paying attention. “You take a liquid, whether it’s water or some sort of milk substitute, and you pour in a powder. Once those two ingredients are in your container, you shake it several times. Maybe a minute or longer. I believe she said that the shaking was part of the exercise, which is possible. Rapid arm movements done ten minutes a day can reduce the excess fat in your arms, although to really benefit, you would likely have to vary your exercises so instead of always shaking perhaps do windmills and barbell presses.”
“Nathan, you’re straying.” A soft smile plays around Kayla’s lips. Her presence is very distracting.
“Sorry. Rachel had a drink she brought in for breakfast. One morning she was shaking it, but the cover wasn’t on tight enough and the mixture exploded out of her cup, drenching her shirt.”
Kayla’s nose wrinkles. “That’s not what I meant by juicy. I didn’t mean literally wet, but metaphorically. As in the story is so good, it makes your mouth water.”
“I’m not done with the story.”
“Oh.” Kayla cocks her head and gestures for me to continue. “I’m all ears.”
“Because her shirt is ruined, she decides she will use the dean’s bathroom.”
“The dean has a bathroom in his too office?”
I nod. “Yes. It is one of the benefits of his job.”
Kayla sighs dreamily. “That sounds amazing. I would love my own bathroom.”
“I, too, hate using public restrooms.” She’s so smart.
“This does not surprise me in the least.”
“I’m not sure what you mean by that.”
“You look like someone who enjoys his privacy.”
She would be right, but I didn’t realize how perceptive she was. Not only smart but intuitive. I lack the second skill while excelling at the first. “You’ll be a good scientist,” I inform her. “Better than me.”
This statement surprises her. Her eyes grow big, and her cheeks pinken. “That’s about the nicest thing I’ve ever heard anyone say.”
The smile on her face is so bright, I have to turn away. Coughing into my fist, I try to catch my breath. “Rachel—” I croak out, “Rachel goes into the dean’s office believing him to be at lunch except he has returned while she was away from her desk. He is bent over his desk and his TA is swatting his ass with a riding crop.”
“A what?” Kayla bursts out.
“A riding crop. It’s a thin, pliable leather device used during—”
“No. I know what it is. I just said what because I was surprised. Dean Campbell looks like Santa. Now every time a Santa appears on my TV, I’m going to think of Dean getting spanked in his office. This is terrible.” She buries her face in her hands.
“It wasn’t Dean Campbell,” I reassure her. “It was the former dean. Dean Albert Monahan. He was fired for engaging in inappropriate behavior with his TA. The TA was given a new post, but eventually transferred to a different program, although I’m not sure why.”
She peers at me over her fingertips. “What did Dean Monahan look like then? Please say it’s not Santa or I won’t be able to celebrate Christmas ever again.”
An image of a rotund balding man with a white beard flashes in front of my eyes. Dean Monahan looked more like Santa than Dean Campbell, who only sported the white beard and a small pot belly. I wonder if beards are a prerequisite to deanship? All of the current sitting deans around here have white hair and white beards. A regular Santa convention, in fact. Obviously I do not share this with Kayla. “He was an older Keanu Reeves,” I lie.
“Oh? Then he must’ve looked like you.”
Kayla looks taken aback. “Has no one told you that you look like Keanu’s John Wick what with the angular face and longish black hair?”
“I can’t say that I have ever heard this.”