When Dr. Day turned around, I almost wet my pants. What was I doing? My mouth moved but nothing came out.
“Miss Darby? What are you doing down here? You know only upper level students are allowed in this area.”
“I-I know, but…I wanted to talk to you about missing your class.”
Dr. Day waved his hands. “Todd, if you could…”
“No prob, Liam. I’ll see you at lunch.” The guy just gave me a grin that made me uncomfortable like he knew my demise was imminent and he thought it was funny. Well, I deserved it.
Dr. Day threw me his cold stare that I’d been shot with a dozen times. God, why did he have this affect on me? Just with one glance, he could knock the wind out of me.
I swallowed down the hangover bile that was gurgling into my throat. “I-I guess you know why I didn’t show today and I want to say I’m sorry. For all those awful things I said to you and for going out of control like that. I’m like totally embarrassed.”
Dr. Day still said nothing, so I went on, “And if you could find it in your heart to forgive me, I promise, cross my heart and hope to die, stick a jack knife in my eye, I’ll never miss another class again.”
He lifted his hands. “Look, I don’t make the rules at the university. Our dean does. And he’s very strict about our masters program. Unless you have a note from a doctor, my hands are tied.”
I flailed my arms emphatically. “I WAS sick all morning. But not THAT kind of sick…heh…It’s just…going to this university is my dream. Academic probation would skewer me. I was hoping you could give me just one more chance?”
Walking toward the door, he said, “I don’t see any reason why I should. Especially since you called me Dr. Deathday as well as a hundred other profanities.”
Oh God. Why did I have to get drunk? Liquor was the worst truth serum on the planet.
“Would you in my position?” he asked.
Sadly, I shook my head no.
“Well, I’m not you. Get yourself out of the restricted area, please. I would appreciate it.” Then he strode out the door.
My eyes widened and I blinked. What the heck did that mean? Was he going to give me a pass? OMG!!!!!!
And although I should have been jumping up and down, celebrating, his words and his looks just made me feel like the worst human being on the planet.
Okay, so I was going to make amends. And it started now. I noticed a broom leaning against the wall. And this floor was disgusting. Like someone peed all over it. There was dust and spiderwebs everywhere.
So I grabbed its handle and did the best I could in cleaning up the mess. But then my mind wandered to when I’d actually became an archaeologist. This was the perfect setting–like I could see it all play out.
“There it is, Dr. Sabatini!” I’d say as I happened upon a large gateway structure. “The secret passage of the Spiritual Transformation. Legend says that once you enter, you will be yourself no longer. You will right many wrongs and clear the path to illumination.”
That was my dream. I’d always heard of this legend and there were so many archaeologists who believed in its existence since many petroglyphs in Simu Picchu showed it, but…no one was ever lucky enough to find where it was. I had a few ideas and I was determined to locate it on our expedition. Okay, like yeah, it was dangerous, but who cared? That was an archaeologist’s job.
I could picture it so clearly. People at this university would point at me and say, “There she is! The one who gave enlightenment to the world!”
That was definitely in my future. I could feel it in my marrow. Unfortunately, the stale surroundings broke apart my dream. I had to do the hard work first to receive the benefits. Better finish up and get out of here! I figured I’d tell Dr. Day I cleaned a bit for him. Maybe he’d be happy and stop pitching those frightening ice stares at me.
Whipping around to put the broom back, I stumbled and…
An ancient piece of pottery that was probably worth more than all the money I’d make in my lifetime, crumbled before me.
I wanted to scream! What was I going to do????
Repenting of my foolish ways all the way up to Dr. Day’s office, I gingerly crept in like a cockroach. God, I never wanted to step foot in there again, but here I was.
“Dr. Day?” I squeaked, mouth like the lining of an old sock.
He shook his head. “I already told you I wouldn’t file a complaint against you. What now?”
I sat down and swallowed. “Okay like I’m TOTALLY sorry. I was trying to do a good deed. HONEST!”
Who would have known that an intelligent student of mine could create crazy havoc in such a short time? The girl was so irresponsible, I had half a mind to terminate her privileges immediately.
But Ginny’s sweet face stared at me in my mind. I often wondered how she’d handle things. I wished so often I could ask her opinion. I breathed in and out, trying to calm down. I was in deep shit with this one.
“Miss Darby, will you please stop apologizing and get the hell out of my office? I’ll take care of it. Just go home and work. I better have your ten page paper on my desk early at the end of the week.”
She bobbed her head up and down with a frightened look on her face.
Then she scurried out of my office.
Wincing, I sighed. I had to assess the damage and then talk to my boss. This was just getting worse. Why did I have a heart for the girl? It would have been easier to escort her upstairs and report her rather than allowing these antics.
Thankfully, Charlene’s goof up actually helped us out. We’d discovered the bones of an ancient shaman straight out of Simu Picchu. It even held a rare stone from the pre-classic era. Priceless. My dean was so thrilled, he wanted to congratulate me for the find himself.
“Tell me, Liam, what made you think to break into the vase in the first place? I must say, that was a bold move. Did you find some hints on its structure?”
I threw on a sheepish smile. “Heh…heh…well, it was s-sort of an accident. That’s how these things usually happen, right?” I wasn’t lying, but I couldn’t tell him the truth. My ass would be on the line by allowing an unsupervised student down there.
“Well, that was quite lucky for you then. So glad for you, son. After you take your students on the expedition, I’ll give you two semesters off for research. How about that?”
Two semesters? Wow! I definitely was going to go easy on Charlene for this great mistake. “Thanks, sir,” I said, laughing with him.
“No problem! Can’t wait to see what other discoveries you’ll find!”
Just then, we heard a knock on the door and Charlene rushed in. Before I could stop her, she apologized for breaking the pot and said I had nothing to do with it.
The dean just stared at me, glaring. “A lower level student was allowed in the archaelogical archives? Liam, I can’t believe what I’m hearing.”
So, instead of this accident working out in my favor, Charlene managed to make sure I was sunk. Why was I so caring? It never got me anything but pain.