Lisa stared out the kitchen window, but the movement did not happen again. She stepped over to the wall and switched off the kitchen light.
“Hey,” Josh protested.
“Kids,” Lisa called.
Bobby and Adam are in Bobby’s room playing some game and Megan is watching television,” Josh explained.
“Megan. Come in here,” Lisa called and returned to the window. “Josh, honey. Turn the back outside light on.” Josh stood and did, but he had a question.
“Something,” Lisa said, and watched whatever it was move away from the light and back out to the street. It was gone.
“A person or animal?” Josh asked as Megan came in to the kitchen.
Lisa touched her daughter’s shoulder. “Time to get ready for bed.”
“Aw,” she gave the expected response but went upstairs.
“Person or animal?” Josh repeated.
“Not human,” Lisa responded with one more look before she turned the kitchen light on again.
“So, an animal,” Josh said.
“No. Not human,” Lisa repeated.
Maria and Jessica crossed the campus, fretted about the mid-terms just taken, but they talked about everything else. They talked about what Zoe’s mystery might be, and admitted they still had no clue. After a time of getting nowhere, Maria asked a different question.
“So, where are your hangers-on?”
“Studying, I hope,” Jessica answered. “Father always said I had natural leadership qualities.”
“Your CEO father?”
“Yeah. Who would have thought military leadership? Go figure.” Jessica looked down as Maria looked up, curious. “Did you ever see that old movie, “Clueless?” Jessica asked. Maria was not sure. “Well, anyway, that was me in high school. On the other hand, my five-year reunion should be interesting.”
“I’ll bet.” Maria sighed. “I don’t know if I will have a reunion.” Maria saw the curiosity jump to Jessica’s face. “Too many of my classmates are in jail. High school in Jersey City was sort of like West Side Story, but with semi-automatic weapons.”
“Hey guys!” Melissa and Mindy came out of the library and Jessica and Maria stopped to wait for them.
“I wonder, though, if I should be majoring in business. I’m starting to think poli-sci might be better.” Jessica was not asking an opinion.
Maria shrugged. “All I know is I need the grades to get into a good medical school.”
“Yeah, well. You realize that Emily and I are at the bottom of the heap as far as academics are concerned. But at least Emily has a goal. What the heck is a business major anyway? I just started out with that because I knew the most about it and thought it would be easy. Hanging around you guys has made me want to actually learn something. You ruined me. It’s unnatural.”
“What’s unnatural?” Mindy asked when she stopped to catch her breath.
“You and Melissa. Watch.” Jessica smiled as Melissa was the last to arrive. She asked a question as they started to walk again. “So, Melissa, how’s physics?”
“See?” Jessica said. “I don’t even know what cold fusion is.”
“Oh, sorry.” Melissa barely avoided a long, mathematical explanation. She had to yank her mind elsewhere. “Would you rather hear about Professor Piedmont in robotics. I swear he just about has that robot thinking for itself.”
“I don’t think that was the point,” Maria interrupted.
“What is a business major, anyway?” Jessica repeated herself.
“You could come down into the archives with me,” Mindy suggested. She was not really serious, and Jessica understood. She stopped walking. They all did, and Jessica made a fist and pointed it at Mindy, but it was only play.
“I have to go,” Maria said. “I have to see my new advisor, Professor Singh.”
“What does he teach?” Melissa asked, wanting to get the topic in someone else’s court.
“Evolutionary biology. Not really where I belong, but the man is brilliant. He has really taken the whole study of evolution on the fast track.”
“Not where you belong?” Mindy asked.
“Well, I had Zimmer last year, genetics and such before he did the fast disappearing act. That was right before Pierce got activated and Emily had to, you know, kill Pierce.”
“Hey.” Jessica interrupted. “Who is that?” She pointed at the young man who came out of the science building. “I swear to god that is Pierce.”
“Can’t be,” Maria said.
“Looks like him to me,” Mindy said. “But I didn’t know him as well as you did.”
“Looks exactly like him,” Jessica insisted.
“Too young,” Maria concluded the conversation with, “Don’t tell Emily. Maybe she won’t ever see the guy, whoever he is.”
Mindy looked up and grinned. “I thought you were saving your lips for that Lieutenant Brinkman fellow.”
Jessica made a face. “Please! The man is a Neanderthal.”
“I saw the way he was looking at you in front of Granger’s house.” Melissa joined in.
“Ha! You should have seen the way she was looking at him,” Maria added.
“Get off it! Not interested. End of story.” Jessica got heavy handed. Maria went into the science building for her appointment with her advisor. Jessica lead the way back to the suite. Mindy turned to Melissa who walked a half-step behind.
“She must really like him,” Mindy said.
“She is in denial,” Melissa agreed. Jessica kept her mouth shut.