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Monday, August 20, 2012

The Long Ride Home Whately Prep p. 47

Life ring on the ferry Martha's Vineyard  dee

I have Julian and Marshall in the way back -- the third seat -- of the van.  Marcus is sitting up front, riding shotgun, and Sarah is buckled into her carseat in the middle of the backseat.  The boys aren’t fighting because they are engrossed in a Transformer video.  Sarah is asleep.  The only way off the Island was to wait in standby for the ferry since four this afternoon.  We hit the lottery and there was a spot for the car on the 8:30 boat.  We will get back to Whately just after midnight.  The decision to leave was easy.
When Julia called, her tone was devoid of affect.  She recited facts with no emotional  inflection at all.  Most people believe that she is a bit cold and aloof because that is what she does when she feels out of control. She if from the “just-the-facts, m’am, just-the-facts school of crisis management.  It is her ability to separate emotion from fact that allow her to make executive decisions and to lead confidently wearing the mantle of responsibility.  It is not how many people operate.  
Julia called me on the landlinefrom the Whately Prep garage.  
“Hi Declan.  How’s it going?’
“We were just playing a rousing game of Yahtzee and Sarah is blowing bubbles -- Not in your mouth, sweetie! Julian, please take the bottle from Sarah. How’s your day going?”
“Actually, that’s why I am calling.  First, I don’t want you to come home.  It would add to my worries to have you here. “
“That doesn’t sound good.”
“It’s not. I told you about the swan this morning.  Well, this afternoon, the swan’s heart was delivered by messenger to our house.  I called the State Police and I have hired a P.I. as a body guard while we straighten out things.”
“Are you serious?  Was the box addressed to you?”
“Yes, and for the time being, the police want to err on the side of caution.  They have experience dealing with these things. They may call in the FBI.”
“I am coming home.  I am not leaving you there alone.”
“I am staying in the Hotel Northampton for the time being.  That is not being distributed to anyone at school except Cole, Carl, and my assistant.  Better to keep it on a need-to-know basis, they say.”
“Get another room.  We are coming.”
“Please, Declan, I have enough to worry about. I need to get Ingrid and her daughters out of here without totaling freaking them out.  I need to assess the risk to other people on campus, and I have to try to make sense of someone’s motives for doing these violent things.  I would prefer not to add my terror that the children or you might be hurt.”
“Julia, you are thinking logically and that’s great, but I can’t be here and simply look the other way.  As a guy, I am hard-wired to DO something.”
“Are you still, there, Julia?”
“Okay, here’s what would be great.  It will involve a lot of driving.  You will want to rent DVDs for the kids.  Come out to Whately with Marcus.  Spend the night and then head back to the Island with Ingrid, Kayla and Kendra in the morning. I would tell Marcus that a lot has come up at work and there has been some vandalism that I have to deal with right away. That covers everything.  Does that work for you?”
“Yes.  We’ll be there on the first boat out of here.  However, I’m going to make reservations to come back to the Island for Monday morning.”
“Not the vacation we planned three months ago, is it?”
“Not at all.”
“Declan, thank you. You know I appreciate it.  You get that I want you here, but I just...”
“I get it, Julia. Do what you have to do to get rid of this crazy and we can get back to normal.  Please, be careful.  Don’t go anywhere alone.”
“The cops have done a run through on this stuff.  That’s why I am calling on a land line. There is sophisticated software that can triangulate my position using a cell tower and the GPS in my iPhone.  Hackers can use it to find out exactly where people are. “
“Don’t trust anyone, Julia.”
“Come to the Hotel Northampton.  I’ll get another larger room for our family and Ingrid and Marcus can have this one.  So far as the kids go, I think we should tell them there was a water leak in the house for the time being.  Agreed?”
“Works, why not?  Okay - see you tonight. I love you. Be safe.”
“Drive carefully.  Text me when you get on a boat.”

The boat just docked.  I wait for the doors to open to begin the long ride home.  

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