Melpomene and Thalia

By Robert Lynch

I looked around the corner carefully. The hallway was empty. Good. Jackson was nowhere to be seen.

 

“Who are you hiding from?” Jackson said from behind me, making me jump a full foot in the air.

 

I sighed, turned to look at Jackson’s smarmy smiling face, “No one, just being careful I didn’t run into anyone.”

 

“Oh,” Jackson said. “Hey, it’s good that I ran into you. I have been studying a batch of fossils the university got in from Jilin Provence, China. I think that we might have a new species of Kalligrammatid Lacewing. I was hoping that I could get you to have a look and get your opinion?”

 

This guy. This bloody guy. Rubbing it in my face that he got the analyst grant over me. I used to think we were friends then he steals the job right out from under me? What a monster! “Sure,” I replied, “I’m a little busy right now,” I wasn’t busy at all, “Maybe I could drop by Thursday 11 o’clock?” I had no intention of showing up to this.

 

“Sounds great,” Jackson replied, turned and walked back down the corridor.

 

***

I walked down the corridor and saw Matt snooping around a corner. Matt had become very weird since I got the analyst grant. I had hoped that he would get over it in time, but we have only grown more distant lately.

 

“Who are you hiding from?” I said as I approached, he jumped.

 

He sighed, turned me and said, “No one, just being careful I didn’t run into anyone.”

 

“Oh,” I said. Weird. I hate that he’s like this now. Maybe there’s a way to bridge some of the gap. I can’t hire anyone formally, but maybe if I get Matt to help, I can convince the coordinator to add his name to our next paper. It’s not as good as a formal role, but it might help Matt the next time one comes up. “Hey, it’s good that I ran into you. I have been studying a batch of fossils the university got in from Jilin Provence, China. I think that we might have a new species of Kalligrammatid Lacewing. I was hoping that I could get you to have a look and get your opinion?”

 

“Sure,” He replied, “I’m a little busy right now, maybe I could drop by Thursday 11 o’clock?”

 

“Sounds great,” I replied, turned and headed back to my office. I couldn’t help but smile. Our friendship had been on rocky ground of late; maybe this gesture would begin to smooth things over.

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END

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