The future behind the door

By Antonella

EMAIL: antonella_stelitano@virgilio.it

Who ever said that time seems to never pass when you are waiting, above all during the night, should alter their opinion.

Even a morning can be endless.

If I look again at the pendulum before me, I can swear that its hands are mocking me.

If it wasn't like that, it means that it has only been 2 minutes that I'm wearing out that precious carpet.

Used to refined and expensive shoes, it must to be the first time 'it' came into contact with some ratty sneakers.

There is always a first time for everything, after all.

Today it too important to worry about trifle. I'm in a jacket and tie; that's enough, isn't it?

And however, today still wasn't 'the big day'. It would have been if those 'fine brains' in there would make a decision regarding my future.

Now I must try to calm myself.

But how can someone help bouncing his knee and drumming his fingers when his gut is a very big knot and you keep on staring at closed door.

These days, just the thought of what is happening behind that imposing wood, makes me automatically smile.

A grin that mirrors my excitement over this accomplishment of my life.

Still some minutes (?), hours (let's hope no) and I, Blair J. Sandburg has officially obtained his degree in Anthropology.

How many things have changed in the last year.

So many events that have guided me to revise the priorities in my life. For a while it seemed that destiny had decided to take everything away from me, even my life itself.

Against all odds , I survived the absolutely not crystal clear waters of Hargrove Hall's fountain.

Since Alex, though, things between Jim and me had hovered between polite cohabitation and mere tolerance.

One misunderstanding after another that had plunged us into a downward spiral.

A spiral that was slowly shattering our partnership, but above all our friendship.

I realized that all was crumbling before me and I didn't know how prevent it.

Then I seized the opportunity to preside over an exhibition of precious Indian artefacts at Seattle, availing myself of the chance to think seriously about how to save whatever was possible in my association with Jim.

In the end, going away for a while was an excellent idea.

I had tried to analyse the reason behind my disagreement with Jim. To understand when exactly things had begun to go wrong and I had realized that Jim's animosity against me was well prior to Alex's appearance. It was incredible that I hadn't made the connection before.

Knowing how my sentinel reacts to unknown menaces, I must have imagined that the submission of my dissertation was like a more impending shadow.

A sort of sword of Damocles ready to fall over our heads and that would inevitably carry out many changes.

It was hard to get inside Jim's mind and know his doubts and fears but I thought to had some good hints. Jim's greatest fear was of his abilities being revealed publicly.

It wasn't so improbable that nevertheless of the guarantee of anonymity someone put two and two together and found out that the subject of my studies was actually the cop with whom I was partnered for 'study reasons'.

On the other hand, Brackett had already guessed it, so.

No, the stakes were too high to risk messing things up more.

Besides, once I submitted the thesis, what would happen then?

I had to get off the roller coaster and come back to the merry go round, and that wasn't a fabulous outlook.

But there weren't any other options.

However there was at least something that I could do to give to Jim the certainty that his secret stayed so.

So, sparing every second available during the day, sacrificing totally my social life and many long nights I had devoted myself to making real the elusive diss on police subcultures.

So, here I am. One step from a new phase of my existence.

No more observer, certainty not a cop. Not a graduating student but hopefully still a teaching fellow.

What way my life had opened to now, I still didn't know. But surely Jim Ellison would have been an integral part.

A slight squeaking put me off from my musing. The round and jolly face of my old mentor, Eli Stoddard meets my longing eyes.

There are sufficient few words from the professor to quell my eagerness and turn it into bouncing happiness.

"Congratulations, Doctor Sandburg!"

Finis