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     The alarm chided Bryan to wakefulness and he shook his head to clear away the logy. He found his phone, silenced the alarm and said, “If this is Friday then we must be in Rome. Jesus, Mary and Uncle Joe I don’t know how people jump around between shifts. ‘Take a little rhythm, take a little of that sweet, sweet music,’” he quietly sang to himself. “‘You got to take a little rhythm and put it in your heart.’ Circadian rhythm that is.”

     He slipped out of bed, checked his phone for messages and while in the bathroom scraped a day’s worth of growth from his cheeks and jaw. “’Shaving cream, stay nice and clean. Shave every day and you’ll always look keen,’” he sang. After sliding into his work clothes he keyed his password into his laptop and scanned his emails. One was from Marcy Jones at KGAN and included a link to the interview she had given to Sandy and him. Another concerned the application Sandy had filed for his house hunting adventure but the one from Jake held the greatest interest for him.

Received two emails from Cassandra/Sandy, one to this account and one to Detective Callahan. It sounds as though she understands that she is not to play detective but rather to hand the ball to me and let me see how best to score. Smart lady.
I have been selected for some elite training and will be out of town for a few weeks. Will be back around the 2nd or 3rd of May so shouldn’t have a conflict there.
Let me know your Florida itinerary. We can get together with Mandy and the girls. You won’t believe how much they have changed in over two years. Glad you are back among the living.
Ever yours,

     Bryan’s response was short but not curse:

You are right about Cassie being smart. I hope her father isn’t as sharp. Looking forward to Florida, you and your beautiful family. Will keep you in the loop.
Crazy Cousin Bryan

     Four hours had passed since Bryan had last eaten and he would have to tic off five more before he had another opportunity so he quickly made an almond butter sandwich, poured a glass of milk, peeled an orange and scrolled the net for videos of ‘Gross Indecency: The three trials of Oscar Wilde.’

     Youtube held short segments from various productions of the show and these varied dramatically from one another in terms of sound and video quality. He found no full length showings. The going price for a print copy of the play was nine dollars and a used one was listed at $2.53, should he wish to buy it.

     He did learn that the man who wrote, ‘The Laramie Project,’ Moises Kaufman, also wrote, ‘Gross Indecency.’ Now that ‘Laramie’ popped up he remembered news reports from 2010 that had warned that the ‘reverend’ Fred Phelps and his infamous Westboro Baptist bastards had threatened to picket TCR’s production of the play about the murder of Matthew Shepard the winter after he graduated high school. He was pretty sure the scum bags had stayed in their holes and he mumbled, “Rest in peace, reverend asshole,” as he gave up on finding a free and easily accessed video of the piece about Oscar Wilde.

     At 1:30 he did something he hadn’t done in over a week; he carried his bike downstairs in preparation of riding it to work. “Hmm. Wonder if Amy will be there to see this?” he asked the air. Traffic wasn’t too heavy at that time of day but he decided to cross at the pedestrian light anyway, which earned him a few dirty looks from the drivers who had to stop for the signal.

     With twenty minutes available in which to complete the eight minute ride he took his time as he meandered along the residential roads of Aiionwatha and then headed north on the Cedar Valley. The day was beautiful and Bryan in high spirits but Cedar Walk Pets’ parking lot took him by surprise. “Duh. I guess that’s why we have a parking lot. For cars,” he said to himself. His ID and passcode were not necessary during business hours and after returning a greeting wave to a gal he didn’t quite recognize at the reception desk he rolled his bike to its normal resting spot in the break room.

     The resting spot was normal, but the break room wasn’t. It held fellow employees, including Wren. “What you doing?! You can’t leave that monstrosity in here! This is our break room!” she hollered in her staccato Cantonese caricature. “Bryan! How lovely to see you again,” she added, now utilizing the stiff upper lipped British accent she had learned while a student in then British held Hong Kong. “Truly, it will be rather crowded in here with that contraption, don’t you think?”

     “Yeah,” Bryan conceded. “I didn’t think of that. I didn’t bring a lock or else I’d leave it outside. I guess this is my first surprise of the day,” he said.

     “Unlikely to be your last. Good to see you in either case. I’m excited to have you join us in the real world.”

     “Yeah. Me too. I’m Bryan by the way,” he said, extending his hand to Wren’s dining companion.

     “Yeah,” she said pleasantly. “We met, what? Year and a half ago? At one of our store meetings. Susie Vaverick.”

     “Oh! Sure! Your sisters work here, don’t they?”

     “Yes, well, they did. Barbie got married and moved to Ithaca but Amy’s still here. Should be at the front desk.”

     “Ah! Thanks. I couldn’t remember her name. Amy. Right. Okay, so Barbie, Susie, Amy. You really like you’re ‘ease’ in the Vaverick family, don’t you?”

     Susie gave him a short quizzical look and then broke into a huge smile. “Yeah. I guess we do! Wren warned me about you,” she added.

     “Well, you know what they say, don’t believe anything Wren says and only half of what she writes, right Wren.”

     “Too true. Would you like me to write that down for you?” she added with a laugh.

     “Not today. Sorry about the bike,” Bryan replied. Next time I’ll bring a lock. Are Sonia or Lauren in?”

     “Lauren is. Sonia was but she went off site. Think she’ll be back in an hour or so,” Susie replied.

     “Okay. Well, no sense getting here early if the boss doesn’t see me, is there? Guess I’ll go start my ‘new’ job. Nice meeting you again, Susie. Don’t believe anything Wren says about me unless it’s over the top praise. Maybe not even then.”

     “Bryan you are by far the most fabulous man I have ever met?” came Wren’s eyebrow lifted question. “Good luck today.”