Liza jetted through the building at a pace just short of a run. The two women had chatted politely for a few minutes. Liza stuck by her first impression – Janice was pretty cool. She was the Dean herself until a few years ago. Janice explained that she stepped down so that she could help take care of her grandchildren, and finish a poetry anthology that she was putting together.
As soon as Janice and Bruce started discussing an upcoming series of lectures, Liza gave a little wave, mumbled an excuse, and ducked out. She needed a cigarette. Badly. It wasn’t that she was mad. Not exactly. True, when Bruce told her that he was a professor, he left out the part about also being the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. Liza chalked that up to his complete lack of pretension. It wasn’t exactly a secret either. She could have found out herself if she had bothered to look him up on the University’s faculty directory.
So, she wasn’t mad, but she was thoroughly freaked out. Why? She didn’t care that he was eleven years older than her. It didn’t weird her out (much) that he was a professor. What difference should it make that he was a Dean? She needed to think. Well, first she needed to pay a little attention to what she was doing and then she needed to think.
Liza had auto-piloted herself to the end of a long hallway that dead-ended with a tiny balcony. She turned around and saw Bruce standing by the foot of the stairs at the other end of the hall. He’d been waylaid by an old guy carrying a brown man purse with a giant Hello Kitty patch on the front. Liza rolled her eyes and sighed. This place really attracted the nut jobs. She did a cartoonish run/creep halfway up the hall and slid through the first unlocked door that she found.