The Literature Committee meeting broke up, the chair still seated, sorting her notes and packing papers into her briefcase. The lanky man approached, the black woman beside him. The chair, looked up, frowning in puzzlement. “Yes?”
“We wanted to tell you, um…”
The black woman stepped forward, “What Dag is trying to say is that we—”
“Yes,” said Dag, “we wanted to tell you we support the decision.”
“Why, Marte,” said the chair, her puzzled expression remaining, “I was sure you would be against me on this.”
“Oh no,” said Marte, “I just wanted our best foot put forward. I didn’t want the committee to be derided, or perhaps disbanded.”
The chairperson clicked her briefcase closed, set it on the floor beside her chair. “Yes, well, I want that, too.”
“If you’re going to present our decision to the President,” said Marte, “I’d like to be there with you to help you support it.”
“This is quite a surprise,” said the chair, “thank you, Marte, and you too, Dag.”
“I’m just now ready to go,” said Marte, “Why don’t you leave that stuff here?”
“Might we accompany you?” asked Dag. “If it’s all right.”
The chair looked to Marte for a moment, and to Dag. Then a smile. “Of course you may. I’ll likely need the moral support.” She rose, stooped for her briefcase, and the three turned to leave. The door opened to a young black man who was soon to be a Literature Committee member. He handed a note to the chair and left.
The chair read the note, sighed, and read it again. Then she folded the note and stuck it in her purse. “It seems the President has already heard about our choice, and she has called me on the carpet, so to speak.” A mischievous look at the pair over her glasses. “Still want to accompany me?”
Marte glanced to Dag, and they laughed self consciously. “I suppose,” said Dag. “Surely she wouldn’t fire us all.”
And so they began their shamble down the hall to the President’s suite. As they walked, the chair, who hadn’t yet abandoned her mischievous turn, began humming a dirge-like song of this Dylan fellow’s.
~ To Be Continued ~
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