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By Romana Guillotte
My whole college career had been terribly boring. Full of spreadsheets and addendums and footnotes, I knew MLA, ALA, and all the other ‘LA’s there were. Undergrad, grad, post-grad, pre-doctorate, doctorate—I lived in the office of our department. I was even given a cot with my name on it at the last department Christmas party. That and sage words of advice from my favorite Professor Emeritus: “Keep looking.”
“What was that?”
“I said ‘keep looking’,” the good doctor repeated, “You’re going to find it, just as it will find you.”
I nodded along as I always did to his advice, but then something strange hit me. “You’re talking about my thesis right?”
He just smiled and patted my shoulder. “Is your thesis your life? Or are you willing to discover more?”
Was I ready for life beyond campus? “I…”
He patted my shoulder again before heading off to sass the head of the department. Maybe life wasn’t all research and highlighters. Maybe I didn’t need powerpoints either.
That next semester, for three days in a row, I found things on my walk to class in the crisp mornings that seemed to belong only to me. Or were intended for me—the mornings, not the items. First, it was a key, then a Garth Brooks CD. In all the order of things you’d think the key, would be second, as if to lead me somewhere. But it wasn’t. On the third day, it was a business card. Or what looked like a calling card. I think it was an old calling card. With it’s an old calling card. With it’s singular name in a fancy font, and no other details. “Raymond Pendergast?”
“At your service.” A genuine dandy appeared next to me. Top hat to spats, he oozed the charm that many movie stars lacked these days. He bowed at his name, removing said top hat.
Removing the other two objects from my purse, I presented them to Raymond. “I think one of these is yours.”
“Yes, the other is your gift to me.”
He stood up and replaced his hat, and still tipped his head. “Of course,” He took the key right off. “Have a good day.”
Raymond sauntered off only as a misplaced-time-traveling-dandy could. I smiled, then shook my head. Without much thought, I opened the CD case, 100% expecting a Garth Brooks CD. It was another key.
“Coming?” Raymond called from down the lane.
I jumped to a sprint to join him. My adventure was just beginning.