Waiting for Results
At the end of that academic year, Ruby came home with even more books and told me that she had decided to do research on socially-conditioned semantic variations.
I looked at her blankly; I had literally no idea what she was talking about. She tried to explain it to me, but in the end, I just decided that if it made Ruby happy, that was all I needed to know.
With the new academic year, I asked if she really needed to go to Edinburgh. After all, I said, she must have all the books she needed in her office. Ruby smiled at me “And I will miss you too Tony” she said. “But yes I do need to be there, it helps me to go to their library, and I have lectures and tutorials to go to. It won’t be long, you’ll see the year will go by in a flash.”
She was right, of course. “Normal” is just what you get used to. Our new normal was that I was alone in Lynn, and she was alone in Edinburgh, each of us doing what we needed to to get by. It helped that I was able to call on Mary to come over to help with a recipe I wanted to try or go over to her place to see what I could do with a broken washing machine. We became increasingly inventive in our reasons for meeting alone, and if anyone ever put two and two together, they never said anything.
Her fourth year was, if anything, even more intense, and when I visited she seemed more distracted and even more focused on her goal. I hardly saw Ruby as she crammed for her finals. She even stayed in Edinburgh over the spring break, and when we talked on the phone, it was very brief and tense. Then sudden, she had completed her finals, and it was over. We celebrated by taking a holiday trip to South Africa, and then back home to wait for the results.