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A Time To Speak

. . .a time to gather them [stones]. . .

Ecclesiastes 3:5a


Chapter Twenty-Seven

John

My new job had me traveling a lot now, going from site to site to install new security software for our new clients and updates for existing ones. Occasionally I flew from our regional airport to places as far away as Washington D.C. or Mobile, Alabama, but usually I drove a company car to places that were a little closer. I didn't mind. The pay was good and I've always liked traveling. Janna bitched sometimes about how much I was away, but that was her problem. Still, I called her every night from wherever I was and she got used to the separation pretty fast. The bigger paychecks didn't hurt.

Every night after I talked to Janna I got on the computer and enjoyed my new hobby: watching the Disgruntled Alumni of FCU make total asses of themselves. To myself, I called them DA FUCs, for short. As in, what Da Fuc are they doing now? Around Alecia I settled for just plain Disgruntled.

Alecia was having a tough time. It turned out that DA FUCs were right about the lowered attendance at the school, and a couple of her co-workers got laid off. It sounded like there were layoffs in every department, which made sense. The economy still wasn't all that great, and in the public colleges, state offices, libraries and other government agencies that were my clients, I heard of cutbacks almost every day. FCU, having no government funding at all, was sure to be hit even harder.

John

What about your job, Alecia? Would they ever cut your position?


Alecia

I don't think so, John. I'm a department head now and I've been here a long time. The cuts would have to go pretty far in order to affect me.


John

What would you do if you couldn't teach there?


Alecia

I'm not worried, John. The Lord will provide. Were you ever able to find out anything about Bonita?


John

I've had fun nosing around on her blog when I've had down time. She thinks she's being all clever by right click protecting it, but there's lot of easy ways around that. So far I've learned that she uses a blogging template for dummies kind of thing, so she's not very computer smart, and she uses a free blog hosting site that's glitchy and has poor security. At a guess I'd say she's either cheap or unemployed. She doesn't do anything that costs any money.


Alecia

Where does she live?


John

Her blog said somewhere that she's in Tennessee but I think that may be a misdirection. She seems to really like her privacy.


Alecia

Does she work? How does she make a living when she's not busy hanging on Regina and Katrina's every word?


John

I've looked all over her blog, but I can't find anything about any professional life. I have no idea what she does.


Alecia

Did you look on LinkedIn?


John

I guess I should have thought of that.


Alecia

Never mind, I'm looking it up now. It says here that she's an independent saleswoman for the Crispy Clean Washing Machine Company.


John

The what?


Alecia

Hold on. I'm following the link. . . It's a multi-level marketing company. She sells washing machines door to door!


John

Washing machines, door to door??


Alecia

And she tries to recruit other people to do the same. This profile says she's in New York City, or maybe that's just where the company is based.


John

She sells washing machines door to door in New York City? No way.


Alecia

That seems to be what she's saying.


John

Hold on, I'm going to send her an email using that Contact Me button on her blog page. I'll use the email address that I use for spam. When I get an answer, I can trace the header in the email back to her server and that should give us an idea where she actually is, unless she uses a proxy server.


Alecia

How long will that take? And how do you know she'll answer you?


John

Oh, she'll answer. I'll tell her I have a story about abuse happening at Servants. There's no way she won't respond to that. After that it should only take a couple minutes to trace the headers.


Alecia

That's not nice, John.


John

Whatever.


It took less than an hour. I had just turned on the TV in the hotel room to watch ESPN when the ding on my phone announced Bonita's response. I opened up my laptop again and dug into the email header.

John

Alecia, you're not going to believe this. Bonita posts from a library just outside Atlanta. I didn't even have to look that hard because I recognized it—that library is one of my new clients!


Alecia

Are you sure? She's in Atlanta, not NYC?


John

Absolutely.


Alecia

Please tell me you're not really going to make up a story of abuse to send to her.


John

Hell no. I'm just going to let her sit there and think that there's an abuse story out there that she's actually never heard of. It'll drive her crazy.


Alecia

LOL! You are so mean.


John

I haven't even started being mean yet.